Columbia Union Executive Committee Appoints Four Staff Members to New Roles
Story by Visitor Staff
On November 11, members of the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee voted to promote four Columbia Union employees to new roles: two in the Information Technology (IT) Services Department and two in the Communication Department.
Greg Iverson, associate director of IT, was voted to serve as director, following the retirement of Harold Greene, current IT director, in February 2022.
Iverson has worked at the union since 2001, serving as both an assistant and associate director, with a portfolio that includes network administrator/system administrator.
Greene, who has worked with Iverson for some 20 years, says, “Iverson’s understanding of how IT [runs] is a service needed to help people get work done, and his desire to serve God drives him to lead the IT Department on to 'bigger and better' service.”
In 2001, Iverson graduated from Andrews University (Mich.) with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, a Master of Arts in Religion from Washington Adventist University in 2012, and a Doctor of Science in Cybersecurity from Capitol Technology University (Md.) in 2021.
Christopher Araujo was also voted in during the meeting as an associate director of IT. Araujo has been serving the union’s IT Department for the last 15 years and manages the large union network that includes several conferences and schools. Prior to serving at the union, Araujo was in the United States Air Force as an aircraft mechanic and network administrator.
Assistant Directors for Communication Department Appointed
At the executive committee meeting, Ricardo Bacchus and V. Michelle Bernard, both assistant directors for Communication Services, were promoted to associate directors.
Bacchus has worked for the Seventh-day Adventist Church since he was a teenager. “What other job affords me the opportunity to pray with colleagues, administrators and readers openly and frequently?” says Bacchus. “I’m guaranteed daily that I will edit or write something that will positively impact me spiritually, and hopefully others too.”
Bacchus has worked at the union for five years and serves as the managing editor for print—coordinating much of the Visitor magazine content, and editing special projects, such as the 2021 Words of Life devotional book.
In 2005, Bacchus graduated from Washington Adventist University (WAU)—formerly known as Columbia Union College—with degrees in Counseling Psychology, Religion and Behavioral Sciences. Bacchus worked as a Child and Adolescent Mental Health associate for nearly three years. He was then given the opportunity to pursue his childhood passion of writing. In 2007, he became the editorial assistant for the Elder’s Digest magazine and later the Collegiate Quarterly, both positions located at the General Conference.
Bernard, who has worked at the union since 2013, served for several years as features editor, and now serves as the Visitor news editor and managing editor for digital media, coordinating content for the union’s email, web, social media and other online platforms. In 2014, she created the Visitor’s news website, columbiaunionvisitor.com, which aided the union in reaching younger generations who are larger digital consumers.
A lifelong Visitor reader, Bernard was first mentioned in the magazine when she won a writing contest in the third grade. She also interned with the department while studying Public Relations and Marketing at WAU, graduating in 2004. In 2010, She earned a Master of Arts in Magazine, Newspaper and Online Journalism from Syracuse University (N.Y.).
Before serving at the union, Bernard worked in communication for a trade association; in the Office of Workforce Diversity at the Library of Congress; and as web and social media editor at WMAR-TV in Baltimore.
“Both Michelle and Ricardo bring tremendous skill, creativity, passion and ingenuity to our team. Our deadlines are relentless, and yet, day after day, they diligently curate, publish and produce quality content that helps to keep people across the union informed about how pastors, members, leaders and administrators collaborate to advance the mission of Christ,” says Celeste Ryan Blyden, vice president for strategic communication and Visitor editor. “We are looking forward to seeing how God will continue to bless their dedicated ministry.”