An introduction to our new UUCW Board of Trustees President, Rob Zimmerman

Karen and I joined UUCW in 1999 to provide our young children a liberal religious education and to be part of a caring, progressive community. Now adults, both Madalina and Alex are building their own lives, but we are still here and as committed to UUCW’s success as ever. I previously served on the Board from 2007-2010 and have been a member of numerous committees and work groups including Earth Ministry, Build 2020, the Nominating Committee, and long-range planning. When not at home or work, I love to travel. I’ve been to all 50 states and 29 countries. On our trips, Karen and I enjoy visiting national and state parks, hiking, visiting fun restaurants and microbreweries, and spending time with friends and family members.

The most recent chapter of my career was in corporate sustainability—advocating for investments, policies, and innovations that reduce our collective impact on the Earth’s ecosystems. I was fortunate to do this meaningful work for Kohler Co. for nearly 15 years before deciding to retire in late 2019. After two years of retirement, I felt there was still more I could contribute, so I decided to return to work in May as the director of sustainability for Reyes Coca-Cola Bottling. This puts me in the middle of issues such as plastics recycling, sustainable use of water resources, renewable energy, electric vehicles, and more. I’m also the chair of the Wauwatosa Sustainability Committee, a volunteer advisory committee to city government. Recently, I’ve been struck by similarities between environmental sustainability and anti-racism/anti-oppression work.  Both involve changing systems/organizations where decisions are made in ways that harm or disenfranchise others, whether they be those with marginalized identities or future generations. Much needs to be done to bring about a sustainable and equitable society. I believe Unitarian Universalism provides a strong grounding for this work.

I’m honored to be serving on your Board of Trustees as President of the congregation during this pivotal year.  It will be a time of reflection and learning for all of us, done in a spirit of trust and mutual respect. I encourage all of you to reach out and ask questions of me and other board members, and to engage in the work of ministerial transition. If we do, we will come out of it stronger and with more capacity to live our values here and in the wider community.

Rob Zimmerman

To communicate with Rob, email here.