New business manager for General Conference

A new business manager will play a lead role planning the next General Conference, the United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking assembly.

The Rev. Alan Morrison, who for seven years has served the denomination’s finance agency as travel and meeting planning manager/General Conference business manager, is taking on expanded responsibilities.

Alan Morrison

His new duties as the director of support services (meeting planning, facilities and procurement) will reflect an increased emphasis on helping general agencies that receive general church funds to be better stewards. In consultation with others, Mr. Morrison will work to identify and implement best practices to make agency meetings, facility operations and procurement more cost-effective and efficient.

Sara Hotchkiss, who has been assistant business manager to Mr. Morrison for seven years, was promoted to travel and meeting planning manager/General Conference business manager. She is a corporate travel expert and certified meeting professional.

These personnel changes at the General Council on Finance and Administration took effect Sept. 1.

The travel and meeting planning manager/General Conference business manager is among the most public positions at the General Council on Finance and Administration, especially during the legislative meeting.

General Conference, which convenes once every four years, last met April 24-May 4 in Tampa, Fla., and will next meet in 2016 in Portland, Ore.

Sara Hotchkiss

As business manager, Ms. Hotchkiss will work directly with the Commission on General Conference on matters related to facilities, operations, infrastructure and execution of the quadrennial event.

In addition, the business manager helps facilitate the twice-annual meetings of the Council of Bishops and other major gatherings of church leaders. Ms. Hotchkiss also will continue in her responsibilities of providing coordination of meeting planning and travel for the General Council on Finance and Administration.

Mr. Morrison managed the 2008 General Conference in Fort Worth, Texas, as well as this year’s gathering.

The GCFA announced two other personnel changes on Aug. 27.

Brent Smith, who has worked with GCFA for 26 years, is the new chief financial officer. The Rev. Matt Conover, an ordained elder in the Iowa Conference, is the new director of financial services.

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