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National director chosen for LifeWay conference centers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–A new director to provide national leadership for the two LifeWay conference centers operated by LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention has been selected.

Byron Hill, 45, from Orlando, Fla., has been named national director of LifeWay Conference Centers following a nationwide search.

Beginning April 23 in his new capacity as national director of the conference centers, Hill will be based at the LifeWay complex in Nashville, Tenn. The centers will be operated as one conference center with locations in Glorieta, N.M., and Ridgecrest, N.C.

Hill will be responsible for providing leadership to both centers. In addition, he will be responsible for the strategic direction, financial and business performance, programming, operation, and spiritual environment of the centers and will work toward the centers becoming recognized as the premier leader in Christian conference centers in America.

He will manage a staff that will include a national sales and marketing manager and a national event planner to be selected as soon as possible.

With 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, Hill currently is director of operations for Avista Properties of Orlando. In this capacity he is responsible for the company’s portfolio of 15 properties, including three currently under construction. He also has developed and implemented property level budget and accounting systems, as well as directed and developed the company-wide sales and pricing strategies.

“Through prayer and personal contacts, God has provided us with an outstanding godly leader,” said Mike Arrington, vice president of LifeWay’s corporate affairs division, who headed the search that recommended Hill. “He is a highly qualified professional from the hotel, conference center and hospitality industry. Bringing someone of his caliber on board is a significant milestone in the revitalization of the ministries of our conference centers at Glorieta and Ridgecrest. Byron and his wife, Lynn, will be a welcome addition to the LifeWay family.”

LifeWay President James T. Draper Jr. said, “Byron Hill will bring proven leadership to our conference centers at a critical time as we make improvements to enlarge the circle of influence and provide places where people can hear and respond to God’s calling in their lives.”

“I’m so excited, but still a little awestruck,” Hill said. “I’m really looking forward to getting back to Ridgecrest and to Glorieta. With both places, just the God-created natural beauty is the best marketing tool we have.”

The Hills, who are members of First Baptist Church, Kissimmee, Fla., have an 11-year-old daughter, Stephanie, and a 21-year-old son, Christopher.

LifeWay trustees approved plans for a 15-year comprehensive conference centers revitalization project in September 2000. Plans call for new facilities to be constructed incrementally and alternating between the Ridgecrest and Glorieta locations. The pace of adding new facilities will be governed by resources made available through fund-raising and through LifeWay budgeting.

“In addition to the new construction at the conference centers, we plan to determine the remodeling needs of existing facilities at both centers and make those renovations,” Arrington said, noting that Campers on Mission is partnering with LifeWay to provide labor for these projects, beginning in the fall.

The first phase of revitalization began March 28 at Ridgecrest with the launch of construction of the 300-seat Rutland Chapel. Construction of a new 120-room hotel with conference space will begin in June. The chapel is scheduled for completion in December 2001 and the hotel in June 2002.
(BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net. Photo title: BYRON HILL.

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  • Polly House