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California

Steven Gibson
Email: steven@stevengibson.org
Phone: 562-900-2834

Steven Gibson has served on the Board of Directors of Atheists United in California and lead and supported secular and freethought meetups in Los Angeles for more than 6 years. He has been on the staff of non-profit organizations including AARP and American Friends Service Committee. He has led trainings in community organizing and volunteered with community groups including as a founding board member of Latinos for America. He is currently a student working toward a degree at California State University, Northridge.

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District of Columbia

Melody Hensley
Email: mhensley@centerforinquiry.net
Phone: 703-879-4499
Phone: 202-546-2332

Melody Hensley is the Executive Director of CFI Washington D.C. Ms. Hensley has a background in volunteering and community organizing. She has been involved with church-state separation and secular activism, as well as reproductive rights and progressive issues, in the DC area for over a decade. Prior to her latest role, she served as the CFI D.C. event and volunteer coordinator.

John Shook
Email: jshook@pragmatism.org
Phone: 703-801-3645

John R. Shook, PhD (University at Buffalo, 1994) is a scholar and professor living in Washington, D.C. During 2000-06 he was a professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University, and then he joined the faculty of the Science and the Public online EdM program at the University at Buffalo. Also, since 2006, he has served on the staffs of several secular and humanist organizations, including the Center for Inquiry, the American Humanist Association, the Humanist Institute, and the Institute for Humanist Studies, and for several years he was President of the Society of Humanist Philosophers. He has authored and edited more than a dozen books about pragmatism, ethics, science, and naturalism, and he edited a volume of Paul Kurtz's writings on skepticism. He has also published many articles about secularism and humanism in magazines such as Free Inquiry, The Humanist, Humanist Perspectives, Think, and The Philosopher's Magazine.

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Florida

Rick O'Keefe
Email: rokeefe@centerforinquiry.net
Phone: 813-849-7571

Rick O’Keefe is Executive Director of CFI Tampa Bay and has been a skeptic for 40+ years. He is an Air Force veteran and his education includes Oberlin College, Fordham University, US Armed Forces Institute, and numerous business and technical courses. He is a composer, technical and business writer, accredited journalist, and a small business consultant.

A focus of Rick’s life is growing the secular humanist community in the west central Florida region so that freethinkers can enjoy a positive and supportive environment for themselves and their families. Promoting education, civic participation, science, and secular ethical values are the ongoing work of CFI Tampa Bay. Being a certified celebrant seems to fit naturally into his experience and sense of service.

Andre Ryland
Email: bamoteun@yahoo.com
Phone: 850-725-0130

Andre graduated with a B.S. Degree from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1971. He then spent his working years in Wisconsin and Illinois in sales and management in both the restaurant and cabinetry-millwork fields. During those working years he also gave his time as an EMT and Certified Firefighter, and as an elected municipal trustee, while also coaching baseball for many years. He is now happily retired with Meredith in Pensacola, FL. He was raised as a Methodist and is now a member of the Unitarian Universalist Society. Andre is a Humanist and desires to offer Celebrant help and assistance to the secular non-theistic peoples of the Pensacola area as the community is heavily saturated with Catholicism and evangelicalism. Andre is also especially interested in ways for the secular community to expand it’s vocabulary in order to profess the wonderment of life as naturalists and furthering CFI’s mission to “foster a secular society.”

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Indiana

Cheri Harris
Email: cahmyf@gmail.com
Phone: 317-255-5881

Cheri is an attorney and the director of continuing legal education for the Indiana State Bar Association. Early in her legal career she worked for the ACLU of Indiana and continues to believe firmly in the separation of church and state. She and her husband were married 1994, in a secular service which they wrote themselves. She officiated at a marriage for the first time in 2000, and found it to be one of the most enjoyable activities of her adult life.

Cheri’s parents died in 2008 and 2009, giving her personal experience navigating that path to finding successful and appropriate ways to honor and memorialize loved ones in a secular fashion.

She believes that creative choice and expression unique to the individuals involved are important components of memorable rituals. She earned her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the George Washington University in Washington D.C. She also has a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics, and obtained her J.D. from Indiana University in Bloomington.

John Kiel
Email: jkiel77@gmail.com
Phone: 317-402-4301

John Kiel has an AAS from Indiana University. He is employed by Ford Motor Company as a safety trainer and pipefitter/plumber (skilled trades). He is a charter member of Humanist Friendship Group of Central Indiana and Center for Inquiry Indiana. He is a member of NOW, AU, ACLU of Indiana, FFRF, and UAW Local 1111. He has taken the Dale Carnegie Course—Public Speaking.

Susan Lantzer
Email: slantzer@att.net
Phone: 317-430-1221

Susan Lantzer has been a CFI Indiana Friend of the Center for three years. She is a Humanist, Freethinker, Spouse, Parent, and Professional.

As a Humanist, she is convinced that any couple who is willing to make a commitment to each other should have the freedom to do so, without limitations. As a Freethinker, she understands the need for non-judgmental, no-religious-strings-attached celebrations and ceremonies for our community. As a Spouse and Parent, she understands how important and emotional those occasions can be and also understands the desire to have those occasions be deeply personal and meaningful. In her professional life, she has noticed that all people share a need for a personal connection, respect, and dignity.

As a Secular Celebrant, she wishes to join our community in the celebrations of life, memorializing the importance of our humanity with love and respect for each other.

Patricia Lawler
Email: patricialawler2@comcast.net
Phone: 317-329-2779 (home), 317-652-2779 (cell)

Pat is currently semi-retired after teaching for 25 years. She currently teaches two English as a Second Language classes. She has been a member of the Unitarian Universalist church for 35 years. She has been a member of Center for Inquiry for 10 years. She has been a Girl Scout leader, active PTA member, and has been an active member of Indianapolis Hiking Club for 25 years. She has 4 children and 7 grandchildren. She is an advocate for caring for and promoting individual rights and protecting our Earth. She interjects her actions with love and humor.

Reba Boyd Wooden
Email: indy@centerforinquiry.net
Phone: 317-797-5892
Web: www.secularcelebrantindy.com

Reba Boyd Wooden is Executive Director of Center for Inquiry Indiana. She started Humanist Friendship Group of Central Indiana in 1999 which became CFI Indiana. She has officiated at numerous weddings and same-sex commitment ceremonies and some memorials and other ceremonies. She is a board member of ACLU of Indiana and and a member of several other progressive organizations. She is a regular blogger at CFI's Free Thinking: Freethought from the Heartland.

She is co-director of the CFI Secular Celebrant Program. If you would like a Secular Celebrant training session to be held in your area, email indy@centerforinquiry.net.

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Kentucky

John Kiel
Email: jkiel77@gmail.com
Phone: 317-402-4301

John Kiel has an AAS from Indiana University. He is employed by Ford Motor Company as a safety trainer and pipefitter/plumber (skilled trades). He is a charter member of Humanist Friendship Group of Central Indiana and Center for Inquiry Indiana. He is a member of NOW, AU, ACLU of Indiana, FFRF, and UAW Local 1111. He has taken the Dale Carnegie Course—Public Speaking.

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New York

Sarah Kaiser
Email: skaiser@centerforinquiry.net
Phone: 858-342-4601

Sarah Kaiser is a field organizer for the Center for Inquiry with a bachelor's degree in physics. She co-founded the Secular Alliance at Indiana University 5 years ago, and this student group is still going strong today. Sarah has introduced Richard Dawkins to an audience of thousands, performed musically both as a soloist and in groups, and was raised Presbyterian but is now a devout humanist.

Sarah is a secular celebrant because she believes non-religious people have the right to celebrate life in their own unique, humanistic ways. Each ceremony will be centered around the preferences of the people involved.

Joe Nickell
Email: none
Phone: 716-636-1425 x310

Joe Nickell, Ph.D. (University of Kentucky, 1987) is senior research fellow of the international Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), formerly the Committee for Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP), and an investigative columnist for Skeptical Inquirer science magazine.

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Ohio

Chris Kenney
Email: info@secularcelebrant.com
Phone: 513-910-8870

Over the past several years Chris attended funerals that were more of a "come to Jesus" sermon than a celebration of the deceased's life so he decided to do something about it and became a certified secular celebrant in 2009. Being a celebrant is a natural fit for his positive worldview, enjoyment of public speaking, and genuine interest in people’s unique stories.

Chris is a CFI Indiana Friend of the Center and a member of the American Humanist Association.

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Oregon

Bill Burcham
Email: bill.burcham@gmail.com
Phone: 503-720-2991

Bill Burcham grew up in a liberal Catholic home. Though he studied logic, physics and psychology in engineering school, the light didn't really come on until almost 20 years later, sparked by the responsibility of raising three kids. Study and contemplation on the question, "which religion are we Daddy?" led him to the conclusion that our beliefs ought to be dictated by science and reason, rather than dogma. As a Secular Celebrant, Bill is contributing to a society where we can celebrate together and mourn together as a community — without sacrificing our intellectual integrity.

To support his bicycle and burrito habits, Bill makes software for the Interwebs. He is active in Portland Public Schools Odyssey Program where he has tutored math students and has scrambled eggs for over eleventy people. He is a Friend of the Center of Center for Inquiry-Portland.

Victoria Cummings
Email: tricker62@hotmail.com
Phone: 503-753-6456

Victoria Cummings has a B.A. in Science from Marylhurst University. She is a science educator, naturalist, owner of Northwest Naturalist, Outdoor Education volunteer, now retired.

Paul Andor Nagy
Email: paul.andor.nagy@msn.com
Phone: 503-775-6186

Paul Andor Nagy is a secular humanist and an active member of Center For Inquiry-Portland. Paul can officiate at your wedding, birth celebrations, death memorials, and other rites of passage in a non-religious way and with respect for your personal views and feelings. You have the freedom to create your own vows, ceremonies and traditions or let Paul help you design your life celebrations. Paul can also assist in melding different customs, celebrating the commonalities while respecting the differences.

A child of immigrants, Paul was baptized, raised and confirmed as a Catholic and started questioning the power of God around the time he reached the age of reason. Paul lived with and befriended many foreign exchange students while studying at Portland State University and has traveled much of the US and Europe. He has studied many different cultures, ethnic groups and religious groups that make up this world. Paul has always pursued humanistic morality and he finally let go of God when he learned of secular humanism. Paul created the Facebook group FreeThought Motorcyclists, World-Wide so that freethinkers can share stories of their motorcycle travels and their personal enlightenment. Paul is a member of the committee for the Portland Humanist Film Festival and he volunteered on presidential campaign.

Paul is happily married to Sylvia Benner and he enjoys dirt-biking with their son. A former Motorcycle Safety Instructor, Paul loves adventure motorcycle-touring with his wife who is also a rider!

Paul endorses the Center For Inquiry's mission to foster a secular society based on science, reason, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values. Paul supports the concept of separation of church and state. Paul imagines John Lennon's ideal of a world with no religion and endorses the concept that, for the legal right to wed, "Love is all you need".

Dani Tofte
Email: dani@nwsecularcelebrant.com
Phone: 503-888-1173

Dani Tofte wrote her own secular wedding ceremony and would like to see this option available to others, along with other secular ceremonies for such events as memorials, births and coming-of-age celebrations. She also plans to promote inclusion of non-religious officiants in the privilege of solemnizing marriages.

She is a secular humanist and is committed to furthering CFI’s mission “to foster a secular society”. She currently volunteers as the Communications Chair for the CFI–Portland Advisory Board.

Dani has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Oregon. Before coming home to raise her children, she was an educational trainer for many years.

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Pennsylvania

Margaret Downey
Email: margaret@ftsociety.org
Phone (office): 610-793-2737
Phone (cell): 610-357-9432
Web: www.secular-celebrations.com

Margaret Downey has been conducting marriages and other secular ceremonies since 2001. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania allows for a couple to obtain a Self-Uniting Marriage License. This provision allows couples to use the services of a Secular Officiant without government interference. This is not the case in most other states.

Margaret is committed to secular principles and will guarantee that every event in which she is involved will be non-religious. For more information about Margaret and the celebrations she officiates, go to her website which is listed above.

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Virginia

John Shook
Email: jshook@pragmatism.org
Phone: 703-801-3645

John R. Shook, PhD (University at Buffalo, 1994) is a scholar and professor living in Washington, D.C. During 2000-06 he was a professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University, and then he joined the faculty of the Science and the Public online EdM program at the University at Buffalo. Also, since 2006, he has served on the staffs of several secular and humanist organizations, including the Center for Inquiry, the American Humanist Association, the Humanist Institute, and the Institute for Humanist Studies, and for several years he was President of the Society of Humanist Philosophers. He has authored and edited more than a dozen books about pragmatism, ethics, science, and naturalism, and he edited a volume of Paul Kurtz's writings on skepticism. He has also published many articles about secularism and humanism in magazines such as Free Inquiry, The Humanist, Humanist Perspectives, Think, and The Philosopher's Magazine.

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Wisconsin

Scott McAndrew
Email: scott549@yahoo.com
Phone: 608-259-0549

Scott McAndrew is a Court Commissioner for Dane County, Wisconsin, located in Madison. He is authorized under the laws of the State of Wisconsin to perform wedding ceremonies and seeks to afford those without religious affiliation the opportunity to participate in weddings and other formal ceremonies with a format and content of their own choosing.

Scott and his family are enthusiastic supporters of CFI and the secular humanist community. In his spare time, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife and three boys and is an avid distance runner, music fan, and rock musician.

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