July 28, 2011
New ELCA treasurer; new executives for Mission Advancement and ELCA Mission Investment Fund
(Editor's Note: This July 28 feature was updated August 4.)
During a July 28 meeting by conference call, the ELCA Church Council elected two staff members to new roles within the churchwide organization. ELCA controller Linda O. Norman will serve a six-year term as ELCA Treasurer, beginning Oct. 1. Current ELCA Treasurer Christina Jackson-Skelton will serve a four-year term as executive director of the ELCA Mission Advancement unit, beginning Sept. 1.
Norman, an ELCA pastor and CPA, began serving the churchwide organization in 2006 as controller and then chief financial officer for the ELCA Foundation. In February 2011, she began serving as the ELCA controller. Norman has a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's of science in accounting from Trinity University in San Antonio. In 2006, she earned her master of divinity degree from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and began serving a part-time call at Bethel Lutheran Church in Chicago until 2009.
"Linda Norman's integrity and transparency will maintain the high confidence this church has in the office of treasurer," said ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark S. Hanson. "Her experience as a pastor in an urban congregation grounds her work in a passion for God's mission, which we all share. Her wisdom makes her a great mentor and colleague. I look forward to serving with her."
Jackson-Skelton said of Norman, "I could not imagine turning over this work with more confidence than I have today in entrusting it to my colleague, Pastor Linda Norman. Linda's deep financial knowledge and integrity will ensure the highest level of fiscal management and careful stewardship of the gifts entrusted to us by this church."
Jackson-Skelton has served the ELCA churchwide organization since 1989, spending nine of those years as ELCA treasurer and president of the Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA. This past February, she was named interim director of the Mission Advancement unit. She will continue to serve on the Lutheran World Federation Council and Executive Committee, and to chair the LWF Finance and Administration Committee.
Jackson-Skelton is a graduate of Concordia College, Moorhead, Minn., as well as an MBA graduate of Thunderbird School of Global Management in Glendale, Ariz. As a member of the design team that created the Mission Advancement unit, she "understands how bringing together marketing and public relations, planned giving, fundraising appeals, mission support and constituent services can increase awareness of and engagement in ELCA ministries," Hanson said. "She will share enthusiastically with donors the story of this church engaged in mission and the joy that comes with giving."
ELCA Vice President Carlos Pena, who chairs the ELCA Church Council, said Jackson-Skelton is "tremendously gifted, and as such will bring excellent skills to her new position: integrity, professionalism, clarity and knowledge."
Roby, MIF executive vice president for administration since 2002, has a “unique combination of financial industry knowledge, ELCA-related experience and a passion to lead the organization in its mission to serve (this) church,” said Harold Mueller, MIF board president.
“In challenging economic times she will provide leadership marked by integrity, continuity and creativity,” Bishop Hanson said of Roby, a member of Bethel Lutheran Church, Chicago, Ill. In the last nine years the ELCA Mission Investment Fund has grown from $380 million to $640 million in assets, “with $450 million in loans now at work supporting ministries throughout the ELCA,” Jackson-Skelton said.