Denny McCracken, President
Denny and his wife Barb have been members of Sunnyhill since 1984. They originally visited the church while shopping for a suitable religious environment for their son Michael, who was 3 years old at the time. The short story is that they fell in love with the place and never left. Over the past 30 years, Denny has served as a member of the board, treasurer, canvasser, RE teacher on several occasions, chair of the Personnel Committee, and a member of the Capital Campaign Committee. Denny is currently chair of the Follow-up Committee for the Capital Campaign, and he is involved in numerous grounds keeping and maintenance projects around the church.
Denny and Barb’s children are now grown and on their own. Although none of them are practicing Unitarians, Denny can see the positive influence of the RE Program and the UU principles in each of them. He is thrilled by the renewed level of excitement and involvement at Sunnyhill, and he looks forward to working with the board once again, focusing on the continued growth of the RE Program, the settling of the new minister, and the building of Sunnyhill’s New Home.
Denny is now retired. His professional career includes a background in accounting and finance, and over 30 years of management experience.
Jay Thornton, Vice President
Jay, his wife Bethany, and their four children began attending Sunnyhill in the fall of 2012, and signed the membership book in early winter. Within that time, Jay and Bethany have become involved in RE and children’s programming. Bethany is the Membership/Outreach Coordinator, and Jay has substituted when needed and can be found supervising Chalice Club on a regular basis. Jay was honored when approached to be on the Ministerial Search Committee, and he found great satisfaction working for the benefit of the whole congregation. His perspective as a new member to both Sunnyhill and Unitarian Universalism brought an added dimension to the ministerial search process. Jay and his family have become highly invested in the family that is Sunnyhill!
Jay has a Ph.D. and works as a school psychologist in the Hampton Township School District. Prior to his tenure in the public school system, he worked with children and adolescents in inpatient, outpatient, residential, and research settings. His professional interests lie in neuropsychological assessment, learning, and mental health issues.
As a board member, Jay would like to foster and develop some of the innovative ideas and programming that surfaced through the work of the ministerial search committee. In this regard, Jay believes that a MSC member at the board level will serve to further support the growth and development of Sunnyhill and our new minister. This is an exciting time for Sunnyhill!
Janie Elliott, Secretary
Janie discovered Sunnyhill in 2003. She has taught RE and been a mentor in the Coming of Age program. She has helped organize and execute various cook-offs, soup sales, service auction dinners, and pancake breakfasts. Janie is a former editor of the Drummer and assisted with the creation of the Sunnyhill Facebook page, The Beat!, and the website. Janie joined the Board in May 2014 as a member-at-large.
Janie and her husband, John, own Elliott Marketing Group, Inc., a database marketing company whose clients are arts and culture organizations throughout the U.S. and Canada. They live with four cats in Sewickley. They have four children: Becky, Sarah, Elizabeth, and Jack; two sons-in-law, Howard and Jason; and four grandchildren (Kate, Ben, Alice, and Stella).
Regina Yankie (appointed by Board of Trustees), Treasurer and Accounts Payable
Dean Hazelton, Member-at-large
Dean has been a Sunnyhill member since 1991, active as a board member, supporting two capital campaigns, and serving on various committees, including the Sunday Service Committee, the Worship Committee, the Support team, the Religious Growth and Development Committee, and the Committee on Ministry. Dean facilitated Chalice Circles for eight years and led training sessions for new facilitators. Dean has also presented 25 Sunday services and has taught (or jointly taught) several adult education courses.
As a Sunnyhill cook of some fame (think Coconut Green Chicken Curry), Dean has helped prepare dinners for Service Auctions and other culinary extravaganzas–Chinese, BBQ, Cajun, and more. An energetic leaf raker, paint slosher, and micro gardener, Dean is always on hand to support the efforts of the Facilities and Gardens and Grounds Committees.
“Sunnyhill has been my spiritual, social, and intellectual home for years. I am honored when I am asked to give back, whether as a board member or committee chair. I know I can only give back a fraction of what I have received.”
Bob Hedin, Member-at-large
Bob Hedin and his wife Beth have been members of Sunnyhill for 20 years. They have three sons who all were involved in RE and Youth Group activities. Bob is a past board secretary, has taught RE classes, and has assisted with Youth Group for several years. Bob is an ecologist and owns an environmental consulting firm that is located in Mt. Lebanon.
Lynne Heltman, Member-at-large
Kavita Iyengar, Member-at-large
To Be Appointed, Member-at-large
The Board of Trustees also appoints an Assistant Treasurer who manages all receivables. The Assistant Treasurer position is currently held by Barb McCracken.