Friends Journal is published by Friends Publishing Corporation. The mission of the corporation is to communicate Quaker experience in order to connect and deepen spiritual lives.
The Board of Trustees is accountable for all aspects of the corporation’s operations, including editorial and administrative policies, financial solvency, continuity of organization, and maintaining Quaker perspective. Friends Publishing Corporation is an independent Quaker organization. The Board of Trustees includes Quakers from Friends General Conference, Friends United Meeting, dually‐affiliated, and independent yearly meetings.
Richard Cleaver is a member of Moorestown Meeting in New Jersey, where many of his family have been members over the years. He attended Moorestown Friends School. In the past, he has served on the Community Care and Contact committee and as clerk of the Nominating committee for Moorestown Meeting. He currently serves as Recording Clerk for the Meeting and teaches First Day School for middle school children.
Rich has worked in financial services his entire career, beginning in banking and assuming positions of increasing responsibility in all areas of bank credit card operations. He worked for First Data Corporation for many years where he was a Senior Vice President, responsible for managing relationships with small, medium and national companies. He is currently Director of Sales and Relationship Management for a large provider of credit card processing and related
Rich lives in Mount Laurel, NJ. He is a fitness enthusiast, yoga practitioner, marathon finisher, and self‐taught guitar and piano player.
Emily Corse is a convinced Quaker and member of Moorestown Monthly Meeting in NJ since 2012. After two terms on Religious Education, she now serves on Community Building and clerks the Spiritual Nurture Committee. In her day job, Emily works as an instructional designer at Rutgers University in Camden, where she and her team support the faculty in its instructional endeavors. We promote research‐supported pedagogical best practices and whatever technologies might help our professors and students teach and learn, in the classroom and online. Emily lives in South Jersey.
Shan Cretin currently serves on the boards of Friends Publishing Corporation and the Angel City Chorale. In 2019 she ended a nine‐year term as a trustee of The California Endowment. In September 2017 she retired as General Secretary for the American Friends Service Committee, a position she held for seven years with responsibility for AFSC’s worldwide peace, social justice and humanitarian assistance programs. She had previously served seven years as a Regional
Director supervising AFSC’s programs in Southern California, Hawai’i, Arizona, and New Mexico.
A graduate of MIT and Yale, Shan worked for 28 years in public health, serving on the faculties of Harvard, Yale, West China Medical University, Shanghai Medical University, and University of California at Los Angeles. Shan has lived, worked and traveled throughout the United States as well as Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Canada.
A member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), Shan is a former clerk of Pacific Yearly Meeting. She co‐founded the Los Angeles chapter of Alternatives to Violence Project and has facilitated conflict resolution workshops at the Chino Youth Correctional Facility and in the Los Angeles community. An amateur luthier, Shan builds acoustic and electric guitars for friends and family members.
Catherine Bly Cox, clerk
Catherine Cox was born and raised in Iowa, and educated at the College of William and Mary, Oxford University, and Yale University, where she received a Ph.D. in English. She taught at Rutgers University for several years, and then left teaching to move to Washington, D.C., co‐author a book, and settle into being a full‐time mom.
Catherine lives in the rural town of Burkittsville, Maryland, and divides most of her time between the Literacy Council of Frederick County and various Quaker endeavors. She is a member of Goose Creek Meeting (BYM) and is Recording Clerk there. She serves on the executive board of the School of the Spirit Ministry, is a graduate of the Ministry’s program On Being a Spiritual Nurturer, and facilitates contemplative retreats under their care. She is also a graduate of the Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation.
Guli Fager is a Quaker, a sex educator, an activist, and a writer. Born a Quaker in Langley Hill Friends Meeting, she grew up attending Baltimore Yearly Meeting, Catoctin Quaker Camp, FGC Gathering and graduated from Westtown School. In 2004 she received a leading to begin a ministry in sex education and reproductive justice advocacy. She is a member of Stony Run Friends Meeting.
Jim Herr, recording clerk
A member since 1990 of Lancaster Friends Meeting, in Pennsylvania, Jim serves as a recording clerk for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. After brief stints selling Encyclopedia Britannica in Alabama and running a small advertising agency in Lancaster, Jim worked in advertising sales for a large Mid‐Atlantic farm publication called Lancaster Farming. Jim now serves as Administrator for the School of the Spirit Ministry.
Dan Hewitt, assistant clerk
Peter Laughter is the CEO of Spartoi Group and a founding member of the New York City Chapter of Conscious Capitalism. He sees that the current age calls for a sea change in how people perceive purpose and the way they live their lives. He is very interested in the obstacles we as humans deploy to separate ourselves from one another. He finds it curious that when we humans are in conflict we frequently lose the ability to empathize and connect. He is committed to finding tools that allow for people to identify and rise above those obstacles and meaningfully connect in in an unencumbered and free place. He is active in different communities and loves connecting with audiences.
A graduate of Earlham College, Peter has been selected to participate in a number of leadership training programs, such as MIT’s Entrepreneurial Master’s Program, The School of the Spirit, and The Gathering of Titans. He was a featured speaker at the 2015 TEDx Fulton Street, where he introduced a concept he calls Radical Empathy. He was also a speaker at the Earlham School of Religion’s 2011 Leadership Conference, “Seeking the Core of Quaker Leadership,” and he has just completed a 9‐year term as a Trustee of Brooklyn Friends School, his alma mater (go Panthers!). His Quaker practice is a core pillar of his life, informing his actions and commitments.
He has finished the New York Marathon, several 70.3 Triathlons, and he regularly tells stories at the Moth’s Story Slams and Grand Slams.
Fred Melroy, treasurer
Born and raised in Union County New Jersey, Fred was an active youth member of the First Presbyterian Church and Westminster Fellowship. At age fourteen he started working at a local golf club, which paid his tuition at Rider University, from which he graduated in 1970 with a degree in Finance. Recruited out of College by Dow Jones, he soon entered military service and spent a year in Vietnam. After returning, he changed his career path to hospital financial administration, where he spent the next forty years working for various hospitals, most recently NYU Medical Center, retiring in April 2015. In 1990, he began to attend Medford Monthly Meeting, becoming a member 15 years later. He is currently a very active volunteer with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Medford Monthly Meeting, Friends Journal, and YMCA Camp Ockanickon.
Christopher Mohr is a member of Green Street Monthly Meeting in Philadelphia and a former member of San Francisco Friends Meeting. He joined the board as clerk in 2011. Chris is the executive director of Friends Center Corporation, the organization that owns the property at 15th and Cherry Streets in Philadelphia on behalf of American Friends Service Committee, Central Philadelphia Monthly Meeting, and Philadelphia Yearly Meeting. Previously he worked for the Community Design Collaborative of Philadelphia and was executive director of the Housing Leadership Council of San Mateo County, California, from 2003 to 2011, during which time he also ran the Housing Endowment And Regional Trust—the HEART of San Mateo County. He moved to Philadelphia in 2011.
From 2004–2013, Ann Reece served as a member of the Board of Newtown Friends School, serving as Clerk from 2006‐12. She has served as a board member of Mercer Street Friends Social Services Center in Trenton, NJ, the Pennswood Village Continuing Care Retirement Community in Newtown, PA, and currently serves on committees at Newtown Friends Meeting where she is a member.
Soon after graduating from Sweet Briar College in the early sixties, Ann worked for the American Friends Service Committee in its central office in Philadelphia for several years as a program assistant in the International Division. From 1990–2000, she was an associate teacher in first grade at Newtown Friends School.
Ann is a former Commodore of the Chatham Yacht Club, Chatham, MA, and a co‐founder of the Harrisburg, PA chapter of the National Junior Tennis League. She enjoys sailing, tennis, hiking, bird watching, and is a frequent traveler on expeditions to remote parts of the world.
tonya thames taylor
Signe Wilkinson is a member of Chestnut Hill Friends Meeting (Philadelphia) involved in Stewardship and Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Committees. She also chairs the committee that overseas the meeting’s James Turrell Skyspace which has hosted over 12,000 visitors from around the world since opening in 2013. She is an editorial cartoonist in Philadelphia.
Jerry Mizell Williams is a member of Green Street Friends Meeting in Philadelphia; he serves as its treasurer and representative to Quarterly Meeting. The author of numerous books and essays on Latin American colonial historiography of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, he holds degrees from Haverford College and Yale University. Following retirement from teaching, Jerry provides service to academic boards and community organizations, and devotes time to publishing and pursuing activities as a bibliophile.