Board of Directors
Rev. Jim Antal is Conference Minister and President of the United Church of Christ's Massachusetts Conference.Having been an active environmentalist since the first Earth Day in 1970, Rev. Antal’s leadership in the areas of the environment and climate change is noteworthy. He speaks frequently in churches, regionally and nationally on the essential role people of faith must play to counter climate change and regularly convenes state-wide and regional clergy on this issue. Rev. Antal has served as pastor to several churches, including Plymouth Church in Shaker Heights, OH and Newton Highlands Congregational Church. Rev. Antal received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Andover Newton Theological School and was also the recipient of the Rabbi Murray Rothman Prize for his contributions to interfaith community relations. In June 2000, the Alban Institute published his book, Considering a New Call-Ethical and Spiritual Challenges for Clergy. Rev. Antal graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University in 1972 and Cum Laude from Yale Divinity School in 1978.
Sara Fitzgerald, treasurer, is retired following a career in journalism and public policy that included 15 years at The Washington Post as an editor and new media developer. She is the author of “Elly Peterson: ‘Mother’ of the Moderates,” a biography that was recently published by the University of Michigan Press. She helped found, and served as vice president, communications, of Funds For Learning, LLC, a consulting firm that specialized in the federal E-rate program and school technology funding. She also served as director of member services for the Interactive Services Association in the mid-1990s. She has written widely on such topics as online safety for children, Internet marketing and privacy, online taxation and Total Cost of Ownership of technology for K-12 schools. A longtime member of Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ in Arlington, VA,, she served as president of the board of directors of the United Church of Christ’s Central Atlantic Conference from 2007-09.
Sandra J. Gadsden is the Assistant Metro Editor/St. Petersburg at the St. Petersburg Times. Ms. Gadsden has served on several academic and journalism convention panels and taught editing and design at the Multi-cultural Journalism Workshop at the University of South Carolina. She is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists. Ms. Gadsden has also served on the Board of Directors of the Justice and Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ.
Brian Lapis, vice chair, is a professional communicator, employed as the Chief Meteorologist and evening weather anchor at WWLP TV, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, Mass. Like many professional broadcasters, he has worked at a variety of stations, both radio and television, in a variety of cities, predominantly in southern New England. Mr. Lapis is a past member of the UCC Executive Council and Office of General Ministries Board of Directors. He is active in the UCC's Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences. Mr. Lapis holds a BS in Television, Radio and Film Management from Syracuse University and a Broadcast Meteorology Certificate from Mississippi State University.
Earl Williams, Esq., chair, is a graduate of the Cleveland State University, Cleveland Marshall School of Law and Ohio University Scripps School of Communication. Mr. Williams served as a legal intern with Citizens Communication Center, Washington D.C. and as an undergraduate intern at WGN Radio Television, Chicago. Ill. He is a member of the Ohio Bar. He has served as an Assistant County Public Defender and Assistant County Prosecutor. He currently serves as a city council member of the City of Shaker Heights. Married with three children, he is a member of Euclid Avenue Congregational Church UCC, Cleveland, Ohio.