2020 Election of the BFC Council

Due to Covid-19, we have had a bit of a delay arranging the council election. As we are now moving things along, please pay attention to emails to be sure your vote is included!

The BFC Council consists of 8 elected representatives from our community along with the current pastor.

Every year, 4 new members of the council are elected. They will serve for 2 years from the time of election, and 4 members who have finished serving the previous two years will leave the council, but they are then eligible to run again if they desire.

Joining the BFC council is a wonderful way to serve and truly become a valuable and vibrant part of your community.

Election process:

  1. First- nominations are received by the council election committee. Anyone in our membership can be nominated to be a candidate for the council. The candidates must meet specific criteria outlined below in order to run in the election. You may nominate yourself or anyone in our community whom you feel could do a good job serving on the council.
  2. Nominees will be asked if they are willing to run and to be sure they meet the qualifications.
  3. Once the nominees have accepted to become candidates, then the voting period will begin.
  4. Voting can now take place through on-line ballots.

For questions, please contact the election committee at election@belvederefamily.com
or the council at council@belvederefamily.com.

Time to Vote!

Nominations have been received.

The following members are up for election to the council:

  • Susan Bouachri
  • Marina Falconi
  • Robert Kitchens
  • Masahisa Kobayashi
  • Andy Morris
  • David Okamoto
  • Grace Ross
  • Noah Ross
  • Sandy Stewart

A link for the online voting ballot, along with a little about each candidate is provided below.

You are able to vote for four (4) candidates from those listed who you think will be able to serve our community well on the BFC council.

The four new candidates will serve for the coming two years alongside those council members who are continuing for one more year: Dominic Barber, Raoul Joseph, Marilyn Onoda, and Kodi Morris.

Click below for the online ballot
Provide your first and last name and your email address.

Click on arrow to make selection for each of up to 4 entries from the drop-down menu.

Voting

Short biographical information about the candidates is provided below.
If you aren’t familiar with any of the candidates, this may help you get to know them better.

Susan Bouachri

My name is Susan Bouachri and I’m running for BFC Council. I served on the Council as Vice Chair and Chair Person previously. This pandemic period has shown us how quickly the rhythm of life can shift. I believe our council and congregation, supporting our pastor, can work together to address the guidance we receive from True Mother as well as the needs of our local Tribal Messiahs and family members. I’m especially interested in working with the younger members of our community.

Marina Falconi

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1959; my family has Italian roots. I completed high school and did a few years of Music Conservatory in Buenos Aires. In 1979, I moved to Italy and a year later I met the Church, which I joined as a full-time member in November 1980.

From there, I joined a witnessing team, church center life as a full-time member and later on a fundraising team. I moved to the US in 1983 to participate in IOWC, in which I traveled throughout several states, witnessing and fundraising. From 1984 to 1986, I lived at the Las Vegas Church and participated in visiting Christian churches, witnessing as well as fundraising to support the church center. In 1986 I went back to Argentina and joined the church there, participating in many different activities as a full-time member.

I received the matching and blessing from True Parents in 1989 in Korea. In 1991, I moved back to the US where my husband was living. I lived in The Bronx church center where we had witnessing and fundraising activities. The following year, I became active with WFWP and was the chairperson for the Hispanic Women’s Federation in The Bronx for quite some time. I started my family in 1993; we have two children, Sarah and Brian. I worked for a few years in the World Mission Center and then at the New Yorker Hotel, as an Executive Assistant to the Managing Director, as an administrative assistant in the Human Resources department, and in the Commercial Real Estate department as an assistant to the director and again as an Executive Assistant to the General Manager. In 2008, I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from CUNY Queens College, and a few years later I completed a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at CUNY York College. In 2009-2010 I became a matching advisor and since then I’ve been supporting matching and blessing candidates.

While I was a member of the Queens FFWPU, I became part of the Renovation Committee (before the Councils existed); it was actually very similar to what the Council members do today. We met periodically and discussed all matters related to church, both spiritual and physical, trying to help our community improve in all aspects. When the Latino Ministry started in New York right after Lovin’ Life ended, they created a council and I was appointed as Chairperson/Assistant Pastor. After a few years later, the Latino Ministry became a part of the Manhattan Family Church, and I no longer attended since I moved to Westchester.

In the meantime, I moved on to work as a social worker with the City of New York since 2014, and also did a couple of other jobs until May 2018, when I started working for Westchester County Department of Social Services.

It will be an honor to serve the Belvedere Family Community. I hope to contribute with my experience and willingness to help our community as a member of the council. Thank you.

Rob Kitchens

I was born in Newport Beach, CA in 1957, I grew up with My Dad, Mom, 1 older brother, a younger sister and two younger brothers in CA, went to college in Northern Cal for 1 year before meeting the UC

I met the UC movement in SF in 1980, did some witnessing and fundraising for the SF center, worked in a restaurant, then have been making wood pictures since 1981. I met my wife in Korea in 1982, we started our family in 1989 in Ossining. We have one son, Jeremy, who is graduating this winter semester in math.

I have experience running many aspects of a small business for years, I hope to bring something of value to the community. I served on the council I believe in 2011-2012 previously.

Masahisa Kobayashi

I was Blessed in 1970, in Seoul.  I have four children, three are blessed, and three grandchildren.

I have been a member of Belvedere Family Community since 1976. Worked for New Paper Providence, CARP, Ocean Providence etc. and am working in the  Heavenly Tribal Messiah Providence since 2017 mainly in Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow area.

Andy Morris

I have been a member of the Belvedere Community since 1988. I am Currently a member of the BFC Staff serving as Event Manager. My wife is Akiko. We were blessed in 1982. I have 5 children, 2 that are currently part of the Belvedere Community. I served as a Sunday School teacher for 18 years. My wife and my son Kody have both served on the council.

David Okamoto

I have been part of the Belvedere community since 1994. My five children grew up in this community. My field of expertise is Divine Principle Education and business management. I have been involved with our community in Marriage Blessing as a Matching Supporter and ACLC Outreach.

Recently I have been working with local Christan ministers for various ACLC projects such as Peace Start with Me Rally, Bible Study, Divine Principle Chosen Workshop, and etc.  I wish to be the bridge between our community and Christians and other religious communities. As long as I am in this community, I want  to serve the families in the Belvedere community.  If elected, I will do my best to improve the effectiveness of the council.

Grace Ross

Hi!  My name is Grace Ross. I grew up in this community, but then STF, college, and a job in Boston took me away for about 10 years. I have been back for about 5 years now. I am 32 years old and I work as a software engineer in Tarrytown. You may have seen me around at Sunday Service. I also volunteer with COR (Connecting Our Roots), a group that creates spiritually nourishing retreats for young professionals Unificationist. When I lived in Boston, I served on their council. It is a great way to contribute and serve the community. I would be honored to serve on the council here too!

Noah Ross

I have been a church member since 1972, having been an early member and teacher in Northern California.  Blessed at Madison Square Garden in 1982, I have 3 children and 2 grandchildren!  I have been part of the Belvedere Community for 30 years, having served as the chair of the first WestRock Council, the NY District Council and the National Council.  I am running because I was nominated and it is an honor to serve the community.

Sandy Stewart

I Joined the Unification Church in 1975 in London, UK, and was blessed 1982 in NYC to Tokiko. Currently self-employed as an IT consultant/contractor. Apart from a short hiatus (2015-18) we’ve been part of the Belvedere community since coming to the US in 1993.

Having been nominated for the Council, if elected I would seek to serve the community as the Spirit moves.