Chief administrative officer and treasurer, United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
Hometown: Rural area about 11 miles south of Mansfield and 4 miles north of Pelican, LA
Now reside: Nashville.
Degree: Bachelor of Science, Business Administration concentration in Marketing
How I got to Tech: My brother was attending Tech at the time and I had spent a summer prior to graduating from high school at Northwestern State University, so I knew Tech had both good engineering and business schools.
Current job: Chief administrative officer and treasurer for the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship based in Nashville. That means leading the agency's financial and operational areas, including accounting, human resources, building services, strategic systems and communications and providing general oversight of the agency's financial affairs.
Why I look at my job as ministry: I am an ordained United Methodist Minister and understand my work to be ministry. I have believed from my early days in seminary that my "gifts and graces," as they are referred to in The United Methodist tradition, were/are in the area of administration. I also believe that one of the roots of administration is ministry and that what I do adds to ministry through my work. Having both degrees and experience in business and theology has enabled me to live out my call in unique and complimentary ways and venues.
When I knew ministry would be my profession: I suppose I really began to struggle with my call to ministry while at Tech when, having left the church for much of my later teen years, I was introduced to church again at Trinity UMC. It took another four or five years of struggle before I made the complete transition from secular work into the ministry.
What exactly is the General Board of Discipleship: The General Board of Discipleship is the lay leadership and spiritual development agency of The United Methodist Church. Our mission is to equip leaders of our churches and provide training and resources for spiritual development within the church. We also provide various worship resources used throughout our denomination and worldwide.
How other jobs trained me for this one: First, my undergraduate degree from Tech provided me the foundation for understanding basic business principles and organizational development. My degree in theology provided me the theological grounding and context for ministry. I have for most of my professional life combined both to understand the need to see a component of ministry as operating within a business environment. In recent years, earning my M.B.A., while certainly exposing me to enhanced learning, clearly fortified my appreciation for the strength of my undergraduate experience. My experiences of developing, managing, and turning around organizations (both secular and religious) of various sizes and complexities, combined with my education have served to uniquely position me for my current work.
Favorite memories of Tech: Some of my favorite memories of Tech are those of my interactions with fellow students and professors. I remember fondly the football games, good times and fellowship with my fraternity brothers, and a broadening my world-view through new concepts and information shared by my professors.
Most important thing I learned at Tech: I learned that knowledge has the power to transform one's life and open opportunities that one can not imagine.