All Holy Spirit 2019 Parish Council
The All Holy Spirit Parish Council is the administrative body of the Church community, elected by the stewards for the purpose of working together with Fr. Alexander, in fulfilling the mission and goals of All Holy Spirit.
These individuals have been elected to serve a special ministry which requires total love, loyalty and dedication to Christ and His Church. They are now an official representative of the Church and thus are expected to exert every effort to exemplify its sacred character and spirit.
The All Holy Spirit holds elections each year at the November General Assembly Meeting. Each year three new members are elected. Parish Council members serve a three year term.
Joe Carter, President: Joe is the 2019 Parish Council President. Joe was instrumental in the formation of our parish and has served on the Parish Council for multiple terms. Joe is retired from both the Air Force and from his own engineering and manufacturing business. Hobbies include hunting, fishing, gardening and spending time with family. Joe became Orthodox through Chrismation in 1999.
Shelly Petrow, Vice-President: Shelly is the 2019 Parish Council Vice-President. Shelly has served the parish in many ways since 2004, including at least one other term on the Council. Shelly keeps busy operating Petrow’s Restaurant with her husband, Nick. Hobbies include running, yoga, travel and reading. Shelly became Orthodox through Chrismation in 2000. Shelly encourages parishioners to bring questions to her attention, and thanks the parish for entrusting her with this leadership role.
Mike Kriha, Treasurer: Mike is in his second consecutive term on the Parish Council and has been serving as Treasurer since 2017. Mike became Orthodox when he married his wife, Sandy, who was raised in the Russian Orthodox Church. The Kriha’s own a regional hydraulic business, employing 28 people and have two adult children. Mike golfs, is a Husker fan, follows thoroughbred horse racing, enjoys gardening and solving puzzles.
Laura Pavalis, Secretary: Laura Pavalis is the 2019 Parish Council Secretary. Laura became a member through Chrismation in 2015. She works in Human Resources, and enjoys cooking, travelling reading and gardening. Laura and her husband, John, are devoted to their seven grandchildren. This is Laura’s first Parish Council term and is grateful to have the opportunity to serve. Laura also serves on the Communication Committee.
Alex Bakke-Kinsey: Alex may be our only parishioner who was baptized in Hawaii; Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Pacific. Alex and her family joined All Holy Spirit when she was a teenager. She currently works at UNMC on the Operational Improvement team. Alex’s background is in emergency and trauma nursing. This is Alex’s first term on the Parish Council. In her free time she volunteers with animal rescue, kids and teaching public safety courses. Alex has an indoor garden (jungle?) and enjoys puzzles and DIY home improvement. In addition to the Parish Council, Alex has serves on the Leadership Development Committee. Alex and her husband, Andrew, have been married for 2 years.
John Birge: John and his wife, Debbie have been married for over 40 years and have been members of All Holy Spirit from the very beginning in 2006. John was received into the Orthodox Faith through the sacrament of chrismation over 20 years ago. Leaving behind Debbie's family history of four generations at St John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in search of our vision of expanding and growing the Orthodox Faith in Omaha, in a new Greek Orthodox Church was a very difficult decision. John is serving on the All Holy Spirit Parish Council for a second term. John’s first term was from 2011-2016, and John served as President during a portion of that time. Currently, John is the Chairman of the Real Estate Committee, involved in the development process of our new Church located at 193rd and Harney, and a member of the Strategic Planning Committee. In John’s professional life, he was a founding Principal of RDG Planning and Design, a national architectural design business. Currently John is a Principal Emeritus, having stepped away from the firm in 2018 after 47 years of service with the same organization. John and Debbie thoroughly enjoy spending time together with their extended family which includes their two children, spouses, four grandchildren and Debbie’s mother and father, all of whom live in Omaha. The Birge’s also enjoy traveling with friends and attending concerts and basketball games. John also enjoy golfing, bicycling, watching basketball and discussing coaching/culture strategies with whoever he can coerce into listening.
Jim McDonnell: Whenever there is a church activity, you can be sure that Jim and his wife, Deb, have had a hand in organizing and setting up. They both contribute to the life of our parish in many ways. Jim has attended our church from the first days and became a member in through chrismation 2012. Jim works in IT and has been helpful in developing our new web page. Jim embraces the opportunity to serve, this is his first time on the parish council. Jim and Deb have three sons, one daughter and two grandsons.
Brian Zachariae: Brian has served on the parish council since 2017. He is the owner of HHC Sales. Brian and his wife, Sheila, have been members of All Holy Spirit since inception. In addition to serving on the council, Brian is active in AHEPA, taking on many kitchen responsibilities during our annual Fish Fry season. Brian is generally our parish chef, preparing Christmas and other meals for us all to enjoy.