The Rev. Jeff Barz-Snell, Minister of First Church
Rev. Barz-Snell is the thirty-first minister of the First Church in Salem and was ordained here in December of 1998. His responsibilities include planning our weekly religious services, pastoral counseling, outreach and managing the staff and programs for our growing congregation. Jeff works to develop ongoing programming including children's religious education, adult discussion groups, lectures and social functions like our Pancake Breakfasts and Family Fun Nights. While he always finds enough to keep himself busy, he makes it a priority to be available for conversation and discussion about the various faith issues and/or challenges that inevitably arise in one's life.
Michael Kraft, Director of Music
Michael was appointed President in 2016 and is Senior Reed Voicer at C.B. Fisk. Earning his Bachelor of Music degree in organ performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, he was a student of Garth Peacock and Lisa Crawford. His Master of Music degree is from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he was an organ student of Yuko Hayashi. Michael joined the Fisk workshop in 1986, apprenticing as a pipemaker and reed voicer. Research trips to England, France and Germany have given him the opportunity to hear, play, and measure many historic organs, a significant influence on his conceptualizing and voicing of reed pipes. He oversees the design, construction, and voicing of all reeds, as well as the maintenance of and modifications to all Fisk instruments. Michael has been the Music Director of The Dover Church in Dover, Massachusetts since 1993 when Fisk Opus 107 was installed there. Michael and his wife Stacia, a singer and preservationist, are restoring and renovating a 1794 home in Salem where they live with their three children, John, Ilsa and Oskar.
Deborah DiGiulio, Religious Education Director
Deb has served as the RE Director at the First Church since 2006. She grew up in Salem and studied at the Art Institute of Boston, North Shore Community College and Salem State College. She has completed Renaissance Modules on both the History and Philosophy of Unitarian Universalist Religious Education, and is certified in Spirit Play. She lives in Salem with her husband, their two teenage children, and two pugs.
Catherine Bertrand, Church Administrator
Catherine was born and raised in Lynn, MA and has lived in Salem for the last 18 years. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Theatre Arts from Salem State University and is an award winning stage director whose work has been seen in Boston and on the North Shore. Catherine was the previous Artistic Director and President of the Salem Theatre Company and is a current director with the company. She has also been honored by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and is a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab. Credits and passion for the theatre aside, she loves living and working in Salem. She and her partner, Caroline, also a theatre lover and actress, have a home here with their five-year old son, Gavin and ten-year old pup, Nala.
Tricia Pini, Director of Henny Penny
After many years working as a business-to-business collections manager for a luxury hotel, a New England confectionery company, and an international public relations firm, Tricia decided it was time for a career change. Since then she has spent the last twelve years fostering independence and a love of learning in young children on the North Shore. Most recently she was Director & Lead Teacher at the innovative Fox Hill School in Danvers. When she is not at Henny Penny, you might catch Tricia wearing one of her community volunteer hats lending a hand with the Salem High School Music Boosters, at a Northshore Y Theatre Company performance, or managing props backstage at Marblehead Little Theatre. Tricia lives in Salem with her husband, Doug, and their two sons, Dan 17 and Jacob 15. She is excited to be working together with Barbara Hermann and the many Henny Penny families!
Barbara B. Hermann, Teacher at Henny Penny
Barbara grew up in Reading, MA and studied Early Childhood Education at Fisher College and Salem State College. She was a professional singer with the “Sweetest Sounds” dinner theater group in Framingham, and was also in many community theater productions in the North Shore. But Barbara’s passion has always been working with children and she is proud of her work at Henny Penny Nursery School for the past 23 years. She lives in Lynn with her husband Paul, and has two children, Kenneth and Kimberly, ages 29 and 27.
Billy McCarthy, Sexton
Billy is a native of Salem and has worked as a custodian and painter for many years. Most recently he was the caretaker of the VWF in Beverly.