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Community Recognizes GHBIC Leaders

President: Penelope Nichols

Penelope NicholsPenelope Nichols is a life-long member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and a member of The Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council since 2015. She and her family moved to Huntington Beach in 1997 and quickly fell in love with its beauty and strong sense of community. She has spent all of her 25 years as a stay-at-home mom in volunteer positions such as: Church Youth Group Director, Church Youth Camp Director, Relief Society Women’s Group President, PTA President, Millennial Choir and Orchestra Youth Choirs President/Coordinator, Foster Parent, Days of 47 Parade Committee (Utah), Jr. Miss Pageant Housing Co-Coordinator (Utah), GHBIC’s Community Service Day Coordinator, GHBIC’s Thanksgiving Service Coordinator, HBPD’s Homeless Task Force Volunteer Mentor, Robyne’s Nest Mentor, Point in Time Homeless Count Participant, and countless short-term volunteer positions in the community and her church. Her family says she is a “professional volunteer”.

She was raised in California’s South Bay area where she met and married her husband Scott in 1991. They have four adult children. She enjoys self-help books, family gatherings and meals, holding babies, working with and inspiring teenagers, missionary and church service, helping others, daily walks, and musical theater. She sings many of her conversations with her husband and children and wishes she could live IN a musical! Her conversational singing makes them nuts and her happy! Her favorite daily counsel to herself and family is, “Love God. Love others. Love yourself.”, “Choose to pre-love, not pre-judge.” and “Choose what leaves you free to chose again.”

Vice-President, Pat Goodman

Pat joined GHBIC over four years ago to represent the Self-Help Interfaith Program and as a result feels more connected to the rich faith traditions within our community. She likes to say that SHIP is a niche transitional housing program because it provides guidance and services to no more than 8 homeless, employable adults at any one time. Communities of faith and others provide volunteers and funding for SHIP.

Pat also joins with others through the network, Homeless United Huntington Beach, to advocate for affordable and permanent supportive housing in our community. Pat worships and participates in the Peace & Justice Ministry at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Fountain Valley where her husband, Phil, is a deacon.

Pat took a winding path from a liberal arts degree to eventually land as an account. She is a retired CPA yet still uses her skills for other volunteer positions with such organizations as Straight Talk Clinic, Inc. Pat considers herself a life-long learner evidenced by her M.A. in Theology from Loyola Marymount University which she received at the ripe old age of 57 and views as a gift from God.

Secretary, Maha Ragab

Maha RagabMaha Ragab was born in Cairo, Egypt. She graduated from a private French school in Heliopolis and finished her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. She moved to United States to join her husband Medhat and they lived in Illinois, Texas and California. Maha focused on raising her two children, Omar and Rhonda, and was heavily active in their School’s PTA (Parent Teacher Association) and after school activities. She also volunteered her time with various charities and her local Mosque. Maha is in the board of GHBIC (Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council) and OCICE (Orange County Interfaith Coalition for the Environment) and is an active member of STEP (Sisters Together Envisioning Peace).

Treasurer, Emrah Erduran

Biography to come.

At Large: Stephen Einstein

At Large: Pattie Mercado

At Large: Reverend James Pike

James Pike moved to Orange County with his wife and four kids in 2018, becoming pastor of Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in Huntington Beach. In addition to serving with the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, Pike volunteers with several non-profits. Pike also spent over a decade performing live comedy in Los Angeles and now teaches comedic improvisation at the Academy for the Performing Arts (APA) at Huntington Beach High School.

Past President, Marsha Rechsteiner

Marsha has been a member of the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council for 3 years. She is an active member of the Sts Simon and Jude Catholic Community. She has served there in numerous Leadership roles over the last 25 years. She continues to be very involved in the annual Community Service Day sponsored by GHBIC.

Marsha and her husband Brian (Retired Board of Trustee for the HB City School District for 24 years) were both very active, in the Huntington Beach School District, both Elementary and High School. Marsha still works as an Educational Consultant for Chancy and Bruce Educational Resources. Marsha and Brian have been married 45 years and have 2 married children, Julie and Erik, as well as 2 granddaughters and 1 grandson.

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