Members of the Vestry

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Pete Lindsay, Senior Warden

The Episcopal Church was an anchor of stability in the life of this Navy Junior. Pete attended five different parishes on both coasts before he attended Holy Trinity while an undergraduate at Miami from 1968-1972. Commissioned as an Ensign upon graduation, there was service aboard a destroyer homeported in Long Beach, CA, and Seattle, WA and then as an Instructor in the Department of English and History at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. Upon completion of an MA at Miami in 1979, “tours of duty” as swimming coach followed at Western Michigan University (Women and Men) and the University of Michigan (Women) before returning to Oxford in 1985 as Men’s Coach.  He retired after the Olympic Trials in 2016 and is looking forward to serving and growing with Holy Trinity and the community while devoting spare time to restoration of a beloved first car-a 1973 MGB GT.

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Hugo Olaiz, Junior Warden

Hugo was born in La Plata, Argentina, where he earned a degree in Classics and Literature. After serving a two-year mission in Paraguay, he emigrated to the U.S. for a Master’s and a Doctorate in Hispanic Linguistics. He started to attend the Episcopal Church in the year 2000. He works for Forward Movement, a publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, translating and creating original resources for Latino/Hispanic congregations. He and his husband are the “parents” of an aging Beagle mix named Patches.  


Vestry Class of 2020

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John Harper

John and his family have been attending regularly for nearly four years. John grew up in the Presbyterian (USA) Church, in Parkville, Missouri, Tampa, Florida and Charlottesville, Virginia. Miami University brought John and his wife Suzanne to Ohio from Virginia, as Suzanne joined the mathematics faculty. They have two sons, Henry 14, and Thomas 12, who were recently baptized into the Episcopal Church at Holy Trinity July 1, 2018. John is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, and he works in sales at Area9 Lyceum, an education software company. John also volunteers time with Oxford Scout Troop 930 and Miami Little League. He has been an active member of the Family Ministry Committee at Holy Trinity and helped build the collaborative youth program with Oxford Presbyterian and Faith Lutheran Churches.

Chris Shoker (Bio and photo coming soon)

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My wife, Lara and I, are both Oxford natives. We attended Talawanda Schools then went on to Miami University. Professionally, I work with my sister, Lee Ann and brother Reid, managing our family’s business ventures, performing consulting services that include infrastructure analysis and site selection for Jobs Ohio, and working full-time as an owner-member of Agra Greenhouse Group. After work, I am an avid fan of Miami Ice Hockey, Football, and supporter of the Oxford Farmers Market Uptown. I’ve also been part of the effort to make TOPSS (Talawanda Oxford Pantry & Social Services) a reality. Since we began attending Holy Trinity, I’ve enjoyed the privilege of helping to cook community dinners, and have served on the outreach committee, nominating committee, and building committee. In February of 2017, I was selected to become a member of Vestry. Lara and I are truly thankful for all of the blessings we’ve received since becoming a part of the Holy Trinity family.  

 

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Margaret Swann Smith

Margaret grew up in eastern North Carolina and attended Meredith College, a women’s college in Raleigh. During her college years she met her future husband Jeff.  The Smiths adopted three wonderful children: Sara, Susanna, and David.  Margaret was privileged to be a stay-at-home mom while her children were young. This allowed her to volunteer as a “classroom helper” during their elementary school years.

Margaret is active in the Oxford NAACP, Des Fleurs Garden Club, Miami’s ILR classes, and the Audubon Society. She loves animals and likes watching wild birds at the feeders in her yard.  Her most serious and consistent hobby for the past 20 years has been planting flowers, trees, and shrubs in her yard, with a recent interest in native plants.

Margaret joined Holy Trinity in 2017 and has helped with Wednesday Community Dinners, Habitat for Humanity, and landscape maintenance.  She enjoys Adult Forum and Coffee Hour.  Reared in a strict Southern Baptist family and having tried many denominations as an adult, Margaret appreciates the welcoming spirit and unconditional love of the Episcopal Church and Holy Trinity.  She also loves the wonderful, inspiring music at Holy Trinity.

Sadly, last October, Margaret’s husband of thirty-seven years lost a brief and fierce battle with a very aggressive type of lymphoma.  Rev. Sara Palmer and others at Holy Trinity were great sources of strength during Jeff’s illness and continue to share their love with Margaret, Sara, Susanna and David.  Friendships here continue to grow stronger.

Class of 2021

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Martin Ganev

I have been attending Holy Trinity since the age of three. My involvement with the church began when I was eight, when I began to serve as an acolyte. Last year, I accepted the role of social media intern for the student ministry; with that came a responsibility to expand engagement with Miami students and the church leadership. This year, I am studying at Miami University as a freshmen, majoring in Architecture and minoring in German. Given the existing role I had with the student ministry, and living as a student this year, as a vestry member I will prioritize making Holy Trinity an inclusive, fun, and welcoming place for students. I look forward to working with vestry members to keep improving the great parish we love!

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Debbie Benkovitz Williams

Debbie has belonged to Holy Trinity for two and a half years, and is a member of the church choir, co-chair of the Stewardship & Development Committee, as well as the Vestry. A native of Cincinnati, Debbie moved to Oxford recently after marrying parishioner Peter Williams.   She earned a bachelor’s degree in Music Education at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music; received her Music Therapy Equivalency from Duquesne University; and holds a Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh.    Although retired from clinical practice, Debbie is active in the American Music Therapy Association, of which she recently became President-Elect.  Debbie is happy to be a member of Holy Trinity, a community of good, generous and spiritual people.    Service on the Vestry and as Stewardship & Development Co-Chair has helped fulfill her desire to be an active part of this vibrant and welcoming community.  

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Lisa Staggs Herrmann

Lisa joins the Holy T vestry to fill the unexpired term of Caroline Grace Williams. She has been attending Holy Trinity for three years and is part of the Greeter team. Lisa grew up in Hamilton and graduated from Miami University, Oxford.  She joined Trinity Episcopal Church in Hamilton soon after graduating from college. She has been employed for 31 years at Butler Rural Electric Cooperative where she is the administrator of the Butler Rural Community Connection which give grants to organizations in the communities served by the cooperative. Her husband, Jim, is a bronze sculptor specializing in paleo, fantasy, and wildlife art. Her daughter, Maggie, is 20 years old and a student at the University of Cincinnati. Her son, Erik is 16 years old and a junior at Stephen T. Badin High School in Hamilton. Lisa also volunteers for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event.

Class of 2022

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Ken Grabach

Librarian emeritus, retired from Miami University, where I was employed for 30 years.  I spent 5 years before that as a civil service librarian for the U.S. Army.  I am a member of the choir, and serve as a Eucharistic Minister. 






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Ellen Reister

I am a cradle Episcopalian, and was baptized, confirmed and married at Church of the Ascension and Holy Trinity in Wyoming, Ohio.  My husband, John, and I live in Hamilton where we raised two daughters who now live out of town with their families.  I’ve been actively involved with Planned Parenthood since shortly after college, currently serving on the Cincinnati Region Foundation Board.  I was one of the founders of PARACHUTE: Butler County Advocates, and served on their Board of Trustees and ultimately as part-time staff in development.

I have been coming to Holy Trinity since 2012 because of the community of intelligent, faithful and welcoming parishioners.  I joined the Altar Guild in 2013 and became director in 2015.  I served on the Rector Search Committee from 2015-2016, and I am currently a lay reader.  I am looking forward to serving on Vestry and following in the footsteps of all parishioners who have helped lead Holy Trinity throughout the years.

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Bonnie Mason

Bonnie Mason, along with husband Warren and twin sons, Alexander and Christopher, became part of the Holy Trinity community in the mid-1970s.  Since then, their involvement in the life of the parish has been both varied and personally satisfying.  Bonnie was very pleased to be elected to the Vestry in 2019.  She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, has an MA from Miami University and has done additional postgraduate study at both the University of Cincinnati and Ohio State University.  At Miami, Bonnie served as Interim Director of the University Art Museum, as Curator of Education, and she was also a member of the teaching faculty on both the Oxford campus and in Luxembourg.  Since retiring, Bonnie has enjoyed volunteer work with the Oxford Community Arts Center, the Oxford Kiwanis Club, and other organizations.