Board of Trustees

Unity of the Valley Board of Trustees

Rev. Laurie Brandt

Reverend Laurie became the spiritual leader of Unity of the Valley in February of 2017 after about a year and a half of supporting us as a periodic guest speaker throughout our transition period without a minister.

With an initial background in business and administration and over 20 years in various corporate settings, a mid-life calling shifted her work to facilitating healing of body, mind, and spirit through holistic physical and energetic methods and through teaching spiritual truth. She's qualified as a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner, licensed Master Aesthetician, and Neuromuscular Massage Therapist as well as a spiritual leader. 

Since 1986, Rev. Laurie has been an avid Unity student and has served Unity centers in leadership and healer capacities since 1989. She was ordained as a Minister of Healing in 2000 and completed the extensive course work required to be recognized as a Licensed Unity Teacher in 2009. For over 10 years, she was spiritual leader of Unity in the Heart in St. Paul.


Sharron Grocott, President

Sharron began attending Unity of the Valley classes in the mid-1990s when the center was in Apple Valley and became a member in 1998. In the "old days," the Center had two pictures of Unity Village on opposite walls of the worship area. Every Sunday, she would say to herself, I have to go there. After finally attending a retreat at the Village in 2001, she entered the Spiritual Education and Leadership program (LUT training) and completed all the classwork. In 2003, she was elected to Unity of the Valley's board. Since then, she's had a variety of duties at the Center and has now returned to board duty. She also heads the Hospitality activities, which include everything that has to do with food.  

Sharron calls Unity of the Valley her spiritual resource and her "other family." She says she considers serving the members of this community a great honor.

Jeff Scheffler, Vice President

Jeff was elected as a board member in January of 2017. He has served as a prayer chaplain at Unity of the Valley for eight years, three of which he was a co-director of the Prayer Chaplain Ministry. He's now serving as an emeritus prayer chaplain. 

A graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, Jeff became a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner as well as a Certified Shiatsu Massage Therapist.

He enjoys handyman work around home, at the family's lake place, and at Unity, where he's contributed his time and talent on such projects as implementing the redesign of the Uniteen room and building sets for the children's Christmas program. He also likes reading spiritual books, walking, swimming, and anything outdoors, including playing with Toby and Oscar, the family's two dogs

An engineer by trade, for many years Jeff contributed his engineering skills in both the food and medical device industries. Currently, he’s a substitute teacher in Independent School District 196. He's also a sports coach and an active dad of two children--Sam, 13, and Alissa, 14 (in 2017)--who enjoy the youth program at Unity. His wife Stephanie is also a member of Unity of the Valley. 


Lisa Shaw, Secretary

Lisa has practiced as a Registered Nurse for over 40 years and recently committed to completing her Healing Touch Certification. She currently works at home part-time for Allina Health and also has a small business making jewelry. Her passion has always been to help people come together to achieve the highest good for the organization. She says learning and practicing unconditional love is one of her most important lessons and Unity of the Valley is the best place to be for that support.

She and her husband Charlie joined Unity to continue to grow together and also to participate in the many service and learning opportunities available through the Center. Lisa first attended Nia Dance class and expanded her involvement from there, helping lead the Decorating Team and participating as a healer in the biannual Healing Service. Charlie helps out in the children's program.


Erin Schroer, Treasurer

In about 2007, Erin was searching for a spiritual philosophy and home that would fit her expanding spiritual journey. Upon an aunt's recommendation, she attended a seminar at Unity of the Valley and "the rest was history." She began attending regularly and since then has volunteered as a Kitchen Angel and in the nursery. She's been on the Event Planning Team for five years and has helped with the Spring Fling, SnoDazzle, and, recently, the Halloween party. Erin is also a faithful member of the Joyful Singers choir. 


Sherry Johnson, Member-at-Large 
The first time Sherry came to Unity she knew she'd found her church home. She loved the messages and wanted to learn more about the Unity philosophy. She became a prayer chaplain almost as soon as she became a member in 2007 and still serves in that capacity. She was the volunteer coordinator for almost two years and has also helped with the Spring Fling.
Sherry's very proud to say she earned her college degree at the age of 54 and her master's degree from Bethel College when she was 62. Having had a career in long-term care for 11 years, she now works part-time in a care center for seniors. 
With two grown children and four grandchildren, Sherry enjoys babysitting her granddaughter one afternoon a week. She's happy to have the opportunity to serve her third year as a Unity of the Valley Board member.

Mary Schulz, Member-at-Large 

Mary works as a project manager for Boston Scientific. Her hobbies are reading, writing, and gardening.

She knew the first time she walked in the door of Unity of the Valley that she had found her spiritual home. She has helped out with the counting, the gardens, and marketing. In addition, she worked in the front office for a short time before she got her present job and considered it the best job she's ever had.

Mary lives in Savage with her "amazing" husband Mick. Her two grown children are in their early twenties and are the center of her world. Her stepson and his wife and two children also light up her life.