Staff & Officers
Rob Trawick, Ruling Elder
Robert Trawick is a Ruling Elder from New City, NY in the lower Hudson Valley. He has served the PC(USA) in a number of roles at all levels of the denomination. He brings to his work a knowledge of people in the pews and the anxieties and the hopes connected with moments of change. Rob has served several Presbyteries and the Synod of the Northeast in a variety of roles, including moderator of the Presbytery of Hudson River, membership on the Synod Advisory Review Committee for Albany Presbytery, and co-chair of the Administration Commission for Susquehanna Valley Presbytery.
Alongside his work with the Presbyterian Church, Rob has served for over twenty years as a professor of philosophy and religious studies at St. Thomas Aquinas College, teaching ethics and the history of Christian thought. He lives with his wife, Amanda Trigg, two cats, and (occasionally) his son Owen, who is currently a musical theatre major at the University of Miami. Rob’s passions, in addition to ministry and education, include music and theatre.
Rev. David Bennett
Rev. David Bennett [He/Him] was ordained by the Albany Presbytery in 2003 and served 13 years as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Ballston Spa. In 2016, he left that call to serve as the Resource Presbyter for the Northern New York Presbytery, which spans from Lake Champlain to Lake Ontario. In 2021, David was also elected as Stated Clerk of Albany Presbytery, creating a full-time call between the two presbyteries.
David likes to frame his Mid-Council/Presbytery ministry as fulfilling his passion to support pastors and church leaders as they facilitate pathways for revitalization and renewal. By fostering innovation and connecting leaders to the right resources, David believe churches can pivot and move forward as gospel communities that make a tangible difference in our world today.
When not traveling about the North Country, David loves to spend time in the woods, and recently became an Adirondack 46er! He also serves as president of the board for LifeWorks Community Action, Inc. [formerly Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council] and is pursuing an Executive Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
David is married to Kara, and they have two children, Emilie  and Ethan .
Rev. Beth Illingworth
Beth Illingworth has been a member of Albany Presbytery since 1989. Prior to that she received her Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College in Easton, PA and her Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School. She comes from a long line of Presbyterian ministers. She is the first woman to be ordained into her family’s profession.
Beth’s first call in Albany Presbytery was as Designated Pastor of the Oakwood Avenue Presbyterian Church in Troy, New York, a ministry which gave her great joy. In 2009 she worked with others in the Presbytery to help the Oakwood congregation make the difficult decision to closed the church and become a new creation, the Oakwood Community Center. Beth also served fifteen years as Campus Minister for TAUM at Russell Sage College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy. In this ministry she had the privilege of working with a thoughtful, compassionate and socially conscious generation of students.
In 2018 Beth completed a certification program in Spiritual Direction through the Haden Institute. This enabled her to develop her skills in accompanying others on their spiritual journeys. Beth is also a Lyme disease warrior, having lived with the illness since 2004. She has discovered how unforeseen and painful experiences can be a pathway for deep learning and self-discovery.
Beth lives with her husband, Paul Greene, in Kinderhook, New York. They have two grown children, their daughter, Julian, and their son, Isaiah.
Part time Bookkeeper
Lisa has been in the finance field for over 30 years. For the last 21 years she has been working as a bookkeeper, treasurer and Finance manager for multiple non-profit and for profit companies. She loves the variety of different companies and the colleagues she works with. In her personal life, she loves spending time with her family and friends, loves exercise and the outdoors, reading, traveling and working from her home office. Lisa has two grown children, one on each end of the country and lives with her husband Jim, and two dogs in Delmar.
Rev. Rachel Paige
Rachel is our part time interim communications person, and also serves as the solo pastor at Stillwater United Church in Stillwater, NY. In her spare time she can be found working on her Masters in Social Work degree or hanging out with her spouse, Rev. Reilly Paige, or their dog, Clover.
RE Judy Hartley
RE Judy Hartley has been a devout Presbyterian her entire life. She was serving her community as an elementary and nursery school teacher when she was first invited to serve as an Elder at the Sixth Presbyterian Church in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh invited me to serve as Elder. Later, she joined the Session of First Presbyterian Church of Urbana, Illinois where she attended the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois meetings as Commissioner for years, served as Presbytery Commissioner to GA in Richmond, and chaired a GA committee. All told, Judy has served on Session in a total of eight churches, most recently at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Albany. Judy enjoys spending time with her two grown sons and her two granddaughters who also live in the Albany area. When she’s not with family, other interests include bike riding, hiking, gardening, playing Bocce ball, live music, friends, walking, sewing, exploring NY history and volunteering.
Rev. Kate Kotfila
Co-Chair of Trustees
MKate Kotfila served as Albany Presbytery’s 2019 moderator. She is pastor at the United Presbyterian Church in Cambridge, NY. An important spiritual discipline for Kate is traveling in places where life is very different than in Cambridge. You can learn more about the United Presbyterian Church in Cambridge at www.cambridgenyupc.org.
To learn more about Kate, read this article which was written at the beginning of her 2-year term as an Albany Presbytery Officer: Introducing Kate Kotfila, Vice Moderator 2018.
Rev. Donna Elia
Co-Chair of Trustees
Donna Elia serves as executive director of Troy Area United Ministries, an interfaith organization committed to seeking the social and spiritual well being of people in Rensselaer County and the surrounding area. She is also stated supply pastor of First United Church, Hoosick Falls. She has served congregations in Albany and Tribes Hill.
Donna served Albany Presbytery as moderator, and in her work on the Guatemala Partnership Task Force, she has traveled to Guatemala 8 times. She is active on a number of boards, including the Kirkridge Retreat Center and the Rensselaer County Homeless Services Collaborative.
Ruling Elder Peggy Drew
Peggy is a member of First United Presbyterian Church in Troy where she is an ordained Elder and Deacon. She is currently the chair of the Worship Committee and Moderator of Deacons. She is also a “Monday Morning Counter,” as head financial secretary she helps count the money and deposits it in the bank.