Board of Directors
Juanita Bradley, President
Juanita Bradley is a retired Chicago Police Officer who spent 37 and a half years in the service of this city. She worked in the Patrol Division for most of her career earning many awards and making friends of business owners as well as of fellow officers. After retiring, with every intention of never working again, she went to work for the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Police Department as a Resource and Policy Analyst where her responsibilities were to ensure Department Resources were carefully utilized according to State guidelines and Policies were strictly adhered to. She worked with that Department for 7 and a half years before coming to the realization that 45 years in the business of Law Enforcement was quite enough.
Juanita is a founding member of God Can Ministries United Church of Christ and currently serving on the Church and Ministry Committee where she is Chair of the Church Standing Team. She is also a recently installed member on the Board of the Community Renewal Society.
Vacant, Vice President
The work of Off The Pews: Faith In Action is on-going and in need of your help. If you have a passion for the mission of OTP, please reach out to us.
Rev. Dr. Vertie Powers, Consultant
The Reverend Dr. Vertie Powers was ordained at Twelfth Street Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), July 1992.
She served pastorates in Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania before being called to the National office of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as Director of New Congregation Establishment and Interim Director of Reconciliation. Her ministerial journey took her to the National office of the United Church of Christ, where she served on the Evangelism Ministry Team of Local Church Ministries. Powers served on Conference judicatories as Associate Conference Minister and Acting Conference Minister, Southern Conference and Associate Conference Minister, Illinois Conference. She now serves as Supply Pastor at Bethesda UCC, Central Atlantic Conference.
Rev. Powers graduated from Hood Theological Seminary, Salisbury, North Carolina in 2016 with a Doctor of Ministry degree. She completed a Master of Divinity degree in 1992 from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science degree in 1989 at Trinity College, Washington, D.C.
Joyce E. Butts, Treasurer
Joyce Butts is a retired Corporate Income Tax Auditor having worked for various State taxing agencies. As a Tax Auditor her job consisted of auditing the State Corporate Tax Return of Fortune 1000 companies that conducted business in the state but were headquartered in the Midwest and South. After retiring, Joyce worked 9 years in higher education as a College Advisor/Administrator. In this capacity her duties consisted of ensuring that students who were classified as first generation, and/or had a documented special need, received educational assistance that would ensure the student successfully matriculate toward graduation. Joyce earned a Bachelor of Science in Business with a concentration in Accounting from Chicago State University and a Masters of Art in Education with a concentration in Community College Administration from Northeastern Illinois University. Joyce and her family have been members of Trinity United Church of Christ since 1986.
Rev. Harriet Cavanah Dart, Secretary
Rev Harriet Cavanah Dart currently serves as the Chair of the Justice and Witness Ministry Team of the Chicago Metropolitan Association. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and served as the Legacy Pastor for closing the Congregational Church in Deerfield in 2016. She earned a Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary, a Bachelor of Arts in the Teaching of History from the University of Illinois, Urbana. Before her retirement as a Certified Pedorthist, Harriet and her husband, Roger, owned a therapeutic footwear business and taught at the Northwestern University Prosthetic Orthotic Center for many years. She also served as President of the Pedorthic Foundation. Since her retirement, she has been active in the Illinois Conference and the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the UCC.
Rev. Dr. Terrill N. Murff, Ex Officio
Rev. Dr. Terrill N. Murff, the Pastor of The Congregational Church of Park Manor, UCC, is an excellent preacher and visionary leader, who is able to work with and facilitate interactions among people from different socio-economic cultures, age groups and ethnic groups. He is a true man of God who is a critical thinker, a team player, a teacher and a person who works with groups in analyzing situations and developing productive plans of action. He loves the challenge of serving God!
Rev. Murff was called to ministry in 1998, while he and his family were attending New Faith Baptist Church, where he served as Co-chair of the Diaconate Board, under the Pastorate of Rev. Dr. Frank Thomas.
Prior to his call to The Congregational Church of Park Manor, Rev. Murff served as, and was ordained and installed as, Youth Pastor at Covenant UCC on October 17, 2004. In this capacity, he faithfully served as Youth Pastor beginning with a small number of youths. Under the Pastorate of Rev. Dr. Ozzie Smith, Jr. the number increased to approximately 600 youth. Rev. Murff created an innovative youth ministry that included a contemporary church worship service, Christian Education Program, Teen Leadership Council, tutoring program and many other programs for children, youths and teens.
Rev. Dr. Terrill N. Murff is a member of many organizations. His educational background consists of receiving his Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching on May 11, 2013, and his Master of Divinity degree in June 2002, from McCormick Theological Seminary. He also received his undergraduate degree, in chemistry, from Chicago State University. Rev. Murff feels it is his 26-year career in engineering, as a leader and manager at W.R. Grace, that helped prepare him for his role as a pastor.
Rev. Murff is also very concerned about the youths in the community and is an active member of Park Manor Neighbors, SOUL (Southside Organization for Unity and Liberation), Greater Chatham Alliance, and CAPS & CLERGY.
Susan Alitto, Member
Susan Alitto is the current President of the organizing Steering Committee for the Chicago Hyde Park Village. As the former President of the Founding Board of Directors, she initiated discussion on the idea with a group of friends and neighbors in her home.
Susan has lived in Hyde Park for over 30 years during which she has worked with several community organizations. She would happily stay in Hyde Park for her remaining days hence her interest in establishing a Village to support older residents in an age friendly community.
Before arriving in Chicago, Susan had moved over 20 times and lived in 12 different communities including Taiwan. Educated at Wells College in Aurora, New York, and Columbia University in New York City, she worked in a variety of fields from philanthropy and administration to education and a weekly Chinese TV show.
Shandra Richardson, Member
Shandra Richardson is the Program Manager at The Chicago Community
Trust—"A platform for change that connects philanthropy to impact." Since she began her work there in July 2019, Shandra has focussed on protecting and advancing equitable homeownership.
Before joining The Chicago Community Trust, she was the Managing Director of Development and Communications for Sunshine Enterprises, a Chicago-based non-profit dedicated to spurring economic development by equipping and supporting locally based entrepreneurs. At Sunshine, her role included directing fundraising initiatives, strategic partnerships, grant writing, team development, and communications. She helped to both reframe and manage the business mentorship program which is now a multi-organizational collaborative effort which integrates training and development from the young professional organization (YPO) model and diversity and inclusion training for potential mentors and mentees. Additionally, she directed and managed AudaCITY, Sunshine’s annual thought leadership luncheon which engaged over 70 practitioners, donors and supporters in multiple sectors to collaborate for economic development.
Shandra's racial equity experience includes working to promote cultural competency in organizations and in community-based collaboratives. She served as an account manager during her time with Cook Ross, a lead diversity and organizational development firm based in the DC region. She also worked with the Chicago Housing Authority as a Reporting Analyst to help manage the Housing Choice Voucher Program.
Shandra served as a Co-Chair for Elevated Chicago’s Steering Committee and as a member of the Green Line South Community Table. Additionally, she served as the Director of Mentor Training & Development for the Ladies of Virtue for several years.
Shandra holds a BA in Political Science from Northeastern University in Boston, and an MA in Urban Affairs from Boston University.
Amanda McEvilly, Member
We're happy to announce the newest member to join the board, Rev. Amanda McEvilly. Please watch this space for additional information.