Staff & Board of Directors
Click a staff member’s photo for a short bio!
Rev. Erica Liu (she/her)
Erica has served Pres House since 2004. She is a second-generation Taiwanese-American who grew up…
Erica has served Pres House since 2004. She is a second-generation Taiwanese-American who grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. She lives in Madison with her partner, Mark, and their two daughters. Erica has a B.A. in Mass Communications from UC Berkeley, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. Some of her favorite spiritual disciplines include practicing the martial art taekwondo and Sabbath.
Until I entered college, I thought Christianity was mythology and that Christians were weak-minded people. But I ended up sharing my dorm room with a Christian and to my surprise, we became friends. During that year, I was challenged to examine what I believed about life and community. What I discovered was that the love and power of God bring radical transformation within people and the world. God’s call for our lives goes way beyond what we can imagine–it’s much riskier, bolder, and more fulfilling than the plans we make.
There are many ‘dividing walls of hostility’ we put up between each other–race, class, sexual orientation, gender, politics, and religion, just to name a few. I believe strongly in Jesus’ vision where all people are reconciled to God and one another. I invite you to enter into this community, not to find people who are just like you, but to live out the commandment to love God and ALL your neighbors, which means practicing what I call ‘holy friction.’ I hope you will engage in that journey with the community at Pres House.
Nii Addo Abrahams (he/him)
Nii Addo is a second-generation Ghanaian immigrant who spent most of his life in southwest…
Nii Addo is a second-generation Ghanaian immigrant who spent most of his life in southwest Missouri. He has an M.A. in Religious Studies from Missouri State University and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Nii Addo has a deep passion for the Star Wars universe (pre- and post-Disney) and is an avid, albeit sad, supporter of Manchester United Football Club. He also appreciates a high-quality donut, especially after a long bike ride.
I grew up in a deeply faithful household and was nurtured in my faith by my parents, my brother, youth pastors, and mentors. But I’ve always been the inquisitive sort. As I got older, I started to probe the boundaries of my faith tradition. Throughout my years in college and seminary, I began to see that God was not who I thought God was. I began to see how God is not bound by our expectations, how God in Christ ‘overturns every notion of propriety to be with us,’ and how God’s Spirit disrupts the status quo and beckons us out toward new horizons.
I believe that relationships are at the center of what it means to be God’s people. In my role at Pres House, I hope to find new ways to welcome folks into deeper relationships with God and with their neighbors. This community is a place where we can learn how all of our stories—as unique and diverse as they are—intersect with God’s story, and I consider it a privilege to be a part of that journey!
Natalie Handley (she/her)
Music has always been my source of connection with God. I’ve found it has an…
Music has always been my source of connection with God. I’ve found it has an un-matchable way of transcending our daily lives and thoughts and lifting us up into a state of worship. It uniquely combines the emotional with the physicality of singing or playing an instrument with the theological wisdoms of our faith, all while binding us together as a community. Growing up, I was often involved with church music (yes, at a Presbyterian church!), but I came to fully appreciate its power in my life and the lives of others during college when I began worship leading. I haven’t stopped since! After graduating from Northern Michigan University with dual bachelor’s degrees in music (voice) and psychology, I moved to Evanston, IL, and served at First Presbyterian Church for over 8 years.
In 2014, I moved to Madison and began serving at Christ Presbyterian Church as the Contemporary Worship Director. I appreciate all styles of worship and have focused specifically on contemporary worship, directing handbells, hymns, and worship services in the style of Taize in the past. The music is important to me, but what I truly love is getting others involved in the leading. I grew up in the unbeatable Upper Peninsula of Michigan and I’m thrilled to be back in the area where kayaking, camping, hiking, and all things nature are a lot more accessible!
Rev. Mark Elsdon (he/him)
Mark has served as the Executive Director at Pres House since 2004. He is an…
Mark has served as the Executive Director at Pres House since 2004. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. In addition to his role at Pres House, Mark is also Co-Founder & Lead Builder at RootedGood, which helps institutions and social entrepreneurs succeed by providing tools, training, and experiences that help create more good in the world. Mark’s first book, We Aren’t Broke: Uncovering Hidden Resources for Mission and Ministry, was published in June 2021. Mark has a B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and an M.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin School of Business. Born in the Midwest to immigrants from England, Mark has also lived in the southern, western, and eastern parts of the United States. Mark is an avid cyclist and considers it a good year when he rides more miles on his bike than he drives in his car. He is married to Rev. Erica Liu — they have two kids together.
I entered college very sure of my faith. That was both good and bad. I found that my image of God, though strong, was actually quite small. Spending time in the dorms talking with friends and on the streets talking with homeless people opened up my view of God. I found that God was in fact much bigger, much more loving, and much more welcoming than any of my conceptions. It is my hope that Pres House is always a place where God challenges our small conceptions, where we freely question and seek, and where we experience God anew whether we have known God for years or are simply wondering…
Mark Gordon (he/him)
I can’t say enough how excited I am for this opportunity with Pres House. Something…
I can’t say enough how excited I am for this opportunity with Pres House. Something I truly value is making a difference, and I believe that my role here at Pres House will provide several opportunities of being able to do that. This is a bit of a change for me, and I am delighted to have come across this organization. I look forward to doing whatever I can to make a positive, sustaining impact with Pres House, and serve our students and members. Pres House has members that are from a variety of backgrounds. Meeting a diverse group of people is something that ignites me. Everybody has their own unique story, and Pres House is a place where people of all different backgrounds can call home.
I am a graduate of UW-Oshkosh, with a BS degree in Journalism with an emphasis on Advertising and Public Relations. I was born and raised in the Milwaukee area and moved back there after college for work. However, for the past several years now I’ve been living in the Madison area. I am completely thrilled to now be able to work in Madison as well. I am a big sports fan, and I enjoy both watching as well as playing sports whenever I can. Also, I love to be outside as much as possible. I really enjoy hiking, kayaking, golfing, etc. It really doesn’t matter what the activity is. As long as I’m out in nature, you won’t hear me complain! I also enjoy northern WI and try to get there as much as time permits. Otherwise, if you have any questions, just let me know!
Ginger Morgan, PhD (she/her)
Ginger holds a Ph.D. from Denver University & Iliff School of Theology and comes to…
Ginger holds a Ph.D. from Denver University & Iliff School of Theology and comes to Pres House having served as the Associate Dean of Students at Colorado College. She has extensive experience in mental health, higher education administration, and pastoral care. Though hailing from the Midwest, she had the opportunity to live for two and a half years in India, for five years in Nashville, TN, and for over 16 years in Colorado Springs, CO. She comes to Madison in the company of her partner Chris and their two children.
It took me a long time to learn that I couldn’t always see around the next bend in life, in spite of all my plans to the contrary! What a delightful and surprising journey that has brought me here, to a home at the heart of the UW campus: Pres House Apartments. I’ve lived a lot of different places (Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Colorado, India, Nebraska) and done a lot of different types of work (college admissions, chaplain, crisis counselor, natural foods grocery stocker, dean of students) and am still excited by what I’ll learn, who I might meet, and how the path will unfold.
I am looking forward to working with the students living at the PH Apartments to nurture a sense of community and to support each resident as they integrate their education with their life experiences and values to find their own path forward. I hope you will consider whether PH Apartments could be your home for a time, whether you could contribute to our community and discover something (perhaps unexpected) about how your own journey might unfold.
Manato Jansen (he/him)
Born and raised in Japan, Manato moved to the United States in 2015 and earned…
Born and raised in Japan, Manato moved to the United States in 2015 and earned his B.A. in Sociology at Calvin University in 2019. Manato has a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School and is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Churches USA. He has served as an interfaith chaplain at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, MIT, and Emerson College. Manato also served in ministry at Old Cambridge Baptist Church.
Manato comes to Pres House Apartments having worked in residential life at Harvard College as a dorm proctor for first-year students. He continues to find joy serving in spaces where residential life, student support, and caregiving come together. In his spare time, Manato enjoys slow mornings with his cat Homer, exploring maps and all things cartography, learning languages, and playing the guitar, trombone, handbells, and organ when he gets the chance. Tokyo, West Michigan, and Boston all feel like pieces of home to Manato, and he looks forward to Madison growing into that family of homes.
Board of Directors
The Pres House Board of Directors is comprised of residents, Council members, and local church and community leaders.
Andy Holmes, President
Rona Neri, Vice President
Gordon Enderle, Treasurer
Carol Quintana, Secretary
Wrede (Bud) Smith