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North Georgia Conference Names Next Treasurer/CFO, Pending Annual Conference Approval

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The North Georgia Conference recently shared an important announcement (article below) about its incoming Treasurer/CFO. The Georgia United Methodist Foundation is grateful to Keith Cox for his many years of service to the Conference and our board of trustees. We are also looking forward to working with Allison Berg, pending Annual Conference approval, in her new role.

The North Georgia Conference Council of Finance & Administration is pleased to announce that, pending Annual Conference approval, Allison Berg will be named the next North Georgia Conference Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, effective July 1, 2022. 

She will succeed Keith Cox who will retire June 30 after 21 years of outstanding service. 

Allison currently serves as Associate VP for Finance at Emory University. She has had a very impressive career trajectory in which she has held increasingly complex, significant financial leadership roles. In her 35-year career, she has served in four separate Emory organizations. Allison is a member of Oak Grove UMC and is an engaged, lifelong United Methodist. She is regarded as a difference-maker in both her professional and her volunteer work.

The CFO search committee of the Conference Council of Finance & Administration, chaired by Jeff Adams, with members Rev. Hal Jones, Rev. Alice Rogers, Rev. Bert Neal, and Jennifer Dorris, CPA, made the unanimous recommendation after a local and national search. The search committee partnered with BoardWalk Consulting, a national firm based in Atlanta, to conduct the search for CFO, reaching out to more than 200 potential candidates and sources. 

The committee sought a forward-looking leader with outstanding financial, collaboration, relationship, and consensus-building skills, passion for the UMC, and a sense of call to this role. They sought a Treasurer/CFO who will:

• Be a forward-looking, strategic, go-to leader.
• Be an exceptional builder of relationships and trust.
• Navigate and manage complexity.
• Lead and manage change at a time of uncertainty.
• Innovate to ensure a healthy, sustainable future for the Conference.

Over the course of multiple meetings and candidate interviews, the committee narrowed a strong field of candidates to three finalists. Comprehensive referencing and intensive finalist interviews have taken place in recent weeks.

Allison’s strategic and financial modeling skills have influenced major Emory decisions, including the acquisition of St. Joseph’s Hospital, the creation of the Emory isolation unit [critical for Ebola], and the CHOA partnership. Allison is known for building effective, collaborative teams and developing her staff. She helps team members realize their individual potential and deliver excellent results for the mission of the organization.

A person who reported to Allison for several years said Allison “has a lot of knowledge and a great personality. She’s a great person to work with, easy-going, and concerned for her staff. She interacts and gets to know us. Even when Allison was super busy, she always made time for me.” Allison has worked effectively, and built confidence, with all levels and styles of leadership at Emory, which is a large, complex, multi-faceted, and decentralized organization. Her ability to see the big picture, to assess trends and risks, to leverage data analytics -- and to deliver results -- has helped drive productivity and change.

Allison has volunteered extensively with The United Methodist Church since childhood. She has applied her leadership skills at Oak Grove UMC, where she has chaired the Board of Stewards, helped the church and pastor weather controversies, and been tapped to facilitate the transition to a one-board model.

Allison and her husband Bill have three adult children and a grandchild. She is excited about the Treasurer/CFO role and feels a strong sense of call to the North Georgia Conference.

She will attend the Annual Conference in early June, where members of the Annual Conference will have the opportunity to officially approve the selection.

Posted: May 16th, 2022 | Permalink

Wespath Institutional Investments 2022: Q1 Review

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The Georgia United Methodist Foundation is pleased to provide you with this exclusive Investment Quarterly Review. The Foundation is the exclusive distributor of the I Series of the Wespath Institutional Investments (Wespath) funds to United Methodist entities within the State of Georgia.
 

 

Market and Wespath Fund Performance1
 

  • Fund Performance: Net-of-Wespath-fees performance through March 31, 2022, is available here.
     
  • Markets at a Glance Video Update: Wespath’s Trent Sparrow, Manager, Impact Investments, provides a video update on the markets, including ongoing volatility and uncertainty from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the lowest fixed income performance in four decades, and the Fed’s response to high inflation.
     
  • Monthly Investment Report: Read Wespath's full market and fund performance commentary in the March 2022 Monthly Investment Report.
     
  • Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine: The world continues to witness the devastating outcomes resulting from Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. We continue to pray for peace and safety for all those impacted by this senseless war. Over the last six weeks as the conflict unfolded, Wespath Chief Investment Officer Dave Zellner wrote to investors to respond to the resulting market volatility as well as the U.S. ban on Russian oil imports.
     

Wespath Sustainable Investment Quarterly Highlights2
 

  • Wespath Featured in PRI Human Capital Management Report: “Human capital” refers to a company’s workforce and all the knowledge, skills and abilities its people bring. Wespath believes human capital is a valuable ESG metric and an important factor in the way Wespath – and crucially, its external asset managers – evaluate and monitor a company’s performance. Read more about Wespath’s perspective in this report from PRI
     
  • Partnering to Support an Equitable and Just Transition to Net-Zero: In February, Wespath joined 95 global investors, through the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) to publish a statement that included resources intended to help investors promote a just net-zero transition. Read the statement now.
     

Fiduciary Focus Educational Series 
 

  • Investment Complexity and Operating Models: Which asset classes and investment vehicles are optimal for your organization? In this article, Wespath highlights the factors you should consider when structuring your institutional investment portfolio.
     

New Thought Leadership on the Investment Insights Blog
 

  • Dude, Where’s My Peloton?: From the rise and fall of Peloton, to Zoom’s surprising cool down, Joe Halwax, Wespath Managing Director of Institutional Investment Services, looks back at stock trends over the last two years.
     
  • A Personal Connection to Wespath’s Values: Jake Barnett, Director of Sustainable Investment Stewardship, shares how a personal tragedy strengthened his commitment to Wespath’s sustainable investment work addressing opioid accountability and beyond.
     
  • Does Bitcoin Belong in a Traditional Investment Portfolio?: From trending on Twitter to taking the investment world by storm, is cryptocurrency here to stay? Wespath Senior Analyst Fred Huang discusses what Bitcoin is, how it’s created, and if it has a place in investment portfolios. 
     
  • Wespath’s Favorite Investment Podcasts, Commentaries and Twitter Follows: With so many platforms and resources on the internet, it can be overwhelming to know what to read, listen to or watch. Wespath Managing Director of Institutional Investment Services Joe Halwax shares his favorite investment-focused online resources, podcasts and Twitter accounts.
     

1 Historical returns are not indicative of future results. The investment funds are neither insured nor guaranteed by the government. For more information about the funds, please see the Investment Funds Description - I Series.

2 Wespath Benefits and Investments implements the sustainable investment strategies for investment funds made available through it and its subsidiaries, including Wespath Institutional Investments.

Copyright © 2022 Wespath Institutional Investments, affiliated with The United Methodist Church.

Wespath Institutional Investments is located at 1901 Chestnut Ave., Glenview, IL 60025.

Contact Us
 

Investing with Wespath Institutional Investments through the Georgia United Methodist Foundation allows your church or organization to focus on its own good work, while reaching its financial objectives. To learn more, contact Foundation President and CEO Mathew A. Pinson at 770-449-6726 or mpinson@gumf.org or Foundation Regional Vice President Dr. Rick Lanford at 478-256-7130 or rlanford@gumf.org.

Posted: April 20th, 2022 | Permalink

Declaration of Future Intent Form Makes Gift Planning Easier

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Do you need help documenting your planned gift intention to support your church or a Methodist-related organization? The Georgia United Methodist Foundation offers a simple Declaration of Future Intent Form that helps individuals document future gift intentions through a will, trust, retirement account, gift annuity, life insurance policy, or other sources. Always consult a trusted legal or financial advisor when making charitable gift decisions. And please reach out to the Foundation at 770-449-6726 or info@gumf.org if we can help you identify ways to support your church or Methodist-related ministries that are close to your heart. The Foundation’s purpose is totally focused on elevating and advancing the mission of the church.

Download the "Declaration of Future Intent Form" here.

Posted: April 1st, 2022 | Permalink

Cemetery Association and Investing Guide Now Available

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Cemeteries are sacred places. In many churches, several generations of the same family are resting there. At the same time, cemeteries can become a burden for a church to maintain properly and even bring liability if someone is injured there. Church leadership strongly urges congregations to form a cemetery association, which can be the best way to sustain and maintain a cemetery until Christ returns!

The Cemetery Association and Investing Guide is provided as a resource for Methodist congregations and entities that wish to establish a cemetery association and invest its funds with the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.

To learn more, please contact the Foundation at 770-449-6726 or info@gumf.org, visit our Cemetery Association page here or download the Cemetery Association and Investing Guide here.

Posted: April 1st, 2022 | Permalink

GUMF Recognized at 2022 UMAC Awards Gala

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On March 31, 2022, United Methodist communicators from across the connection gathered for the United Methodist Association of Communicator’s virtual awards gala. The Georgia United Methodist Foundation received First Place in the Visual Design Print or Electronic Category for the redesign of our 2021 Fall and Summer Faith & Money Newsletters.

The North Georgia Conference Communicator Sybil Davidson received Third Place for their Weekly Update in the eNewsletter Category. Davidson, the Rev. Blair Boyd Zant, and Robbie Pancake (Digital Media Consultant), also received Third Place in the Multi-Media Category for the Conference's "So Be It" Lenten Digital Worship Resources.

UMAC also inducted the Rev. Dr. Donald Wood, Executive Director, Emeritus, of Good News TV (GNTV) into the Hall of Fame. He was the Executive Director of GNTV from its beginnings as a cable television channel in 1976 to an Audio/Video/Lighting Production Ministry that provides event support for more than 30 events per year. He retired in 2012. He has successfully supported events across the United States and in more than 15 countries worldwide.

Each year, UMAC recognizes excellence in communication through an extensive awards program that encompasses print publications, digital publications, writing, internet communications, video production, audio, photography, visual design, publicity/advertising, and media presentations.

Posted: April 1st, 2022 | Permalink