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Annuity Board organization preparing for next century

DALLAS (BP)–O. S. Hawkins, president of the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, announced a new organization structure that he said is designed to prepare the board to be second-to-none in servicing the Southern Baptist constituency into the next century.
The Annuity Board, with assets nearing $7 billion, is the provider of retirement, insurance and relief programs for churches and institutions of the 15.6-million-member Southern Baptist Convention.
In the new organizational chart, announced April 1 to employees, the president outlined the structure by sharing several changes in responsibilities for senior management positions. The new chart includes John R. Jones, chief operating officer, five executive officers, the general counsel and eight managing director positions. The total number of persons in the senior management team is unchanged.
Executive officers include Jeffrey P. Billinger, treasurer and financial and corporate services; Rodric E. Cummins, investment services; Richard M. Hart Jr., systems and technology services; Curtis D. Sharp, denominational and public relations services; and an unnamed person who will become executive officer for benefit services.
Rodney R. Miller continues as general counsel and heads legal and compliance services.
Managing directors are D. Hugh Williams, organizational development; Terry R. Wade, actuarial services; Douglas D. Day, insurance services; Jim D. Morrison, retirement services; E. Dean Parks, information services; Frank G. Schwall Jr., special services; Thomas E. Miller Jr., public relations; and C. Joe McIntosh, endowment.
Hawkins and Jones met with executive officers and managing directors April 1, and later the same day with department heads, to announce and interpret changes that had been anticipated for weeks.
Transition of top management began in February with the announcement of Jones’ promotion from executive officer for investment services to executive vice president-chief operating officer to replace the retiring W. Gordon Hobgood Jr. Jones was replaced by Cummins, who had been chief investment officer for the Baptist Foundation of Texas. Cummins’ job and reporting line are unchanged in the new structure.
A vacancy in the position of executive officer for marketing, legal and actuarial services, and a request for early retirement by William C. Lee, treasurer, provided Hawkins with an opportunity to effect other changes in the organizational structure.
Announcing Lee’s retirement, effective April 1, Hawkins said, “Bill has made a tremendous contribution to the board since his employment almost seven years ago, and his experience and dedication will be missed.” Lee had functioned as executive officer for financial and corporate services and provided oversight of the information services division.
Jeffrey P. Billinger, managing director of the finance and accounting division, was promoted to treasurer and executive officer for financial and corporate services, but the information services division, headed by managing director E. Dean Parks, was spun off and will report to a new position of executive officer for systems and technology services, filled by Richard M. Hart Jr., who was promoted from managing director of the operations division.
Hart will continue to give executive oversight to the customer relations department, the board’s toll-free telephone service.
The executive officer for benefit services will oversee restructured divisions that will separate the retirement and insurance lines of business. Jim D. Morrison, formerly managing director of the marketing division, will head a new retirement services division, and Douglas D. Day, formerly department head for church and institutional accounts in the marketing division, was promoted to managing director of a new insurance services division.
Both the retirement services and insurance services divisions will operate independent research, product development, marketing and operations functions for their separate lines of business.
Terry R. Wade, managing director of the actuarial services division, will report to the executive officer for benefit services. Otherwise, his job will not change.
Curtis D. Sharp, formerly managing director of market research/development and communications, was promoted to executive officer for denominational and public relations, replacing Frank G. Schwall Jr., who was reassigned to become managing director of a new special services division.
Sharp, who will also provide administrative oversight for endowment, will continue to supervise the communications department but give up market research/development to the two new divisions of retirement and insurance.
Schwall, a 25-year veteran of Annuity Board service, will provide management to what Hawkins described as a series of special services to groups and relationships, with an intent to provide rapid and creative attention to any constituency where top executive attention is needed. Schwall will report to Sharp, as will Thomas E. Miller Jr., managing director of the public relations division.
Jones, in the meeting with the larger leadership team, said, “Ours is a dynamic organization which will undoubtedly continue to evolve over time. However, no additional changes are planned at this time, other than perhaps some fine-tuning as we progress.”

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  • Thomas E. Miller Jr.