Meet our Operations Team

Meet our Operations Team

Ever wondered just what the One Spirit Operations team does? Check out our roles and responsibilities below!

Rev. Diane Berke

Rev. Diane Berke - Founder and Spiritual Director

"As One Spirit’s Founder and Spiritual Director, I provide spiritual leadership and oversight of the organization and its spiritual/educational programs, to ensure spiritual integrity and depth across our programs and organizational initiatives and to ensure that One Spirit remains a respected leader in the field of interfaith/interspiritual education. My role is to be a consistent voice and advocate for the spiritual values and perspective that must form the foundation of everything One Spirit does as an organization and community. I offer support to the educational leadership and operations staff as we listen collectively for the emerging spiritual and educational needs of the One Spirit community, and develop and/or participate in initiatives that offer ongoing spiritual nourishment, inspiration, and support to our larger community. Additionally, I frequently serve as a public face for One Spirit in events and activities of the larger interspiritual world."

Ilene Sameth

Ilene Sameth- Chief Executive Officer

"As the CEO of One Spirit, It is my responsibility to ensure the overall health of the organization structurally, financially and ethically. I do that by guiding One Spirit to achieve its highest goals through my work with the Board of Trustees, the Education staff and the Operations staff. I continually keep the mission and vision of One Spirit as a premier Spiritual Educational Alliance in the forefront of my work.

I am the primary fundraiser for One Spirit, ensuring we have the funds needed to continue our vital work. Just as importantly, I oversee the financial reporting and work with our auditors to be able to guarantee those funds so lovingly given by our supporters are used with great care. My focus on strategic planning gives the organization a path forward to all of its accomplishments, always keeping my eyes on the ultimate goal of individual and organizational flourishing.

Non-profits, all too frequently, put mission ahead of those who work to make that mission a reality. I am fiercely passionate about creating a work environment that enables our staff to reach their highest potential while supporting their desires to grow spiritually themselves. I value joy in the workplace and continually strive to make One Spirit a place where people can be their best."

Gordon Brode

Rev. Gordon Brode - Director of Organization Development

"My definition of organization development is to create the conditions & opportunities for each organization member, the organization itself, and the environment to flourish into their full potential. I do this by applying knowledge from a variety of established sciences and emerging fields of study

 to tangible business challenges In order to improve the organization's problem solving, learning, and renewal capabilities.

My work is informed by sociology, psychology (particularly industrial and organizational psychology), adult learning theory, theories of motivation and personality, systems thinking, and business sciences. In practice, it shows up in myriad special projects at One Spirit such as:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Research & Development, Product Innovation
  • Business Process Design & Solutions Architecture
  • Organization Learning Design & Development
  • Knowledge Management
  • Organization Design
  • Communications Strategy
  • My curiosities and interests include Flourishing Enterprise (reframing for-profit business as an agent of world benefit), Appreciative Inquiry and other methods of whole-systems change, the structure of intuition in decision-making, and the organizational applications of presencing and intuition as seen through the lens of complexity science and emergence."

    Rev. Darren Polito - Director of Admissions

    Rev. Darren Polito - Director of Admissions

    "I’m often the first point of contact for those expressing interest in One Spirit’s programs, offering as much information as needed via catalogs, website pages, video recordings, and personal conversations. A big part of my role is assisting with the candidate’s discernment, helping them tap into their own inner guidance and wisdom as to whether One Spirit is right for them at this time. I am their guide through our entire admissions process, which we have reframed as a discernment process - one of inquiry and reflection. Through the three-step process, we hope that even if the candidates end up not attending One Spirit, that they gained value and benefit from going through the discernment inquiry.

    I oversee the admissions’ interview teams for our various programs and once all materials are submitted and evaluated by me, make decisions regarding acceptance. I assist with public outreach in collaboration with our team and help to plan, coordinate, and oversee promotional events, free One Spirit offerings, and other activities. Additionally, I am the seminary second-year webinar moderator."

    Rev. Nic Bullitt - Engagement Catalyst

    Rev. Nic Bullitt - Engagement Catalyst

    "I’ve often been asked, “What is an Engagement Catalyst?” Well, my role is really to help spark individuals, our community, and our organization, to be most alive, self-expressed, seen, and heard. I seek to be a bridge to foster relationships among current students, alum, faculty, and those new to One Spirit. I ask questions and seek solutions about how we can be more creative, expansive, efficient, and diverse. And I bring your ideas, questions, and feedback to our team to brainstorm and collaborate. It’s always exciting to see what emerges!

    I’m behind the scenes coordinating with program leaders on new workshops, and projects such as our Prayer Wall, and the Rapid Response Resource Guide or events such as The Gathering, or promoting One Spirit in Action programming. As a communications channel, it’s my job to keep you in-the-loop on what’s new and next for One Spirit via our newsletters, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube media platforms. I also help people discover One Spirit and learn about our programs, workshops, and events through outreach, networking, promotion, and partnerships. It’s truly my honor to serve in this capacity."

    Rev. Chad Lewis  - Manager of Student Support

    Rev. Chad Lewis - Manager of Student Support

    "The main function of this role is to assist students and graduates with any questions, problems, or concerns that arise during their journey at One Spirit. This includes responding to inquiries about Wisdom Web, Zoom, electives, registrations, education materials, curriculums, etc. I provide support to educational staff and presenters, managing logistical needs to ensure smooth class weekends, presentations, and clear lines of communication. I also coordinate the year-end intensives and Commencement ceremony. In addition, I serve as the Lead Dean’s Assistant for the second year Seminary class where I support students in presenting worship services, practicums, and Spiritual practices.

    What I love most about this role is the opportunity to be of service to the One Spirit community. The logistical support I provide is coupled with love, patience, compassion, inspiration, humor, creativity, and care. I find this role to be a wonderful expression of Ministry, one that is very much alive through email correspondence, sharing of Zoom links, or resolving registration hiccups. I feel blessed to be a part of this extraordinary team and am grateful for the opportunity to serve."

    Emrah Akyildiz - Finance Administrator & Staff and Volunteer Coordinator

    Emrah Akyildiz - Finance Administrator & Staff and Volunteer Coordinator

    "I am responsible for finance including managing account receivable and payable, receiving and processing reimbursements, processing the payroll, creating spreadsheets and uploading of invoices and transactions to the accounting system.

    I also help students and graduates regarding if they have any issue or update regarding their payment plan or payment preferences. I am responsible for coordinating volunteers and media staff for our events as well as uploading video recordings into Wisdom web. Additionally, I am responsible for the affiliation campaign. Reaching our graduates, send them affiliation invitations, renewal invitations, help and follow up their affiliation campaign."