Vestry Nominees for 2017 Announced

Vestry Meeting

The Vestry Nominating Committee has submitted to the Vestry the following slate of Parish Members who are eligible and willing to serve three-year terms as Vestry Members to take the place of those Vestry Members whose terms will expire at the January 2017 Annual Parish Meeting.

Brad Burr
Brad Burr

Brad Burr

The Nominating Committee nominates Brad Burr to complete the unexpired term of David Skinner.  Brad’s professional background includes nearly 37 years in Group Insurance with Prudential Insurance Company.  At Prudential he held roles in Account Management, Sales and Sales Management serving the last eleven years of his career as Regional Vice President, Sales and Account Management for the Western United States. He has served on three Vestries at Saint Patrick’s Church in Thousand Oaks and served as Senior Warden three years.

Candidate’s Statement:  I would be honored to serve on the Vestry of St. Margaret’s.  For the past two years I have been a non-voting officer of the Vestry serving as our Treasurer and will continue in that role as a Vestry member. We are entering a critical period of time at St. Margaret’s where we will be facing many challenges.  I believe my background both in business and in service to the Church will be beneficial to our beloved parish.

Laura Bickford
Laura Bickford

Laura Bickford

Laura Bickford teaches English and serves as English Department Chair and on the Principal’s Leadership Team at La Quinta High School.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and a Master of Arts in English from San Francisco State University. Her hobbies are writing, singing, traveling, swimming, conversing and movie-going.

At St. Margaret’s she sings in the Adult Choir, Chambers Singers, and serves on the Executive Council of the Desert Friends of Music and the Stewardship Committee since 2015.   She served on the Worship Commission at St. Andrew’s in Ojai, CA, and as Writing Retreat Planner and workshop leader at St. Gregory’s in San Francisco.

Candidate’s Statement:  I want to serve on the Vestry because working on the Vestry feels as if it is the next step in my life at St. Margaret’s and a natural succession to EFM.  Serving on the Vestry feels as if it might be the best spot from which I might respond to a call to “save the world,” or better to change it in joy.

Robert Strong
Robert Strong

Robert Strong

Robert Strong has worked as Planning Advisor for Forest Lawn Mortuaries for 10 years. He served in the Air Force and graduated at age 60 with a graduate degree in bereavement psychology and ministry.  An Episcopalian for 48 years, he has served St. Margaret’s in hospitality as greeter and on the stewardship committee.  He also served as Senior Warden at St. Barnabus in Portland, Oregon, and in community leadership positions.   He has been a chalice bearer, Head of Pastoral Care and Lector. He has worked with spiritual care through Hospice working with hospital chaplains since the early 2000’s. His hobbies include reading and gardening, and he is a proclaimed “exercise buff.”

Candidate’s Statement   I am very proud of being a member of St. Margaret’s and want to reach out to the community with my time and talent.  I am particularly interested in pastoral care. My dream is to see more young families,  reach out to minorities (African Americans and Hispanics) and help by sharing spiritual gifts to the area we live in and showing that St. Margaret’s is a warm, welcoming, spiritual place to be.

Jane Hodnik
Jane Hodnik

Jane M. Hodnik

Jane Hodnik has a degree in interior design.  She worked in interior design,  manufacturing and purchasing for Gimbel’s Department Stores.  She also worked extensively in sales; event planning and fundraising and was manager of an Interior Design Studio.  She led a fundraising effort raising over $2.5 million for Children’s Hospital. She also served as Executive Director of Trinity Hospital Foundation.

She has attended St. Margaret’s nearly 8 years and been actively involved in Daughters of the King recently being elected president. She served as Director of Outreach for DOK for 2 years.  She served on the special events and vision committee of St. Mark’s in Milwaukee.  She was Executive Director of the St. Francis Foundation reporting to Felician Srs. for 15 years and in Fund Development for 6 years.

Candidate’s Statement: I want to serve on the Vestry because I am interested in organizational structures.  I enjoy giving input from my career experiences and like being part of a team.  I like to develop relationships and I like people.  I would be expanding my Rule of Life (DOK) in serving God.  I think that I can contribute my experiences with volunteers, boards and non-profits.

James Duke
James Duke

Jim Duke

Jim Duke has been librarian at La Quinta High School since 2001. He also serves as a certificated member of the Technology Advisory Committee and has extensive experience in standardized testing administration in a variety of roles. His skill in these roles resulted in his being named La Quinta High School Teacher of the Year in 2001. Prior to that he held a number of teaching positions in Coachella Valley Unified School District where he was named Cesar Chavez Elementary School Teacher of the Year, District Teacher of the Year and a finalist for Riverside County Teacher of the Year.

Jim has attended St. Margaret’s since 2000 and has served as a Lector, Intercessor, Lay Eucharistic Minister and Group Facilitator for Bishop Candidate interviews. He is currently a member of The Daily Office Team licensed by the Bishop to conduct Morning and Evening Prayer Services.  He is multilingual and is proficient in use of social media.  He enjoys travel, hydroponic vegetable gardening and aviculture.

Candidate’s Statement:   “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” 1 Peter 4:10   As a member of St. Margaret’s for the past sixteen years, I have been blessed to enjoy the wonderful worship opportunities that we have in this place.  I have served in a variety of ministries, Lector, Intercessor and Lay Eucharistic Minister, and I am currently a member of the Daily Office Team, licensed by the Bishop to lead Morning and Evening Prayer.  I now offer my gifts of time and talent, along with my experience in collaboration and leadership, to serve as a member of the Vestry so that we can continue to do God’s work in our parish.


The Rector, Wardens, and Vestry give thanks for the hard and fruitful work of the Nominating Committee: Marcia Slater Hatfield (Chair) Jane Daugherty, Mary Ann Ekman, Bob Gibson, Rita Saari.

A detailed position description and eligibility requirements for Vestry Members is available at www.stmargarets.org/governance/vestry/, along with a detailed description of the nomination process and selection criteria.

The Vestry is the council of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. In addition to transacting the temporal business of the church, the vestry works with the Rector, under the Bishop, to lead the congregation in the ministries of the church. Following the model of servant leadership, each member of the vestry is responsible for the effectiveness of our ministries, shaping and guiding them for the growth of the people of the congregation, and for our mission to the community beyond our walls. Members of the Vestry are also committed to personal growth as leaders and to ministering to one another in Christian community.

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