April 26, 2021 | Miami, Florida, United States | Libna Stevens, Inter-American Division News

Administrators of several Inter-American Division (IAD) institutional boards reported on growth, challenges, and financial stability during the past five years, as dozens of Seventh-day Adventist board members from across the territory gathered during online meetings today. Board members also elected administrators who will serve in the next five-year term.

IAD Publishing Association

IAD Publishing Association (IADPA), one of two publishing houses managed by the IAD, reported that despite the pandemic that shut down bookstores for over six months in 2020, sales reached over US $11.3 million. It didn’t compare with the phenomenal year in sales of 2019 with 13.5 million dollars, but the Lord blessed the publishing house with its 88 bookstores and 167 employees abundantly, said Saul Ortiz, president of IADPA.

Saul Ortíz, president of IADPA reports that the publishing house had no debt at the end of 2020, even with the challenges the pandemic brought. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

“We thank God none of our employees were laid off or had to take time off without pay, nor lost their salary,” said Ortiz. IADPA transitioned into online congresses, training sessions and increased their discounts to bookstores and especially literature evangelists, he added. The publishing house increased its distribution of books for women’s ministries, discipleship books through personal ministries, books for ministerial association and additional content from Evangelist Alejandro Bullón through its Priorities missionary magazine, among other books.

“Even through the crisis, God has helped us thus far and we praise God because we didn’t close the year [2020] with debt,” added Ortiz.

IADPA leaders reported that 2020 saw more than 29,000 books by Ellen G. White, a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, distributed last year during the pandemic.

The years 2016 to 2020 saw 16.8 million missionary books distributed across the IAD territory, reported Ortiz. Financial leaders also reported on the tithe and offering contributions to the church throughout the past five years and progress of textbooks and success of bookstores, upcoming book projects and more.

IADPA board members and church leaders from Inter-America pray for God’s blessings during 2021 as the meeting ended. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

IADPA board members elected Saul Ortíz as president to serve another term until 2025. Ortiz became president in 2018 after serving as vice president of financial affairs from 2013 to August of 2018.  Also elected during today’s board meeting included Daniel Medina as vice president of production, Moisé Javier as vice president of finance, Ana Rodríguez as vice president of marketing and sales, Neysa López, associate vice president of finance, and Cristhel Cárcamo, associate vice president of marketing and sales.

“IADPA is part of the church, belongs to the church so we will continue in the mission during this new period of service,” Ortiz said.

IAD President Pastor Elie Henry, who also chairs the IADPA board, praise the work of the publishing house, their commitment to mission even amid challenging times today. “We praise God for the strong vision IADPA carried through in the past and a clear path for successful future for God’s purposes,” said Pastor Henry.

Montemorelos University

Top officials of Montemorelos University, located in Nuevo Leon, North Mexico, began their quinquennial report focusing on the mission statement that has carried the institution to greater heights. “Montemorelos University educates for integral development and well-being with a sustainable educational model that fosters research, selfless service and missionary vision with the Adventist hope of a new world,” read Ismael Castillo, president of Montemorelos University.

Montemorelos University leaders from L-R: Ana de Tello, assistant to the president, Raquel Korniejczuk, vice president of academic affairs, Ismael Castillo, president, Joel Sebastian, vice president of financial affairs, and Ekel Collins, vice president of student affairs, present the quinquennial report for the 2021-2026 service term. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

The university, which is considered a division institution operated directly by the Inter-American Division, is part of the direct council of the Mexican federation of private institutions of higher education, accredited by the educational system and leads the network of health promoting universities in the nation.

“Thanks to the virtual classes set up many years ago for students enrolled in extension campuses in Africa, Europe and throughout Inter-America, we were able to transition right away into distance learning when the pandemic initially hit in April,” said Castillo.

University officials reported that 90 percent of the faculty and half of the students surveyed on the virtual classes format program were satisfied with the class model. Students were able to do their health practices in real settings, according to university leaders.

Castillo reported that student from 80 countries have enrolled in Montemorelos University during the past quinquennium.

Ismael Castillo was elected today as president of Montemorelos University in North Mexico. Castillo has served as president of the institution since for more than 34 years. [Photo: Montemorelos University]

Board members elected Ismael Castillo as president of Montemorelos University for the 2021-2026 term. Castillo has more than 34 years serving as the top official of the Adventist university. During his tenure, the institution went from 16 academic programs in 1987 to 30 undergraduate degrees, 26 specialty programs, masters and doctoral degrees today.

In addition, board members elected Raquel Korniejczuk as vice president of academic affairs, Joel Sebastian as vice president of financial affairs, and Ekel Collins as vice president of student affairs, for the 2021-2026 service term.

Pastor Henry congratulated Castillo for his lifelong commitment to growing Montemorelos University and assured him of the continued support among board members and top administrators throughout the church in Inter-America. “Leaders chosen today will not fail you,” said Pastor Henry. “There are many challenges but with God we can overcome those for His church if we put our lives in His hands.”

Board members will look at the development plans and strategies the university has set in motion for 2021-2026 during its next board meeting in October, Castillo said.

Dr. Franck Geneus (top left) president of Adventist Healthcare Services Inter-America thanks Dr. Elie Honore, recently retired and former AHSIA president for his lifelong commitment to strengthening Adventist hospitals in Inter-America while IAD administrators look on and thank Honore. [Photo: IAD Screenshot]

Adventist Healthcare Services Inter-America

During a brief report to board members, Dr. Franck Geneus, M.D., president of Adventist Healthcare Services Inter-America (AHSIA), who oversees the administrations of 14 hospitals and 21 clinics, appealed for the need to ensure that healthcare institutions are healthy institutions. “We need to change our paradigm for healthcare institutions to go from struggling to thriving institutions with improved quality of care,” said Dr. Geneus.

Board members voted to adopt the shared vision for all Inter-American Division healthcare institutions based on five key commitment statements to be responsible, resilient, accessible, sustainable, secure and safe, and Christ-oriented institutions.

Dr. Geneus honored his predecessor Elie Honore, M.D., for his lifelong dedication to healthcare institutions across the Inter-American Division, especially his role in establishing AHSIA in the quest to strengthen and assist healthcare institutions in collaboration with Loma Linda University, in California, United States, in promoting physical, mental, social and spiritual wholeness while fulfilling the mission of the church.

Several more of IAD’s institutional boards will meet in the coming days to report on their accomplishments and upcoming development plans.

To learn more about Inter-American Division’s business meetings this week, visit us at interamerica.org

Laura Marrero contributed to this report.

Top news

Adventists Distribute Over 1 million Missionary Books in Chiapas, Mexico
The Protection of God
In Puerto Rico, Hundreds of Youngsters Campout at Home During National Virtual Camporee