In this month’s feature article, we interviewed the Foundation’s new President, Bo Bowden. We are excited to have Bo join the Foundation as our executive leader and assist us in servicing the Virginia Annual Conference in investment management, planned giving, and stewardship education. If you wish to contact Bo, click here.
Welcome Bo! Can you tell us about yourself and what initially interested you in working with the Foundation?
“My professional background was mostly in financial services, and I was Chair of the Finance Committee at my church (Reveille UMC) for three years. I had spent the past several years working on my own, and had only begun to contemplate what might be next professionally. I was on the Foundation’s email list, and learned that a search was underway for its next President. When I read the job description, I realized there were many areas I felt I could help the team. The search process was very thorough, which gave me time to consider whether I really wanted to make a change. And here we are! There is plenty to learn, but I am surrounded by a great team and an experienced Board.”
What excites you most about becoming President of VAUMF?
“Meeting the people who together offer vast ministries across the Virginia Conference and beyond. Also, I was told there would be pizza.”
What inspires you about mission of the Foundation?
“Our mission is to help our affiliates achieve their missions. Our team’s backgrounds in finance and church leadership will help us offer good advice. Sometimes that will mean offering a product or service, when it is in our affiliates’ best interests. We get excited when we see our affiliates ministries flourish!”
What are your first impressions of the Foundation and Development Company and its future?
“On my first day I was very interested to learn who we were already doing business with. It is a long list – that’s good! But there is plenty of opportunity to deepen our relationships and expand our reach. We are uniquely positioned to share in the growth of our many ministries. We realize that the Foundation relies upon the goodwill of our many affiliates in the Virginia Conference and we will try not to take that for granted.”
Do you have anything you would like to share about your vision as President of the Foundation?
“Yes. During the interview process I said that I wanted the Foundation to become the preferred financial partner of all of our affiliates. While we may hold that position for some, we will always strive to get better. Customer service is one aspect we’ll pay attention to, but also our product offering. If you think about people that you like to do business with, reliability is a hallmark. They aren’t always the least expensive, nor the ones that offer the highest deposit rates. We need to be out there talking to our affiliates, asking about their needs.”
Is there anything you would like to share with us? Interests, accomplishments, or stories?
“I like seeing new places and getting to know people. I enjoy tennis and golf (but I try not to take my golf game too seriously). I follow college sports more than professional. I’m a music fan and play mediocre guitar.
It’s best to not get me started on stories. Anyone who knows me knows I have too many. Some of them are even true!”