The South Pacific Division (SPD) has appointed two new directors at executive meetings on May 16. After prayerful discussion, the committee nominated Ben Thomas as director of technology, operations and strategy, and Kingsley Wood as the new director of Pacific capacity development.
Mr Thomas is replacing Eva Ing, appointed associate officer earlier this year. Prior to his appointment, Mr Thomas held the position of director of Pacific capacity development.
Assuming the role immediately following his appointment, Mr Thomas highlighted the importance of his new position, “technology pervades all aspects of our lives, and I believe that it is critical for the Church to utilise technology as a strategic enabler of our mission”.
Mr Thomas’s career spans more than 20 countries and several sectors. He has held roles within organisations such as Microsoft in Singapore and New Zealand, Pacific Adventist University in Papua New Guinea and Adventist Technology in Australia. He also brings experience from serving on various boards.
Born in Germany, Mr Thomas brings a unique blend of educational qualifications to his new role, holding a Bachelor of Arts in Theology, a Master of Business Administration/Global Management, and a Master of Laws. He is married to Becky and they share the love of travel and adventure.
Currently performing the old and new roles side by side to ensure a smooth transition for stakeholders, Mr Thomas recognised that his new position “presents more significant challenges”.
“However, Becky and I have always been willing to serve the Church where the greatest needs are and I am super excited to support the fulfilment of the gospel commission through technology,” he added.
Replacing Mr Thomas is Kingsley Wood, the new director of Pacific capacity development. Mr Wood will be working remotely from Melbourne (Vic), with the start date for his new role yet to be finalised.
In his new position, Mr Kingsley will assist island unions and missions to adopt and follow good practices in governance. This includes a thorough understanding of SPD policy and local legislative regimes.
“Good governance practices, consistently followed—from finances to personnel selection and professional development of personnel—are key drivers to stable administration,” he explained.
Mr Wood’s professional journey in the Adventist Church began in roles such as cashier/clerk and computer programmer at Avondale University. He progressed to serve as an accountant for several institutions within the Church before taking on the role of CFO at the former Central Pacific Union Mission, Australian Union Conference and later at the Trans Pacific Union Mission. More recently, he has served as the secretary and CFO of the New Zealand Pacific Union Mission (NZPUC).
Born in Perth (WA) Mr Wood was raised in an Adventist environment, with his father serving as a medical missionary. He holds a Diploma of Business (Accounting) from Avondale University and is married to Karen, with whom he shares a particular interest in music for congregations.
“Kingsley brings huge experience from across the Division to this role,” said Mr Thomas. “He has worked in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific, and has held roles at most levels of the Church. He is one of the few people in our Division who intimately knows our policies. I believe that Kingsley will be a real asset as he works with Kelvin Peuser to develop the capacity of the workers in our island fields,” he added.