With mixed feelings, we announce that Rhonda Karr, Iowa-Missouri Conference Treasurer since 1998, retired on Dec. 31, 2022. It is difficult if not impossible to sum up her achievements over 54 years of dedicated service.
Karr began working for the church the day after she graduated from Union College in 1968. When she started, she began as an administrative and accounting assistant for the Iowa Conference. In 1980, when the Iowa Conference and Missouri Conference consolidated, Karr held the position of assistant treasurer and was responsible for combining the financial records of the two conferences.
While she remained in the same location for her entire career with the church, she was privileged to work with and be mentored by several well-known treasurers including Donald Gilbert and Robert Rawson, former GC Treasurers, and Tom Evans, former North American Division Treasurer.
During her career, there have been many changes. Karr has seen five different accounting systems and witnessed the change from manual to automated systems. The role of treasury has also shifted over the years. Before human resources became a department, Karr handled employee benefits and records.
Karr said she has enjoyed her position as treasurer and the challenges it brings. “I’m a puzzle person. I enjoy the work of accounting and keeping everything in line, and everything balanced.”
Reflecting on her position, Karr shared, “I’ve enjoyed the camaraderie of working with people both in the office and in the field and helping the employees have what they needed in order to do ministry.” She is thankful for the generosity and faithfulness of the constituents and the “solid financial position” the conference is in today. “I’m thankful to God and to the constituents of this conference. Without them, there isn’t a conference,” Karr commented.
Karr said while she will miss many aspects of her job, she is also looking forward to retirement. Karr is excited to have a more relaxed pace, time to volunteer in the community, and above all more time to spend with her granddaughter.
Words of Appreciation
Dean Coridan, president for the Iowa-Missouri Conference, has worked with Karr for 36 years. “Rhonda has been very mission minded. So, when it comes to trying to advance the mission worldwide, Rhonda just bends over backwards to help funding to get where it needs to be. It’s been a real blessing to work with her,” Coridan reflected.
As a member of administration, Coridan said Karr has played a vital role over the years. “Rhonda as an officer is a real team player. And she really helps facilitate discussions. She’s brought a sense of unity to the team,” Coridan said.
Coridan said Karr will be missed and he wishes her the best in her retirement. “I am grateful for the time that I’ve been able to work with Rhonda,” Coridan said.
Rob Alfalah, secretariat for the Iowa-Missouri Conference, commented “Although I haven’t worked in the office with Rhonda very long, just about a year, I really appreciated working with her as a pastor. Any time we had a request for funding she did everything she could to get us the funds needed. Rhonda’s kindness and courtesy made her an exceptional treasurer who will be greatly missed.”
Former Mid-America Union Treasurer Troy Peoples said he first learned about Karr from several conference and NAD treasury department workers whom she had helped over the years. Later, he and Karr became friends, helping each other with challenges and difficulties.
“Over the years I have relied on Rhonda’s vast wealth of experience of 50 plus years of doing the treasury work. She has a wonderful grasp of how it all fits together and works,” Peoples praised. “And she has earned the trust of the members of the [executive] committee as well as the other officers and the people around the office.”
Peoples said Karr has worked hard and he wishes her the best in retirement. “It’s just amazing what she’s accomplished,” Peoples remarked.
Virgil Minden, assistant treasurer for the Iowa-Missouri Conference, has worked with Rhonda for nearly 24 years. He said he is thankful for a boss with so much financial knowledge. “Rhonda is easy to communicate with and she is a very understanding person. She’s been great to work with over the years,” Minden said.
Marlin Anderson, treasurer for the St. Louis Central church, said he has worked with Rhonda since the 1970s and has relied on Karr many times over the years. “I really appreciate all the help and guidance that she gave us when we needed some advice. Her work has been very good — very appreciative. And we will miss her a lot,” Anderson said.
Rhonda will be greatly missed. Her leadership and dedication were integral to the financial stability of our conference. We wish her all the best in her retirement.