April 11, 2014

Washington Conference: Auburn ABC Begins New Management

BY HEIDI BAUMGARTNER, communication director, Washington Conference

at the end of 2013 were a bit nervous: Would Washington Conference have an
Adventist Book Center (ABC)?

topic at four year-end town hall meetings began a few months earlier when
Pacific Press Publishing Association announced they planned to cease their
management of Adventist Book Centers.

Adventist Church in western Washington state entered into an agreement with
Pacific Press in 2005 to manage the western Washington ABC store (in transition
from Bothell to Auburn). In this arrangement, Pacific Press owned the contents
of the store and Washington Conference owned the building.

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With Pacific Press’ decision
to exit ABC contracts
the end of 2013, Washington Conference and 16 other Pacific Press-owned stores
had to make a decision.

Conference administrators talked with local church representatives and the
conference executive committee about three basic options: close the store, keep
the store as-is, or keep the store with a new management model.

executive committee, the governing body of the conference between constituency
sessions, voted in December 2013 to pursue favorable negotiations with Pacific
Press to obtain full ownership of the ABC in Auburn. The negotiations and
transfer of ownership were completed on February 14. The new ownership arrangements allow the
Auburn ABC to seek innovative ways to increase its customer base and introduce
new product lines.

transition from Pacific Press to the Washington Conference is going very
smoothly and quickly,” says Mike Schwartz, Auburn ABC manager. “We are looking
at a number ways we can meet our customers’ spiritual and nutritional needs and
do our best to anticipate future needs and interests. Thank you for your
continued support, and your feedback and input is always welcome at your local
Adventist Book Center.”

“Since 1869
the Adventist Book Center (known by various names) has serviced the members of
the Seventh-day Adventist Church with the best in Christian literature and more
recently added vegetarian foods,” says Dennis Carlson, chair of the newly
formed Auburn ABC management committee. “There is a strong heritage in the
past, and the Auburn store is transforming its operation to reflect the
realities of the 21st century. Washington Conference believes in the ministry
of the Adventist Book Center and has now invested in the Adventist Book Center
to keep the Auburn store open for serving Adventist members, the community and
friends of the church.”