VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 8/12/21)—Gerianne (Geri) Blier, American Baptist Churches Information Systems (ABCIS) Coordinator, and Manager of Name and Address Services (NAS), will retire from the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary on September 30, 2021, completing 42 years of faithful and dedicated service.
The ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary welcomes Feisal Al-Amry, who joins ABCUSA as IT Support Analyst/Developer for ABCIS.
Alan Musoke, Associate General Secretary for Finance/CFO/Treasurer for the ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary, said “Geri joined the ABCIS team in 2013 and immediately made positive contributions to improving the system. When Geri first started working with ABCIS, she impressively documented a very complex system. Every year she has creatively made it easier for the users to get reports from ABCIS. We are very grateful for her exemplary services to ABC and wish her a wonderful retirement for a top ABCIS Coordinator whom we will miss.”
Of Al-Amry, Musoke notes, “Feisal has degrees in Information Technology and Business Administration. His background includes IT, supervisory/team leadership, hardware/software engineering development, troubleshooting systems, and customer relations/support. Feisal has hit the ground running and he is an excellent addition to the ABCIS Team.”
Friends and colleagues are invited to join ABCUSA staff in showing our sincere appreciation for Blier by submitting a letter, which will become part of a “Book of Letters” that will be presented to her prior to her retirement.
If you would like to submit a letter, please send it (unfolded) by August 31 to Joyce Lake:
ABCUSA Office of the General Secretary
P.O. Box 851
Valley Forge PA 19482-0851
Letters may also be sent by email attachment to: firstname.lastname@example.org, copying Iris Cobb at Iris.Cobb@abc-usa.org. (There are no requirements regarding margins, since the letters will be slipped into an acid-free plastic sleeve prior to presentation.)
Blier began working at the American Baptist Churches Mission Center in Valley Forge, Pa., as the billings clerk and part-time office cashier for the Accounting Department of the former Board of Educational Ministries, later becoming the full-time office cashier. After two years, she enrolled as a night student of computer operations at the Computer Learning Center in Philadelphia, which led her to a career in computer services and technology.
In 1983, Blier became the first computer operator for the newly formed American Baptist Computer Center (ABCC). Through this position, she gained programing experience, and became the manager for Name and Address Services (NAS) in 1988. Blier’s work with NAS involved generating the mailings coming out of the Mission Center, data quality control, making improvements to the front-end application, training people in how to use the application and create work orders, running reports, etc.
Blier’s role as ABCIS Coordinator began in February 2014, following nine months of in-depth work with ABCIS. She led the ABCIS team in making improvements to the front-end application, adding new reports, regrouping reports, making decisions on how data should be handled, adding help documents, and more.
Most recently, Blier has been working with the ABCIS staff and Accounting Department to migrate ABCIS from its current platform to the Oracle NetSuite platform. She notes that she expects this upgrade will offer more functionality and accessibility for all ABCIS users.
As a member of the Professional Ministries Team (PMT), Blier was instrumental in designing and presenting a Data Matrix document used to determine how denominational data is distributed. Recently, she also worked with the PMT to rewrite the Professional Registry document, which now includes upgraded language regarding contemporary clergy classifications.
Besides spending quality time with her family and friends, Blier is looking forward to spending more time on her hobbies: Rubik’s Cube puzzle collection, woodworking and watercolor painting. She also plans to spend more time in her role as a hospice volunteer.
“What I loved most about working with data systems was the satisfaction I got from turning raw data into useable information and doing what I could to make daily tasks a little easier for our many users,” says Blier. “But the very best was working with so many interesting and diverse people over these many years, for they helped shape me as a person. I will always appreciate their friendship and encouragement. To so many in ABCUSA and all of ABC, I am grateful.”
With Blier’s retirement, Al-Amry will be the main front-facing contact person for regional leaders and staff regarding ABCIS. The ABCIS team will keep users informed about relevant available support through this staffing and platform transition.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.