Staff Directory

audette fulson

Rev. Dr. Audette Fulbright Fulson

Lead Minister/Executive

The Rev. Dr. Audette Fulbright Fulson is the Lead Minister/Exec of UU Asheville. A graduate of Starr King School for the Ministry and Drew Theological Seminary who has previously served congregations in the South, on the West Coast, in the mid-West, and in New York City, her ministerial specialties include: the health of congregations, the development of ministers in formation, preaching and writing, and social justice. She has served in racial reconciliation and conflict resolution work for individuals and communities for over 15 years, and was delighted to perform the first LGBTQ marriage in Wyoming. She writes a well-regarded social media daily prayer series, and leads on the development of modern tools for the modern church. Rev. Audette interned with UU Asheville many years ago, and is soul-fed by the opportunity to return to this congregation, which has long held her heart.

With a doctorate in Public Theology, Audette has developed an educational and socio-spiritual process called ChangeCrafting, which allows individuals and groups to be more effective public change agents while also tending their personal and communal well-being.

Beyond the all-consuming passion of church and public ministry, Audette is married to her love, Rob Fulson, and they are the proud parents of two children, Ember and Mars. Ember is a successful entrepreneur and has been a UU leader in her own right, and Mars is a high school student and works in stage crafting. Their family is rounded out by two small and overly-energetic dogs, Bailey & Dexter, and two very large cat siblings, Blackberry & Pippa.
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Rev. Claudia Jiménez

Minister of Faith Development

Claudia has served as UUCA’s Minister of Faith Development since 2018.  Prior to her ordination, Rev. Jimenez served as Director of Religious Education at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Vero Beach, Florida from 2001 to 2018. She has 10 years of teaching experience in middle school science and in elementary schools in Colombia, Brazil, Canada, and Florida. While in Vero Beach, she also was elected for two terms to the Indian River County School Board from 2008 to 2016. She is a certified Religious Educator through the Liberal Religious Educator’s Association and is a trained Our Whole Lives (OWL) Facilitator and a certified sexuality educator.  She is married and has two adult daughters.  
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Dr. Leslie Downs

Music Director

In addition to serving as Music Director for UU Asheville, Leslie is active as both a solo and a collaborative pianist. He has performed in solo, lieder, chamber, and choral concerts throughout the United States and in Canada. He has also served as music director for regional musical theatre productions. For 16 years he worked as a freelance pianist/teacher/vocal coach in New York City and was principal accompanist for the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus for six seasons.  Dr. Downs holds degrees from Centenary College of Louisiana, Yale University, and the University of Oklahoma. He enjoys hiking, movies, theater, and murder mysteries. 
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Kim Collins

Religious Educator

Kim is a San Diego native and life-long UU. She grew up attending First Unitarian Universalist Church of San Diego and was a member of Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship prior to moving to Asheville and beginning her work at UU Asheville. Kim has lived on both coasts and is now happy to call the mountains her home. She enjoys cooking, reading, exploring Asheville and the surrounding areas, and tending to her pack of 3 dogs and 3 cats.
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Jen Johnson

Religious Educator

Jen revels in the energy of a group kids bonding, having fun, growing, and learning together. She is honored to be part of a nurturing and enriching RE program.  Jen has two instructions for you:  read the RE Section of the  Weekly eNews (it’s the best way to get informed!) and reach out to someone you want to meet! Getting connected and being involved is sooooooo gratifying and beneficial.  Being a nature lover, Jen likes to be outdoors to hike, run, soak in the sun. She also loves the chance to curl up with a good book, to make and eat a good soup, get competitive on family game night, or hear and watch the high school marching band perform. She also loves chocolate and listening to The Moth podcast.  
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Wendy Director


Director of Administration

Wendy serves as our Director of Administration and relocated with her family to Asheville in 2018.  Wendy worked in recreational administration before joining the UU Congregation of Asheville.  She is deeply committed to doing the hard work towards creating more equitable, diverse, and inclusive spaces.  She has provided leadership at local and national levels to help organizations assess their current landscape, develop strategic plans, create policies, and deliver training to foster equity, diversity, and inclusion.  Wendy has a strong background in organizational administration and she holds a Master of Science in Personnel Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Kinesiology.  Wendy is blessed with an amazing wife and three loving dogs.  She loves to hike and travel, and she and her wife love mountain fishing, cooking, the excitement of mystery and action movies, tv shows, and games, and hosting friends and family for dinner parties and game nights.
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Venny Zachritz

Connections Coordinator

Venny  moved to Asheville in January 2016 from Cumberland, MD with the idea that she would be living the easy, relaxing life of retirement.  But, alas, she found out that she was terribly bored and driving her poor husband crazy with the “honey-do” list.  So fortunately for her the job as Connections Coordinator came to her attention and here she is.  Venny loves to garden, educate and interact with people so this job was a perfect fit for her (except for gardening, she gets to educate and interact with the good folks at UU Asheville).  Come and talk with Venny if you want to volunteer at UU Asheville and she will connect you with the program that fits your talents.
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simon jacobs


Communications and Technical Specialist

Starting as a sound engineer for a London recording studio, Simon “accidentally” transitioned into the world of video post-production. In 1999, he and his family moved from their home in Claygate, England, to live in Virginia, New York, and New Hampshire. Since then, he has worked as a Video Editor and as a Technical Trainer, teaching video editing, data management, stage lighting, and newsroom broadcast production.

After spending 18 months traveling around the world with his family, they all returned to the UK in 2012 to live in the house that Simon grew up in. Five years later, there was yet another transatlantic move, this time to Asheville to be closer to his American family.

Simon loves to cook as well as create music and art. Unfortunately, he has also rediscovered his unhealthy obsession with collecting vinyl and listening to music that generally seems to upset his family and pets.
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coming soon<br />

Lauren Kriel

Interim Office Coordinator 
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