Becky Meharry appreciates the opportunity she has to support teachers and superintendents throughout the North Pacific Union Conference and help make their jobs easier. “My dream would be to see Adventist schools thriving and overflowing with students who love to come to school and are excited about learning,” she says.
Through her role with NPUC, Becky also serves on North American Division curriculum development teams, provides professional development for teachers, leads and serves on elementary school accreditation teams, and plans training and other events related to elementary education. She hopes her impact helps teachers and administrators love their jobs. “Happy teachers make happy students, which in turn make a happy church community,” she explains. She also has a passion for small schools.
After completing her Bachelor of Science in elementary education at Southwestern Adventist University, Becky began teaching in Adventist schools throughout Montana. She also served as a principal before heading to Washington Conference as associate superintendent. Becky came to her role at NPUC in 2018 and completed her master’s degree in education in 2019.
Outside of work, you may find Becky reading, walking, camping, baking or spending time with her family. She’s been married to her husband, Doug, for more than 30 years. Their son and his wife have two children. They also have a son-in-law and two daughters, both of whom work in education.
“I want our students to meet and fall in love with Jesus and have opportunities to share Him with others,” Becky says.
Bill McClendonVice President for Administration and Evangelism Director
César De León PhD. serves as the North Pacific Union Conference vice president for Hispanic ministries and as director for the NPUC global mission, family ministries, ministerial and multi-lingual departments.
Dr. De León is an ordained Adventist pastor and a marital therapist. He studied at University of Loma Linda and graduated with a Master of Science in marital and family therapy. Subsequently, he obtained a doctorate in philosophy in marital and family therapy from the Fuller Seminary School of Psychology. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University.
He is married to Carolann, who is the NPUC assistant director of the Hispanic and family ministries. Together they offer a unique ministry approach to spiritual, emotional and relational problems. Their theological and psychological training is integrated to offer the hope and healing found in the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
“We are delighted to help people find new ways to handle and conceptualize emotional, mental and spiritual problems,” says De León. “We believe relationships are the fundamental context where people realize their own need for growth, change and redefinition.”
César and Carolann have two children, Zachary and Jonathan, who fill them with much joy and blessings.
César y Carolann De León
César De León PhD., es un pastor Adventista ordenado y un terapeuta marital. Su preparación educativa la obtuvo en la Universidad de Loma Linda donde se graduó con una Maestría en Ciencias en Terapia Marital y Familiar. Subsecuentemente, el obtuvo un doctorado en filosofía en terapia marital y familiar de la Escuela de Psicología del Seminario de Fuller. Su Maestría en Divinidades la obtuvo de La Universidad de Andrews en el estado de Michigan. Actualmente, el Dr. De León es el vicepresidente para ministerios Hispanos de la Unión Pacifico Norte en el Estado de Washington, director ministerial y otros departamentos. El Dr. De León está casado con Carolann, quien es la directora asistente de los ministerios Hispanos y de la familia de la Unión Pacifico Norte. Ellos tienen dos hijos solteros, Zachary y Jonathan, los cuales los llenan de mucha alegría y bendiciones.
A los De León les deleita ver a personas encontrar una nueva manera de manejar y conceptualizar los problemas emocionales, mentales y espirituales. Ellos creen que las relaciones son el campo y el contexto fundamental para que las personas se den cuenta de su propia necesidad de crecimiento, cambio y redefinición. Ellos ofrecen en sus presentaciones un enfoque único, donde su conocimiento teológico y psicológico se integra ofreciendo una dimensión amplia y clara que ofrece la esperanza y sanidad ofrecida en las buenas nuevas del evangelio de Jesucristo, para los problemas espirituales, emocionales y relacionales.
Daniel CatesInformation Technology Associate Director
The North Pacific Union Conference Office of Education supports Adventist education in many ways, and Dennis Plubell oversees them all. These include creating policy, coordinating professional development for teachers, certifying teachers, accrediting schools, and communicating the purpose and philosophy of Adventist education.
That’s a tall order, but Dennis is uniquely prepared for the job, thanks to 40 years of working in Adventist education. also worked at every level of education, from school to North American Division. Dennis views Adventist teachers as ministers of education and wants to help equip them to help their students encounter Jesus while experiencing excellence in learning.
Dennis attended Pacific Union College for his bachelor and master degrees. He went on to La Sierra University for his Education Specialist degree, a post-master’s degree in administration and leadership. He went on to chair the NAD Journey to Excellence strategic initiative. He’s been an Educator of the Year and has visited two-thirds of all NAD senior academies.
Dennis and his wife, Barbara, who is also an educator, share four adult children and a daughter-in-law. In his free time, you’ll find Dennis on outdoor walks, doing yard work, reading and traveling.
Instilling an impulse toward collaborative teamwork across Adventist education remains one of Dennis’ ministry goals. “The greatest privilege has been the opportunity to partner with so many people passionate about their students and their service in Adventist education and learning of their hopes and dreams for both,” Dennis says.
When the North Pacific Union Conference works at its best, every conference in the union is Christ-centered and mission-focused, as well as collaborating to be more efficient and effective. As NPUC president, John Freedman creates a shared vision of the Adventist mission to the Pacific Northwest and develops strategic plans to move that mission forward.
John also helps develop the next generation of leaders around the union. He serves on and chairs many boards and committees across the North American Division as well as NPUC. He leads the way as people come to Christ, lives are changed and miracles are happening. “Working in a collaborative relationship with all the Christ-centered, committed and engaged conference and lay leaders across the NPUC is very rewarding,” John says.
After attending Rutgers University for a bachelor’s degree in business and accounting, John received his Master of Divinity degree at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. He also has training in coaching and mentoring, conflict and time management, and prayer and spiritual gifts ministry.
Pastoral callings took John from New Jersey to the Rocky Mountain and Northern California conferences. After serving in several leadership roles for Washington Conference, including as president, John was called to lead NPUC.
John and his wife, Malinda, have three grown sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. John loves to read, take walks on the beach, do projects around their home, enjoy water sports and spend time with his family — especially those grandchildren.
But John’s greatest love remains Jesus Christ. “I love Jesus and have committed my life to following Him wherever He leads me,” he says. “I love my family and want to spend eternity with them in heaven. I love people and want them all to know Jesus and experience a saving relationship with Him.”
Keith WatersDirector for Secondary and Curriculum Education
As the North Pacific Union Conference director of secondary and curriculum education, Keith Waters values his work helping educators with curriculum and administrative questions. Working with conference administrators in school accreditation is also particularly rewarding to Keith.
Through his work, Keith hopes to encourage church members to be positive conduits to their local church schools. He enjoys supporting teachers and administrators as they provide best teaching practices to their students. Keith especially longs “to see Seventh-day Adventist Christian education available to all Adventist families that seek it.”
After completing his Bachelor of Science in elementary education at Atlantic Union College, Keith went on to receive his Master of Education from Eastern Connecticut State University. He spent many years serving as a teacher and principal before moving into conference education leadership in the Upper Columbia Conference. After 12 years as the conference superintendent of schools, Keith moved to NPUC.
Keith and his wife are the parents of two sons. Their family also includes a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter. In his free time, Keith enjoy traveling, gardening, birding and golfing.
“I want people to know that I am always available to help them in any way I can,” Keith shares.
Through his work with the North Pacific Union Conference, Rob Lang leads 11 ministries for young people. These include children’s and youth ministries, Adventurers, Pathfinders, Sabbath School programs, and camp and conference centers Rob also works with young adults through the Growing Young program, Adventist Christian Fellowship ministry to public college and university students, and NSO.
Rob wants his work to strengthen local leadership. He also enjoys developing programs that cover gaps in ministries, such as the DiscipleTrek specialty camp for teens. His goals are clear: “to grow leadership effectiveness, to help young people become modern day disciples of Jesus and to see young adults leading our church movement with the Holy Spirit’s power.”
After completing his undergraduate students at Southern Adventist University, Rob went on to finish his Master of Divinity degree at Andrews University. He has served worked with youth and youth camps from Georgia and Iowa to Colorado and Oregon. He has training in leading small groups and is certified with the American Camp Association. He holds several North American Division ministry awards for camp and youth ministries.
Hiking, golfing and skiing are some of Rob’s favorite activities, but he especially enjoys time with his family. He and his wife, Velvet, have four children, two sons-in-law and a granddaughter. Most of all, Rob says, “I love the Lord and the truth He has given our church to share.”
Women’s ministry is especially for women who are in church pews every week and have yet to find a ministry for using their spiritual gifts. “That’s why our motto is ‘A Ministry for Every Woman,’” Sue explains.
Interacting with members and women’s ministry directors all over North Pacific Union Conference is one of Sue’s favorite parts of her work. Her days include serving as the women’s ministry liaison between NPUC and local conference as well as to the North American Division.
Sue has a Bachelor of Science in elementary education. Her studies have included time at Atlantic Union College, Andrews University and Portland State University, where she took post-graduate classes. After years of classroom teaching, Sue co-founded and then led the women’s ministry department in Upper Columbia Conference. In a similar role for NPUC, Sue continues to find ways to help inactive women recognize their gifts and use them for the Lord.
Outside of work, Sue is involved in her local community, including through a neighborhood women’s Bible study group and teaching primary Sabbath School. She also finds joy in traveling and spending time with her five grandkids and three adult kids.
Most of all, Sue values serving others. “I have found that following Jesus’ example of servant leadership brings the greatest joy,” she says.
Tami EdwardsInformation Technology Support Specialist
Through her role with the North Pacific Union Conference, Velvet Lang touches the lives of young people at almost every age. Her duties include working with children’s ministries, Adventurers, Pathfinders, youth camps, youth and young adults, the Growing Young program and Adventist Christian Fellowship, which connects to students on public college and university campuses.
Being a part of discipling youth and young adults and bringing them into a closer walk with God is part of what Velvet most values in her ministry in NPUC. She longs to “help them to understand and embrace the beautiful truths of the Bible that we as the Seventh-day-Adventist Church have a privilege of knowing.”
Velvet has a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from Southern Adventist University and a master’s in education from Andrews University. She has worked extensively with youth and Adventist youth camps in Iowa, Oregon and Georgia. She has also developed camp leadership and operations manuals for the American Camp Association.
When she’s not busy serving NPUC youth and young adults, Velvet enjoys Bible study and memorization, waterskiing, snow skiing, fitness, hiking and coordinating weddings. Velvet and her husband, Rob, enjoy their family of four children, two sons-in-law and a granddaughter.
“I am thrilled to continue working alongside my husband in serving the Lord,” she shares. “I pray our humble efforts make huge strides in hastening Christ’s soon return.”