Synod Staff Is Your Resource

Synod Executive

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Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart is the first Native American to serve as a synod executive in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). A longtime staff member of the synod, Elona had served as the synod's associate for racial ethnic ministries and community empowerment since 1994. Prior to serving in that capacity she had been deployed staff for administration of Dakota Presbytery. Issues of diversity and the special needs and challenges in racial/ethnic ministry are her specialty. Contact Elona at estreetstewart[at]lakesandprairies.org.

Leadership Development

[IMAGE]Teaching Elder Deb DeMeester, director of leadership development, began serving in the synod in February 2016. She provides the important staff support for Synod School, the popular week-long, midsummer ministry, and she also staffs the synod's numerous activities in leadership development. She has previously served as associate executive for leadership development for the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, and directed a graduate leadership program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. Deb can be reached at ddemeester[at]lakesandprairies.org.

Financial Services and Treasurer

Jim KoonRuling Elder Jim Koon, director of financial services and the synod's treasurer, serves on numerous local boards in the Twin Cities, including Westminster Counseling Center. He is a member of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, and chairs the Oak Grove Presbyterian Budget and Finance Committee. He is founder and director of SafeNights Service Corp. of the Twin Cities, a program that partners with area churches to provide localized shelter services to displaced high school students. Prior to devoting his time to church and non-profit work, Koon served in executive roles within the banking industry for more than 25 years. He can be reached at jkoon[at]lakesandprairies.org or 651.357.1144.

Communications/New Technology

[IMAGE]Ruling Elder Duane Sweep, director of communications, is available to help with media relations, crisis communications and internal organizational communications. He is also available to provide training in newswriting, media relations, public relations, social media, and print publication writing, design and production. Sweep's journalism career has spanned more than 40 years. Before working for the synod, Sweep wrote for and edited weekly newspapers, served as a university relations director, taught journalism and public relations, and served as a research consultant for major newspapers in the United States and overseas. He can be reached at dsweep[at]lakesandprairies.org or 651.357.1148.

Stated Clerk

[IMAGE]Teaching Elder Pam Prouty is the synod's stated clerk, and she can answer questions related to parliamentary procedure, recording keeping, judicial process, and why Presbyterians do things the way they do. Pam has brought 15 years of past and current experience as a stated clerk to the synod. She is a member of the National Association of Stated Clerks, and has served as a General Assembly committee parliamentarian for the 2012 and 2014 assemblies. She can be reached at pprouty[at]lakesandprairies.org.

Other questions? Contact any of us and we will help -- or we will find someone in the office who can help, or identify other resources to get the information or help you need. Our office team works for you, and we all wear multiple hats. The synod staff listed above are supported by ...

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Mary Kes is the synod's administrator for personnel and program. Mary can be reached at mkes[at]lakesandprairies.org.