Executive Committee

Executive Committee:

Chair: Cara Schulz
Currently, Cara writes for Women of G+ and is the editor of the Minnesota bureau of the Pagan Newswire Collective. In 2009, she was elected Tamias (Treasurer) for Hellenion, a US-based religious organization (501[c][3]) dedicated to the revival and practice of Hellenic polytheism.  Cara live in the Twin Cities area with her husband, Tracy, and her son, Justin.

Dave Burwasser
Dave was born 1941 in Chicago and moved to Cleveland at age five. In his mid-teens he became a Unitarian Universalist (UU),  then a confirmed Humanist by mid-twenties and, after an epiphanal experice of the Goddess in 1987, a Pagan in his mid-forties. He has served on the national board of the Covenant of UU Pagans (CUUPS) and was made a Board Member Emeritus upon leaving. Dave organized a CUUPS chapter in his UU church and a UU Pagan campout (not formally associated with CUUPS) in Michigan. He married in 1995.  Currently he live in a small town and his wife is in a sensitive profession, with clientele in the community. He feels if he came out of the broom closet she would lose enough of her clientele to lose her practice. He is not a public Pagan locally, and will not for as long as she needs my discretion.  Because of his wife’s career situation, Dave brings a unique perspective to IPCOD.

David Dashifen Kees:  Webmaster
By day, David is a mild-mannered web applications developer for a major American public university.  By night he’s actually pretty much the same thing except he works for a variety of organizations including the Pagan Newswire Collective and the International Pagan Coming Out Day.  David has been “out” since high school and found that, where he lived, people were very accepting of his choices.

Since then, he’s investigated a variety of traditions and paths learning as much as possible about all them usually before moving on to the next.  Perpetually seeking, he’s not really settled on one single path.  Instead, using some of the techniques described by Phil Hine, he thinks of himself as a chaos mage if he is forced to think of himself as anything at all!

On the board of IPCOD, David hopes to help others find the acceptance that he has as a public Pagan in the modern world.

Laura M. LaVoie
Laura lives in Atlanta, Georgia and works as a recruiter for a small staffing company in the area.  She is a contributor to the PNC Pop-Culture blog The Juggler and has been published in PanGaia Magazine, Llewellyn’s Magical Almanac and He Epistole.  Laura and her partner are building a 120 square foot cabin in the mountains of Western North Carolina where they intend to live part of the year along with their Sphynx cat, Piglet.

Jason Pitzl-Waters
Since launching “The Wild Hunt” in 2004, Jason Pitzl-Waters has become one of the leading voices for analysis and insight into how modern Pagan faiths are represented within the mainstream media. In addition, “The Wild Hunt” has also conducted in-depth interviews with prominent figures within modern Paganism, academia, and religion journalism. Jason wants to raise the level of discourse and journalism on important issues within the modern Pagan and Heathen communities, while advocating a broader commitment to encouraging religious multiplicity and solidarity (where appropriate) with surviving indigenous and non-monotheistic faith groups.

In addition to his work with The Wild Hunt, Jason has also written for newWitch Magazine, PanGaia Magazine, Thorn Magazine, and Llewellyn Worldwide. He also maintains a weekly podcast entitled “A Darker Shade of Pagan” that explores underground music from a Pagan perspective.

Jason is a former Board of Director member of Cherry Hill Seminary, and is coordinating The Pagan Newswire Collective, an open collective of Pagan journalists, newsmakers, media liaisons, and writers who are interested in sharing and promoting primary-source reporting from within our interconnected communities.

Nicholas Ritter
Nick has been Theodish since 1996, and resides in Minnesota with his family. His interests revolve mainly around language and religion – especially in their interplay in ritual speech and poetry – as well as the science and art of ritual. Much of his work involves composing and performing religious poetry in the old Germanic verse-form in archaic languages such as Old Frisian and Anglo-Saxon.

Drake Spaeth, PsyD
Drake is the co-founder of Earth Traditions. He is a licensed clinical psychologist, and a faculty member of The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. He is the author of several entries in the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion (Springer, 2010), as well as a chapter (Psycho-spiritual roots of adolescent violence; The importance of rites of passage) in the book, Transforming Corrections; Humanistic Approaches to Corrections and Offender Treatment. (Carolina Academic Press, 2009). Dr. Spaeth has been a presenter at the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions events in Barcelona, 2004 and Melbourne , 2009 and regularly presents papers on spirituality and psychology at conferences including the annual meetings of the Midwest American Academy of Religion, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. He has been a staff member, presenter, and ritual facilitator at the annual Pagan Spirit Gathering for the past 16 years.

His interests include the relationship between spirituality and psychology, ecopsychology, humanistic-existential psychology, transpersonal psychology, Jungian psychology, shamanism, Celtic mysticism, and the Western Mystery Tradition. He holds ministerial credentials with both Earth Traditions and Circle Sanctuary. Drake currently serves as a Director, and is the Treasurer for Earth Traditions.


Past Executive Committee Members:

Anne Newkirk Niven
Anne is the editor of three magazines for Pagans and their allies: SageWoman, Witches&Pagans, and Crone. She discovered the Goddess during graduate work at a Christian seminary, and came out of the Broom Closet almost immediately. (She’s just not capable of keeping that kind of thing a secret.) Catch up with her magazines online at www.bbimedia.com.

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  1. […] note:  Cara Schulz, editor at PNC-Minnesota, Chairs the Executive Committee of International Pagan Coming Out Day.  Jason Pitzl-Waters, Project Coordinator of PNC and author […]

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