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CFO bids MC Canada goodbye


June 23, 2006
-by Dan Dyck

Winnipeg, Man. — Edmonton 2006 will be the last time Chief Financial Officer Lloyd Plett will deliver financial reporting to delegates.

The job he was hired to do in 2003 has come to the end of its planned term.

Plett says he has mixed feelings – mostly over leaving a group of people he has grown fond of in his time overseeing the financial management of Mennonite Church Canada. But he also leaves in confidence, knowing that MC Canada has regained its financial strength, and that he is leaving the organization in good hands.

The semi-retired Plett is humble about any role he played in regaining financial stability for MC Canada early on in his assignment, noting that when he arrived, changes were already being implemented to improve financial systems.

And he’s quick to point out that it hasn’t been a one-way experience.

Plett, who was formerly financial chief for Loewen Windows, found refreshing the collaborative nature of leadership and staff in decision making, and the importance of relationships. “In business it’s much more of a hierarchical system… it was interesting to me to be part of this [MC Canada] kind of model, and this model also works.”

Plett, who is part of the Evangelical Mennonite Church, makes a point of saying that, “People here are servants, and they are serving their constituency very capably and very competently, and they are very conscientious about what they do. I would like to make sure that the constituents hear that from somebody who has no ties and no loyalty to MC Canada.”

In a farewell speech, Jack Suderman, general secretary of MC Canada, said, “It became evident very quickly that Lloyd had a heart for the organization,” said Suderman. He also highlighted Plett’s “competence,” “relational sensitivity,” and observed that “Lloyd is not soft. He can be quite hard nosed.”

In response, Plett said, “I have been so impressed with the work Mennonite Church Canada does and the kinds of programs they run and administer. The quality of the people here – it’s just been a real blessing to me to be part of this.”

To help ensure the continuation of the good work that has begun, Plett has been guiding and mentoring Randy Wiebe, MC Canada’s current Director of Finance, who will take on more responsibility after Plett’s departure.

In some final parting advice to Mennonite Church Canada, Plett says firmly, “Don’t rest on your laurels. Don’t think we have the problem licked and now we can be less rigorous. Learn your lessons carefully and remember where you came from.”

Plett will now take his experience and put it to work at Vidir Machine, in Arborg, Man., where he will proudly hang his Mennonite Church Canada mug on the wall in the lunch room.