Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Annual Meeting 2023

Candidates for Congregation Leadership

Trustee Candidates

The Board of Trustees is the official governing body of Grace Cathedral.

Phoebe Campbell

I am humbled to be considered for the board of Grace Cathedral.  I hope that my experience in non-profit business development, social justice, board, and parish leadership will be useful to my beloved spiritual home. 

Since 2019, I have been active at Grace with a focus on social justice. I serve on Congregation Council and the Stewardship committee; co-facilitated a Sacred Ground cohort; completed three years of EFM; and participated in the 2020 Newbegin Fellowship. Previous congregational leadership includes committee roles at St James Madison Avenue, and as Senior Warden of St Marks, Mount Kisco, New York. 

Professionally I have three decades of experience in media production, business development and marketing. For over a decade I founded and ran a boutique firm specializing in marketing and brand licensing for leading nonprofits such as Save the Children, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation and the national headquarters of the American Red Cross.  Currently I am strategic advisor to the Oregon based Curry Stone Foundation and Community Design Agency, a Mumbai based practice focused on democratizing access to architecture and design among the most marginalized.  I also served on boards of architecture, design, artisanal craft and equestrian organizations.  

I live in Sonoma with my husband Tom, three dogs, six chickens and the occasional adult child. In my spare time I enjoy riding my (very slow) retired racehorse Thiebaud, cooking, travel and binge watching the occasional trashy reality show. 

Richard Compean

Richard Compean has been attending Grace Cathedral for 30 years, where his daughter was baptized and his son sang in the Cathedral Boys Choir while attending Cathedral School for Boys. In that time, he served on the Grace Congregation Council, served a term as Congregation Trustee, made a major donation, and was active in Family Ministries. More recently he has occasionally advised Deans Alan Jones and Malcolm Young on Christian insights from popular culture sources and is in the process of becoming a Cathedral Docent. He teaches English at City College of San Francisco. 

Richard now wants to serve as an elected Grace Cathedral Congregation Trustee to represent the needs, concerns, and desires of Grace Cathedral’s diverse and dynamic congregation members. U.S. Presiding Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry has written a wonderful book titled Love Is the Way and Richard would like to see Bishop Curry’s emphasis on selflessness and hope continuously practiced in the governance and decisions of the Grace Cathedral Board of Trustees. For Richard, Grace Cathedral is both a wonderful physical place and a spiritual home for people of the San Francisco Bay Area. As a Congregation Trustee he would love to help Grace continue its growth and its mission of “Reimagining church with courage, joy, and wonder.”  

Alma Robinson

Alma joined Grace Cathedral in 1980 and is a lector and an active member of the Social Justice Working Group. She and her husband, Toye Moses, have four adult children and two grandchildren.

She is the Executive Director of California Lawyers for the Arts (CLA), a statewide nonprofit organization with offices in San Francisco, Berkeley, Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego. While overseeing CLA’s legal services, education, advocacy and mediation programs, she leads the organization’s Arts-in-Corrections Initiative. This effort resulted in an $8 million annual contract between the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Arts Council that provides arts programs in all 34 state prisons. In 2018, she produced a series of Art for Justice Forums in Michigan, Texas, Georgia, Alabama, California and New York. In 2022, CLA launched Designing Creative Futures, a program that places formerly incarcerated people in paid internships with nonprofit arts organizations.

A former journalist at The Washington Star, Alma was a founding board member of California Arts Advocates, ArtSpace Development Corporation, and the Museum of the African Diaspora. She has also served as a trustee of Grace Cathedral, Cathedral School for Boys, the Urban School, San Francisco Opera, and Mills College. She is a Co-Chair of the Free at Last Coalition, a national organization devoted to eliminating the exception clause of the 13th Amendment, that abolished slavery and involuntary servitude in 1865 — except for persons convicted of a crime. She is a graduate of Middlebury College with honors in history and Stanford Law School.

Congregation Council Candidates

Congregation Council members are the congregation’s elected representatives, working to enlarge the cathedral’s many ministries. Their work focuses on leadership development, outreach, stewardship, hospitality, discipleship and spiritual growth.

Megan Bourne

I started attending Grace in 1996, after moving to San Francisco and discovering the healing power of Friday evenings on the Labyrinth. Since becoming a member, I have served on Congregation Council and represented the Council at the Board of Trustees. I led a group called Graceful Women, and was involved in Family Ministries and Godly Play. I co-chaired the Virtue and Vice Ball and have participated in Stewardship. During the Great Recession, 2008-2009, I was involved in the Graceworks ministry that helped people seeking employment. After that, I stepped aside from volunteer commitments while I took on a demanding job, my husband was working out of town and I got involved in my daughter’s schools. I was married here and my daughter was baptized here. Grace has been my spiritual home for over 25 years and I look forward to getting back to giving back to Grace. 

Evan Deocariza

I have found a spiritual home at Grace Cathedral and care deeply about helping others find the same. Find me at the 11 am service on Sundays, Yoga on the Labyrinth on Tuesdays, The Vine on Wednesdays, or Education for (Lay) Ministry on Thursdays! I’d love to hear more about how Grace can help fill your spiritual cup. 

Kenn Sparks

I am grateful for the gift of Grace Cathedral.  Your warm welcome into the congregation in recent months has transformed me from spiritual nomad to contented Episcopalian.

Presently, I am a San Francisco City Guide, and Road Scholar lecturer.

Previously, I served as Head of U.S. Corporate Communications and Spokesperson for BMW.  For most of my earlier life I was a journalist – Business/Economics reporter, Foreign Correspondent, TV News Anchor, and Documentary Filmmaker – primarily for Pulitzer Broadcasting and the NBC NEWS affiliates.

  • At Grace Cathedral, I serve as part of Bill Quinn’s usher team at the Sunday 11 AM Eucharist and at the 6 PM Vesper Light services.
  • Additionally, I am a member of the Stewardship Committee, working in pursuit of the 100% GRACE goal.
  • In October, I became one of the cathedral docents, guiding visitors through the history, art, and relics of the cathedral. Currently, I am in training under Joe Garity to lead architecture tours of the cathedral and grounds.

I would be honored to serve as a member of the Congregation Council.


Deanery Delegates

Deanery Delegates serve on the San Francisco Deanery of the Diocese of California, representing the cathedral at Diocesan Convention and connecting the cathedral with the wider Episcopal Church. Click the candidate's name to read their bio.

Christine Bensen

Christine Bensen is a longtime member of the Grace Cathedral congregation. She served on Congregation Council for 6 years, and on the Board of Trustees for 4 years. Additionally, she is active in Children, Youth, and Family Ministries and bakes the Eucharist monthly. A native New Yorker, Christine relocated to Southern California in 1989 but found her true home in San Francisco in 1994.  Christine lives in Bernal Heights with her husband Grant and their son Ronan who attends Cathedral School for Boys.

Professionally, Christine is a Digital Marketing/Media Consultant and Principal of Ben-Her Marketing. As an experienced marketing executive, she brings both domestic and global experience developing both digital and traditional media strategies that have positively impacted brands. She has worked with clients like LG, Intuit, Visa, L’Oreal, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Xbox, Palm, and Verizon. Additionally, she has a background in both research and information systems, which fuels her knowledge in database marketing, data modeling, segmentation, reporting, and marketing database design. 


Christopher Hayes

After joining the Grace Cathedral congregation with my husband in 1999, I have served several times as a Deanery delegate, representing the Cathedral in the Diocesan Convention. Since 2009, I have served as Chancellor (outside general counsel) of the Diocese, advising the Bishop and the Diocese’s senior governing bodies. In that capacity, I serve as the Parliamentarian of the Convention and as chair of the Diocese’s Committee on Canons. I also represent the Diocese as a Deputy to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church, where I recently co-chaired the legislative committee on clergy discipline. At the churchwide level, I chair the Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution & Canons. I have also served on legislative and policy committees for marriage, safe church, and the place of women in the church (#MeToo). I am a partner at the Ragghianti Freitas LLP law firm in San Rafael, representing individuals, businesses, and churches in litigation, arbitration, and mediation. My practice areas include complex commercial litigation, insurance coverage, and religious and nonprofit organizations. I am admitted to practice law in California, New York, the District of Columbia, all federal courts in California, and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ron Hermanson

Cathy and I are long-time members of the Cathedral congregation. During this time, I have been active in governance through numerous leadership roles at both Grace Cathedral and within DioCal. For GC, these have included the Congregation Council, the Board of Trustees, and the Cathedral Delegation to the SF Deanery, among others. Within DioCal, examples include the Committee on Governance, the Standing Committee and the Deputation to General Convention of the national church, among others. 

As a baptized Christian, church governance is part of my DNA. It is inspired by a sense of call around congregations being in right relationships with each other. Additional reasons to run for re-election this year are to ensure we include experienced leadership during a bishop transition and to assist in growing our GC delegation with a new generation of delegates. 


Susan Hill

When I was two years old, my family moved to San Francisco from the Midwest. After a few years, we moved to the Peninsula, where I was baptized in a Presbyterian Church at age six. My parents were not churchgoers, but when I was twelve, I began attending the Menlo Park Presbyterian Church, then under the leadership of Dr. Hall. I loved Sunday School as well as Dr. Hall’s sermons and became a believer there. I went east to Smith College and attended their chapel services regularly. I graduated with a degree in Art History in 1963 and worked for an art gallery in New York City for several years before returning to California and settling in San Francisco.

In 1966, I met my future husband, and we married soon after at St. Marks Lutheran Church. We raised our two daughters in the Forest Hill neighborhood, and during this time, we attended the San Francisco Covenant Church, now renamed Dolores Park Church. After our daughters went east to college, I taught second grade for seventeen years in nearby Daly City, loving every minute of it, until I retired in 2004. I collect artworks on paper from Europe and America, for the most part, created from the 16th to 19th centuries. These include watercolors, drawings, etchings, lithographs, engravings, and Pictorialist photographs. I have a smaller collection of works on paper from the 20th century. Due to a dispute at the Covenant Church in 2013, the congregation split, and we left.

I immediately began to attend Grace Cathedral and soon started pledging. The artworks will eventually be given to Smith College. I have always had a heart for the poor and marginalized, so at Grace, I have volunteered at the Bayview Mission. (Due to the pandemic and my husband’s compromised immune system, I have temporarily stepped back from volunteering there in person, but still, support them financially and hope to be able to resume my weekly work there at some point.) I believe strongly in exchanging ideas that work in ministry and widening outreach. I am excited about the possibility of collaborating with others in the Deanery.

Stephanie Hoehn

I live in San Francisco with my spouse and beloved rescue-dog, Max, and work as an attorney for the State of California. I was not raised with a religious tradition but was thrilled to find the Episcopal Church as an adult, being baptized at Grace’s Easter Vigil in 2009 and getting married in the Chapel of Grace in 2013.  First elected to the Deanery in 2020, I am still hoping for a safer and healthier 2023, allowing for deanery meetings and connections beyond the virtual screen.  I’ve very much appreciated how much I’ve learned about church governance, am thankful for Regina’s leadership of the deanery, and would be honored to have your vote to continue to serve and represent our community. 



Joan Kugler

A very good friend brought me to Grace about 23 years ago. I liked the service, the clergy, and the parishioners.  What keeps me here is the spirit and caring of the Christian Community that exists here at Grace. 

I have been a pledging member of the congregation for 21 years; giving my time and talent as I could, and circumstances would allow.  Over the years, I have been a member of the Hospitality Ministry, a greeter, an assistant at the Welcome Table, and an usher. I have also been a Docent and tour guide and assisted with the Community Lunch program. I also have served on the Congregational Council and as a member of the Deanery. 

Last year I was elected as a delegate to the Deanery for the second time and would like to continue to represent Grace Cathedral as a Deanery Delegate. 


Lenny López

I have been an active member of Grace Cathedral since 2016 when I arrived in San Francisco from Boston. My spiritual journey began as a Roman Catholic and then was deepened through a Master of Divinity degree at Harvard Divinity School.  I joined my deep commitment to social justice with a Doctorate of Medicine and now serve as a physicianresearcher and Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Francisco and the San Francisco VA Medical Center.  My research is focused on eliminating health and healthcare disparities in cardiovascular care for all patients with limited resources.  Finally, I serve on the Board of Trustees and the Stewardship committee. 



Karma Quick-Panwala

It is my pleasure to run for the Cathedral’s Deanery delegation once more. Over the last twelve years, deanery service led me to build relationships with other Episcopalians and congregations across the diocese, and even across the Church. The relationships built there, and the work done in diocesan conventions, led me to the diocesan Task Force for Disability and Deaf Access, the Commission on Ministry (COM), and TEC’s State of the Church Committee, breaking down barriers and bringing more people to the table however they are called, and to DioCal’s deputation to the 80th General Convention of The Episcopal Church next July. I look forward to continuing those relationships, and to the shared ministries the deanery supports in our City and diocese, in the work our delegation does in deanery meetings and diocesan conventions. 

In addition to the deanery delegation, I’ve previously served as a greeter, on Congregation Council and the Social Justice Working Group, and sponsored baptisands at Grace.  

Outside of church, I am the Director of Advocacy with the Community Alliance for Special Education and a committed women’s education and disability rights advocate. My husband Asit and I are the parents of Sofia and Axel, who you’ll see either in Godly Play or mastering the steps of the font and fountain. 


Gabriela Strand 

I am excited to run for Deanery Delegate to represent Grace Cathedral at the Diocesan level. If elected, I will serve with commitment, integrity and discernment.  I have been a member of this Grace Cathedral community since 2004, when I was greeted with what I have come to understand as Radical Hospitality. I immediately became a pledging member and have never looked back.  Over these past 19 years, I have built some of my most important friendships in this community and have worked for the good of this Cathedral.   I want to help everyone find their church home the way that I found mine.  We face a challenge in that, how do we bring the many people who attend Grace virtually more fully into the life of the Cathedral and the Diocese.  We will all benefit if we are able to successfully bring them closer.  I respectfully ask for your vote.  Thank you. 

Regina Walton

I was baptized at Grace Cathedral in 2009. I love this church and was elected to Grace Cathedral’s Deanery a few years ago. For the last two years, I’ve been the convenor for Grace’s Deanery and am also the Lay VP for the San Francisco Deanery.  

I specialize in marketing: community management, and events. I’m currently the Director of Customer Advocacy and Community at Vyond, a SaaS animation software company. I’ve led SFTech4Good since 2011. SFTech4Good is a Meetup focused on how technology is used to further social change. Because of the pandemic, I merged it with LATech4Good, which takes the lead with data for good events, and I handle writing the monthly newsletter, which sits on Substack.  

I earned my B.A. from UCLA and my law degree from UC Hastings, but I chose to move to South Korea to take a university teaching position and travel over the bar exam. While abroad, I earned my Master’s in International Studies from Ewha Womans University. I moved back to the States in 2009, and after I was baptized at Grace, I moved to NYC. I moved back to the SF Bay Area in 2011 and started attending services at Grace again. 

I’d love to continue serving as part of the Deanery Delegation. Thanks so much for this opportunity. 

Erin Wiens St. John

I am excited to be running for Deanery for my fourth year in a row! I started as the Official Youth Presence at 16, served as an adult delegate the following year, and returned to the ministry after college. I am currently a postulant for Holy Orders in the middle of my second year of seminary at CDSP. Although I always knew that I wanted to work in churches, Grace Cathedral and its wonderful people inspired me to pursue ordination to the priesthood there. College and the pandemic have prevented me from being present in-person on Sundays for years, but I have stayed involved through summer jobs, small group leadership, online worship, and my ordination process. I deeply value the importance of church governance, particularly Diocesan Convention, and its power to effect change throughout the Diocese and the Episcopal Church as a whole. I hope to continue serving in this role, fostering both local connections and wider change.