2019 Vestry Candidates

Community members of St. John's,

Below you will find information about your 2019 Vestry Candidates. The vote will be taken on Sunday, February 3, at 9:15 a.m. as a part of our Annual Meeting.

Please make plans to attend!

Linda Geraldine Brown RPh, MBE

My Name is Linda Geraldine Brown nee Lewis. I was born in Belize City, Belize, June 29, 1956 to Gerald and Colin Lewis. Graduated from Belize School of Pharmacy and a license pharmacist in California. I served as the Director of Pharmacy from 1990 to 2018 both in Retail and Hospital Pharmacy.

In 1997, I was inducted into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame for outstanding achievements. I hurled Belize to gold medal in the XII Central American and Caribbean games in 1974. On December 31, 2010, I was appointed the prestigious Ordinary Member of the Civil Division of the Said Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth for outstanding service to Sports and Medicine.

I served as the Honorary Consul of Belize for 8 years working with the Belizean Diaspora in workshops for Disaster Preparedness and Cancer workshops and fund raisers. I am currently the Consul General Designate of Belize in Los Angeles.

As a vestry member I will continue to advocate for causes involving the homeless, gun violence, and grow the Food Bank. Collaborating with other members to recruit new members with emphasis on Millennium recruitment.

In the Next 5 years my vision is to grow and lead the congregation in dynamic and innovative ways, and to collaborate in fund raising and drives to increase the financial contribution to the diocese.

Rick Censullo

I grew up as a Roman Catholic in Boston, and when my wife Charlotte Borst and I had children in the 1980s, we began attending the Episcopal church. I’ve been a parishioner at St. John’s since July of 2009, when we first moved to Los Angeles. We live in Whittier, and we originally planned to spend several months church-shopping, but we started with St John’s and quickly realized that there was no reason to go any further. We have always been impressed with the forward-thinking programs, the uncompromising moral stands that embody real Christian values, and the beautiful liturgy and music. St. John’s has provided us a true spiritual home.

In the years that I’ve been a part of St. John’s, I have served as a head usher (I am also currently serving as one), and I started and ran the Breaking Bread program. This program was a way for small groups of roughly 12 people each to meet outside of church for dinners, and to get to know each other on a more personal level. In a sense, it provided an extension of the coffee hour which we all enjoy at the end of the 11:00 service.

My education includes a BA in Physics from Boston University and a PhD in Physics from Brandeis University. Additionally, I am a few elective courses short of an MBA from the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Some other qualifications and background that may be useful as a vestry member include previously serving on two boards--the Rio Hondo Symphony in Whittier, CA and the Creative Montessori School in Birmingham, Alabama. Also, when Charlotte’s job took us to the College of Idaho, I was involved in fund raising for a new track and I helped to secure a one-million-dollar partnership pledge from the mayor of the City of Caldwell.

Currently I am 65 years old and I recently retired as an Information Technology Director after 20 years, where I led an international team of 80 members who supported 10,000 servers worldwide. In this position, I managed daily operations, evaluated personnel, and wrote proposals for large contracts. I believe that my breadth of experience can contribute in many ways, especially as St. John’s enters a new phase in development. In addition to fund raising, I have dealt extensively with vendors on many levels working to get complex projects accomplished.

With the undertaking of a multi-year development project during the next 5 – 10 years, I believe St. John’s has the unique ability to secure itself financially for future generations of Episcopal worshipers in the heart of the city. The already strong programs that connect the church with the city should continue, incorporating the flexibility to adapt to a changing environment. Furthermore, it is very important to push forward with those initiatives that bring new people to the parish, and to sponsor more cathedral events that serve the diocese.

I am honored to be asked to run for a vestry position at St. John’s and hope that I will have the opportunity to further serve this worthwhile community. Thanks.

Haley Compean (soon to be Haley O’Phelan!)

Age: 27

Education: BA Political Science, University of California Santa Barbara

Occupation: Operations Manager, Clifford Beers Housing (affordable housing developer)

Like many of us, St. John’s has been a place of healing for me. I found it when I wasn’t sure I would ever stay in a church again. It’s been absolutely wonderful to find a community of faith where every part of me can belong. I really believe that many people are searching for a place like this, a place that strives to live faithfully to our ancient tradition in a modern world.

My hope for our future is to continue to build community, particularly among young individuals and families coming to St. John’s, many of whom coming from similar faith backgrounds as myself, looking for a community like ours. I hope to help create a space where we have honest community with one another and where we can actively serve our neighbors. I’m craving that space and I think a lot of other people are and we have all the ingredients to create that within our church.

Finally, working as a developer, I’m also excited to be involved in St. John’s development process. We all want this development is something that enables St. John’s to continue fulfilling its mission for many years to come. I am very familiar with the intricacies of financing and planning large developments in Los Angeles, as well as reporting on the process to stakeholders along the way. As an affordable housing developer specifically, I love working in the intersection of innovative development models that serve a greater mission to the community, and generate revenue. I am very passionate about my job and hope to bring that knowledge and passion to this aspect of St. Johns’ ministry.

Denise Meighan-Lawson

My name is Denise Meighan-Lawson. I was born in Belize, Central America. Our family migrated to Los Angeles in 1975. I attended Los Angeles Unified Schools from elementary through High School. I graduated from the University of Redlands with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management.

I have worked for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for the last 10 years and I am currently a Commercial Service Supervisor. It is fast paced environment that requires dedication, initiative and follow through. I take joy in helping the residents of Los Angeles and my staff work through a

variety of issues.

I have been attending St. John’s since I was a child. It is the only church home I have ever known. I am fully vested in St. John’s and I look forward to being

a part of the Vestry as we work together to assist in St. John’s growth within the church and in the community.

David G. Oakes

Education:

JD, South Texas College of Law, Houston, Texas;

BA, Baylor University, Waco, Texas.

Age: 70

Attorney: Member of State Bars of California, New York, and Texas. Formerly counsel to Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Universal, MGA Entertainment, Sanrio, Inc. (“Hello Kitty”), etc. (motion picture, television, entertainment, brand licensing and merchandising, intellectual property, etc.)

I believe my many years of experience in managing corporate legal and business affairs, advising clients, negotiating complex agreements, and resolving conflicts will be beneficial to assisting St. John’s in making decisions, planning for the future, and finding solutions to issues that the parish must confront in its development and growth in a challenging urban environment.

If elected to the vestry, I will do my best to apply my abilities to help St. John’s maintain, preserve and expand its physical property and secure its financial future while creating additional valuable facilities and services for our surrounding community.

I hope that within the next five years, St. John’s will be able to achieve its goals of new development that will fortify its historic presence in Los Angeles and continue to offer spiritual sanctuary so vital to all who seek God’s love and guidance.

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