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Diocesan Staff

The Rev. Dr. Richard M. Simpson

The Rev. Dr. Richard M. Simpson

Canon to the Ordinary

“Ordinary” is a fancy word for “the Bishop.” Rich serves to support the ministry of Bishop Doug Fisher in a variety of pastoral and administrative ways. At the moment this includes not only the many clergy transitions our congregations are facing across our diocese (mainly due to retirements) but also helping the Church of the 20th Century transition to a Church that can serve and follow Jesus in the 21st Century. The work is about coaching, prodding, supporting, loving, trusting, and encouraging God’s people through this season of change.

Ext. #117 or (413) 417-2415
Canon Susan Olbon

Canon Susan Olbon

Canon for Administration

Contact for clergy payroll and benefits questions; Consult/assist congregations/clergy with clergy compensation and clergy tax questions; HR related matters; Ensure compliance with changing tax laws and employer requirements such as Affordable Care Act reporting, etc.; Property Insurance Matters.

Ext. #120 or (413) 417-2429
The Rev. Vicki Ix

The Rev. Vicki Ix

Canon for Communications

Managing Editor of ABUNDANT Times magazine & Mission Matters; social media; consult/assist congregations with communications issues; provide a website audit; consult/assist website builds; internal announcements & external press.

Ext. #124 or (413) 417-2413
Kimberly Foster

Kimberly Foster

Chief Financial Officer, Assistant Treasurer

Directs the day-to-day financial operations of the Diocese; develops and monitors a balanced Diocesan operating budget; responsible for assuring the accuracy of budget to actual financial reports; manages the performance of the annual audit activity and timely preparation of audited financial statements; ensures compliance with procedures, controls and accounting policies; identifies and implements financial process improvements; and oversees cash flow and Treasury functions. Committee requirements include staff liaison to the Budget and Financial Planning Committee and to the Audit Committee; serves on the Audit Committee of the Trustees for the Diocese of Western MA.

Ext. #116 or (413) 417-2337
Lainey Hurlbut

Lainey Hurlbut

Bishop’s Executive Assistant

Clergy and Lay Licensing, Bishop’s Calendar, Ordination Officer, clergy Personal Reports, COM liaison, clergy Days, Renewal of Vows and conferences, Bishop’s Reports and Reports for CPG, Canonical changes of clergy.

Ext. #123 or (413) 417-2401
Norman “Mick” Kalber

Norman “Mick” Kalber

Executive Director of the Trustees

Communicate with parish treasurers and meet with vestries and finance committees to respond to questions regarding their invested funds; Process expenses from vendors and execute initiated deposit and withdrawal requests from shareholders; Interact on a regular basis with Mercer, our investment consultant, and serve as a liaison between Mercer and the finance committee; Oversee the activities of all the Trustees committees; Produce the quarterly valuation of the Fund and calculate and distribute the quarterly disbursement; Plan and organize the quarterly Trustees meetings.

Ext. #114 or (413) 417-2339
Kristina Cincotta

Kristina Cincotta

Accounting Manager

Responsible for managing the processing of accounts payable, accounts receivable, and cash receipts; reconciles payroll & benefits; prepares monthly statements to congregations and communicates with Bookkeepers / Treasurers as needed; reconciles credit card and PEX card charges; processes expense and mileage reimbursement requests; maintains subsidiary schedules and reconciles to GL accounts; produces annual 1099’s; key role in preparing for and executing the annual audit.

Ext. #115 or (413) 417-2338
Karen Warren

Karen Warren

Administrative Assistant to the Canon to the Ordinary & to the Executive Director of the Trustees
  • In support of Clergy: Process Sabbatical Grants, Clergy Children Education Grants, Continuing Education grants
  • Transition Ministry: Process clergy background checks; support Fresh Start ministry
  • Congregational Support: Process and administer Ministry Development grants and Bement-Waterfield grants Support Safe Church Officer: Communicate workshop information; workshop registrations, record keeping
  • Support of the Trustees for the Diocese: process deposits/withdrawals for congregational funds; administer quarterly distribution; archive Trustees fund records
  • Support of Archives: Collect, classify and preserve materials of historic value related to the Diocese; research and respond to inquiries.

Ext. #118 or (413) 417-2342
Melanie Cortis

Melanie Cortis

Payroll Administrator

Melanie is the contact for submitting payroll hours. She is also the contact if you are hiring a new lay employee or for any termination or other changes to the payroll for lay employees.

Ext. #110 or (413) 417-2346
Amanda Paredes

Amanda Paredes

Administrative Assistant
Alison Gamache

Alison Gamache

Assistant for Communications

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer; day-to-day updates to website; format Mission Matters; layout and copy editor for ABUNDANT Times; manage databases

Ext. #125 or (413) 417-8682

Missioners

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas

Missioner for Creation Care

Margaret represents the diocese at environmental conferences and other gatherings so the Church has a seat at the table for one of the most crucial issues of our time. She speaks and preaches on our call to protect God’s Creation, leads retreats on spiritual resilience and resistance, and provides resources for the diocese to learn, pray, act and advocate on behalf of God’s Creation.  She reports on climate action opportunities and builds ecumenical, interfaith and secular partnerships. She also serves as Missioner for Creation Care in the Mass. Conference, United Church of Christ.  She says, “I hope to inspire and support the Diocese of Western Massachusetts as we seek to honor the sacredness of Creation and to make a robust, faithful and coordinated response to climate change. I am very interested in the ways that religious faith can move us beyond fear, hopelessness or despair as we face the reality of climate change. I also believe that religious communities and leaders have an important role to play in shaping this country’s growing climate movement.” The Rev. Dr. Bullitt-Jonas was a parish priest for 25 years, including nine years as Priest Associate at Grace Church, Amherst, MA. She received a B.A. in 1974 from Stanford University, a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature in 1984 from Harvard University, and a Masters of Divinity in 1988 from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA.  Visit her website: RevivingCreation.org.

The Rev. Jennifer Gregg

The Rev. Jennifer Gregg

Missioner for Servant Leadership

Jennifer has been the Director of the Berkshire Servant Leadership Center since its beginning in 2007 and founding Vice President of BIO, Berkshires Interfaith Organizing, in 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Elmira College, and a Masters in Divinity from Berkley Divinity School at Yale University. She currently lives in Pittsfield Massachusetts with her husband, her two daughters and her son.

The Rt. Rev. Mark M. Beckwith

The Rt. Rev. Mark M. Beckwith

Missioner for Spirituality & Leadership

Mark served as bishop diocesan of the Church in Newark, NJ from 2007 – 2019. Prior to that he served as rector of All Saints, Worcester from 1993 – 2006. As Missioner for Spirituality and Leadership, Mark is working on a part-time basis with congregational leadership two Sundays each month and offering spiritual direction to clergy.

The Rev. José Reyes

The Rev. José Reyes

Missioner for Latino/Hispanic Ministries

The Rev. José Reyes grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts and received a BA from Williams College with a major in Psychology and a concentration in Latina/o Studies in 2007. Following his undergraduate studies, he worked as an Elder Protective Services Case Manager and later as a Case Manager for the Mental Health Association during which he decided to pursue ordination to the priesthood. He went to Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia receiving his M. Div. degree in 2015. He has served as the Head Pastor of San Marcos Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia and Associate Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Worcester, MA. José loves the outdoors, is an avid runner and enjoys playing the guitar, piano, and drums.

Officers & Directors

The Rev. Dr. Molly Scherm

The Rev. Dr. Molly Scherm

Diocesan Intake Officer

Molly serves and the Diocesan Intake Officer for both concerns relating to suspected misconduct under our Safe Church Policy, and for any matter involving clergy misconduct. It is her responsibility in receiving reports of concern to listen respectfully, offer pastoral care and response, and ensure that appropriate processes for accountability are followed. Molly served as rector of Christ Church in Rochdale, priest-in-charge at St. Andrew’s, Turners Falls. Currently, Molly serves as associate rector at Saints James and Andrew, and lives in Greenfield. Before entering parochial ministry she spent over thirty years in independent school teaching and administration. Ordained in 1978 in the Diocese of New York, she holds both M.Div. and D.Min. degrees from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Rev. Tanya R. Wallace

The Rev. Tanya R. Wallace

Safe Church Officer

Tanya trains and certifies diocesan staff, clergy and volunteers in the Safe Church program. She serves as rector of All Saints’, South Hadley and as Director of the Lawrence House Service Corps.

The Ven. S. Jane Griesbach

The Ven. S. Jane Griesbach

Archdeacon

Archdeacons are appointed to assist the bishop with canonical requirements of formation, academic training, deployment, supervision and support of those ordained to and preparing for ordination to the diaconate. Contact Jane for matters about deacons including identifying who in your faith community might be called to be ordained to the diaconate.

The Rev. Christopher Carlisle

The Rev. Christopher Carlisle

Director of the Building Bridges Veterans Initiative

Chris is Special Assistant to the Bishop for Special Projects and Director of the veterans ministry initiative, “Building Bridges.” Having spent twenty-five years in campus ministry, Chris is now dedicated to veterans ministry initiatives, outdoor Christian communities, and the innovation of new expressions of “church” in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

Chad Wright

Chad Wright

Associate Director, Building Bridges

Chad Wright serves as the assistant director of Building Bridges and the site director for the luncheon in Greenfield. Chad is currently finishing up a bachelors in social work from Elms College. Chad is a veteran with a passion for community service.

William Harron

William Harron

Director of Young Adult Ministry Network
The Rev. Erik Karas

The Rev. Erik Karas

Officer for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs

Erik has served two interims with UCC congregations, one in Colorado and one on a coastal island in Maine. Before being called to Sheffield as priest-in-charge in 2017, he served as interim pastor for a Lutheran congregation and priest-in-charge for an Episcopal congregation in Augusta, Maine, bringing the two together to form one congregation. Called as rector of Christ Trinity Church, Sheffield in 2020, Erik was received into The Episcopal Church. He has shepherded Christ Trinity to full federation as an Episcopal – Lutheran community of faith and forged ecumenical collaboration with the Appalachian Trail Ministry.

The Rev. Patrick Perkins

The Rev. Patrick Perkins

Diocesan Disaster Coordinator

The Diocesan Disaster Coordinator is our liaison with US Disaster Program, a branch of Episcopal Relief and Development. Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Program works in areas across the United States that have been affected by disasters. By offering resources and training to help communities prepare for disasters and providing emergency support, we help vulnerable groups of people to make a full and sustained recovery.

Todd Beckham

Todd Beckham

Cathedral Music Director, Organist & Director of the Bishop’s Choir School

Mr. Beckham has a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from Youngstown State University and a Master of Music in Organ and Harpsichord Performance from Converse College. He has also done postgraduate studies in Choral Conducting and Sacred Music at Boston University. While serving as the Hawai’ian Cathedral’s Music Director and Organist, he was also an organist for the Bishop Memorial Chapel at Kamehameha School, Palama, chapel organist and choir accompanist for St. Andrew’s Priory and Preparatory School, and choral accompanist with Hawaii Pacific University.

Who Does What at Diocesan House

Area of Concern
Point of Contact
ABUNDANT Times Magazine
Canon Vicki Ix
Ext. #124 or (413) 417-2413
Accounts Payable
Kristina Cincotta
Ext. #115 or (413) 417-2338
Archives
Karen Warren
Ext. #118 or (413) 417-2342
Bement-Waterfield Scholarship
Karen Warren
Ext. #118 or (413) 417-2342
Bishop's Calendar
Lainey Hurlbut
Ext. #123 or (413) 417-2401
Budget
Kimberly Foster
Ext. #116 or (413) 417-2337
Canonical Changes for Clergy
Lainey Hurlbut
Ext. #123 or (413) 417-2401
Clergy Children Education Grants
Karen Warren
Ext. #118 or (413) 417-2342
Clergy Payroll, Taxes, & Benefits
Canon Susan Olbon
Ext. #120 or (413) 417-2429
Clergy Sabbatical Grants
Karen Warren
Ext. #118 or (413) 417-2342
Clergy Transition
Canon Rich Simpson
Ext. #117 or (413) 417-2415
Continuing Education Grants
Karen Warren
Ext. #118 or (413) 417-2342
Databases
Digital Ministry
Canon Vicki Ix
Ext. #124 or (413) 417-2413
Diocesan Calendar
Melanie Cortis
Ext. #110 or (413) 417-2346
Diocesan Convention
Diocesan Cycle of Prayer
Events
Melanie Cortis
Ext. #110 or (413) 417-2346
Fresh Start
Karen Warren
Ext. #118 or (413) 417-2342
Human Resources
Canon Susan Olbon
Ext. #120 or (413) 417-2429
Licensing for Clergy and Laity
Lainey Hurlbut
Ext. #123 or (413) 417-2401
Ministry Development Grants
Karen Warren
Ext. #118 or (413) 417-2342
Mission Matters E-News
Onboarding Lay Employees
Canon Susan Olbon
Ext. #120 or (413) 417-2429
Ordination Officer & liaison to COM
Lainey Hurlbut
Ext. #123 or (413) 417-2401
Parish Leadership Forms
Payroll
Melanie Cortis
Ext. #110 or (413) 417-2346
Press Requests
Canon Vicki Ix
Ext. #124 or (413) 417-2413
Property Insurance
Canon Susan Olbon
Ext. #120 or (413) 417-2429
Parochial Reports
Canon Susan Olbon
Ext. #120 or (413) 417-2429
Safe Church
Karen Warren
Ext. #118 or (413) 417-2342
Trustees
Mick Kalber
Ext. #114 or (413) 417-2339
Website Audit
Canon Vicki Ix
Ext. #124 or (413) 417-2413