United Methodist Association of Communicators

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Conover Named 2017 Communicator of the Year

NEW ORLEANS—The United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) named Carolyn Conover, director of communications for the Greater New Jersey Conference, as Communicator of the Year for 2017 at their annual gathering on March 23 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

“Carolyn has been a gift to our conference,” said Greater New Jersey Bishop John Schol, who nominated Conover for the award. “She has helped us move forward and accomplish things we would never have been able to without her leadership.”

Bishop Schol says Conover, a lifelong United Methodist who never had worked for the church, left a higher paying job in Manhattan to come work for the conference in June 2013, shortly after Super Storm Sandy and at a critical time.

“It was the second largest storm in the history of the United States; 1.7 million people were without power, thousands of people were without homes and the Greater New Jersey Conference was without a communications director,” said Bishop Schol. “We needed to hire someone immediately to help with communications and fundraising.”

Bishop Schol says Conover helped the conference raise nearly $18 million dollars in disaster relief, which helped rebuild and repair 250 homes and restore many lives after the hurricane. He said her leadership helped put the Greater New Jersey Conference on the map for recovery efforts in the state of New Jersey.

“The United Methodist Church was a key player in helping restore homes and lives after Super Storm Sandy, largely because of Carolyn’s work with foundations, corporations and the government,” said Bishop Schol.

Some of the other work Conover is credited with includes: developing a new website—saving the conference $6,000 a year, upgrading the paper—saving close to $10,000 and effectively growing the communications team from two to six people.
Co-workers called Conover “a passionate, fearless leader who sets the bar high for quality of work.” Others called her “an innovator who thinks outside the box and inspires team members to be creative.”

Conover thanked everyone for the recognition but said the work of communications is a collaborative effort.

“The only reason I’m standing here is because I work with a bishop who supports communications and I have a talented team,” said Carolyn after accepting the award. “I am privileged to just help them do their work.”

Photo: Left to right, the Rev. Art McClananhan, Carolyn Conover and Bishop Mark Schol at the 2017 United Methodist Association of Communicators convention in New Orleans, Louisiana. 

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