The outdoor ministry of UCCI comes to life through a team of people who are passionate about providing sanctuary, practicing hospitality, and performing ministry. UCCI is led by the Executive Director, the Director of Finance and Administration, a Managing Director of each site, and a leadership team of professionals focused on the guest experience.

Meet the Executive Director

Rev. James Schleif

Executive Director

Jim’s journey with UCCI began in early 2020 as the facilities lead at Cedar Valley, UCCI’s site in West Bend, WI. His passion for outdoor ministry and demonstrated servant leadership moved him into the role of director of ministry and site operations in November of 2021.

Jim’s broad vocational expertise makes it likely that guests will find him leading vespers, helping in the kitchen, winterizing a waterfront, as well as providing organizational management, strategic planning, development guidance, and spiritual grounding.

Before joining UCCI, Schleif served as the settled Pastor and Teacher at both St. John’s UCC in Slinger and Hartford, WI. Before acknowledging a calling to ministry late in vocational life, Schleif served for eight years in the US Navy Nuclear Power Program (submarines) and 28 years in commercial nuclear power generation and emergency management. The combination of engineering and technical skills, plant operations, and supervisory and organizational leadership roles have all helped prepare him to step into this role. Jim facilitated the collaborative group that renamed and rededicated Daycholah Center in October 2021. This work effectively intersected the interests of UCCI, the Ho-Chunk UCC Church in Black River Falls, WI, the Alliance for Justice, and the Creation Care Team of the Wisconsin Conference UCC.

“The UCCI journey has been a true challenge over the last few years. Much has changed both internally and externally, but what remains constant is the transformational capacity of outdoor ministry. I look forward to future growth and a sustainable business practice that holds true to our core ministry. I ask for your continued prayers and invite you individually and collectively to consider how you might “Return to Sacred Ground”.

Meet the Managing Directors

United Church Camps, Inc. (UCCI) operates three campuses in Wisconsin: Cedar Valley near West Bend, Daycholah Center on Green Lake, and Moon Beach in the Northwoods near St. Germain. The managing director at each site is a hands-on leader who brings unique experience, passion, and enthusiasm to their role.

Michelle Spettel

Managing Director
Cedar Valley

Michelle’s previous role in nonprofit, people-centered organizations, experience in marketing, and a lifelong passion for the arts make her a perfect fit for Cedar Valley. Michelle leads the team as they welcome retreat groups, artist workshops, special events, and more. Spettel has a bold vision for the future of Cedar Valley, including renovating the barn into a wedding venue, fostering new partnerships, and sharing the sacred ground of Cedar Valley.

Amanda Edwards

Managing Director
Daycholah Center

Daycholah Center welcomed Amanda Edwards as managing director in January 2023. Amanda shares, “I am thrilled to share my passions for building community, fostering spirituality, and connecting with nature with the UCCI community.” Edwards will integrate her experience as an educator, camp administrator, and pastor to lead the site as they of summer youth campers, year-round retreats, and special events. Amanda is looking forward to working with diverse groups to envision the future of Daycholah Center as a sacred gathering space for all.

Missy Miller

Managing Director
Moon Beach

Missy Miller is the managing director of Moon Beach. Missy joined the UCCI team in early 2022. She is an ordained minister, having served in ministry for over two decades. Miller’s connection to Moon Beach began as a retreat guest/leader, parent of children attending youth camp, and volunteering for Camp AweSum. (Fun fact, Missy and her husband became engaged at Vesper Point!) Missy loves the outdoors and serving the many guests and families that come to Moon Beach generation after generation. She shares, “Every day, I am excited to share God’s love and provide safe sanctuary, world-class hospitality, and effective ministry in true UCCI style!”