Secular Hub Board of Directors

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Barbara Sannwald


I have been a non-religious person all of my life. As a young adult seeking community, I got involved in various secular groups in the Denver area, hosting book groups, speakers, and social events. I became one of the founders of the Secular Hub in 2012 and joined the Board of Directors in 2016. During this time, the Hub has transformed into a thriving, vibrant community. I look forward to building the Secular Hub into a regional center that attracts major speakers, encourages stronger connections among local groups, and helps our secular community flourish.

My professional background includes 30 years as an Information Technology consultant, specializing in Oracle database development. I have an undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from the University of Denver.

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Monica Toole

Vice Chair

Monica and her family are proud members of the Secular Hub after moving to the Denver metro area two years ago and seeking similarly-minded groups shortly thereafter. She hopes to increase participation of other secular families in our community as we work to build and grow our diverse membership at the Secular Hub. Monica is also a member of the American Humanist Legal Society.

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Becky Greben


Becky grew up in a non-believing family in Chicago and moved to Denver in 1980 where she later joined the Humanists of Colorado and the (now defunct) Rocky Mountain Skeptics. She is a long time member of the national organizations The Center for Inquiry (publisher of Free Inquiry and Skeptical Inquirer magazines), and the National Center for Science Education. She is one of the founders of the Secular Hub. Becky holds Bachelor degrees in psychology and geology. She is retired from state government where she was the manager of several medical services programs in the Division of Workers’ Compensation. She is currently secretary of the Metro Denver chapter of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, and also the board secretary for the Western Interior Paleontological Society. She has been a volunteer at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for more than 21 years (working in the fossil preparation lab), and volunteers annually as a judge for the high school state science fair held at CSU.

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Heili D. Lehr


When I found the Secular Hub in 2014, I had recently gone through a divorce and was seeking community. As someone who grew up in a family of Secular Humanists, I was overjoyed to find such a large, vibrant group of like-minded people to call my friends. Over the years I have been involved with the Secular Singles group, the Secular Adventure Crew, the Events Committee bringing in national speakers and planning fun social events, the Relocation committee assisting with finding the Hub’s new home, and as a co-facilitator of the Death Café discussion group. I am a Mental Health Counselor in private practice who specializes in Loss, Change, Grief, Religious Trauma and Life Transitions and am listed on Recovering From Religion’s Secular Therapy Project directory. I have a deep and enduring passion for supporting the secular community in a wide variety of ways, and as a board member I am committed to the vision of a thriving, dynamic, inclusive and fun secular community center we can all call home for many years to come. and help the Hub continue to grow and reach out to our community.

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Smokey Aldhafiri


I was born and raised in Kuwait around Islamic traditions, but rejected Islam from a young age when aspects of it conflicted with my own thoughts towards a belief in higher power, morality and how the religion viewed people within its own community. As a gay man, I kept aspects of my own life very hidden and eventually moved to the United States (specifically Tennessee and later CO) where I could be the person I wanted to be. While in TN, I went to several different denominations of Christian churches and ultimately came to the belief in self-goodness. While I respect others with faith based beliefs, I myself became an atheist.

When I first connected with the secular community, it was very gratifying to find like minded individuals who just believe in themselves and the goodness they can bring into the world.

I have a BA in Business Administration from Colorado State University with a background in volunteering and working for community foundations, and nonprofits supporting the LGBTQ community in data management and fundraising efforts. I hope to bring my experience to help our community continue to grow and pass on the welcome that I myself have cherished by being a part of our organization.

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Joe Hickman


I was not raised a believer or necessarily an unbeliever. My grandmother, Catholic, would take me to church when I was a child. But after she passed away when I was 10, my parents didn't continue that tradition, or even speak about religion in the house.

I do not have the concept of a supreme being who created us and demands fealty and worship. If others wish to have that world view, and do not attempt to impose it on others, I do not have quarrel with them. For those who do want to impose it on everyone else, we need to stand up and fight that.

In college I majored in Business, minored in Psychology, and took every computer course they offered. This has stood me well in the work world, as I have been able to bridge gaps and see the world through multiple perspectives. In my career, much of my work has been as a liaison between groups, mediating the differences to bring people to common ground. I have board experience in both the non-profit and HOA worlds.

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River Wood


I am a born and raised preacher’s kid from a conservative fundamentalist cult. My family was kicked out of the church when I was a teenager, which left me adrift and agnostic/seeking for most of my adult life. Several years ago I got into atheist podcasts, and had a fairly traumatic “conversion” to atheism. Hearing about secular communities prompted me to look for one. As a queer/third-gender/ish primate who never fit in anywhere ever, and a lover of “worldly” music, I never missed the church or the bible, but I did miss having that “extended family” of caring humans the church came with. Well, I found that at the Hub. I’ve officially been a member for about a year, and I am immensely grateful to have found that “church home” I was missing.

Those podcasts also inspired me to finally go to university, and last year (2022) I graduated with a BS in Biology from CU Denver. During that time, I interned in a preclinical behavioral neuroscience lab where we studied effects of exercise and psychedelics on the brain. I worked as a Teaching Assistant in the Chemistry and Psychology departments starting in my second year, and taught first-year Biology labs (normally a grad student job) for my last three years, where I pushed some major changes into the curriculum. I loved all of it, even the math, and I’d do more school if money and time allowed. Prior to that, I held a wide array of jobs in IT, construction, sales, mortgage, and automotive fields. I’m Jill-of-all-trades, and I bring a broad (and weird) spectrum of experience with me.

My passion is writing about religious and humanist issues. Currently I’m splitting time between creating content for my YouTube channel, and odd jobs to pay the bills. And investing time and sweat into the Hub to help it grow. I’ve taken on yard work – both because I like gardening, and because it feels good to serve the community that makes me feel at home. I love the science talks, the comedy nights, the live music nights… and Sundays just hanging out and listening and meeting new humans and playing games.

My motivation to run for the board is the same thing that motivates everything else for me: empowering humanism. (And Robin made me do it!) I’ve committed my life to as much secular activism as I can manage, because there are still kids growing up in religious prison. The meme of my life says “be who you needed when you were younger”, and I want my one life to make a difference. I’ve spit fire at a state legislative committee, and I want to do it again. On the board or off, I will be working to fight theocracy and grow the Hub into the biggest baddest force for humanist good that it can be. The goal is world domination, with a Hub in every zip code, and I am here for it.

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