Janice Lamont - President
Joe Davidson - Treasurer
LaDawn Davis - Secretary
Rachel Rodriguez - Trustee
Larry Conrad - Trustee
Ethel Landers - Trustee
Donna Nisbet - Alternate Trustee
Janice Lamont, President
Janice, whose father was a student of religion, grew up experimenting with churches, Catholic, Baptist, Unitarian, Science of Mind and Buddhist. With the Long Beach Hotline (a suicide prevention telephone service) she taught Facilitative Listening to other hotline staff around the western United States. Later, she spent time living in a spiritual community called I AM. After retiring from civil service in Los Angeles, she moved to the Central Coast and found the loving community at Unity-Five Cities. Janice has two daughters, two granddaughters and enjoys singing in the choir, playing her ukulele, ballroom dancing and writing poetry which can sometimes turn into a nice little song. She has not been a board member before but is ready to put her lifetime skills to work to serve the Unity-Five Cities congregation for the next two years.
Joe Davidson, Treasurer
Joe grew up in Oklahoma City attending Putnam City United Methodist Church. He received a Master's Degree in Geology from Oklahoma State University and began work in Tulsa. From there, he went to Houston, then Bakersfield, and then to Santa Maria, where he retired after a 38-year career working for numerous oil companies. While in Bakersfield, he was married and raised a son and stepson. He performed with a theatrical non-profit in melodrama for eight years to raise money for the Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society. He was active at the Center for Spiritual Living, Bakersfield, where he was head of grounds and maintenance, served on the Board, and sang in the choir. Joe is blessed with loving family and friends, including those at Unity Five Cities, where he serves on the Board, helps with the audio/visual, and sings in the choir. Hobbies include gardening, music, ballroom dancing, and antique cars.
LaDawn Davis, Secretary
LaDawn grew up in Provo Utah and moved to Lompoc California in 2002. With three daughters, she was actively involved in the PTA where she served a Vice President (aka Jog-a-thon lady) then as President of the Lompoc Council PTA. Their family attended Unity of Santa Maria where LaDawn served as a Sunday School Teacher, Youth Education Director, YOU Sponsor and on the Board of Trustees. After moving to Oceano in 2012, we started attending Unity Five Cities. Now living in Nipomo, LaDawn currently works from home for Ultimate Software as a Data Conversion Specialist. You'll often find her at dog beach on Sunday afternoons with Camille's dog, Jello Biafra. She enjoys writing fiction, reading, long walks and learning new things.
Rachel Rodriguez grew up attending Unity Church of San Luis Obispo and was happiest sitting with her mother during service, though a very close second was enjoying Martha Aivaz's company in Sunday School helping entertain fellow children. She now serves on the board of trustees along side Martha and has been a member of Unity Five Cities for 3 years. Her specialty is making coffee & setting-up refreshments in the fellowship hall for post service enjoyment. She finds great joy in serving her congregation and in hugging as many people as possible each Sunday. Half way through her first term on the board, she looks forward to serving the Five Cities Unity community for many years to come.
Larry Conrad was born and raised on a small family farm in the middle of Iowa. He was the first in his family to go to college earning a Bachelors in Science (from Iowa State University) followed 20+ years later with a Masters in Engineering (from Arizona State University)--both degrees were in Computer Science. He has been a bit of a "professional gypsy" in that he has lived in IA, IL, MN, AZ, FL, NC, and now CA...wherever the next job took him. He recently retired from UC Berkeley where he served as the campus chief information officer, thus finishing out his 50 year career in information technology.
He met and married his fabulous wife, Rita, in 1988 in the Unity Church of Mesa, Arizona. He has 2 older adult children from a first marriage along with 3 grandchildren. Rita and he adopted their son, Alec, from Poland when he was 4.
His spiritual journey began in a Methodist Church near the farm where he grew up. He did not connect with that theology and by early adulthood, was an avowed atheist, deciding that the universe was a random experience. However, over the course of the next several years, he began noticing that "things" had a way of playing out in ways better than he could think of or even imagine. A level of synergy/serendipity that he could not square with a random universe. When he met Rita, she introduced him to Unity and A Course in Miracles. Both resonated and explained much.
The Conrad family moved to Nipomo in early 2020 from the Bay Area and discovered the wonderful Unity Five Cities family. He is honored to serve on the Board and support this special community.
Ethel “Tink” Landers was born in Terre Haute, Indiana and adopted three days later by Fanny and Pep – an amazing couple who had always been told they were too old and too poor to adopt a child. Fanny had also been diagnosed with a heart aneurism and given 6 months to live but Spirit had another plan. After Fanny experienced an ethereal after-death experience she was pronounced healed. The stars aligned. Working through Doctor James Hoover and his nephew, Ethel’s birth mother was hidden away and protected at Hoover’s Sanitarium - an African America Clinic - and three days later Ethel whose nickname became Tink, headed home to a large white Indiana farmhouse where her parents were resident farm laborers.
Tink’s environment was filled with unconditional love, pigs, cows, cats, dogs, chickens, laughter, and Spirit. Fanny was a follower of Edgar Cayce and had an innate faith and inner knowing that there was more to God than what was taught at the little country Baptist Church. Tink grew up under her Fanny’s guidance with a knowing of Spirit’s amazing love, joy and peace plus an uncanny intuition.
Tink attended a variety of churches while on her life journey and even spent ten weeks in Thailand studying art and Buddhism. In the 90s she served on the Board of Unity, San Luis Obispo. In 2019, after spending years questioning and searching, Tink discovered her birth father’s family and learned her paternal Grandmother was a well-known psychic in the Midwest. Frances Boyer Johnson held gatherings of psychics in a small non-descript church plus in her home on 12th Street In Terre Haute. She orchestrated Tink’s placement with Fanny and Pep though they never were told of her involvement or connection.
After a long career with Pacific Bell Tink studied at California Polytecnic State University, San Luis Obispo and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art and Design, Suma Cum Laude. She serves on the Unity-Five Cities Board as well as the Board of Sunrise Terrace Mobile Home Owners Association.
Donna says, “I love Unity.” She is a retired school teacher from Hermosa Beach and has been a member of Unity for 20 some years. She is a facilitator for Alternatives to Violence Program that works to reduce further crime by incarcerated men and women. She has been on various committees including clean up for Unity. Donna is also a member of the Trilogy Service Club that raises funds for non-profits. She says, “I truly feel thankful that I am in Unity.”
What does the Board of Trustees do?
The Board of Trustees directs the business portion of our organization through the development of goals and policies that are in line with our Unity teachings and vision and mission statements.
The Board duties include:
- Visioning the future and implementing our vision and mission statements
- Receiving a wide range of input
- Providing leadership and allowing the staff to handle administrative detail
- Decision making by consensus
- Actively looking for and implementing new ideas and concepts
Regular Board meetings are at least one a month, more if needed. A notice of the time and place of each Board meeting appears in the Sunday bulletin and is normally the third Sunday of the month after the Sunday Celebration. All Board meetings are open to the congregation except during Executive Sessions, which are solely for discussion of confidential issues.
The Board of Trustees consists of five to seven members serving two-year terms and are elected by the Congregation.