On October 8, 2023, the Nominating Committee selected for Annual Council 2023, presented its report, recommending seven new positions to the assembled delegates. Erton Köhler, executive secretary of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, presented to the assembled delegates one name to fill a division administrative position and six names to fill roles at the General Conference. Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference, gave background information on each individual before and during the voting process, which was powered and tallied by Election Buddy again this year.
Each recommendation by the Nominating Committee was voted on and carried by the Executive Committee, commonly with 200 votes or more.
Newly Elected Leaders
East-Central Africa Division Treasurer - Yohannes Olana Beyene
Yohannes Olana Beyene, originally from Ethiopia, has held the position of Under Treasurer of the East-Central Africa Division. Yohannes holds a Bachelors in Accounting, a Masters in Accounting and Finance and is a Doctoral Candidate in Strategic Business Leadership. He is also a candidate for designation as a Certified Public Accountant. He will assume this position effective immediately.
Scientist for Geoscience Research Institute - Lance Pompe
Lance Pompe is most recently involved in academic teaching and study at Loma Linda School of Public Health. Originally from Southern Africa, he was born in Zimbabwe and raised in South Africa. He holds an MS degree in Geology and a PhD in Earth Science, while simultaneously completing a graduate certificate in Health Geoinformatics. Lance Pompe is deeply committed to research and education, particularly in the harmonization of faith and science using modern data science tools within the field of geology. His research predominantly revolves around significant topics in igneous rocks and plate tectonics. He will assume this position on March 1, 2024.
Field Secretary - Vyacheslav Demyan
Vyacheslav Demyan currently serves as vice president of programming at Hope Channel International (HCI) and was recently named as president-elect by the HCI Board of Directors, and will transition to this new role on November 1, 2023. Demyan joined HCI in 2019 and has guided the development and execution of programming to support HCI’s missiological goals. He has a passion for media ministry and a mission to reach millions with the Good News. He will assume this position on November 1, 2023, when he moves into his role as President of HCI.
Associate Director Children's Ministries - Nilde Itin
Nilde Itin has been associate director for Women’s Ministries at the General Conference since June 8, 2022. Previously, she served the Northern-Asia Pacific Division as the Children’s, Women’s, and Family Ministries Associate Director and has a passion for helping young people develop a relationship with Jesus. She holds an MA in Education and has served the Adventist Church in South America and Asia. She will assume this position on November 1, 2023. Learn more about her life story through her ANN Profiles interview.
Associate Director of Planned Giving and Trust Services - Hector Reyes
Hector "Tony" Reyes has served as Vice President of University Advancement for Southwestern Adventist University, in Keene, Texas, USA, since January 2020. Previously, he has served the Potomac Conference, three academies and the Universidad de Montemorelos, in the areas of development, planned giving, as well as advancement. He will assume this position effective immediately.
Associate Director of Sabbath School and Personal Ministries - Jaipaul Daniel Ebenezer Sundararaj
Jaipaul Daniel Ebenezer Sundararaj has served the North England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists since 2022. While serving as the conference’s Personal Ministries and Evangelism department, his focus has been “discipleship ministry," the nurturing, equipping, and empowering of individuals for Christian leadership. Previously, Sundararaj has served as a pastor, area ministerial field secretary, and Bible teacher at both secondary and university levels. Ebenezer is currently working on his MSc in Counseling and Psychotherapy from Salford University. He will assume this role on November 1, 2023.
Associate Director Women's Ministries - Galina Stele
Galina Stele has served the Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research since 2012. Born in Russia, Stele has traveled the world to serve the Adventist Church in various positions including professor of theology at Zaoksky Theological Seminary in Russia, coordinator and general editor of Shepherdess and Living Church in the Euro-Asia Division, and director of the Euro-Asia Division’s Institute of Missiology. She was the first woman to graduate with a doctorate of ministry from Andrews University in 1996 and is a widely published author. She will assume this role on November 1, 2023.
Correction made October 9, 2023: We previously noted that Jaipaul Daniel Ebenezer Sundararaj had completed his MSc in Counseling and Psychotherapy from Salford University. He is currently working to complete it.