Ministry Excellence FundFinancial Leadership Coaches
Steve worked in the life insurance industry for 12 years, during which he received his CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter) and ChFC (Chartered Financial Consultant) designations from The American College. For the past five years he has served the Northwest Conference as a financial services representative with Covenant Trust Company.
Steve attends Lakeview Covenant Church in Duluth, Minnesota, where he currently serves on the finance and local outreach teams. He is the parent of two boys (ages 12 and 10), and he and his wife enjoy participating in outdoor sports and activities with their sons.
Elliott served the ECC for nearly 20 years as controller and assistant director of pensions and benefits. During that time, he was responsible for the Bethany Benefit Service and the operations of the Covenant Pension Plan. He also served as treasurer for the Paul Carlson Partnership, Covenant World Relief, and the Oasis Training Center.
Elliott holds degrees in math and accounting and an executive MBA from the University of Chicago. He also has served for more than 34 years as treasurer for India Rural Evangelical Fellowship, an Indian ministry serving the rural poor in South India in evangelism, education, and community development. Since he retired from the ECC in 2016, his company, Johnson Financial Consulting, cares primarily for individuals who have dedicated their lives to God’s call. He has been blessed by the opportunities that the Lord has given him.
Elliott and his wife enjoy spending time with their two grown sons and their families, including six grandchildren. Golf with family and friends, along with anything “Vikings,” are some of Elliott’s favorite pastimes.
Paris is a former math teacher and assistant for the Financial Leadership initiative. She currently serves as trust operations and investment assistant for Covenant Trust Company and is pursuing a certificate in finance at North Park University School of Business and Nonprofit Management. She is also a Financial Peace University facilitator. Her dream is to work with middle school through college aged students to teach financial literacy and help them understand money management and stewardship and their role in God’s mission.
Paris and her husband, Robert, have led worship and taught at Covenant camps. In her free time she likes to make things.
Bill spent 34 years in various management positions in the Pharmaceutical industry before being hired as a Financial Service Representative for Covenant Trust Company (CTC). During his 8 years with CTC he helped families with Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney and assisting them in financial planning and managing their financial resources.
A long-time Covenanter, he has served on Church maintenance, Stewardship and Men’s Ministry teams. Since retirement, he has volunteered three days a week at the local food bank.
He and his wife travel extensively and garden when they are home. He also has been a car guy all his life and has owned Corvettes, GTO’s and SuperSport Chevys.
Lavern has 18 years’ experience in the practice of law, as well as extensive training and experience in financial counseling and consulting. While serving as a financial services representative for Covenant Trust Company, he obtained certification as a Certified Financial Planner™. As a consultant with Living Stones Associates from 2002 to 2006, he provided consulting in all areas of church life, including strategies for church growth and financial health. Lavern is an ordained Covenant minister, and he has a passion for the health and growth of pastors.
He enjoys writing and directing skits and dramatic presentations for Community Covenant Church in Omaha, Nebraska, where he lives with his wife, Karen. He also plays bass in the church’s praise team and serves as treasurer of the Covenant Ministerium.
Don served as editor and publisher of The Post-Journal in Jamestown, New York, for more than 20 years, where he managed significant budgets. While in Jamestown he also served as president of the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation. In 1997 he was called as the executive minister for the Department of Communication for the Evangelical Covenant Church, where he served until his retirement in 2013. During that time he also helped provide leadership for North Park Covenant Church in Chicago to develop a new trust structure. Don has a special appreciation for smaller congregations and the pastoral staff who lead them.
Don is a tennis player, lifelong boater, and more recently involved in RV travels. He also has a strong interest in World War II history and is involved in developing his extended family’s genealogy.
Ben earned a BS in 2005 from Kansas State University, graduating summa cum laude with a dual major in finance and accounting. He earned a JD in 2009 from the University of Nebraska College of Law, graduating with highest distinction. After law school, Ben joined the law firm of Rembolt Ludtke, LLP. He is now a partner with the firm, and his primary areas of practice include business transactions, real estate, estate planning, banking, bankruptcy, and tax.
He is married to Jodi Moore, a Covenant minister who currently serves as the rural ministry partner for Start and Strengthen Churches. Ben enjoys hiking and backpacking in Minnesota, woodworking, and spending time with Jodi and their two daughters.
Gretchen De Neui
Gretchen works as the Finance Manager for the Serve Globally priority of the Evangelical Covenant Church. She has always been interested in finances and how to best steward what God has given her and her family. In addition she enjoys learning more about the intersection between faith and money and culture. After graduating with a BS in Business with a specialty in Accounting she worked in business before serving and living in Thailand. She has lived in many different places in the world, the longest being in Thailand for 18 years as a Covenant Missionary. There she and her husband were involved in ministry while raising their four children. Upon returning to the USA they moved to Chicago, IL and enjoy living in one of the more diverse zip codes in the US.
For relaxation Gretchen enjoys a good book, going for a walk in the park, playing board games, and spending time with family and friends. She attends Grace Covenant Church in Chicago where she has served as church treasurer, small group co-leader, mission team leader, as well as loving on the babies in the nursery.
Alan is a retired international corporate lawyer, having worked for 32 years in the oil industry, mainly with Amoco and BP. He has lived and worked in Houston, Calgary, London, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Jakarta and provided legal services in the Middle East, Russia, Western Europe, New Zealand, and South America. In retirement he served one year as the executive dean of a Christian business school in Medan, Indonesia. In each place he has lived, he and his family participated in a Bible-believing fellowship and became part of a life group. He has navigated living in foreign countries and the challenge of managing household finances and income taxes in foreign locations. Upon retiring in 2012, he moved to the Seattle area from Jakarta, after 12 years living outside the U.S.
Alan and his wife attend Pine Lake Covenant Church in Sammamish, Washington, where he leads a men’s life group and is team leader of the Vision Action Team, which manages expenditure of capital campaign funds for mortgage reduction and facilities renovation. Alan has served as a mentor and coach to colleagues and individuals in his life groups. He and his wife travel extensively, garden during the growing season, and enjoy time with their four adult children, their spouses, and seven active grandchildren.
Karen has always been a “numbers person,” and her career in systems engineering and computer systems sales enhanced her abilities in balancing financial cost and benefits. After that career, she went to law school and earned a degree as well as a real estate broker’s license. She opened her own law practice in estate planning and elder law to help people plan for their future and to navigate the complexities of long-term care for elder relatives.
Karen has a long Covenant history. She has a great grandfather who was a Covenant pastor and a daughter who is a Covenant pastor. Karen is a visual artist who loves photography, watercolor, and mixed media painting. She especially enjoys her four grandchildren, currently ages three, two, one, and three months.