Board of Directors
The Humanist Society Board of Directors
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.
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.
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.
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”.