General Board of Pension and Health Benefits Confers Leadership Awards
For Immediate Release
November 16, 2011
Contact: M. Colette Nies, Managing Director, Communications
(847) 866-4296 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Cambridge, MA—The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) conferred two distinguished leadership awards during its board of directors meeting last week in Massachusetts. Mr. Bruce Galvin was named the 2011 recipient of the Charles L. Calkins Award and Bishop Benjamin Chamness was named the 2011 recipient of the Clay F. Lee Award. These special GBPHB awards recognize exemplary service in caring for the pension and benefits needs of those who serve The United Methodist Church. They were presented by Board Chairperson, Bishop B. Michael Watson, and General Secretary, Barbara A. Boigegrain. (Photos attached below)
The Charles L. Calkins Award—Bruce Galvin
The Charles L. Calkins Award, established in 1988 and named for a former GBPHB general secretary, recognizes an annual conference pension and benefits administrator who, in partnership with GBPHB, has provided exceptional service in the administration of pension and/or health benefits within The United Methodist Church.
Bruce Galvin has served the Alaska and Pacific Northwest Conferences (PNC) since 1976 and, for the past 12 years, as its conference benefits officer (CBO) and assistant treasurer. In his nominating petition, PNC Conference Board of Pensions (CBOP) chair, Mr. Jerry Flagel, wrote, “His management has made it possible to reduce benefit apportionments requirements on the Annual Conference budget while maintaining complete benefit funding for all active and retired clergy. Bruce’s intimate knowledge and management of the conference board of pension finances during the recession years of 2008-09 has allowed the CBOP and Annual Conference to remain on a firm financial base without the need to assess additional apportionments to make up for any shortfalls in pension liabilities.”
Lonnie Chafin (Northern Illinois Annual Conference) wrote in his nominating petition that Bruce has served the Annual Conference through “innovation in wellness programs, specifically the $1,000 annual physical reward.” In 2004, Bruce suggested the PNC Pension Board offer incentives (initially $500) to local churches to encourage their pastors to take the Health Risk Assessment (HRA). In 2011, the incentive has grown to $1,250 and has resulted in 95% of pastors in the PNC conference taking the HRA and scheduling annual physicals.
During the award ceremony, Mr. Flagel highlighted Bruce’s leadership and partnership with GBPHB in developing and conducting financial planning workshops, supporting participant education during the introduction of the Clergy Retirement Security Program (CRSP), and sharing examples of the conference programs he instituted with other CBOs at the annual CBO Forum and HealthFlex Summit meetings. He described Bruce as a progressive thinker who has contributed much to the work of GBPHB through his commitment to health and pension benefits for clergy in his annual conference. Mr. Dale Jones, GBPHB managing director of Education and Plan Sponsor Relations, also spoke on Bruce’s behalf. Among his comments were those he cited from conference liaison, Ms. Barbara Hora, a member of his department: “Bruce passed the exam to become a Certified Financial Planner on his first attempt; he is frequently asked to share his knowledge with participants who seek his assistance as they plan and prepare for retirement.” And with the increasing emphasis on the health and wellness of clergy, Bruce is held by many as a role model for healthy living and lifestyles, “having completed the Boston Marathon a number of times with his wife, Robin, and son, Matt, cheering him on!”
The Clay F. Lee Award—Bishop Benjamin Chamness
The Clay F. Lee Award, established in 1999, recognizes former directors of GBPHB who have given exemplary service in caring for the pension and health benefit needs of those who serve The United Methodist Church.
Bishop Benjamin Chamness served as chairperson of the GBPHB’s board of directors from 2005 through 2008. In his introduction of the bishop during the awards ceremony, Mr. Dan O’Neill, Central Conference Pension Initiative (CCPI) managing director and former GBPHB board member, described the bishop’s active involvement as fundraising for the initiative began to take shape in 2007. “We knew that we needed a bishop to chair the effort and we turned to Bishop Chamness. Although he was chairing the GBPHB board, leading the Central Texas Conference, hosting General Conference 2008 and planning his own retirement, he graciously accepted. His CCPI role quickly grew as he began supporting the fundraising effort by contacting bishops, prominent clergy and lay church members, and adding his voice and encouragement to ours.” Dr. Joe Heyward, GBPHB board member, joined Dan in reflecting on the ways in which Bishop Chamness helped staff the original Central Conference Pensions Committee and remained its very active and engaged chairperson from 2007 to the completion of its work in 2009: “The bishop continues to track the progress and successful pilot program implementations weekly, continuing to add his voice to CCPI.”
The role played by Bishop Chamness exemplifies the Clay F. Lee Award criteria:
- Visionary Leadership—he chaired an effort to raise money through a campaign that The United Methodist Church had never attempted before, in order to solve a problem never successfully addressed before: the retirement security of central conference ministers and their surviving spouses;
- Strong advocacy of the pension programs of The UMC—as chairperson of both the GBPHB board of directors and CCPI fundraising; and
- Dedication to the values of GBPHB—Bishop Chamness exemplifies the values of GBPHB in his support and tireless efforts on behalf of CCPI: teamwork, integrity, stewardship, spirituality, customer satisfaction and mutual respect.
The names of Mr. Bruce Galvin and Bishop Benjamin Chamness will be inscribed on the Calkins Award and Lee Award plaques at GBPHB headquarters in Glenview, IL.
Jerry Flagel, Bishop Mike Watson, Bruce Galvin and his wife, Robin, General Secretary Barbara Boigegrain and Dale Jones.
Joe Heyward, Bishop Mike Watson, Bishop Benjamin Chamness and his wife, Joye, General Secretary Barbara Boigegrain and Dan O’Neill.
About the General Board
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits is a not-for-profit administrative agency of The United Methodist Church, responsible for the general supervision and administration of the retirement, health and welfare benefit plans, programs and funds for more than 74,000 clergy and lay employees of the Church.
GBPHB is the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States and ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the country. As a socially responsible investor, GBPHB is actively involved in shareholder advocacy, proxy voting, portfolio screening and community investing. The Central Conference Pension Initiative, the Center for Health, and Wespath Investment Management division are administered under its auspices.