Coordinating Council

The Coordinating Council of the NIA is a group of diverse religious leaders from our community. We Gather semi-monthly to chart the course of the organization. Members are elected and diversity is ensured by careful consideration. Any full member of the NIA can be elected to the Coordinating Council.

Father Chuck Durante

NIA President 

Fr. Chuck Durante is rector at St. Thomas Aquinas Cathedral and Vicar General for the
Diocese of Reno. He has served in various parishes and ministries in the Reno and Carson City area, including high school chaplain, Diocesan Vocation Director, parochial vicar and pastor. He is the chair of the Life, Peace & Justice Commission of the Diocese of Reno.

Pat Meidell

NIA Treasurer

Patricia Meidell grew up in Idaho. She got a BS from ISU and MA from NAU. She taught high school for 17 years. As a Certified Financial Planner, she opened her own financial planning firm. She moved her family to Reno in l992. She and her son still work together at American Wealth Management.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Pat has held various positions. Currently, she serves as associate director in Public Affairs/ Communications. In this capacity, she became involved in interfaith, representing her Church and serving the interfaith community.

She actively served as President of the Nevada Interfaith Association from 2017-2020. She currently serves on the Board of Directors and as treasurer. Pat also serves on the Renown Foundation Board and was instrumental in creating the Interfaith Spiritual Center at Renown. Pat initiated the NIA Youth Conference in 2018.

Pat loves to read, garden, and, best of all, be a grandmother to her grandchildren.

Pamela Kellerstrass

NIA Corporate Secretary

Pamela Kellerstrass is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and serves as Interfaith Specialist for the Church’s Global Communications Network in the Communication Department. A Navy brat to the core, she was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and went to first and second grade in Guam. She spent her growing up years in Southern California. Pamela is the owner and CEO of Allstates Warehousing and Distribution. She plays piano, organ and has conducted many choirs. She was the choir director for the 1987 and 1988 Governor’s Prayer Breakfast when the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast was sponsored. Her passions are genealogy/family history, quilting, oil painting, and writing. Her joy is her family. Pamela and her husband, Jack, have six children and 18 grandchildren, thirteen of these are boys. She has been heard to say, “Holidays at my house are loud.”

Dr. Bradley S. Corbin, DC

Bradley is married to Genevieve Metro; they have raised four girls mixing in a stepdaughter, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren.

Bradley is a member of the Baha’i Faith and is currently serving on the Local Spiritual Assembly of Sparks serving as the LSA’s treasurer. He is a past Board Member and treasurer for the Nevada Chiropractic Association.

Bradley recognizes the need to integrate body, mind, and spirit for personal and community health. He has applied this philosophy in his private chiropractic practice for over thirty-nine years, utilizing traditional chiropractic with Baha’i teachings, eastern philosophies, and consciousness technologies. He has assisted and sponsored many world acclaimed healers in seminars and ceremonies and has led local healing workshops.

Bradley believes NIA plays a pivotal role in our community’s health by bringing together our various faith groups to understand our common spiritual beliefs and actions better.

Rev. Matthew Fisher

Rev. Matthew Fisher, Reno Buddhist Center. Rev. Matthew Fisher holds a BA degree in Comparative Religion with concentration in Buddhist Studies from Bowdoin College 1984. He also holds a Masters Degree in Design. He has received specific seminar training in Church growth, fundraising, and leadership for capital projects. This training occurred when he was a board member of another church for 6 years in the 1990’s. He has studied Buddhism in India, Sri Lanka, Korea, China, and Japan. He was lay ordained by Reno Buddhist Center’s Temple Master, Dr. Daigan Lee Matsunaga, in Shin Buddhism in 2005 and appointed by Dr. Matsunaga as RBC Assistant Priest in February 2010. He received full Tokudo ordination at Tokyo Honganji temple in Tokyo Japan in 2015.

Ashraf Azim

NNMC President of the Northern Nevada Muslim Community –

Mr. Azim returns for his official second term in office from his initial election in 1989. Serving as an

executive member of the Mor Furniture Presidential group, Mr. Azim has been involved with the

NNMC for 35+ years. His continuous dedication to the Muslim community and charity projects across

Reno have helped shape the NNMC to what it is today. He strives to share his vision of understanding

and tolerance through frequent community interaction and feedback.

Mr. Azim holds a M.S. in Urban Design and Regional Planning (MURP) from the University of

Mississippi, Oxford.

Pastor Lee Neish

Pastor – Sparks Methodist Church 
Lee enjoys life, loves to preach, and is interested in people’s stories. He arrived at Sparks Methodist Church in July 2018 and is eager to meet you. Previously he served churches in Napa, Los Gatos, Gilroy and Cupertino.  Lee and JoAnne have been married for 32 years and have two adult children. They love hiking and the outdoors. Their zest for life and joy in God’s creation inspires many to embrace a life of faith.
 

Rev. Dr. Kate Lambertson

Dr. Lambertson, B.A. (Sociology and Religious Studies), M.Div., D.Min. (intergenerational preaching), began her professional ministry in 1988. Her service over the years has included solid pastorates at UCC churches in Illinois, Iowa and Indiana. Under Kate’s leadership, her congregations have reshaped their futures, increased community outreach, created household goods pantries for unemployed and underemployed members of the community and university students, initiated alternative worship experiences in addition to traditional Sunday worship, revamped youth and adult education programming, and developed a new confirmation curriculum which is now adopted by at least four other UCC churches.

Rajan Zed

Global religious statesman who has taken-up interfaith, religion, Roma (Gypsies), other causes all over world. He was invited by the President of the European Parliament in Brussels (Belgium) for a meeting to promote interfaith dialogue. Read opening prayers in the United States Senate and US House-of-Representatives in Washington DC; various State Senates, State Houses-of-Representatives, County Commissions, City Councils all-over USA; covering 187 legislative bodies in 28 states.

  • Bestowed with “World Interfaith Leader Award”.
  • President, Universal Society of Hinduism.
  • Senior Fellow and Religious Advisor to Foundation for Religious Diplomacy.
  • On Advisory Board of Interfaith Peace Project.
  • Interfaith Relations Officer, Nevada Interfaith Association.
  • Been panelist for “On Faith”, prestigious interactive conversation on religion produced by Washington Post.
  • Produce weekly interfaith panel “Faith Forum” in Reno Gazette-Journal for over nine years.
  • He has been invited and participated in the World Economic Forum.
  • Taught World Religion classes at Truckee Meadows Community College.
  • Had dialogue with leaders of diverse religions and non-believers worldwide

Rabbi Benjamin Zober

Rabbi Benjamin Zober is the co-rabbi of Temple Sinai in Reno, alongside his wife, Rabbi Sara Zober. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, learning to love winter, doomed sports franchises, and corned beef. After graduating from Brandeis University with a degree in European Cultural Studies and a minor in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, he returned to Cleveland, and he earned his J.D. from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. As a lawyer, he served as a public defender, representing death row inmates in capital appeals. Seeking a more proactive approach to helping his community, Rabbi Zober attended rabbinical school at Hebrew Union College – Jewish Institute of Religion. His rabbinical thesis, “A Light Unto the Nation: 3 Jewish-American Responses to the Holocaust,” detailed largely unknown efforts to intervene on behalf of Jews during the Shoah. Currently, he sits on the Washoe County School District SHARE Board and is an active participant with ACTIONN. He likes to bake, run, and make pop-up books in his spare time (or what remains with rabbinical duties and being a proud step-dad to three wonderful kids).

Chaplain Sherman Baker

Lead Chaplin at the VA Hospital