The Faces Around Union
We believe that the people around Union make it what it is. This ranges from baristas to staff to the guests that walk through the door everyday. So, we wanted to introduce you to some of the people you may see around Union when you come in our doors.
Baranda Fermin, Sunday Spread Community Curator
Baranda is an accomplished nonprofit leader with experience in operations, training, community development, and research. She has a gift for seeing long range patterns and developing visions, yet her first love is writing. She has numerous published acticles including those in Social Forces, College & University, Better Homes & Gardens, and her book of prayers and prose published in 2017, For Our Boys: A Mother's Prayers. She makes a living doing strategic development and capacity building, but makes life beautiful by using words to share the stories our lives. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Michigan State University; a master’s in Human Development from Teachers College, Columbia University; and a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from The University of Oklahoma. Her favorite things on earth are tacos and her son, Montgomery James.
Emily Hardwick, Kuneo Community Curator
Emily was born and raised around Corpus Christi but has called Dallas home for the past several years. She studied Historical Studies and Gender Studies at the University of Texas at Dallas where she helped start the first inclusive campus ministry. She describes herself as a starter, but whether or not she is starting something new, she has always had a passion for learning. You will often times find her learning about people’s stories, reading a book, or doing something that will help her see a new perspective of the world. She is a huge geek and loves a great adventure every now and then.
Josh Runnels, Director of Operations
Josh is a native Texan and has lived in the Dallas area his entire life. He joined Union in April of 2018 as our Director of Operations and brings with him a decade of business operations experience. In 2013, Josh obtained his MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas, and as most folks do, went into non profit management. He's eager to engage with the Union community and join in on cultivating the Divine spark in our city.
Josh has been married to his wife, Mindie, since 2005 and together they have 4 kids. When not wrangling children, Josh can be found attempting to crossfit, playing video games, rewatching The Office or nerding out on Game of Thrones.
Kat kendrick, manager
Kat graduated from SMU in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in World Languages and has been working at Union since 2015. She served on Kuneo Planning Team for 2 years and has played a vital part in establishing Union's role in Dallas. Kat has extensive coffee and culinary experience which she is using to help Union explore new territories and innovations.
In her free time, Kat loves to go camping and play the ukulele.
lizbet Palmer, design and communications coordinator
Lizbet is a wanderer currently settled in Dallas. She and her husband are musicians and so when she's not creating a design or making a video, she's recording or performing for their band, The Last City. She loves to explore faith and what it looks like for different people from different places, and loves Union's mission to bring people together through Coffee, Community and Cause. She's also been involved in Union through Studio and FLOW. Her hobbies include the aerial hoop, exploring new places with her bicycle and camera, and reading.
michael baughman, Community curator
Rev. Mike Baughman is the Community Curator and founding pastor for Union. The editor for Flipping Church (2016), Mike is eager to encounter and support those on the innovative edge of church, non-profit and civic engagement. He has served as author, editor and developer for a long list of curricula through Sparkhouse Press and Cokesbury. Mike learned a lot about basketball while attending Duke University and then earned a couple of pretentious diplomas from Princeton Theological Seminary (they’re both in Latin and hang in his garage). A third generation Methodist minister and church planter, Mike married a sixth generation Methodist minister, Rachel.
Sinclair Freeman, Studio Community Curator
Sinclair Freeman is a native Texan and current college student. Before joining Union staff, they served on the Studio Planning Team for three years and taught preschool for four. In addition to working for Union, Sinclair also serves as the Director of Community Outreach at Oak Lawn United Methodist Church.
In their free time, Sinclair loves to read thick books, play arcade games, and go to the gym.