Brethren Disaster Ministries Restructures, Makes Personnel Changes

Brethren Disaster Ministries is restructuring and reshaping its staff and support staff positions to better serve a growing rebuilding ministry and Children’s Disaster Services.

Three new positions have been created and filled: office manager for Brethren Disaster Ministries, a salaried staff position reporting to Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries; program assistant for Brethren Disaster Ministries rebuilding program, a support staff position reporting to Jenn Dorsch, director of Brethren Disaster Ministries; and program assistant for CDS, a support staff position reporting to Kathy Fry-Miller, associate director of CDS.

The three new fulltime positions replace two fulltime positions, one part-time position, and one position for a Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) volunteer.

Coordinator position is ended

The position of coordinator of Brethren Disaster Ministries has been closed out. Jane Yount, coordinator of Brethren Disaster Ministries, ended her service to the Church of the Brethren on Monday, Aug. 24. For more than 30 years, Yount served in a variety of roles to support the mission of the denomination at the Brethren Service Center in New Windsor, Md. She began her work for the church in the role of pricer for SERRV in 1982. She then moved to the position of secretary for the Food Preservation System in 1983, and to secretary for the Refugee/Disaster Program in 1984. As the needs in Brethren Disaster Ministries changed, her role evolved to its most current position of coordinator for Brethren Disaster Ministries.

“We are grateful to Jane for her years of service to the Church of the Brethren,” said an announcement from the Human Resources department.

Three fill new positions

Three new employees have been hired as part of the restructuring of the Brethren Disaster Ministries staff:

Sharon Billings Franzén of Westminster, Md., has been hired as office manager for Brethren Disaster Ministries. In addition to teaching and tutoring, her work experience over the years has included responsibilities in communications, database management, financial processing, volunteer coordination, event management, and client relations, among others. Most recently she has been administrative assistant at Meadow Branch Church of the Brethren in Westminster, Md., and concurrently has worked as member support consultant at Christian Connections for International Health, a networking membership organization promoting and advocating for the work of Christian agencies involved in global health. She also worked for Christian Connections for International Health from 2005-12. In intervening years, from 2012-13, she was a client services coordinator and English tutor at Comprehensive Language Services in Rwanda. From 2000-05 she was a pre-school teacher in Tanzania. Her volunteer and church-related work has included a term of service in the Peace Corps in Tanzania, and work for the Lutheran World Federation in New York and in Zambia. She holds a bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science, with a minor in Spanish, from High Point (N.C.) University; and a master’s degree in International Development from the American University, School for International Service, in Washington, D.C. She will begin her work for Brethren Disaster Ministries on Sept. 8.

Kristen Hoffman has been hired as program assistant for Brethren Disaster Ministries-Children’s Disaster Services. Most recently, she has volunteered in the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin, Ill., serving through Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS). She coordinated this year’s Christian Citizenship Seminar and National Junior High Conference among other duties. She is a life-long member of the Church of the Brethren, and in other service to the church was a youth leader and intern at Middlebury (Ind.) Church of the Brethren, and has participated in Ministry Summer Service as well as church workcamps and National Youth Conference. Her previous employment includes work as a dietary aide at Bethesda Nursing Home in Goessel, Kan. She is a 2014 graduate of Manchester University in North Manchester, Ind., where she majored in sociology and minored in peace studies, and also spent a semester of social work studies in a study abroad program in India. She begins her work for Brethren Disaster Ministries on Sept. 16.

Robin DeYoung of Hampstead, Md., has been hired as program assistant for the rebuilding program of Brethren Disaster Ministries. DeYoung is a recent graduate of McPherson (Kan.) College and attends Westminster (Md.) Church of the Brethren. Previous volunteer and work experiences have include a college internship at Hutchinson Community Foundation in Kansas, work as a section editor and photographer for the McPherson College paper “The Spectator,” and some public relations, marketing, sales, and customer service experience with a variety of companies. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from McPherson College. She begins her work with Brethren Disaster Ministries on Sept. 8.

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