Staff and Board Members
Kris Whitenack, Music Director
Kris was born in Seattle Washington and lived in Enumclaw Washington until he was 16. Kris was frequently cast as Scrooge, and gave his first “sermon“ at the age of 12 in the Presbyterian Church. At 16 he moved to Edina Minnesota, then at 17 to LaCrossse Wisconsin where he finished high school and his first year of college. He went on to graduate from the University of Minnesota and moved to Chapel Hill where he taught music at Carolina Friends School for 15 years. For the last 20 years Kris has been performing as a soloist and ensemble player in the world of popular music.
Kris is our UCP Music Director and continues to teach and perform music in the Southeast region. He hopes to finish writing his first book, and write and record another album next year. He lives in Durham with his wife Cathy and his beloved cats Sultan and Murphy, and regal hound Greta.
Debbie Hall, Administration Manager
Debbie has been an active UCP member since 2015. Her first volunteer experience was Sound Technician for Sunday Service and has since served as Sunday Greeter, Host, Building and Grounds, and has served on both the Board of Trustees and Leadership Council. Most recently, in 2020, Debbie was hired to be our new Office Manager which has turned into a broader job that includes office management, services and events assistant, building and grounds management, IT and website management, Marketing and PR and Bookkeeping. She still serves as a volunteer on the We've Got Your Back Team, gardening and building and grounds special projects.
In addition to Debbie's wealth of knowledge and experience with UCP she worked in corporate for 17 years at Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC in many different departments including, Leadership and Organizational Development, Training, and IT. Her corporoate skills make her a great fit for the many tasks she lovingly and consistently handles for UCP. In addition to working for UCP, Debbie has been a dedicated pet sitter (now part-time) for 14 years and currently does part-time caregiving for elders. She lives in Carrboro with her cat, Kitty and enjoys nature, hiking, yoga and meditation and EFT.
Mel Caron, Secretary
Mel works as a headhunter/recruiter in her professional life, and her career path has always been in a hunting role -- seek & find is truly a part of her life. This philosophy also guides her vision for UCP, where she wants to see our building packed with beautiful smiling faces. She wants to help to achieve this by using her “seeking” skills, finding people and assisting them to become part of a truly “Unified” Center of Peace.
Mel holds a vision that includes people of all colors, status, backgrounds & cultures. She envisions every soul growing and learning together in the light of God, and blending their hearts in love, for love is a perfect bond of union. From her 10 years of leadership in a former denomination, she has learned the importance of dedication, stability, strength, encouragement, wisdom and fun in building a successful community. She is very excited to use these skills to help UCP grow.
Having moved here from Ontario, Canada in 1997, Mel is happily married to Judy, and they are parents to some beautiful fur babies! They are both so very grateful to be at peace and comfort within our community.
Marea Kavanagh, President
Marea comes to UCP with a wide variety of career and family experiences that center around health, wellness and creating unique and memorable experiences. After receiving her Bachelor of Commerce degree from The University of Guelph, Ontario in Hotel & Food Management, she spent 10 years opening and operating unique restaurant concepts in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Boston.
While living in the UK, Marea pursued her passion for Homeopathy and received her Bachelor of Science of Homeopathy in 2015 at the Centre for Homeopathic Education at Middlesex University. She now operates her own practice in Chapel Hill, working with individuals and families locally and nationwide via telehealth, helping to optimize their well being through Homeopathy.
Marea has been a member of UCP since 2015 along with her husband Brad, son Joshua (20) and daughter Olivia (16). They have enjoyed many years of gratifying personal and spiritual growth as part of this community. Marea is active on the Sacred Activism team, the Prosperity team, and the Wisdom Council. She has also served on the Board of Trustees since 2018 and is currently serving as Board President. One of the great joys in her life is the opportunity to serve and contribute to the vibrant growth of our Unity Center Peace community.
Oswaldo Mora, Trustee
Originally from Cuenca, a town located in the Andes in southern Ecuador, Oswaldo was born in July 1969, arrived in USA in 1994. Oswaldo began his spiritual journey in 1998 when he discovered that shamanism is his essence, was initiated into Andean Shamanism in 1999 and the year 2000 Unity became part of its spiritual support. His affinity with Shamanism led him to discover that his healing ancestors come from Hawaii, he was initiated into Hawaiian shamanism in 2006, Oswaldo has served as an instructor of Transformation and Leadership Processes as well as spiritual coach, Oswaldo is part of the FMTeam (Future Minister Team) studying Unity with the undertake of minister of church.
Currently Oswaldo resides in the city of Chapel Hill NC along with his wife Marlene and one of their four children Daniel, together they belong to spiritual community UCP (Unity Center of Peace).
Cheryl Stevens, Vice President
Cheryl is a passionate seeker of Truth and has spent over 10 years studying New Thought principles and applying them to her life. As a leader in the field of talent development and career strategy for 25 years, she has helped people achieve both personal and professional success. She has a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and is a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation (ICF).
Work experience has included being Vice President/Corporate Officer of Career & Talent Management for Education Management Corporation, Director of Career Management at UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School, and Assistant Director at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business. Her current focus is coaching private clients through Stevens Leadership, which she launched in 2011, plus she still coaches leaders of MBA programs.
UCP has given Cheryl the wonderful opportunity to be part of a group of divine beings. She feels honored and excited about being asked to serve on the Board and is ready to commit to this significant responsibility. Cheryl wants to use her skills and experience to contribute at a meaningful level and to help our community to grow.
Mary Wiley, Treasurer
Mary has been a "Unitic" since the early 90's. She was thrilled to find UCP when she moved here from New Hampshire in 2006, as many places she has lived did not have any Unity groups. Anyone who knows Mary can see her commitment to the Unity way of life – she walks the walk and talks the talk!
Her volunteer work both at UCP and in the broader community is remarkable. She is actively involved in numerous areas of service at UCP, and she previously served on the Board of Trustees for seven years. Outside of UCP, Mary is an active volunteer and participant at the Orange County Senior Centers. She also sings in a doo-wop group called The Retros.
Mary is a retired Occupational Therapist and lives in Hillsborough with a son and daughter-in-law and, at the moment, one grown grandson. Another grandson lives in Germany with his partner and son.