Women’s Division Announces Layoffs
Press ReleaseNew York, NY, June 12 -- The United Methodist Women's Division announced the elimination of eight positions today in an effort to enhance the organization's mission with women and children.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly C. Martini, 212-870-3729
Eliminated positions include:
- Executive Secretary for Resource Development, staffed by Carolyn Simms
- Executive Secretary for Spiritual and Theological Development, staffed by J. Ann Craig
- Executive Secretary for Mission Team Training based in Atlanta, staffed by Jan Winfield
- Executive Secretary for Mission Team Training based in Dallas, staffed by Liz Williams
- Administrative Assistant II, Section of General Administration, staffed by Elsie Trotman
- Program Assistant I, Section of Finance, staffed by Luz Mejia
- Program Assistant I, Section of Christian Social Responsibility, staffed by Alice LaBrie
- Program Assistant I, Section of Membership and Organizational Development, staffed by Nicola Epps
"At this time in our history, we need to focus the program priorities represented in these positions into the greater work and mission of the Division," said chief executive Jan Love. "We will do this through a process of strategically redeploying staff and reconfiguring most remaining job descriptions. It's difficult and painful to eliminate positions. They are staffed by our sisters who have been committed to the Women's Division and work with United Methodist Women. Their dedication has been exemplary."
"The support staff whose positions are being eliminated have been offered similar jobs outside the Women's Division, but within the General Board of Global Ministries. If affected persons need employment counseling, pastoral counseling, or financial planning, we will ensure that they receive it. If executive staff persons are ready to retire, we'll work with them to ensure they receive the best retirement packages. All affected staff will be honored for their commitment and service at the October board of directors meeting," Dr. Love said.
The 2007 budget of the Women's Division is based on the elimination of some staff positions. In addition, some functions previously carried out by the General Board of Global Ministries are being shifted into the Women's Division, creating some new positions. Details of the overall strategic realignment are still being worked out. They are based on a process of "Envisioning the Future" begun in a division-wide symposium in August 2005. A report on reorganization will be given to the Board of Directors in August 2006. Care will be taken to continue a commitment to the programs where staff positions have been eliminated.
The reduction in staff is not a surprise to members of the approximately one-million member organization. At the April board of directors meeting, Dr. Love addressed the directors in several sessions, often stating, "The Women's Division is a healthy organization, but our passion for mission has outstripped our annual income for a few years."
"In the re-organization process, we are absolutely committed to the fundamental priority of mission with women, children and youth as well as programs that strengthen United Methodist Women. This faithful and remarkable organization is more than 137 years old. Although painful, this realignment represents an opportunity to build on the strong foundation of the Women's Division's long-standing dedication to God's mission," Dr. Love said.
The Women's Division represents United Methodist Women, an organization of approximately one million members whose purpose is to foster spiritual growth, develop leaders and advocate for justice. Members raise nearly $25 million each year for programs and projects related to women, children and youth in the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world.