Board of Directors
The Humanist Society Board of Directors
Kathy Diedrich, President
Kathy Diedrich has been active in secular and humanist groups for nearly a decade, first as a member of AHA and later as a Humanist Celebrant. Kathy is also active in the Rochester Area FreeThinkers (RAFT) group, a local 501c3 secular organization. There she organizes events, secures speakers, and serves as Secretary on the Board of Directors.
Following a first career at IBM, where she served as a software engineer, manager and project manager, Kathy took a very different professional path and launched Minnesota Life Celebrations. Using her credential as a Humanist Celebrant, and leveraging her newly earned certificate credentials in Weddings, Funerals and Memorials, and Ceremonies for Families and Children, Kathy has been providing professional secular ceremony services since 2010. She has performed over 250 ceremonies, writing each one to meet the needs and wishes of her clients. While the demand for secular services came as somewhat of a surprise, Kathy is happy to provide custom, meaningful ceremonies throughout southeastern Minnesota, and to often be the first face of Humanism for her clients.
Sarah Ray, Vice President
Sarah is a transgender atheist woman who left Christianity with a passion for community building–especially in rural areas where it’s often difficult to be “out” or find like-minded people. She came to humanism out of the “angry atheist” phase on seeing a need for secular communities to focus our energy into productive, positive impacts in our world. Sarah is an endorsed Humanist Celebrant, Support Group Leader with Recovering from Religion, co-founder and Director of the Atheist Community of Polk County, and Producer/Host of the show “Freethought in Florida”.
Steven R. Bechtel, Secretary & Treasurer
Steven R. Bechtel is a graduate of the Tulane University and The George Washington University Law School. He is the senior partner of the Mateer & Harbert law firm in Orlando, Florida. Steve is also an Arbitrator and holds a Florida Real Estate Salesman’s License. Steve’s community service has included holding office in civic organizations and voluntary service on governmental boards in the Central Florida area. Steve has been a secular humanist most of his adult life. He has been a member of the American Humanist Association for several years and regularly attends its annual conferences. Steve also is a member of the Board of Directors of the Secular Coalition for America. In 2012, Steve became a Humanist Society Celebrant and has greatly enjoyed presenting a secular prospective to events which are so significant to people’s lives, such as weddings and memorial services, throughout Florida. Steve teaches a class in Humanism at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
Keith Becher has been a Humanist Celebrant for over 5 years, and has officiated weddings, memorials, funerals, recommitment ceremonies, along with providing invocations for various government meetings in his community. He currently serves as a director for the Central Florida Freethought Community. He is President and co-founder of the Humanist Community of the Space Coast, a Brevard County area group that focuses on community service, volunteerism, community outreach, and education. Keith also serves on the Board of the Florida Humanist Association, and the Space Coast Freethought Association.
After years of indoctrination into the Catholic church as a child, and then the Evangelical church as a married adult, she let go of things that insulted her intelligence. Randa left religion over 17 years ago and is an Atheist and Humanist Celebrant. She is an active member of the Central Florida FreeThought Community and a lifetime member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, having won the “Nothing Fails Like Prayer” Award in 2021. Randa enjoys giving invocations at city council meetings and works to insure the separation of church and state.
As a professional actor, Randa enjoyed working for Nickelodeon Studios for eight years as a Game Show Host in the live show, Game Lab, as well as numerous featured roles on the network’s sitcoms. She portrayed an FBI agent in The Cape, a drama series starring Corbin Bernsen, and has starred in Unsolved Mysteries and several episodic TV shows. Randa has appeared in hundreds of National and Regional Commercials and Industrials (Toyota, Delta, Angel Soft, Kellogg’s Crispix, K-Mart, Burger King, Ford, Walt Disney World, Holiday Inn, Sears, etc…). She continues to do commercials and voice-over work and lives in the Orlando area.
Jason Callahan is the Chaplain for the Thomas Palliative Care Unit at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Massey Cancer Center and an Instructor for the Departments of Patient Counseling and Pastoral Care at VCU. Jason is a seminary educated secular chaplain, endorsed by the Humanist Society and nationally board certified by the Association of Professional Chaplains. Prior to coming to VCU, Jason worked as an advertising executive and trauma informed professional counselor. He is passionate about increasing the numbers of non-theistic board certified chaplains. He is also a member of the Greater Richmond Humanists.
Jess Dapson is a graduate of Utica College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Syracuse University and Master of Science degree. She is dedicated to serving the public, as both a high school teacher and humanist celebrant who both officiates secular and interfaith weddings and performs secular memorial services. Both a member of the American Humanist Association (AHA) and board member of her local chapter of the AHA, Jess is a progressive, secular humanist who dedicates much of her time to serving numerous communities in various capacities. She formerly served as executive co-chair of the Secular Coalition for New York and wrote op-ed pieces for Pique, Newsletter of the Secular Humanist Society of New York. Together with her spouse, they raise their children in a humanist-minded household where they proudly integrate The Ten Commitments into their daily routines.
Ben is now an endorsed Humanist Chaplain, but he was raised in the evangelical church. Over time his academic studies in Judaism (at The Ohio State University) and Bible Interpretation (at the University of Oxford) challenged him to rethink how he understood religion and spirituality. Eventually this rethinking led him to humanism and its progressive outlook on life. Humanist values continue to inspire Ben’s work as a professional chaplain for a major hospital system where he helps people find their inherent worth and dignity. When he’s not out visiting patients, he’s teaching new chaplains and volunteering with his local AHA chapter, the Humanist Community of Central Ohio. He is the first Humanist Chaplain certified by the Humanist Society to seek certification from the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education as a Certified Educator.
Jocelyn Williamson is a lifelong atheist and Humanist, as well as an endorsed Humanist Celebrant and Invocator. She serves as the President of the Florida Humanist Association and co-founded the Central Florida Freethought Community (CFFC). The CFFC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization of freethinkers, Humanists, atheists, and secularists working and playing together with reason and compassion as guiding principles. She serves as a Florida Representative for the Freedom From Religion Foundation, State Director for the American Atheists and serves on the Board for the BE Orlando Humanist Fellowship.
Nadya Dutchin, Executive Director
Nadya Dutchin joins The Humanist Society with more than 10 years of community engagement, strategic partnership, youth program development, multi-method fundraising, and change management experience. Previously, she was the Co-Executive Director of Power Shift Network, a Washington, DC-based climate justice organization where she led the Communications and Fundraising programs. While there, she emphasized that the climate crisis cannot be addressed without directly linking the impact of environmental racism on people and worked to center Black, Indigenous, and POC youth within the climate justice movement. Prior to that, Nadya spent 7 years at Be The Match Registry where she first worked as a Community Engagement Representative and then as the National Account Executive where she provided coaching and mentoring to the Community Engagement Representatives and leveraged many public speaking opportunities to create awareness about the need for more bone marrow donors of color. While at Be The Match she cultivated strategic partnerships, fundraised, managed national patient-focused campaigns, and created the largest college recruitment program called Be The Match on Campus. She currently serves as the Board President of The Common Good Generation and is the Vice President (currently, Interim President) of Our Climate. Nadya is of Afro-Indo Guyanese heritage and a proud Alumna of Florida A&M University where she studied Molecular and Cellular Biology. She loves The Muppets, reading fiction, supporting local restaurants, visiting museums, the thrill of live music, and most of all; watching movies and cuddling with her daughter.