Members of the Rector Search Committee

Karen Schilling, Chair

Raised in the Roman Catholic Church in an old textile and shoe mill town in Massachusetts, Karen attended Tufts University and completed the Ph.D. in clinical psychology at the University of Florida.  In 1975 she joined the faculty in the Department of Psychology at Miami and eventually served as Coordinator of Women’s Studies, University Director of Liberal Education, Department Chair, and finally, Dean of the College of Arts and Science.  Karen, husband Karl, and daughter Erin joined Holy Trinity over 25 years ago. After retiring in 2010, Karen joined the Vestry and now serves on the Rector Search Committee.  Weekday mornings, Karen cares for her toddler grandson Emmett who lives with his parents in nearby Hamilton; and early afternoons, she visits husband Karl who now lives in the Memory Unit at the Knolls of Oxford after being diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease over a decade ago.  Karen continues to enjoy their shared passions for travel, theater, and movies, reading and cooking.

Bob Benson, Vice-Chair

Bob and wife Rosalyn have been members of Holy Trinity for over 30 years. He has served in several capacities in the parish music program, as Senior Warden and on two committees of the Diocese of Southern Ohio. He is a Lay Eucharistic Minister, a licensed Lay Worship Leader, and Acolyte Co-ordinator.  An architectural historian, he was chair of Miami University's Department of Architecture and Interior Design for 15 years.  He retired from Miami in June 2015.

Elaine Brandner

Elaine Brandner has been a member of the parish since 1978.  She has served on Vestry, the Visioning Committee for the new Community Wing, and is a greeter/oblationist.  She has been the Senior Interior Designer for Miami University's Housing, Dining, Recreation and Business Services for 25 years; and has volunteered her design skills at Holy Trinity on several occasions.

Patsy Grabach

Patsy and her husband Ken began attending Holy T on Christmas Eve 2012.  She has been an Adult Services Librarian at Oxford Lane Library for 28 years.  She likes bicycling, sewing, reading, cooking, and playing with Clifford, their big red cat.  On the Rector Search Committee, Patsy is known as a shrewd text editor.


Neil Poppendeck, Chaplain

Our family, consisting of my spouse Mary and our daughters Laura and Heidi, moved to Oxford in 1985.  We joined Holy Trinity church in December 2003.  Within a year I was elected to the Vestry.  I have served on the grounds committee; and at present, Mary and I are co-coordinators of the grounds committee.  I currently serve on both the Vestry and the Rector Search Committee.

Dan Pratt

Dan graduated from Miami University with a B.S. in Accountancy.  He is a police lieutenant with the City of Hamilton and currently lives in Reily Township.  Dan has attended Holy Trinity since 2008. He has served on Vestry for three years and assisted with campus ministry for two years.  Dan has a small farm and raises horses, donkeys, llamas, goats, and chickens.  Joe, one of his donkeys, makes an annual appearance at Holy Trinity's Palm Sunday service.

Ellen Reister, Communications

Ellen has been a member of Holy Trinity for three years.  She holds the BA in English from Vanderbilt and worked in advertising before moving into development and fundraising for non-profits.  She is a board member of the Planned Parenthood Southwest Ohio Region and board chair of the Planned Parenthood Cincinnati Region Foundation.  She is the Director of the Altar Guild at Holy Trinity.  Ellen and husband John have two daughters and two grandchildren.