OAKLAND, California—The California-Nevada Annual Conference Board of Pensions has announced the election of Paul Extrum-Fernandez to the position of Executive Secretary (Conference Benefits Officer), effective August 1, 2010.
The appointment follows the July 9 announcement of Grady Knowles' retirement. After 31 years of service, Knowles stepped down as Executive Secretary on July 31, but will continue on the staff of the Board as a consultant over the next several months, to assist in the transition to the direct billing of pensions for the Annual Conference. He will retire on April 30, 2011.
Resident Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. said the Conference owes a debt of gratitude for Knowles' "excellent stewardship of the Conference's pension and health benefits programs." He added, "I appreciate his willingness to continue working with us in order to make the change to direct billing and to ensure that the leadership transition goes as smoothly as possible."
Extrum-Fernandez has an extensive history of Conference leadership. He has led the Conference Board of Pensions as President since 2008. 1991-1998, he served as Associate Council Director for the Conference, and served as Director of Connectional Ministries from 1999 to 2002.
For the past eight years, he has been Vice President for Institutional Advancement for Pacific School of Religion.
"I'm excited about returning to the Conference staff and reconnecting with friends and colleagues," he says. "I look forward to working with and serving the retired and active participants in our Conference pensions and health care benefit plans. My commitment is to continue the excellent service that has been a hallmark of the Board of Pensions."
Extrum-Fernandez received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Master of Science degree in Film from the Boston University School of Public Communication.
He has filled a variety of roles across the United Methodist Church. He was elected the first Lay Delegate to the General Conference three times, has chaired the Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy, and served with distinction on the denomination's Connectional Table, Commission on the General Conference, General Commission on Communications, and on the Boards of Directors of Samaritan Counseling Center, Fred Finch Youth Center, and Bay Area Interfaith Communications Commission.
"In his interview, Paul exhibited a commitment to collegial, collaborative, and creative leadership," said Search Team Chair Mark Wharff. "We are convinced he is realistically cognizant of the challenges confronting the next Executive Secretary to provide skillful guidance for the Board of Pensions and the Annual Conference through the transitions ahead, and equally confident he is uniquely qualified to offer the requisite counsel."
Bishop Brown said, "I am delighted that Paul has accepted this position. His knowledge of the Conference and his understanding of our pension and benefits program will provide continuity in the excellent service we have come to count on from our Pension office."
Paul Extrum-Fernandez may be contacted at the Board of Pensions, 300 27th Street, Oakland, CA 94612; phone 510.839.8538; fax 510.834.8539; email firstname.lastname@example.org.