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She went to work at 18, then found a career at SBC’s Annuity Board

DALLAS (BP)–Life has changed. After 40 years, Sandy Holleman no longer awakes before dawn to dress, eat breakfast and begin the 45-minute drive to the Southern Baptist Annuity Board near downtown Dallas.
The petite, blond 58-year-old with a quiet voice and ready smile now wakes up at her leisure and enjoys facing days with less stress and fewer demands. It is a nice change of pace.
“I know I was the exception in the workplace for many years,” Holleman said. “Most people change jobs and many even change careers several times during their working life. I began as an 18-year-old at the Annuity Board and retired from the same place 40 and a half years later the end of March.”
Stability is also a quality in Sandy’s personal life. “I guess I am a person who does not seek change,” Holleman said. “I married my husband, Allen, soon after coming to the Annuity Board and we will celebrate our 40th anniversary this year.
“We have lived in Mesquite 39 years and in our present home for 35 years. We do not have children, but we are both only children with parents to care for in the coming years.
“Once I considered leaving the Annuity Board, but realized I had more to gain by staying than by leaving. I have never regretted the decision,” she said.
Even though Holleman does not seek change, she has been present for many changes at the board.
“Oh my, things never stay the same at the Annuity Board,” Holleman said.
A few highlights over the past 40 years include:
— Annuity Board staff growing from fewer than 100 employees to more than 425.
— a name change in 1960 from Board of Ministerial Relief and Annuities to simply the Annuity Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
— working in three buildings in the downtown area.
— conversion to a computerized system in 1968.
— entering the insurance business in 1969.
— serving under four presidents – Alton Reed, Darold Morgan, Paul Powell and O.S. Hawkins.
“I came to Dallas in 1958 after graduating from Celina High School. My mother wanted me to go to college, but I wanted to find a job. Fortunately, my mother worked at the Baptist Bookstore located next to the Annuity Board.
“I interviewed and was later hired in the records department as a clerk. I came to the Annuity Board wanting a job and it became a career and a place of service,” she said.
Holleman left the records area in 1963 to become a key punch operator in the IBM department. She was promoted to assistant supervisor and tape librarian before returning to the records department in 1976 as a supervisor and later became a manager.
In 1980, she went to the personnel department as assistant to the director. The personnel department became human resources and Holleman was named the assistant director, manager, director and retired as the department head of human resources.
In the early 1980s there were three people in human resources. But with the growth of the Annuity Board’s staff, the department now includes eight full-time employees and one part-time staffer.
“I enjoyed working in human resources with a great staff and meeting needs,” Holleman said. “It gave me great pleasure to help applicants find the right place to work as well as helping the Annuity Board staff find qualified, dedicated employees.
“I believe the Annuity Board is a wonderful place to work with good benefits and a healthy work environment. I found my daily work to be fulfilling and satisfying in all areas of the board,” Holleman said.
“I also believe I had a small part in something bigger that all employees share in … serving those who serve the Lord,” she said.

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  • Jerilynn Armstrong