The URI North America Leadership Council is a working board of up to 13 members who support the URI network in the US and Canada. They do this by providing strategic direction and helping to implement various programs and initiatives. The Leadership Council is made up of up to 13 voting members (3 Global Trustees, and up to 10 At-Large members) and one non-voting staff member.
The Council was formed in 2009 from members of URI North America Cooperation Circles and Affiliates. Since then, they have guided the development of a region-wide organization to provide support for the growth and strengthening of URI throughout Canada and the United States . The region has established itself as a corporation and has been approved as a tax-exempt 501(c)3 charitable organization by the US Internal Revenue Service.
To learn more about the Leadership Council and how to apply to serve on it, click here.
Adeola is a practitioner of Yoruba Traditional Spirituality; an intuitive healer, artist, coach and author with a passion for empowering individuals and all humanity. Her journey has allowed her to serve as a advocate for interfaith dialogues, human services and in various aspects of community development. Currently, Adeola is founder of the Charlotte Red Bench Garden Cooperation Circle, a member of the United Religions Initiative. Its purpose is to grow individual and communal capacities for love, forgiveness and compassion.
Fred Fielding, URI Global Council Trustee
Chair, Interfaith Center at the Presidio CC
Fred Fielding is the Chair of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio and joined the Leadership Council in January 2013. Fred has Master of Theological Studies degree with an emphasis on interfaith communication from The Church Divinity School of the Pacific. He also has professional experience in television and video production. Fred combines these skills with principles of Appreciative Inquiry to produce interfaith videos. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and son.
Permpreet Gill graduated from Arizona State University in Anthropology and Religious Studies. He is currently a alumni member of Sun Devils Are Better Together and a youth coordinator for Arizona Interfaith Movement. He is joining the Leadership Council to help connect youth throughout North American through interfaith dialogue and unity.
Gard Jameson, At-Large Member
Chair, Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada
Boulder City, Nevada
Gard Jameson received his PhD from Pacific Graduate Institute in 2005. He teaches Asian philosophy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Prior to his tenure at UNLV, he spent 25 years practicing as a CPA, CFP at Piercy, Bowler, Taylor & Kern and Touche Ross. He is the author of three books, Footprints on the Sands of Time, the story of his mentor, Dr. Raymond M. Alf, Phaethon, our Mythic Moment, an ancient Greek tale that illuminates our current predicament, and Monkey, Our Mythic Moment, the grand epic of Chine. He chairs the boards of the Children’s Advocacy Alliance and the Interfaith Council of Southern Nevada. he sits on the boards of the VMSN and the Stillpoint Center for Spiritual Development.
Johnny Martin is a student at Arizona State University (ASU) studying Religion, Public Life, and Conflict. He is the founder of Sun Devils Are Better Together (SunDABT), an interfaith student organization and URI Cooperation Circle at ASU. He is a board member of the Arizona Faith Network (also a URI Cooperation Circle). Johnny was a Young Adult Scholar with the North American Interfaith Network in 2015 and is a former Better Together Coach at Interfaith Youth Core. He is a convert to Islam and has been practicing Sufism since he became Muslim in 2014.
Ardey Turner, Chair of the URI North America Leadership Council and Ex Officio Member of the URI Global Council
Circle of Healers MRCC
Ardey Turner is a Reiki Master, Healer, Trainer and Medical Intuitive. She has been a part of URI since 1998 in putting on two conferences at Stanford and at Carnegie Mellon for the charter signing. She formed the Multi- Region Circle of Healers CC. As chair of the Leadership Council, Ardey piloted a variety of experimental fundraising programs for the region.
Valeria Vergani, URI Global Council Trustee
Interspiritual Center of Vancouver Society
Valeria is a religious studies scholar and interfaith activist based in Vancouver, British Columbia. She was born and raised among the vineyards of Valpolicella, in Northern Italy, and lived in the Polish capital city of Warsaw for two years. She moved to British Columbia to attend Quest University Canada, where she studied contemporary expressions of Tibetan Buddhism in the kingdom of Bhutan. currently, she is pursuing a Masters degree in the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto. She also serves as Interfaith Coordinator for City in Focus Foundation, an interdenominational Christian organization, and as a Director of the InterSpiritual Sustainability Society, a registered URI Cooperation Circle in Vancouver, British Columbia.
To view former members of the URI North America Leadership Council, click here.