The Board of Trustees of The Humanist Community of Central Ohio (HCCO) are elected by the membership, to a two year term, to direct and program the day to day operation of the group. Also assisting the group and the Board is our part-time paid Coordinator. Feel free to meet them and ask questions at an HCCO sponsored event, through our contact page, our group Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Carl Tracy – President

Carl likes making things on computers and building things in his free time which is useful because he lives on a horse farm and there’s always something to build or fix on a farm. He studied physics but his day job is in finance, which he doesn’t talk about much because people seem to find physics more interesting than finance. He was raised in an evangelical church, but became a Humanist in his 20s – even though he didn’t know the word for it until much later. He has run the Skeptics at the Pub meetup since 2010 and plans to do so for the foreseeable future. Carl joined the board because he wanted to be more involved with the Humanist community and give back to the people in central Ohio who have made him feel so welcome here.

Contact: president[at]hcco.org

Ben Iten – Vice President

Ben is now an endorsed Humanist Chaplain, but he was raised in the evangelical church. Over time his academic studies in Judaism (at The Ohio State University) and Bible Interpretation (at the University of Oxford) challenged him to rethink how he understood religion and spirituality. Eventually this rethinking led him to Humanism and its progressive outlook on life. Humanist values continue to inspire Ben’s work as a Chaplain for OhioHealth where he helps people find their inherent worth and dignity. When he’s not out visiting patients, he’s teaching new chaplains and advocating for Humanism at the national level. He is the first openly Humanist Chaplain to seek certification from the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education as a Certified Educator. Ben is excited to bring his skills and training to HCCO where he can continue the work of building a supportive and engaging community.

Contact: ben[at]hcco.org

Nathan B. Weller – Treasurer

Nathan grew up in a non-denominational evangelical home. After graduating high school he went into full-time youth ministry as a writer and producer for one of the largest independent youth ministries in the United States.

Before too long however, the deeply problematic practices of Christian ministry and a critical analysis of the Bible began to erode his faith. Over the course of five years, starting in 2007, Nathan painstakingly de-converted from Christianity and began to build a new secular framework for his life.

In discovering Humanism and HCCO in particular, Nathan found a like-minded community interested in living and promoting the values of reason, compassion, and basic human dignity above any notion of the “sacred”.

He hopes to help strengthen and expand the good work that HCCO does by volunteering his time, money, and talents.

Contact: nathan[at]hcco.org

Karla Norquist – Secretary

Karla grew up in a household that encouraged Christian teachings but from an early age she decided that a secular outlook on life suited her much better. As an adult she’s discovered the value of building and fostering a healthy secular community on the local level and as a result has become more closely involved with HCCO over the past few years.

Contact: karla[at]hcco.org

Randall Saunders – Board Member

Randall grew up in small-town Iowa, and has lived in central Ohio since the 1990s. Raised in a Lutheran home, Randall became a born-again Christian late in high school, but through the influence of education, friends, and life experiences, gradually moved from biblical literalism to agnosticism and eventually to atheism. Randall joined the HCCO Board in early 2018, and is excited to be a part of and to support a community of secularists and humanists. He has a PhD in Ancient/Roman History from the University of Cincinnati, and enjoys gardening, the sciences, tennis, dabbling in guitar, and meeting new people and learning new ideas from being involved with HCCO!

Contact: randall[at]hcco.org

Rose Hagalaz – Coordinator

Rose discovered HCCO through a Columbus Rationality event in 2013 dealing with issues of rational relationships and polyamory. She is very active within the local polyamorous community. She currently serves on the board of directors for Open Hearts Central Ohio and formerly served on the board of directors of PolyColumbus. She graduated with honors from Ohio University in 2011, earning a degree in Sociology and Psychology.

Rose is an avid fan of craft beer, books, and television shows and is happy to have lengthy discussions about these and many other things. She greatly enjoys music and has performed with the Dublin Silver Band on and off throughout the past few years as a percussionist. She is always curious and eager to learn new things.

Contact: coordinator[at]hcco.org

Great community starts here

HCCO is the largest and longest active secular community in Ohio.

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