Our Board & Staff


Elsie Rose Shank

Elsie Rose Shank, Chair
Professional Background: CPA, Partner, Younf, Hyde & Barbour
Specializing in non-profit organizations

Unity Experience: I was a member of Unity of Savannah since the early 90s. I have served on the Finance Team since 2009, Chair the Follow-up Team for the Capital Campaign and currently Co-chair of the 50th Anniversary Team. I participate tin the 9 a.m. Sunday service have participated in various services.

Vision: I would bring financial, accounting and experience of serving on non-profit boards. I am committed to the financial stability of our Unity community. I envision growing inclusiveness, honoring diversity and creating a peaceful world. I wish to share my sense of caring to our members, our community and the world.

Ed Roarty

Ed Roarty, Vice Chair
Professional Background: MBA from George Mason. 36 years with Dominion as Director of Fuels and Commodities, Trading and Marketing (retired)

Unity Experience: I joined Unity of Richmond in 1994 and have been an active member since that time. I have served in leadership positions as former President of the Board of Directors (1996-1998), member of Capital Campaign, Facilities, Prosperity and Outreach Teams, Team Leader of Bid Team during the capital campaign and a Trustee from 2012 to the present time. It is my intent to provide leadership, clarity of purpose and conviction and belief in the Unity principles. I believe I have shown a commitment to Unity of Richmond in all three areas for over 20 years.

Vision: My vision is to have more focus on the core mission of our spiritual community, controlled growth and increased financial stability.

Rob Rust

Rob Rust, Treasurer
Professional Background: BS in Mathematics from Guildford College, Senior Healthcare, Analyst for Magellan Health Services.

Unity Experience: I have been an active member of Unity of Richmond for all of 33 years having served for over 20 years on the Board of Trustees and Finance Teams. I have volunteered and served as a PowerPoint coordinator, greeter, counter, YOU teacher and currently serve as a Uniteen teacher in the youth program for 6th to 8th graders. I was co-chair of the 50th Anniversary Team during our 2012 celebration.

Vision: First and foremost I see this church flourishing and reaching out to do a greater work. I see our wonderful new facilities as a support for the spiritual enfoldment of all of our members. I see a harmonious Board dedicated to working with our wonderful staff and ministers. Finally, I see a world enriched through the great teachings that Unity encompasses

Mike Shelton

Michael Shelton, Secretary
Professional Background: Law/mediation practice at CPL Associates, Inc. in Richmond for many years.  In the greater community, he has participated in both global and local outreach programs to support the underserved.

Unity Experience: I became introduced to New Thought teachings through Emmet Fox.  Since then, I have experienced personal prosperity and ways to live from Principle in my own life.  I joined Unity of Richmond in 2005 and have participated in many classes, taught 4-T Prosperity Classes for 3 years, Co-Sponsored our Capital Campaign and Pathway to Payoff, as well as been actively involved in Facilities, Prosperity, Outreach and Landscaping Teams.

Vision: My vision is to see Unity of Richmond as a “church without walls” consistently tithing 10 percent of our monthly income, which is something we have not been consistently doing of late. My vision is to change that.

Amanda Rode

Amanda Rode
Professional Background: Manager of Program Development and Marketing at Intercept Youth Services for 5 years. She served on the Behavioral Health Advisory Board as Vice-President for two years and is currently 2016 President.

Unity Experience: I became a Unity of Richmond member in November 2013. Since then, I have been active as Y.O.U. Sponsor, CARITAS supporter and Instructor of Financial Peace University to promote prosperity for every congregant in our spiritual community. I have participated in SEE classes, Foundational classes with the ministers, church-wide activities and YOU rallies and conferences.

Vision: My vision is to continue to develop and increase activities that support “a church without walls,” increase member participation and further develop a community where people feel connected, loved and inspired. I envision more social media, small group ministries/master mind groups, service trips and further development of our youth ministry.

Rob Jones

Rob Jones
Professional Background: Master’s degree in Psychology. Principle owner Robert Jones Consulting since 2002. Counselor for the last five years with Life Lessons Family Services. In addition, he has provided cultural sharing workshops at Richmond Hill and with Glen Allen Unitarians.

Unity Experience: Unity of Richmond has been my spiritual home for nearly 20 years, and I have been involved ever since. During that time, I have taken many classes and workshops, co-facilitated Race Matters group, participated in the music program and been youth sponsor at Youth of Unity (YOU) Rallies since 2008.

Vision: My vision is to broaden our outreach to find and retain those who are spiritually searching, develop concrete tools to make it easier for congregants to “talk Unity” and have informed conversations with friends and neighbors and work to expand and improve the “lived experience” of everyone in our community.


James Duckett

James Duckett, IT Coordinator
Born in Boston MA, James Duckett has been calling Richmond home since 2009. In the meantime, he’s been tinkering with computers since being gifted with a TI-99/4A in 1981, enjoyed both playing and producing music, managing a sandwich shop, serving in Military Sealift Command, and most recently, joining the Unity of Richmond staff as IT coordinator by way of meeting and marrying the love of his life, Jenny Duckett.



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