Phil Wilhem

Dr. Phil WilhelmPhil has been lifelong member of the United Church of Christ.  He currently serves as Director of Music at O’Fallon UCC and has been in that role for nearly 20 years.  Phil has served on both the board of the Illinois South Conference and the former Executive Council of the National Setting.  He attended the LIFE program Eden in its early years. Phil has a lifelong service in education.  He taught in the public school system before going to McKendree University, where he trained future teachers.  Phil retired early to pursue other interests, but continues to adjunct for Illinois State University.   Phil has a Bachelors and Masters degree in music and a PhD in education.  He has been a supporter of Kindercottage for many years and is honored to be serving on the board of directors.


Judy Brickey
Vice President

Judy Brickey is retired from IBM Corporation.  Prior to joining IBM she was a secondary school teacher for a number of years, teaching Junior High in Collinsville, IL.  She began her career at IBM, in administration, later becoming a Systems Engineer focusing on midrange computers, eventually she became a technical sales representative.  Judy is married and has a daughter and son-in-law who have blessed her with a granddaughter, who is now in high school. Judy is a member of St. John Evangelical United Church of Christ in Collinsville.  She enjoys working with the staff at Kindercottage as they continue their mission of providing well deserved services to the children and families of East St. Louis.


Rev. Mike Southcombe

After a career in the retail and wholesale shoe business, Mike Southcombe and his family moved to Eden Seminary from which he graduated in 1995.  Mike served as pastor at St. John’s UCC in Brighton for 15 years and for the last 6 years has served St. John UCC in Wood River.  While in Brighton, his wife, Sue, managed a home day care, primarily caring for teachers’ children so they had the summer and holidays off.  Sue is now a Canine Care Assistant at the Humane Society in Alton, IL.  Mike and Sue have 3 children: Brandon, married to Diana, is a Petty Officer 1st Class in the U.S. Navy and they account for the Southcombe’s 4 grandchildren and they are currently serving in Italy; Laura, married to Amy, is an accountant with Cass Banking; and Elizabeth is the director of children and youth programming at the Messenger Public Library in N. Aurora, IL.  Mike has served as Board member and Chair of the Hitz Memorial Nursing Home, is currently chair of the Hoyleton Ministries Board; has served as Moderator of the Illinois South Conference; served on various committees of the ISC; is one of the conference’s church conflict mediators and has been a PRN Chaplain at SSM DePaul and Alton Memorial Hospitals for 20+ years.  Mike and Sue share a deep appreciation and devotion to the ministry of Uni-Pres Kindercottage and he is pleased to serve on this board.


Dr. Carla Monroe-Posey

Carla Monroe-Posey, PhD, is a licensed clinical social worker and administrator.  Currently she is executive director at St. Vincent Home for Children, a nonprofit organization in North St. Louis County serving troubled teens and their families.  Carla is married to her high school sweetheart, Doug Posey, who helps edit the Kindercottage newsletter.  They have two grown sons, both happily married, four grandsons and one granddaughter.  Carla is a member of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Lebanon, IL and first joined the Kindercottage Board in 2006.  She is passionately dedicated to Kindercottage and its mission of educating and serving preschoolers because she knows the difference Kindercottage makes in the lives of its kids and their families.


Johann Ellerbrake



Rev. Kris Avise-Rouse

Rev. Kristofer K. Avise-Rouse (Eden ’06) is the Associate Pastor for Youth and Family Ministries at St. Paul United Church of Christ, Columbia Illinois. Having grown up all over the country from Iowa to California and Texas to Boston, Mass, Kris has lived in the St. Louis Metro for most of his adult life.
Kris has a Bachelor degree in media communication from Webster Univ., St. Louis and a Master of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary, St. Louis.
In his ninth year at St. Paul, Kris also serves on the Illinois South Conference UCC Preparation Team of the Church and Ministry Committee, and as an adult advisor to the Youth Planning Team which puts on the Winter Weekend youth retreat. Kris is married to Nicole Avise-Rouse (south St. Louis city born and raised) and they have two sons Kristian 18, headed to college and Casey 15, a rising sophomore. In his free time Kris enjoys knitting, reading, disc golf, video games, cooking, boats, and coffee.


Laura Coracy

Laura Coracy
I live in Collinsville and am married to my husband Mike who is a financial advisor and we have a daughter Anna, who is a sophomore at Collinsville High School. I have been an Early Childhood Special Education teacher in Granite City, IL for 21 years. My family and I currently attend church at First Christian Church in Edwardsville and previously attended at St. John Evangelical Church in Collinsville. I am now serving for a second year on the Kindercottage Board. I feel honored to be a part of such an amazing organization that does so much for both young children and their families.


Donna Crider



Tom Ellison



Rev. Joy Myers

I have spent a lot of time volunteering in my life….  Married for 48 years, my spouse, Ron, retired from the Illinois Toll Hiway Authority in 2007 when I received a call to be Associate Pastor in Edwardsville, IL.  A late bloomer, I graduated from college (Northern Illinois University) in 1989 with a teaching degree (BS Ed and again in 1996 with a Master’s degree in Education (MS Ed – Instructional Technology/Instructional Design).  Going to Seminary in 1997 and graduating from McCormick Theological Seminary in 2000 then beginning work as Associate Pastor at Fox Valley Presbyterian Church in Geneva, IL.  I was actually ordained before graduation!  I became Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church Edwardsville in the fall of 2006 retiring from that position Dec 2015.  Currently I serve as part-time Stated Clerk for the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy.

I’ve spent time as a timer and record keeper for my children’s swim team breathing in chlorine!  I’ve served on boards of directors for several organizations and currently serve on the board at Uni-Pres Kindercottage in East St Louis.  Ron and I served as Foster parents through the Dept of Children and Family Services in Illinois and adopted two children.  Our daughter lives in Southern Missouri after losing her husband of 20 years in 2015.  Our son died in 1995.


Rev. Paul Thompson

Paul H. Thompson, Jr. was born in 1948 in Sharon, Pennsylvania.
He attended and graduated from McPherson College in 1971 with a B.A. in English.
In August 1971, he married Marilyn Dyson at Waterloo, Iowa.
On January 31, 1978 their first daughter Susannah was born at Omaha, Nebraska. 
From February 1978 until August 1984, he served Brentford United Church of Christ, Mellette United Methodist Church, and Mansfield Presbyterian Church in South Dakota. During their time there, their second daughter Rebekah was born on August 21 1982 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. 
In August 1984, they moved to Wakarusa, Indiana where Paul served Zion United Church of Christ, Wakarusa and St. John United Church of Christ, Woodland.
He served St. John United Church of Christ in Maeystown, Illinois from August 1990 until September 2003 when he moved to St. John United Church of Christ, Minier, Illinois from where he retired June, 2014. In retirement, he lives in Red Bud and belongs to Zion United Church of Christ in Waterloo.


Roger Watson