Board of Trustees & Spiritual Council Members

Board of Trustees

Paul Kellogg: Vice President, Cathy Simpson: Treasurer,

Rev. Cynthia Leveque: Senior Minister, & Julie Russell: President.


Julie Russell M.S., Board President

Masters from Drake, Adult Learning, Training and Development.

I’ve been at Unity two years.  I really like connecting with like-minded people at Unity and I am inspired by Unity because it’s a place for me to grow personally.   

My hobby is bike riding and I like to be active.  I have two adult kids I’m extremely proud of.  My favorite thing about Des Moines is the number of bike trails.


Cathleen Simpson (Cathy) serves as Treasurer on Unity Center of Des Moines’ Board of Trustees providing oversight and reporting of financial operations and budget.  Cathy joined Unity in 2015 and you can often find her working the controls in the audio-visual booth on Sundays, coordinating Worship Assistance schedules or participating in Unity events and activities.

Born in Kansas City, she graduated HS in Carroll, IA before joining the US Air Force, returning to Iowa in 2010 following the death of her husband in Seattle.   Cathy retired in 2014 from a lifelong career in technology beginning in the Air Force and finishing as a Project Manager on the Medicare system.  She lives in West Des Moines and loves spending time at Raccoon River Park and walking along the river downtown.

Following retirement Cathy has been seeking to know the meaning of life and welcomes all conversations on this topic.  She earned her Responderé Degree from the School of Metaphysics and certifications in Spring Forest Qigong Level 1 and Reiki Level I and II.  Cathy interprets dreams and teaches dream interpretation, believing that responding to dreams keeps us connected to that inner voice & compass directing us to our best and highest Self.  She is also a student of A Course in Miracles and is currently studying the Enneagram. 

Spiritual Council Members:

Rev. Cynthia Leveque, Rev. Melissa Harris & Mavis Curry


Mavis Renee Curry has been studying and teaching self awareness, mindfulness and metaphysics for over fifteen years.   She has been a student, teacher and director of the School of Metaphysics for the past nine years and currently holds a position as Area Director and Secretary of the Board. She is completing her Homo Divinus, psi counseling and ministerial certifications in May of 2019.
Mavis received her degree in Information and Computer Science from Georgia Tech and holds certifications in business leadership, coaching, counseling and other healing practices.  Her professional career included  Software engineering, Sales,  Marketing, and Business Development.  She retired from Corporate America after 40 years to follow her dream of improving the quality of life of humanity through discipline, teaching and service. 
She is a conscious evolution coach and teaches and lectures  on how to increase  self awareness, make better choices and live a more fulfilling life.   Her goal is to build in herself and aid others to recognize the capacity to create a contagious personal heaven that infects everyone.

Rev. Melissa Harris


Melissa received her undergrad degree in Psychology from Iowa State University and an M.S. in Counseling from Wayne State.  Her professional career has included social services administration, conservatorship law, and insurance. Ordained as an Interfaith Minister in 2017, following study in Comparative Religions and Mysticism, she is currently pursuing a Master’s of Divinity through All Faiths Seminary International.

A lifelong seeker of wisdom and meaning, Melissa believes the way to live fully is to intentionally and equally embrace our humanity and our divinity.

Melissa is married to Tim Harris. They live in Urbandale, Iowa, are avid sports fans, and enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, and any time spent out in nature.