New Associate Executive Director for Leadership to focus mainly on clergy leadership initiatives.
As the New Year dawned, the Dr. Sidney Roberts Center for Leadership also rang in the new by adding a new member to the team, Mr. Jeff Roper. Jeff officially* joined the team on January 1, and will serve the conference as the Associate Executive Director of Leadership, which includes serving as an active member of the Cabinet. (*though the role wasn’t official until Jan. 1, Jeff had already begun to build relationships with his leadership teammates and the cabinet in the weeks leading up to the Christmas break so that he could hit the ground running on the official day 1.)
“We are delighted to have Jeff as part of the team – both the Center for Leadership team and the Cabinet,” remarked Dr. Georgia Adamson, executive director for the Roberts Center for Leadership and assistant to the bishop. “Jeff brings a wealth of leadership experience from his career in ‘Corporate America’ and an infectious passion for leadership development. We all look forward to working and partnering with him as we continue our efforts to energize and equip the local churches of the CTC through developing and resourcing church and district leaders.”
While this is a part-time position, Jeff really only knows one speed, and that’s full steam ahead. As it stands now, he will dedicate approximately three-quarters of his time focusing on clergy leadership, with the remaining 25 percent spread between lay leadership efforts, administration and meetings.
“Leadership development is more than attending a seminar,” said Jeff when asked about the way he approaches leadership development. “Developing leaders is about crafting a set of experiences to challenge the person, supporting the person with mentoring and coaching and using readings and seminars to introduce new ideas for leadership. Leadership development starts with the individual being open to learning and feedback. I am looking forward to working with the clergy and laity of the Conference – together we can grow new leaders and continue to develop our existing leaders.”
Jeff graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a BBA in Accounting. Following school, he spent several years with the international Audit, Tax and Advisory network KPMG
before moving to Alcon
in 1991, where he held a number of leadership roles in the Finance Department during his twenty-four year career. Jeff retired from Alcon as vice president of Finance in April 2015, but found that his love for leadership development still burned brightly. So when this opportunity arose, he felt it was a calling he just couldn’t ignore.
“This is an exciting time in our conference, and we have an opportunity to help develop clergy and lay leaders to take our conference to the next level,” Jeff observed. “I am honored to join the outstanding team at the Central Texas Conference Service Center. Our mission is clear – to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Developing leaders to carry out that mission is vital.”
Jeff and his wife, Claudia, are members of Meadowbrook UMC
in Fort Worth, where Claudia is the director of Children's Ministries
and a member of the choir. They have three grown children and their first grandson, Landon, was born in March 2015.