On October 8, the Nominating Committee that was selected and convened for the General Conference’s (GC) 2023 Annual Council presented its report, recommending names to the assembled members of the GC Executive Committee (EXCOM) to fill seven positions.
GC secretary Erton Köhler presented one name to fill a division administrative position and six names to fill roles at the General Conference. GC president Ted N. C. Wilson gave background information on each individual before and during the voting process, which once more this year was powered and tallied by the Election Buddy application.
EXCOM members voted each name separately.
Newly Elected Leaders
Yohannes Olana Beyene, originally from Ethiopia, has been the undertreasurer of the East-Central Africa Division. Beyene holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting, a master’s in accounting and finance, and is a doctoral candidate in strategic business leadership. He is also a candidate for certification as a Certified Public Accountant. He will assume the division treasurer position immediately.
Lance Pompe has been 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 a master of science degree in geology and a PhD in earth sciences, and is completing a graduate certificate in health geoinformatics. Pompe is 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.
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. 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 the field secretary position on November 1 when he moves into his role as president of HCI.
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. She has a passion for helping young people develop a relationship with Jesus. Itin holds a master of arts in education and has served the Adventist Church in South America and Asia. She will assume this position on November 1.
Hector “Tony” Reyes has served as vice president of university advancement for Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, Texas, United States, since January 2020. Previously, he served in the Potomac Conference, three academies, and the Universidad de Montemorelos in the areas of development, planned giving, and advancement. He will assume this position immediately.
Jaipaul Daniel Ebenezer Sundararaj has served the Northern England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists since 2022. While serving as the conference’s Personal Ministries and Evangelism director, 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 studying for a master of science in counseling and psychotherapy from Salford University. He will assume his new role on November 1.
Galina Stele has served in the GC Office of Archives, Statistics, and Research since 2012. Born in the Russian Federation, Stele has traveled the world to serve the Adventist Church in various positions, including professor of theology at Zaoksky Theological Seminary in the Russian Federation, 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 in ministry from Andrews University in 1996 and is a widely published author. She will assume this role on November 1.