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GCFA Names New Leadership Team

General Council on Finance and Administration
The United Methodist Church
1 Music Circle North
Nashville, TN  37203


January 22, 2014
Contact: Sharon Dean

GCFA Names New Leadership Team

Nashville, TN – The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) announced last year that several veteran members of the staff had elected to accept the Volunteer Separation Package (VSP) offered by the agency.  GCFA commented at the time that a review of the structure of the agency and a smooth transition for new staff would happen throughout 2013.  Through those efforts, GCFA has developed the new leadership team for its varied ministries. 

New Hires

The new hires include: Bari Watson, Richard (Rick) King, and Denicia Roberts.  Ms. Watson is the Chief Officer of Episcopal Services and Operations and began her work at GCFA in November.  Mr. King is the Chief Financial Officer and joined the staff in December.  Mrs. Roberts is the Executive Director of Human Relations (HR) and began her work last July.    

Bari Watson is assuming some responsibilities currently held by Peggy Sewell and John Goolsbey relating to Episcopal Services.  Both will be retiring in 2014.  She will provide oversight to the Episcopal Services, Communications, Sponsorship, Travel & Meeting Planning and Shared Services areas of GCFA.  She has an extensive background in marketing and communications and has been instrumental in guiding religious and non-profit organizations through strategic change management and development of shared services.  Bari holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications and a Master’s Degree in Advertising and Public Relations from the University of Alabama. 

Rick King’s hiring is the result of an intensive search for someone with his financial background.  He is a CPA and holds the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and Masters of Business Administration (MBA) degrees from Middle Tennessee State University.  His business expertise includes work as a Controller, VP-Finance and CFO in varied corporate environments.  He has international business experience and has been instrumental in guiding organizations to effective customer relations management and strategic growth initiatives.  Rick will be assuming the role being vacated by Brent Smith, who elected to participate in the VSP offered to staff.   

Denicia Roberts fills the position of Executive Director of Human Relations, a position that was vacant before her arrival.  She brings over 20 years’ experience as an HR professional working both in the United States and internationally.  Denicia holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications.  One of her HR achievements has been the Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification. Her HR experience includes work at Hartmann where she was instrumental in mentoring and motivating high-performance teams, instituting efficiency improvement processes, developing successful incentive and recognition programs, and improving customer service initiatives. Roberts holds a patent on a product design for Hartmann while performing a dual role there as Director of Product Development. Her portfolio at GCFA includes managing the Building Services division at GCFA.


Michael Cook has been promoted to Chief Information Officer (CIO).  He joined GCFA in 2011.  In his role, Cook will oversee the Information Services Department at GCFA and will work throughout the United Methodist connection in Shared Services offered by GCFA IT.  Cook has over 25 years of experience working in the information technology field. Prior to joining GCFA, Cook was partner/owner of a technology consulting firm in Nashville and served as Regional Director for 10 years servicing all of Tennessee. 

Members of the Leadership Team

Scott Brewer will continue to serve as Associate General Secretary and assume some additional responsibilities. With the departure of John Goolsbey (who served faithfully for 15 years with the agency), Brewer adds the Book of Discipline interpretation to his portfolio. Scott brings 11 years of experience of his own to the work he is assuming and continuing with GCFA. Questions requiring interpretation of the Discipline or denominational policy that were previously directed to John can now be directed to Scott.  Scott also oversees the work of the Data Services Department and its Disciplinary responsibilities for data collection and statistical analysis and distribution. 

Rick Rettberg, General Counsel for GCFA, is also a member of the Leadership Team. In his role, Rick manages the legal team that, among other duties, resources the Church in legal matters, provides guidelines on the use of the Cross and Flame, and provides training in legal forums. 

Moses Kumar, General Secretary and Treasurer said “We are excited that the leadership team of GCFA is focused on assisting all our staff on achieving our goals of shared services, excellent customer experiences and improving connectional giving. The selection of our leadership team will provide the expertise and direction needed to achieve those goals.”   

The General Council on Finance and Administration coordinates and administers financial resources, safeguards the legal interests and rights of the Church, and provides administrative resources to enable the fulfillment of the mission of The United Methodist Church.