DELAWARE ECUMENICAL COUNCIL ON CHILDREN AND FAMILIES - BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LaVaida Owens-White, MSN, RN, BSN - President
La Vaida Owens-White is Board President of Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families, and has served on the Board since 1994. Ms. Owens-White has over fifty years of nursing experience in acute and long-term care, rehabilitation, and community health. Ms. White retired from Christiana Care Health System - Community Health Outreach and Education in 2010, and currently serves as a consultant assisting congregations, synagogues, and temples in establishing congregational health ministries. She also assists civic associations in the development of health committees. Ms. Owens-White is a proponent of whole-person (mind, body, spirit) health and invested in the health of her community serving on numerous committees and leadership councils.
La Vaida holds a Masters degree as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in gerontology from the University of Delaware, and an undergraduate degree in Nursing from Wilmington University. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, the Delaware Nurses Association, and Tau Eta Chapter of Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., a professional nursing organization founded in 1932.
Linda Heller, M.A.C.C.C.A., C.M., CAP-S - Vice President
Ms. Heller has over 20 years of proven clinical, managerial, operational, and leadership experience working with hospitals, healthcare organizations (profit and non-profit), and government agencies and organizations. She has significant experience in national and state health, aging and disability businesses. Ms. Heller currently owns Access Health, Aging and Disability Consulting, LLC, and does consulting for individuals, families, profit and non-profit companies, attorneys, and organizations in the Delmarva region. She has participated in projects in the British West Indies, South America, and Asia. Her professional experience abroad also includes project and lecturing assignments with the World Health Organization for the governments of the Philippines, Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan; as well as consulting in Anguilla, and Nova Scotia.
Ms. Heller has national certifications in Audiology, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Conflict Resolution and Mediation, Aging in Place Specialist (CAP-S), Assistive Technology, Americans with Disabilities Act, Grant Writing, etc. She serves on several Delaware state boards and councils, and served on a Federal Communication Commission Advisory Panel. Some of awards she has received include the “Delaware First State Award,” the highest civilian award given to a citizen in the State, the Oticon Corporation in Sweden’s, “Focus on People” Award and special commendations from the Veteran’s Administration for the “Outstanding Employee of the Year” and the “VA Innovation Award.”
Also of note, are the several awards she received from the State of Delaware as a Policy Advisor/Planner at the DHSS/Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities. Ms. Heller is on the board of several government and non-profit associations. She is also President/Founder of the Hearing Loss Association of Delaware. As a Rehabilitation Audiologist, Ms. Heller’s passion is doing advocacy and serving adults and children of all ages that have health issues or disabilities; and enjoys helping organizations be consumer driven and effective.
Rev. John F. Holden, MDiv - Acting Treasurer
For more than fifty years, the urban setting has been the center point of his calling and commitment to ministry. Rev. Holden’s studies in Practical Theology at Union Theological Seminary, New York City, were focused on urban ministry. Now retired Methodist clergy, Rev. Holden served on five pastoral appointments in Wilmington, DE area. As Executive Director, he led the West End Neighborhood House and the Methodist Action Program. Since retirement six years ago, Rev. Holden continues to live in Wilmington, DE. His work is currently focused on developing a voluntary urban ministry to engage persons who have left the church, or who are dissatisfied with it, because of modern cultural differences with most current Christian teaching and practices.
Rev. Marilyn E. Cale Turner, MDiv - Board Member
Rev. Turner has spent 31+ years of her professional career with Delmarva Power & Light Company, an Exelon Company, serving in several important roles. Most recently, she’s worked in the T&S Maintenance and Construction, Substation and Relay Departments. She is also an “Impact Leader” for the Newark DE Region, where she coordinates employee volunteer community service opportunities. In 2016 Rev. Turner was nominated, and chosen as the organization’s “Black Achiever”, which is a national program that mentors youth at various
YMCA centers. The program is designed to encourage young people to purse higher levels of education, advanced degrees, and professional career paths.
Rev. Turner’s efforts also include her involvement with Engineers Without Borders (EWB), a non-profit organization that supports 3rd world countries with strategizing and supplying safe drinking water. She has traveled to Liberia, West Africa to serve with the Union American Methodist Episcopal Church (UAME) Foreign Missions Board.
Her credentials include being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Rev. Turner is a graduate of Palmer Theological Seminary with a Pastoral Care Diploma, and Eastern University, St. David, PA, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Leadership. She is also a 2008 graduate of Boulden Seminary and Biblical Institute - Certified Teacher, and Director of the Biblical Institute of Boulden Seminary Youth Counselor, and Facilitator of the UAME Youth Retreat.
Rev. Turner has served as a Quarter Conference assignee at Boulden & Mother UAME Churches, Wilmington; Mt. Raymond UAME Church, Downingtown, PA.She has pastored the New Hope UAME Church located in Wilmington DE, with a “mostly youth congregation. She is currently serving as a Quarter Conference Assignee at the Mt. Salem UAME Church in Delaware City DE.
Rev. Grant Johnson, MDiv - Board Member
Rev. Brian K. Sanders - DECCF Exec. Director, Ex-Oficio Board Member
CALL FOR NEW BOARD MEMBERS...
We are currently seeking to add members to Delaware Ecumenical Council's Board of Directors. In order to best reflect the communities we serve throughout the State of Delaware, our aim is to reach out to active community members in New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties. Please consider volunteering on our Board. Share your expertise, talents, commitment to excellence, and friendly warm spirit with us on behalf of the elderly, disabled, children and families that we serve throughout "The First State". To apply for consideration, or for more information, please contact Rev. Brian K. Sanders, (302) 225-1040, or firstname.lastname@example.org.