(Montreat, NC) – Following an extensive search, the Mountain Retreat Association is pleased to welcome Lynn Tuggle Gilliland as Montreat Conference Center’s new Vice President for Development. Gilliland will begin February 13, 2012. From that date until April 30, 2012, the MRA will have two Vice Presidents for Development in a period of transition as the current Development officer, Bill Straughan, moves toward retirement. Although Straughan officially retires April 30, 2012, he will remain involved as a consultant with the conference center’s on-going capital campaign.
“We couldn’t be more pleased about the decision to hire Lynn,” stated conference center president Pete Peery. “Not only does she have the professional skills and experience we were looking for; Lynn also shares our deep commitment to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and is a long-time friend of Montreat. She understands its mission and is sensitive to the complexities involved in carrying that mission forward into the future.”
Gilliland currently serves as the Executive Director of First and Second Year Experience at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia. Her long association with the college has also included a role as Executive Director of Alumnae/i Activities during which time she traveled extensively to meet and network with alumnae/i and friends of the college, building support for the institution.
“The knowledge Lynn has gained in development and fundraising through her role with alumnae/i at Mary Baldwin has done much to prepare her for this new venture,” commented Peery.
Gilliland agreed, adding, “I have been blessed with experiences in leadership, management, and communications which I pray will help me as I join the great team Pete Peery and the Board have put into place.”
Gilliland holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of North Carolina, where she was a John Motley Morehead Fellow and MBA Student Association President. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics, summa cum laude, from Mary Baldwin College. Gilliland is also an active member and ruling elder at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Staunton. She was ordained as a ruling elder in Greenwood, South Carolina, and served there on the Personnel Committee and as Chair of the Worship Committee. At Covenant Church in Staunton, she has served as Chair and a member of Stewardship and Finance. Over a period of ten years as a youth advisor in Charlotte, North Carolina, and in Greenwood, South Carolina, Gilliland also participated in several Montreat Youth Conferences. She currently serves on the Mountain Retreat Association‘s Investment Committee.
When asked about the new position, Gilliland was emphatic: “I truly believe with all my heart – and it is crystal clear to me – that God is calling me to this job. I have always had a passion for Montreat,” she continued, “and it has played a significant role in my life and that of my family. It is a gift for me to be able to give back by becoming part of the organization and its future.” Gilliland, reflecting on the promises one makes as a ruling elder in the PC(USA), went on to affirm her commitment to serve “…with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love.”
Gilliland is married to her husband of 26 years, Bill Gilliland, and has two children, Mac, a senior at Davidson College and Matthew, a junior at The Asheville School.