Conference treasurer announces resignation

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Conference treasurer announces resignation

Jan. 20, 2006   News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011  Orlando {0430}

An e-Review Feature
By Tita Parham

LAKELAND — Randy Casey-Rutland, conference treasurer, helps members of the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry tackle budget issues. Photo by Caryl Kelley, Photo #06-298.

LAKELAND — Dr. Randy Casey-Rutland announced early the week of Jan. 16 that he is resigning from his position as Florida Conference treasurer and director of administrative services effective May 5.

Casey-Rutland assumed the position on an interim basis in February 2000 after the Rev. Tom Marston, who was serving as both treasurer and president of the Florida United Methodist Foundation Inc., suffered a heart attack and resigned from the treasurer's job. Casey-Rutland was elected to fill the position permanently during a one-day special session of the annual conference later that October.
"For me, this has been, without a doubt, the most challenging, rewarding and enjoyable work opportunity I have ever had," Casey-Rutland said. "I feel privileged to have been part of the conference's life and look forward to greater things to come for the conference."

Casey-Rutland's wife, Helen, hopes to be appointed to a church in the Virginia Annual Conference, where she is an ordained clergy member in full connection. Casey-Rutland said she has been on family leave since the birth of their triplets 13 years ago and it has always been part of the family's plan for her to return to pastoral ministry. They decided the time was right to pursue that goal.

"I believe the conference is in a better place financially than it was six years ago and is well-positioned to move forward," he said.

The Rev. Dan Johnson, who serves as chairman of the executive committee of the conference Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A), says Casey-Rutland recruited a "top-notch" staff, but it's still going to be tough without him.
"Randy was concerned with more than just the finances of the conference. He sees the larger ecclesiastical church issues," Johnson said. "He was on the cutting edge of wanting to improve and was very conscientious about the dollars people gave to the United Methodist Church."

Dr. Anne Burkholder, director of the conference's Connectional Ministries office, says much the same.

"Randy has served the Florida Conference exceptionally well, providing us with visionary leadership and enacting changes in our financial and administrative systems that place us at the forefront of our denomination in these areas," she said.

LAKELAND — Randy Casey-Rutland, conference treasurer, talks numbers with Sherry Lingle, a staff member in the conference Connectional Ministries office. Photo by Caryl Kelley, Photo #06-299.

Burkholder and Casey-Rutland have worked together on many issues related to the structure, finances and ministry of the conference. By virtue of their positions they serve as members of the extended cabinet of the Florida Conference, which also includes leaders of other key ministry areas. The full cabinet includes extended members like  Burkholder and Casey-Rutland, as well as the conference's nine district superintendents, and serves as the leadership and administrative arm of the conference.

Burkholder said Casey-Rutland has been a valued partner in ministry. "He has been a great colleague, encouraging and teaching those of us who do not 'major' in financial matters the importance of long-term planning and accountability," she said. "I will miss him tremendously." 

Casey-Rutland also worked with Bishop Timothy Whitaker to "bring a spirit of collaboration and cooperation" among the different conference groups, according to Johnson.

"Working with the CF&A executive committee we were able to break down some of the silos and disjointedness and bring cohesiveness," he said.

Johnson said Casey-Rutland has had to tackle some difficult challenges during his tenure, from dealing with the stress and frustration of the recent hurricane seasons to the embezzlement of funds from the risk management program and the redistricting of the conference.

"Very few people know how much was involved (with the redistricting)," Johnson said. "He and the bishop have taken the conference's infrastructure light years ahead from where we were."

The CF&A executive committee is now making plans to find Casey-Rutland's replacement, which must be approved by the annual conference. Johnson said the next step is to meet with the bishop to plan a strategy and then form a committee to search for applicants. The goal is to present someone for approval at the upcoming annual conference session in June.

Casey-Rutland says his goal will be to find opportunities to relax and refresh and spend more time with his children. "I'll be a preacher's spouse for a while," he said.


This article relates to Florida Conference Staff and Administrative Services.

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.

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