Board of Directors
Consisting of 8 members – seven voting Directors plus the Management Committee Chair – the Board of Directors is expected to be “ultimately accountable for the ongoing business affairs of the Camp UniStar Foundation, and the overall health and success of Camp UniStar.” The by-laws also call out fiduciary oversight, strategic and long-term planning, and policy development, especially with respect to the health and safety of campers, as Board expectations. The Board is required to annually evaluate the Management Committee’s operation of the camp. The Board commits to an inclusive approach, building a strong and collaborative working relationship with the Management Committee, and connecting with all stakeholders to ensure that CUF is achieving its mission.
Current Board of Directors
Marc Al, Vice President
Term 1: 2021-2024
I first attended UniStar in 2013 to visit my then-girlfriend, Louise Livesay, and her kids, Sam and Lily Hamacher, and fell in love with camp. Louise and I were married in August 2014 at Unity Church Unitarian in Saint Paul, and have been coming up with Sam and Lily ever since. Relaxation sets in the moment we get in the car for the drive up—it’s instant, and a shared family value.
I am a partner with the 400-attorney law firm Stoel Rives LLP, where I practice business litigation in state and federal trial and appellate courts. Public service is important to me and the firm, and I have handled a diverse set of legal issues as a pro bono attorney, most recently representing the League of Women Voters Minnesota, Common Cause Minnesota, and the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition as amicus curiae before the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court in support of the ACLU Minnesota’s voting-rights action on behalf of persons previously convicted of a felony; an issue that disproportionately impacts African-Americans and Native-Americans.
I have had the honor to serve on the board of the Como Park Block Nurse Program and on the property committee and as treasurer of the trust fund committee of Como Park Lutheran Church in Saint Paul. Since September 2003, I have been repeatedly appointed by royal decree as the diplomatic representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Minnesota. As consul, I handle trade, cultural, and consular issues (inmates, detainees, repatriation, lost passports, etc.) for the Netherlands and Netherlands citizens. For the last several years I have also been an officer (treasurer) of the Minnesota Consular Corps, an organization comprised of all career and honorary consular officials appointed by their respective governments to serve in Minnesota, and who are duly recognized by the United States Department of State.
I have one daughter, Juliette, from my first marriage and I am blessed to have Sam and Lily as “bonus children” since 2014.
Alison Albrecht, President
Term 2: 2022-2025
I began attending Camp UniStar in 2005 with my children Audrey and Owen (both are in their twenties now). Within two days of being at camp they asked me if we could come back the following year. I’ve missed some years of late, but it’s still a special place that I’m committed to. Owen was on staff for several years.
I retired about eight years ago after over 25 years of experience working with nonprofits, primarily in the area of fundraising (self-employed for 11 years). I’ve worked with a large range of organizations (e.g., the arts, social service, small, large) and always enjoyed helping organizations achieve their missions.
My leadership style leans towards actively listening to others, gathering information and processing. I am guided by my top three core values – respect, spirituality and love.
A few of my interests include painting, hiking, cross-country skiing, kayaking, and connecting with family and friends. My husband Bob and I married in 2014, expanding my family to two more “kids” and their partners (Kate & Bryan, Eric & Becky). We became grandparents to Alexandra Grace in September 2021.
Jeri Maxwell, Treasurer
Term 1: 2021-2024
I have been coming to camp since 1999 as part of the “Maxwell Clan” (through marriage to Howard who had attended since he was a very small child). Our two kids (now in their twenties), Mackenzie and Andrew attended Youth Week 1 all six seasons (Andrew missed his junior year as he was away on exchange to Norway). I was a Youth Week 1 counselor for six seasons. Our daughter was on staff for one summer. Our summer plans always include a trip to camp!
I retired in 2017 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks as Associate Director of Operations for our Student Union. Since retiring I spend the majority of my summers gardening, taking walks, playing pickleball (year-round), biking and playing with our grandson, Aiden.
In the dark, cold, winter months of Alaska we travel as much as possible, whether it’s attending Vikings football games or traveling to warm and sunny places. Our favorite spot is Akumal, Mexico. I also enjoy reading, playing with our grandson, knitting and cooking. We have two large rescue dogs – Mika and Cooper.
Term 1: 2022-2023
I am the Great Lakes Private Lands Director for the American Bird Conservancy. I’m an avid birder and have worked in the avian conservation field for more than 15 years. My passion lies in connecting birds and people while employing ecologically sound science, research, and education to accomplish landscape-scale bird conservation.
I first attended Camp UniStar as a 2-year old, and have experienced camp as a camper, staff member (2004 and 2005), and most recently as a program leader in 2022. I also enjoyed many Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends opening and closing camp, while parents Dianne and Nick served on the management committee for several years.
Each time I visit camp, I love to reconnect with the island through hiking, running, sailing, and swimming. When at camp, I’m always up for a good game of cards or horseshoes, swinging on a cabin porch and getting to know other campers, or spending time in the kitchen or dishroom.
Meredith Smith, Treasurer
Term 3: 2021-2024
I am a retired CPA with a 34-year career in accounting. I began my career in public accounting at Koechler & Brown where I performed audits of many nonprofit organizations and later as a tax accountant at Pannell Kerr Forster. I then worked in the tax department of Medtronic, Inc. for five years. In 1994, I made a career change and began working as the primary financial person at several nonprofit organizations including Graywolf Press, Planned Parenthood, Minnesota Housing Partnership and The Green Institute. I finished up my full-time career in 2011 as Director of Financial Operations for Community Involvement Programs, a nonprofit social service agency with an annual budget of $21 million that supports people with developmental disabilities and severe and persistent mental illness.
Since my retirement, I have walked the “Camino” to Santiago de Compostella, Spain, enjoyed taking many OLLI (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) classes through the University of Minnesota, and worked part-time as financial consultant to Northcountry Cooperative Development Fund, a coop that lends funds to other coops.
My family and I joined First Universalist Church in the early 1980s where I continue to be a member. I enjoyed attending Camp UniStar nearly every year when my children were growing and have renewed that experience several times in the last few years. I especially like the final, “adults” only week because of the smaller scale and relaxed atmosphere. I enjoy being on the CUF Board and being part of the Camp UniStar family.
Term 1: 2022-2025
I retired as a high-risk perinatal RN from Swedish hospital in Seattle in 2018. I was honored to help pregnant people and their families on their journeys. So many variations of how things can go, and in 25+ years in OB, I was lucky to find such a rich career where I could be helpful.
I'm a long-time UniStar camper. I volunteered as a medic/counselor/co-leader of YW1 for 14 years. When I started, I wasn't sure how I felt about 65 teenagers all at once, but I found I was hooked. Hooked by the sincerity, the stretch and energy these young folks brought to supporting each other growing up. Camp provided a safe space to be themselves and talk about the pinch of societies expectation and injustices that make growing up so confusing and hard. It provided a place they could rely on being accepted. It's a gift I see camp aspiring to provide for all ages.
The dock, and the stars feel woven in my veins. It’s true for so many who come to camp. I hope I can help to sustain that future for new and returning campers.
Selection of Directors
The selection of the seven voting Directors is outlined in the By-Laws. Directors serve three-year terms, so each year two or three positions become available. All Directors must be at least 18 years old, have a demonstrated commitment to the camp and its vision, and have attended, worked at, or volunteered at Camp UniStar.
Three positions on the Board are appointed by the MidAmerica UUA Board. Recommendations are made by the MidAmerica Nominating Committee, after consultation with the CUF Nominating Committee. These positions require that the candidate is a Member of a MidAmerica UU congregation.
The four (4) remaining voting Directors shall be chosen from a slate presented by the Nominating Committee. They are approved by a majority of eligible voters. Any camper at least 16 years old who has attended, worked at, or volunteered at Camp UniStar in either the current or previous year, is eligible to vote.
If you are interested in being considered for the Board of Directors, please reach out to one of the Board members listed above