Changes at the Conference Center

September 10, 2013

The staff of the Iowa Annual Conference was notified on September 6, 2013 about workforce reductions, which will take effect on October 1, 2013.  The actions were taken as the result of 2013 Annual Conference session action to reduce the Conference Ministries apportionment by $486,259.

The Administrative Cabinet (Bishop Trimble, Bill Poland, Karen Dungan, Art McClanahan, Joni Mardesen and Todd Weber) was charged by the Annual Conference session with the responsibility of making the necessary adjustments.  After careful and extensive deliberation, which included expense reductions in other areas, the following changes were announced:

  • The Central Services Department will be eliminated.
  • The position of Communications Manager will be eliminated.
    • Two half-time positions—Content Manager and Web-Social Media Manager—will be created.   
    • Services will be outsourced, including graphic and publication design and major video project editing
    • Administrative support will be shifted to the Administrative Secretary for the Assistant to the Bishop for Administration
  • The position of Administrative Secretary for the Assistant to the Bishop for Administration is being reduced to 27 hours/week with some of the responsibilities of the position changed.
    • Event planning for the Annual Conference Session will be outsourced
    • Responsibility for logistics or meal planning for groups being hosted by the Episcopal Office will be assigned to another Conference Center staff member
  • The two Leadership Development Minister positions that are currently vacant will be filled at less than full-time.

The persons whose positions are affected by these reductions have been offered severance pay and payout of unused Paid Time Off per our employee policy.

The Conference has contracted with the Palmer Group of Des Moines to provide outplacement services, so that the three persons effected will have assistance in resume preparation and searching for new employment.

No other reductions are planned for the 2014 budget year.

“Our Annual Conference has been blessed by the gifts of these employees during their time of service.  We want to encourage them and pray God’s blessing upon them,” said Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble.  “We are working to support our staff and our congregations and to make Conference operations as efficient as possible and during this time of transition.”

Later in September the Conference Staff Design Task Force, created by action of the 2013 Annual Conference session, will begin to meet.  It will review the Conference staffing structure and make recommendations for changes that align our staff resources with the Conference’s strategic priorities. Director of Human Resources, Joni Mardesen, will be a member of the Task Force.