Two South Carolina United Methodist leaders have received quadrennial leadership awards from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits for their exemplary service in caring for the pension and benefits needs of those who serve The United Methodist Church.
The Rev. David L. Anderson, South Carolina Conference pensions and benefits officer, was named the 2015 recipient of the Charles L. Calkins Award, and Dr. Joseph Heyward, former conference lay leader and a member of the GBPHB board of directors, was named the 2015 recipient of the Clay F. Lee Award.
The awards were given during the GBPHB’s board of directors November meeting in Chicago.
Board Chairperson Bishop Paul L. Leeland and General Secretary Barbara A. Boigegrain presented the awards. Anderson and Heyward’s names will be inscribed on the Calkins and Lee award plaques at GBPHB headquarters in Glenview, Illinois.
The Calkins Award, established in 1988 and named for a former GBPHB general secretary, recognizes an annual conference pension and benefits administrator who, in partnership with GBPHB, has provided exceptional service in the administration of pension and/or health benefits within the UMC.
In his nomination, South Carolina Conference BPHB Chair Herman Lightsey, Jr., described the scope of Anderson’s contribution and commitment to the service values honored by the Calkins Award. Anderson served the South Carolina Conference BPHB from 1997 to 2005 and as conference benefits officer from 2005 to the present.
During this time, he worked with the conference and general board in leading and guiding efforts to develop a funding plan for the annual conference, reducing conference liabilities by $41 million through additional funding, benefit changes for retirees and restructuring the methodology for funding retiree benefits; implement several pension program changes and the methodology by which local churches are billed for pension and health benefits; coordinate conference-wide informational meetings on pension and benefit issues; promote and participate in clergy wellness programs, benefiting many conference clergy; author a conference newspaper column on various aspects of healthy lifestyles; and promote participation in GBPHB-sponsored young clergy events with conference-funded scholarships.
The GBPHB said Anderson is “never out of reach of his clergy constituents” and spends many hours of his personal time educating clergy on the various aspects of pension and benefits that impact them. He attends all area pre-retirement meetings and all GBPHB Clergy Benefits Academy meetings. He has served on the Association of United Methodist Conference Pension and Benefits Officers steering committee and as host of the 2015 joint meeting with the National Association of Annual Conference Treasurers. He is a local church preacher and a frequent speaker at GBPHB meetings.
Dale Jones, GBPHB managing director of Education and Plan Sponsor Relations, also spoke on Anderson’s behalf regarding his emphasis on the health and wellness of clergy. Anderson also received personal letters of commendation from conference Bishop L. Jonathan Holston and Elizabeth Westbury, conference treasurer.
Anderson was joined by his wife, Maria, and their daughter and son-in-law for the awards presentation.
The Clay F. Lee Award, established in 1999, recognizes former board directors of GBPHB who have given exemplary service in caring for the pension and health benefit needs of those who serve the UMC.
GBPHB board member the Rev. Gary George (East Ohio Annual Conference), supported the nomination of South Carolina Annual Conference’s Dr. Joseph Heyward.
“Dr. Heyward’s wisdom and influence were greatly appreciated in the context of the board meetings and work, as well as his adept knowledge and skillful work on behalf of the Board for the 2008 and 2012 General Conferences,” George said.
He noted the many roles Heyward has played over the years that exemplify the Clay F. Lee Award criteria, including visionary leadership (as an active, engaged member of the GBPHB board of directors, he said Heyward has provided excellent leadership by chairing the board’s Services Committee (2004-08); serving as the board’s secretary (2008-12), and as a member of the Executive Committee (2004-12). He demonstrated visionary leadership in helping the board’s Services Committee, and the board as a whole, to appreciate the need to reasonably foresee, forecast and adapt to amending or adding benefit changes which adapted to the needs of participants, as well as to changes in the market and denomination).
In addition, he has been a strong advocate of the pension programs of the UMC. As the former chair of the board Services Committee, he developed a deep appreciation and understanding of the impact of the pension, health and welfare plans on the lives of the plans’ participants.
Finally, he has been dedicated to the values of GBPHB and models well the board’s motto: “Caring for Those Who Serve.”
Board Member Zedna Haverstock reinforced Heyward’s Lee Award nomination in a personal letter read at the presentation: “It was such a privilege to work with you on both the [board] Services and Appeals Committees,” Haverstock said. “Your expertise in leading us through many decisions on the Services Committee was stellar. You always seemed to have a handle on whatever issues we were dealing with.
“As for the Appeals Committee, both your knowledge of the pension plans and your compassion were extremely helpful as we dealt with very sensitive issues that affected people’s lives.”
Heyward was joined for the awards presentation by his wife, Evelyn.