Meet the Search Committee


Ted Russell – Head Search Committee Co-Chair

Ted and his wife Jana have been members of the Parish since 2005.  Their children attend SMPS with Nathan in 8th and Amelia in 7th grade.  Ted is a member of the Board of Trustees and currently serves as the Board Representative to the Vestry.  Ted also serves on the Board's Executive Committee, the Committee on Trustees, and the Head Review Committee.  At the Parish, Ted has served on the Day Camp Board, the Emmaus leadership team, the Outreach Commission and the Search Advisory Committee that called Christine Purcell as Associate Rector.  Ted has served on several nonprofit boards and has taught negotiation and ethics as an adjunct professor.  He is currently Executive Vice President of Business Affairs at Twentieth Century Fox. 


Callene Momtazee – Head Search Committee Co-Chair

Callie and her husband John have been members of the Parish since 2004.  Their three children attend St. Matthew's Parish School (SMPS) with Samantha in 7th, Julia in 6th and Jack in 3rd grade.  Callie is a former member of the Board of Trustees (2010-16) and served as Chair from 2012-2014, where she led the School through the CUP (Conditional Use Permit) process with the City of Los Angeles.  On the Board, Callie was a member of the Executive Committee, Chair of the Committee on Trustees, Chair of the Facilities Committee, Co-Chair of the Development Committee, and Co-Chair of the Les Frost Endowment Campaign.  In previous years, Callie served on the Parents Council Executive Committee, as Head Preschool Room Parent, and as Co-Chair of the Christmas Faire for two years.  Callie is currently an Assistant Professor of Neurology at UCLA. 


Hunter Doble – Board of Trustees Chair

Hunter and his wife Kristin have been members of the St. Matthew’s Community since 2006.  Their children attend SMPS with Katharine in 7th grade, Emily in 5th grade, and Graham in 1st grade.  Hunter has been on the Board since 2013 and is in his first year as Chair.  He has previously served the Board as Treasurer and a member of the Executive Committee.  Hunter is a Portfolio Manager at Hotchkis and Wiley. 


Bruce Freeman – Rector

Bruce has been Rector since March of 2015. He and his wife Dana moved from Cincinnati where Bruce had been the Rector of the Church of the Redeemer for almost 12 years.   In the Diocese of Southern Ohio, Bruce was the President of the Standing Committee, a Trustee of Episcopal Retirement Homes and member of the Diocesan Congregational Development Committee.  Before that, Bruce served as Rector at Church of the Epiphany in San Carlos, California, Rector at St. John’s in Athol, Massachusetts, and as Assistant Priest at St. Christopher’s in Minnesota.  A native of Boston and the son of an Episcopal priest and an early childhood educator, Bruce’s ministry has focused on teenagers, congregational development and non-profit governance.   


John Choi – Vestry Representative

John and his wife Kathy have been members of the Parish since 2008.  Their children attend SMPS with Caleb in 7th grade, Jonah in 5th grade, and Abby in Pre-K.  John currently serves as the Vestry Representative to the School Board and previously served as Vice Chair of the Rector Search Committee that presented Bruce Freeman as a candidate to the Vestry.  John has served on the Thrift Shop Board and Stewardship Committee, chaired the Christmas Faire Wine Auction and served in the Lay Eucharistic Ministry.   He has also served as Room Parent and on the Parent Executive Committee for the previous Head of School Search.  John worked most recently in marketing.


Rick Commons – School Board Trustee Representative

Rick and his wife Lindsay, a graduate of SMPS, have been members of the Parish since arriving in Los Angeles in 2013.  Their children attend SMPS with Matthew in 4th grade and Clara in 1st grade.  Rick currently serves on the Board of Trustees and is a member of the Committee on Trustees and the Diversity Task Force. As President of Harvard-Westlake School and former Headmaster of Groton School, Rick has significant experience with both the school side and the candidate side of school leadership searches.  


Tom Diggs – Faculty Representative

Tom has taught 5th, 6th and 7th grade English at SMPS since 2011. He has also served as a 5th and 6th Grade Advisor, as a member of the Curriculum Development Committee, the Writing Committee, and the Annual Faculty Giving Committee.  Tom is also the author and curator of the SMPS Style Guide. During the summers, Tom has been one of the mentors for the Lucas Scholars Program.  He has also represented SMPS at Shakespeare’s Globe Playhouse Teachers Training Program and the Columbia University Reading and Writing Project.  Tom is a regional alumni interviewer for Brown University.  Tom is also a professional writer whose work has been commissioned by the Kennedy Center and nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.  


Maida Hastings – Parish Representative

Maida and her husband Wally have been members of the Parish since the 1970s.  Both of their children are SMPS alumni and their grandson T.J. is currently in the 6th grade.  Maida has served on the Vestry and as Senior Warden, on various ministries of the Parish, and on two Rector Search Committees.  She has served on the School Board, chaired the Head Search Committee that called Les Frost, and served on the Head Search Committee that called Stu Work.  Maida retired from her position as Associate Academic Dean, UCLA Continuing Education and Extension.  Her research has focused on Higher Education and Organizational Development. 


Jennifer Lee – Member-At-Large

Jennifer and her husband Jin have been members of the Parish since 2004.  Their children attend SMPS with Mackenzie in 8th grade, Lucy in 3rd grade and Davis in 2nd grade.  Their daughter Taryn also attended SMPS through elementary school.  Jennifer currently serves on the Board of Trustees.  She has also served as Room Parent, as a member of the Parish Ministry Council, and as a member of the Parent’s Council Executive Board.  Jennifer also serves a variety of educational and non-profit organizations, including as a Regent at Georgetown.  Jennifer worked most recently in business development and research.  


Roz Nieman – Member-At-Large

Roz and her husband Tom have been part of the St. Matthews Community since 2003.  Their four children attend SMPS with Frankie in 8th, Wade in 6th, Mack in 4th and Ruby in 2nd grade.  Roz currently serves on the Annual Giving Committee.  She has served on the SMPS Strategic Plan Review Committee and as a Room Parent six times.  Roz currently serves on several non-profit education-related boards, including as a Trustee of The Cate School.  She has worked in the education and technology fields, having launched educational software games and online academic gaming platforms. 


Christine Purcell – Chaplain

Christine was called as Associate Rector at St. Matthew’s this past June and joined the Parish staff on August 1. Ordained in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, Christine was elected a Deputy to General Convention in 2009 and 2012. Other diocesan service included the Commission on Ministry, Communications Commission, and the Search Committee for Diocesan Bishop. Most recently, Christine served as Rector of Christ Church in Westerly, Rhode Island.  Christine is a regular participant in the SMPS Elementary Chapel. 


Kristin Waters – Member-At-Large

Kristin and her husband Brian have been members of the Parish since 2008.  Their three children attend SMPS with Sophia in 3rd, Charley in 1st and Jack in Pre-School.  Kristin has served as Head Room Parent for the Pre-School, as a member of the Parents Council Board three times, and as Chair of the School Auction.  Kristin has also served as Chair of the Parish Auction, Chair of the Bread & Roses Ministry for five years, and as a member of the Fellowship Committee and the Helping Hands Ministry.  Kristin is currently serving the School as Vice President of Programs.  Kristin is Executive Vice President of Accounts and Sales at Opus Agency. 


Search Committee Members

Ted Russell, Head Search Committee Co-Chair

Callene Momtazee, Head Search Committee Co-Chair

Hunter Doble, Board of Trustees Chair

The Reverend Bruce Freeman, Rector

John Choi, Vestry Representative

Rick Commons, School Board Trustee Representative

Tom Diggs, Faculty Representative

Maida Hastings, Parish Representative

Jennifer Lee, Member-At-Large

Roz NiemanMember-At-Large

The Reverend Christine Purcel, Chaplain

Kristin WatersMember-At-Large