Our Organization

Bright Way Zen is a legally incorporated religious nonprofit in the state of Oregon. We are in the process of applying for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS; it is not required that churches do this (in the eyes of the government we are a “church”), but it helps make issues of tax deductibility perfectly clear and will allow us to take advantage of various discounts and services for nonprofits.

Legal Documents

Bylaws
Board Meeting Minutes, Appendices, and Budgets

Board of Directors
Currently our Board has seven members. Board members have to be Invested Members of Bright Way Zen, meaning they have joined as members, support the organization financially, and have taken Jukai. The first Board was appointed by the founding Executive Director, Rev. Burk. Subsequent Board members are elected by Bright Way Zen members to 3-year terms.

Domyo Burk, ex-officio voting member of board indefinitely, as Executive Director
Janna Allgood, elected to three-year term on 04/18/2016 (term ends 04/18/2019)
Shoketsu Ellen Carlin, re-elected to three-year term on 03/17/2015 (term ends 3/17/2018)
Myoju Bella Jhunjhunwala, elected to three-year term on 03/17/2015 (term ends 3/17/2018)
Jim Lewinson, elected to three-year term on 03/17/2015 (term ends 3/17/2018)
Jeff Young, appointed to three-year term on 10/18/2012, elected to 2nd three-year term on 04/18/2016 (term ends 4/18/2019)
Vacancy – one

Officers:
Chair of the Board: Jim Lewinson
Vice-chair: Bella Jhunjhunwala
Treasurer: Ellen Shoketsu Carlin
Secretary: Vacant

Executive Director

At this point we are a small organization with no employees. Our teacher, Domyo Burk, serves as Executive Director. According to our bylaws the Executive Director must be a transmitted Soto Zen Priest as recognized by the Soto Zen Buddhist Association and has two functions:

  • Spiritual Leader. In her/his capacity as spiritual leader, the Executive Director determines matters of liturgy, religious practice and teaching, gives direction to the membership on these matters, and is not answerable to the Board of Directors or other organization employees or officers, except through the provision of Removal (Section IV.8 of the bylaws), and through her/his adherence to an Ethics Policy approved by the Board of Directors. The Executive Director may take on other traditional titles to indicate his/her role as spiritual leader of the organization (such as Head Teacher or Abbot).
  • Operations Manager. In her/his capacity as operations manager the Executive Director takes care of the organization’s daily function and is accountable to the Board of Directors in all legal and financial matters. In such legal and financial matters the Executive Director abides by the decisions made by the Board of Directors. The Executive Director also functions as an ex-officio (by way of holding another office/position), voting member of the Board.

Board of Directors History

Amy Plavak, appointed to and served one-year term 10/18/2012-10/18/2013
Mary Fushin Payne, appointed to and served two-year term 10/18/2012-10/18/2014
Lisa So’on Markel, appointed to and served two-year term 10/18/2012-10/18/2014
Dawn Holt, appointed to and served three-year term 10/18/2012-10/18/2015
Shoketsu Ellen Carlin, appointed to one-year term on 10/18/2012, re-elected to three-year term on 03/17/2015
Jeff Young, appointed to three-year term on 10/18/2012, re-elected to three-year term on 04/18/2016
Lorna Simons, elected to three-year term on 03/17/2015, resigned on 7/1/2017