Staff Announcements – September 2014


Christie Duncan-Tessmer recently assumed her role as General Secretary of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting effective September 1, 2014. Christie previously served as the Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life since 2008 and was the Children’s Religious Education Coordinator from 2005 to 2008. Prior to her tenure with Philadelphia Yearly Meeting she held positions at Friends General Conference, the Newtown Friends School and leadership roles at several Delaware Valley social service nonprofit organizations. For more information about Christie, please see the complete announcement about her appointment.

Zachary T. Dutton joined our organization as Associate Secretary for Program and Religious Life, effective September 1, 2014. Zachary has been a leader in the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting community for over ten years. Within various capacities, he has brought a vision of a yearly meeting whose increased connection engenders vibrant ministry, thought leadership and growth for Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and the wider Religious Society of Friends. Zachary worked and studied at Haverford College and Harvard Divinity School and recently served as the Coordinator for Western Quarterly Meeting and Co-Clerk of the PYM Young Adult Friends Working Group. He is an avid foodie, Alabama football enthusiast and coffee drinker. Zachary resides in Philadelphia with his partner and two imaginary dogs.

Elizabeth Piersol Schmidt will assume her new role as Young Adult Friends (YAF) Coordinator on September 15, 2014. Elizabeth became involved in Philadelphia Yearly Meeting through our Youth Programs, attending Young Friends gatherings and chaperoning Middle School Friends events as a teenager.  After high school she continued to serve as a Friendly Adult Presence for Middle School Friends and Young Friends including serving as the Middle School Friends Assistant.  In 2006 Elizabeth joined PYM staff as Children’s Sessions Coordinator.  In 2011 she became the part-time Young Adult Friends Communications Coordinator & Retreat Planner; and for the past four and a half years she has also worked at the Parent-Infant Center in West Philadelphia as the lead teacher for the kindergarten after school class. Elizabeth lives and worships in West Philadelphia. Elizabeth cooks, bakes, gardens, is passionate about sustainable food systems and has recently entered into world of canning. She takes classes in circus aerials and is currently training to be a yoga teacher.  She gets into the woods to hike as often as she can.