Inter-America Division
Names Women as Leaders

Largest world division has first female general VP, seven other female leaders

By Mark A. Kellner, news editor, Adventist Review Seventh-day Adventists in Inter-America, the church’s largest division, elected a new leadership team on the evening of July 1, including the first woman to serve as a general vice president. Dr. Myrna Costa, currently president of Antillean Adventist University in Puerto Rico, will move to division headquarters in Miami, Florida, to take up her new assignment.

MAKING APPOINTMENTS: Israel Leito, IAD president, discusses the appointment of women leaders in his region.

“This is how we are,” said Israel Leito, division president, in an interview. “We don’t hold anything back, for any person, as long as they are good and ready to serve. And these women are in these positions not because they are women; they are in the position because they are good. . . . For us it is not male or female; it is the best person to do the job.”

Leito noted: “We have named Faye Reid back to her position as an associate secretary, Ivelisse Herrera as one of the associate treasurers. For the very first time in Youth Ministry, we have a woman as associate director, Louise Nocandy.”

The new health department director, Belkis Archbold, is from the Dominican Republic, and worked for many years in Puerto Rico. She had previously been an associate director in the department. Dinorah Rivera, the new director of children’s ministries, had also been an associate director.

Women also serve in two other leadership roles: Aura Iglesias as women’s ministry director, and Faye Paterson as associate director of education.

Leito indicated other leadership posts have yet to be filled, and women are expected to be appointed in several of these.

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