Building Relationships, Engaging In Strategic Planning

Life, Passion, and Mission: Pension Boards’ Staff
Brian R. Bodager, President and Chief Executive Officer

Brian Bodager

Outside of the Pension Boards, family is very important. Spending time with my children and grandchildren is my greatest passion and top priority. Travel is also a passion. In the next year, we plan to travel to Northern Europe and to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for pleasure. Business travel will take me to Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Illinois, and several other states. Travel to the Middle East to visit partners is being considered. Additionally, I am a golfer and tennis player, always working on my skills. Recently, I took up pickleball as a substitute for tennis.

Perhaps the most evident way that my personal passions align or intersect with the work I do for the Pension Boards is in building relationships through face-to-face meetings. My travel opens doors to opportunities for the Pension Boards and Generations companies as I can share, in person, the passions our colleagues have for the programs and work that we do.

No hesitation here; my favorite part about working at the Pension Boards is the people! Colleagues, business partners—everyone engaged in making work happen! I also find engaging in strategic thinking and planning for the organization’s future very fulfilling. Being able to ask everyone to “Imagine with Me...” the vision for the future of our work.

One thing about my work that I want our members to know is that we are always thinking about how we remain relevant and important in the lives of our members and in strengthening the church. Our members should know that the Pension Boards responded to a General Synod Resolution calling for action to assist in eliminating clergy educational debt. The Pension Boards and United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance stepped-up creating programs that, to date, have assisted more than 300 clergy in obtaining financial literacy training, receiving grants of over $1.25M, and lowering interest rates. Also, in response to a General Synod Resolution encouraging action to assist the un-banked and underbanked, the Pension Boards committed its talented staff to research, apply for, and receive a Federal Credit Union Charter. This is a truly game-changing development for the future of UCC churches, clergy, lay employees, and congregants.

We want and need to hear from our members; to learn about their needs; to be problem solvers and solution providers. “Members, what can we do for you?”

I have two reading focuses for pleasure. The first focus is art and art theft. Sometimes factual, often fact-based fiction, these books bring my interest in art to life as I imagine with the authors their plots involving, planning, and carrying out heists, fraud and forgery, chicanery and sometimes murder. The second area of interest is mathematics and the history of math.

I recently finished reading An Artful Corpse by Helen A. Harrison. The setting is the famed Manhattan Art School located on 59th Street, and the book has interesting plot twists resulting from the period, the late sixties, with the Vietnam War protests, and other references.

I am currently reading The Turquoise Shop by Frances Crane. Written in 1941, the setting is the southwest, New Mexico, in the ‘40s. An artists’ community bordering a reservation is the site of two murders. I have not yet finished the book; however, I expect the skills of talented artists to play into solving, or committing, the crimes.

I purchased both books at the Mysterious Bookshop (The World’s Oldest Mystery Bookstore), 58 Warren Street, New York, N.Y. 10007, just in case anyone in the area likes to visit bookshops as much as I do.