The Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee elected Celeste Ryan Blyden as the new executive secretary, effective January 2022. She is the first woman to fill the role in the union’s 114-year history.
She has served in her current role as vice president for Strategic Communication and Public Relations since 2014, when she made history as the first female vice president for the Columbia Union. She was re-elected at constituency sessions in 2016 and again in May 2021.
“Celeste has demonstrated a real passion for mission and effective leadership in her current position,” says Dave Weigley, Columbia Union Conference president. “She has been a pastor, shepherd and encourager to those around her as she led her department very effectively over the years.”
Blyden joined the Union in January 2002, when she was appointed communication director and Visitor editor. In 2004 she was promoted to assistant to the president and added Visitor publisher to her portfolio.
Rick Remmers, the current executive secretary, will transition to his new position as assistant to the president at the North American Division at the end of the year. Remmers leaves the position after serving for almost a year.