The Staff at Piedmont UU Church

Staff members can be reached by calling the church office at 704-510-0008.

Ali Allen  (she/her)

Administrative Assistant

Ali helps in the office with various communication and administrative tasks. Ali is a nerd who loves scifi and fantasy, cosplay, Ren Faires, and traveling to various summer festivals.

Deb Davelka (she/her)

Congregational Administrator

Deb Davelka has been with Piedmont UU Church since 2007. As congregational administrator, she manages the church office and is responsible for a variety of administrative tasks including: facilities care, church calendar, assistance to the treasurer, and communications.

Deb’s background is in communication design. Not long before she began working with Piedmont UU Church, she moved with family to the Charlotte area. She enjoys travel and the new experiences it brings. Deb is a member of the Association of Unitarian Universalist Administrators.

Sean Glover (he/him)

Religious Education Teacher

Sean’s experience working with children includes a background in tutoring elementary aged children as well as his teaching experience in Religious Education at a Presbyterian Church in Charlotte where he also served as a deacon. He notes: “I find it refreshing to work with young people who are, as yet, unaffected by the responsibilities and social pressures of adulthood.” Sean serves as our lead teacher and teaches weekly at our Salisbury Gathering.

An independent artist for 25 years, Sean has a background is in Illustration and has worked for SCETV (the South Carolina Educational Television Network) and Riverbanks Zoo in that capacity. He has also been the Art Supervisor for several display companies in the Charlotte area. He specializes in murals and faux finish work, and his current concentration is in portrait and fine art painting.
In a combination of his roles as artist and instructor, he has also had the opportunity to teach adults with fundamental disabilities and also teaches art lessons from his home.

Sean and his wife Kyla are raising their daughter, Autumn, in the UU tradition.

Rev. Shakeisha Holton Gray (she/her)

Minister of Education and Outreach

Rev. Shakeisha Holton Gray is a long time UU. She graduated from Wake Forest University School of Divinity with her MDiv in 2018 and has experience in guiding newcomer orientation classes, spiritual exploration that spans all ages and stages of life, creative worship, leadership, officiating weddings, memorial services, and other life milestones, and has a deep fondness for all things that connect us as a community and recognizes the inherent worth and dignity of all living things. Rev. Shakeisha is a strong ally and advocate for our LGBTQIA+ siblings, our BIPOC siblings, Women’s rights, and the climate crisis facing our planet. She is also a certified end of life doula, has experience and training in hospital and hospice chaplaincy, trauma informed care, and is a death positivity activist. Rev. Shakeisha grew up in South Florida, but has called North Carolina home for over 20 years. She and her spouse Jason have been together since middle school and have three grown sons and two rescue fur children, a pibble mix and a blue heeler. Rev. Shakeisha channels her passions to help guide others towards a space of healing and growth.

Rev. Shakeisha is endorsed as a celebrant and chaplain by The Humanist Society, the endorsing body of the American Humanist Association, is a certified End Of Life Care Coordinator by the University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine, and is ordained into the Unitarian Universalist ministry by Piedmont UU Church.

Anne Pengilly (she/her)

Collaborative Pianist

A native of Akron, Ohio, Anne was born into a musical family of teachers, composers and performers. Her musical path brought her to the prestigious Manhattan School of Music in New York City, where she studied with the late Dr. Zenon Fishbein. She also earned a post-baccalaureate certificate in Music Education from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

Anne is currently a collaborative pianist at UNC – Charlotte, where she accompanies the vocal ensembles, and frequently collaborates with students and professionals in the area. She will earn her Masters Degree in 2023 from UNC – Greensboro, where she studies Collaborative Piano with Dr. James Douglass.

She is delighted to be the pianist at Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church, and looks forward to a wonderful musical journey!

Rev. Dr. Amy Rio (she/her)

Lead Minister

Rev. Dr. Amy Rio is an Asheville area native, and has spent her life in North Carolina. She received her BA from Greensboro College, MDiv from Duke Divinity School, and her DMin from Wesley Theological Seminary with a focus on spirituality and story. During her 30 year career, she has served churches both full-time and as an interim. Most of her career has been in collegiate ministry, with her last position being as the Chaplain of Salem Academy and College in Winston Salem, NC. She is a certified spiritual director and is a mentor with the Haden Institute Spiritual Direction certification program. She has had several essays and articles published on spirituality and collegiate ministry.

Dr. Amy has two adult children. Caleb lives in Fort Collins, Colorado where he works in the software industry. He is engaged to Sara, who is a faculty member at Colorado State University. They have a highly energetic black lab mix, Patsy. Dr. Amy’s daughter, Ava, is in her last semester with a Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Campbell University. She and her fiancé, Will, live in the Raleigh area. Will is a firefighter with the Raleigh Fire Department. They have a very sweet-tempered rescue dog, Walt.

Dr. Amy strongly believes the foundation of the spiritual journey is seeing the Divine in each and every person, supporting them on their journey, and working towards making the world a more just and compassionate place. Her ministry focuses on love, hospitality (a deep, fully inclusive form), and social justice. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music, writing, exploring nature, reading, and being with friends. Life is too short not to find some joy each day, and she strives to do this in her work and in everyday living.