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Finance Team Finalized

   
 
MC Canada Finance staff team (l-r): Laura Zacharias, Paul Klassen, Lorna Friesen, Dianne Schmidt. Photo by Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man.—After navigating the complex waters of financial transition from a bi-national church, Mennonite Church Canada has established a long-term configuration for its finance department.

Paul Klassen is now Director of Finance. Klassen formerly served as Assistant Treasurer before taking a year’s study leave to certify as a chartered general accountant. The Director of Finance position succeeds the former position of Treasurer, which Gerhard Epp held until his resignation earlier this year.

The designation of Treasurer now applies to the chair of the re-named Financial Policy and Audit Committee, presently Bruno Friesen of Foothills Mennonite Church in Calgary. MC Canada’s new structure initially positioned this committee under its Support Services council; to ensure greater financial accountability it has been restored to a direct relationship to the General Board.

Lorna Friesen is now Assistant Director of Finance, with oversight over accounts payable, accounts receivable and development accounting, effective August 1. Friesen has served in MC Canada’s finance department since 1995, first as finance clerk and then as interim co-assistant treasurer for the last year.

Laura Zacharias’ title has changed to Coordinator—Payroll and Benefits Accounting, effective August 1. She continues to work half-time but on a permanent rather than contract basis. In the last fifteen years, Zacharias has served eight years as Accounting Clerk and six years as a contract worker handling data entry, and also as interim co-assistant treasurer for the last year.

Effective August 15, Dianne Schmidt assumes a full-time role as Accounting Administrative Assistant. She trades desks with Debbie Loewen, who will return to the reception desk as receptionist-office assistant. Loewen temporarily replaced former finance clerk Tany Warkentin.

With these arrangements in place, the Finance department is prepared to tackle the restructured budget and fully implement the new accounting software, in addition to its normal responsibilities. "This new arrangement of the finance department brings a rational and effective system of support to the valuable work that both MC Canada Witness and Formation do," said Klassen.

Pam Peters Pries, Executive Secretary of Support Services, worked closely with finance staff prior to Annual Assembly. "These are hard-working, dedicated, capable people," she said. "Mennonite Church Canada is truly blessed to have this team in place."