AZC Board of Directors: Gratitude to Outgoing & Incoming Board Officers, and A Call for Nominations

Introducing AZC’s new slate of Board Officers: Shugen  Shuey, Wendy Salome, Karen Laing & David Adelman

Board President Louis “Shu” Shuey grew up in central Texas, encouraged to explore faith from different perspectives including Buddhism.  He’d long since stopped searching by the time his teen-age son brought him to a beginner meditation class at AZC.   From that point in 2014 his search began anew, breath by breath on the zafu.  Shu has been a member ever since, grateful for the support and encouragement of the sangha. He and his wife Doris live in Round Rock.  Their sons Michael and Isaac are students at UT-Dallas and UT-Arlington.

Board Vice-President Wendy Salome is a mother of two teenagers, Emerson and Kahlil, and the wife to Dr. Nick Salome. She and her family first began exploring Buddhism at the Austin Zen Center in 2006. At that time, with a 1 year old and a 3 year old, a big part of the exploration was how to make practicing at AZC accessible to families. The ebbs and flows of life with young children meant coming and going over the years, while the real practice happened at home, in daily life. Wendy has spent parts of the last 10 years serving as an active and engaged leader on the working boards of the Texas Rollergirls Rec-n-Rollerderby league, both of her kids’ schools, and most recently as the Chief of Staff for ColdTowne Theater here in Austin, TX. She has been able to support the administrative team at AZC in the past year with various projects, and most recently has been inspired to really commit to her formal practice. As a newer “formal” member of the AZC community, she looks forward to bringing fresh eyes to the process of outreach and connection with members and visitors to the Austin Zen Center.

Board Secretary Karen Laing grew up in Ventura & Santa Barbara, California. After early work as a museum technician, environmental educator and National Park ranger, she embarked on a three-decade career as a biologist and manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, mostly in Alaska, until retiring in 2017. Karen loves nature and the arts. Karen began zen practice during a 1991 visit to Tassajara from her home in Alaska, and was a founding member of the Anchorage Zen Community, serving on the board and in many other capacities over the years. In 1999, Karen co-founded a program  supporting women at a state prison near Anchorage. In 2010, Karen moved to California to care for her parents, continuing to practice independently, and visiting practice centers when possible. In 2019 Karen moved to Austin to be close to her sister, a long time Austin resident, and she joined the Austin Zen Center soon after arrival.

Board Treasurer David Adelman has long been interested in Buddhism and meditation, but he did not begin practicing Zen until 2010. Not long after moving to Austin, his experience at AZC drew him into the practice and introduced him to the teachings of Shunryu Suzuki and other Zen masters. He lives with his wife Helen, who helped reintroduce him to meditation practice, and daughter Hazel, who provides inspiration for embodying Zen practice in all aspects of his life. David enjoys yoga, hiking (particularly in the high country of Colorado and California), traveling, and reading. He is a law professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Former Board Treasurer Maureen Milligan recently completed serving her 3-yr term on the AZC Board. We are truly grateful for her wholehearted effort and service to the Austin Zen Center and its community of practitioners, and look forward sitting together in the zendo (and in fewer committee meetings!)

Maureen Milligan transitioned from Catholicism to meditation and Buddhism. She was drawn to AZC by its authentic affiliation tradition; and is kept here by AZC’s energy, warmth, and depth. Maureen is President & CEO of a small statewide non-profit organization located in Texas. She served in management, policy and leadership positions at the State’s health agency, and worked on budget at the Legislative Budget Board. She was also on the faculty at UT’s medical branch in Galveston and taught health care administration, ethics, HR, & economics there. While most of her family resettled from Chicago to Arizona, her daughter and she ended up in Texas — appreciatively in Austin.

While remaining engaged with supporting AZC’s mission and membership in this transitional time, Onryu Shoemaker & Josh Kopin will be stepping off the board imminently.  While the timing is uncertain, the Board of Directors is actively looking for nominations for incoming Board members from our regular Membership.

Please contact Board Secretary Karen Laing with your nominations.