The executive board provides overall direction, governance, and fiduciary oversight to the Canadian MB Conference. We want to put “a face” to the current board by introducing its members. We began last month, and continue this month with another 5 of its 20 members.—Eds.
Herb Suderman began on the board of management 7 or 8 years ago, then transitioned to the newly formed executive board in 2004. The Winnipeg lawyer and member at McIvor Avenue MB Church serves as a member at large. Herb and Karin have 3 married daughters and 9 grandchildren. “I enjoy the detail work of being on the constitution and finance committees, wrestling with problems and coming up with solutions,” he says. “It’s God’s kingdom, so we want to be diligent in our efforts.”
Jascha Boge chairs the executive board in his role as moderator of the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches, which he has held since 2006, and from 2000–2004. He works with his oldest son as an engineer and partner in a construction company operating in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario. Jascha and Hildi have 6 married children and 12 grandchildren, and worship at McIvor Avenue MB Church. They enjoy motorcycle trips in summer and skiing in the winter. “We are entering a new era in our conference history,” he says, “where we will work ever more closely with each other using the gifts God has given all of us to strengthen our denominational family, and have a positive impact on our Canadian society and abroad, all while building his kingdom here on earth.”
Len Penner, member at large, has been on the board for 5 years. His career in the agriculture and food sector, where he is currently president of Cargill Limited, has offered varied experiences in a dynamic business environment. Len and Carol have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. They worship at Fort Garry MB Church in Winnipeg. “Although the executive board is a large group to make decisions with,” he says, “I have observed that the diversity in walks of life, in skills, and in experiences individuals bring to the table generates much better and stronger conclusions.”
Frank Wiens is in his second year on the board as moderator of the Ontario conference. The Scott Street MB Church member works in sales and marketing at a custom cabinet manufacturer and lives in St. Catharines, Ont. He and Erica have 3 children, 2 of them married, and 1 grandson. “It’s a real joy and privilege to sit around the table with fellow believers who desire to see Christ magnified in their participation both at the local, provincial, and national levels,” he says. “There’s a healthy spirit of dialogue and collaboration, which is good for kingdom building.”
Vidya Narimalla comes to the executive board as one of two members of the national board of faith and life. The pastorate is a second career for the Hyderabad, India,-native whose academic background in management and finance prepared him for jobs in school administration and banking before entering full-time ministry in 1992. Vidya has pastored at Kitchener (Ont.) MB Church for 7 years and long been involved with MCC and Ten Thousand Villages. He and Gwen have 2 adult children. “Sometimes I joke that had I known I would move to Canada and become a pastor of an MB church, I would have changed my name to Victor Thiessen, or something like that,” he says. “However, I prefer my name because it adds to the growing richness and diversity of the larger faith family we call the MBs.”