Message from Helio Fred Garcia, Board Chair

Message from the President banner

SKSM President Rebecca Parker is currently on sabbatical and returns to Starr King in March of 2012. Starr King’s Board of Trustees Chair, Helio Fred Garcia, writes this month’s column. 

Helio Fred Garcia

Helio Fred Garcia

  Dear Friend of Starr King:

I am delighted to send greetings on behalf of the Starr King Board of Trustees, which I have the honor of chairing.

My own Starr King journey had three parts:

1.    I first got to know the school 10 years ago when I was invited to give a day-long guest workshop.  I was impressed with the students – their energy, commitment, compassion.

2.    Five years later I joined the adjunct faculty, teaching a week-long intensive on media skills in public ministry for several years.  In that role I got to know the students at a deeper level.  I also began to get to know the faculty and staff.  I found in Starr King a remarkable community on the forefront of preparing progressive religious leaders to serve as clergy, activists, scholars, and engaged citizens.

3.    And three years ago I was invited to join the Board of Trustees under the leadership of then-chair Rev. Tom Disrud.  My board service has deepened my appreciation of the school and the greater Starr King community.  The board is a remarkable group: some are not Unitarian Universalists; some had no prior relationship with the school.  But all are committed to the preparation of religious leaders through student-centered, multi-religious, counter-oppressive education.


Helio Fred Garcia with SKSM Students at Board Reception

BOT Reception

Dr. Ghazala Anwar at SKSM
Board Reception






The board’s role is to provide strategic direction, oversight, support, and counsel.  Trustees are stewards of the school’s treasure, both material and reputational.  We are also ambassadors on behalf of the school to the broader world.  Our work this year includes advancing the school’s emerging educational model, and working in the early phases of a capital campaign to provide long-term financial resources to help fulfill the school’s promise.

I have the good fortune to be involved with a number of progressive religious and multi-faith organizations.  But I find that I get a far greater return on an incremental investment of time and energy at Starr King.  The school is a pretty big lever that helps bend the arc of the universe just a tad more toward justice.  Thank you for all you do to help push down on that lever.

The board’s next meeting will be April 11-13.  Please say hello if you’re in the building when we are.



Helio Fred Garcia is President of Logos Consulting and author of Reputation Management: The Key to Successful Public Relations and Corporate Communication. His newest book, The Power of Communication: Skills to Build Trust, Inspire Loyalty, and Lead Effectively, is scheduled to publish in May 2012.