Western Jurisdiction Women Elect New Leaders


At the 2012 Western Jurisdiction United Methodist Women’s Quadrennial Meeting new officers and directors were elected for the upcoming quadrennium. Meeting in Portland, Oregon June 1 – 3 the gathering, titled “Fire in My Soul” brought together hundreds of women from around the jurisdiction to celebrate their work together, elect officers for the coming quadrennium, be inspired by speakers and workshops, and participate in hands-on mission.

The delegates elected Jo Anne Hayden and Tupoi Seini Kelemeni as Directors for the United Methodist Women’s Board and Liliwa T. Robledo as the alternate.

Kelemani, Hayden and McOmber. Greg Nelson PhotoHeyden and Kelemani were two of the six directors for the 2008-2012 quadrennium. A new organizational structure and constitution for the United Methodist Women calls for only two directors from the Western Jurisdiction in the upcoming quadrennium.

Heyden is from Juneau, Alaska and headed the Alaska Conference delegation to General Conference. She recognizes the growth and opportunity that participating in United Methodist Women has given her, saying, “It has been through this organization that together we are faith, hope, and love in action facing the reality of today’s world, while working to improve ‘givens’ for all.”

Kelemani is from Honolulu, Hawaii in the California-Pacific Conference. She is active in her church and the Tongan-American Association of Honolulu. She feels a strong calling to reach segments of the population that are sometimes overlooked or passed over, saying, “[Christ] died for me; the least I can do is serve the women, children and youth all around the world.”

Jurisdictional Board Members were also elected for the next four years. Margaret Hotze of Fort Collins, Colorado, Rocky Mountain Conference will be the incoming Jurisdictional President. Julia Smith, Sitka, Alaska, Alaska Conference will be the incoming Vice-President. Norma Smith, Billings, Montana, Yellowstone Conference will be the incoming Secretary. Juliet Maliksi of Fresno, California, California-Nevada Conference will be the incoming treasurer.