By Chris Meehan and Sean Connolly. Photo by Chris Meehan.
Craig Lent has announced that the South Bend branch will have a new principal branch coordinator beginning in October. Rich Was will start a six-year term on October 15. Rich follows John Zwerneman who served two consecutive six-year terms.
Rich, 50, is a tenured coordinator who has served three terms as an area coordinator in South Bend. He has been married to Trice (Rose) for 25 years and they have five children: Christina, 24; Rich, 22; Katie, 19; John, 16 and Rachel, 13. Rich runs a State Farm Insurance agency in South Bend and has worked for State Farm for 23 years. He is a native of South Bend with a degree in economics and management from DePauw University, where he played on the football team.
“Rich is well respected by branch members and by his brother coordinators,” Craig says. “I am grateful for his willingness to take responsibility for leading the branch and for serving his brothers and sisters in this new way.”
At the branch meeting where he made the announcement, Craig explained the process for selecting principal branch coordinators. “The branch coordinators meet, have an election and nominate three men for the office of principal branch coordinator. The overall coordinator picks from those three names and forwards his choice to the board of governors for confirmation.”
Of John, Craig said simply, “He has done a terrific job,” before his words were interrupted by prolonged applause and cheering. John was elected to serve on the board of governors in May. His six-year term begins on December 1. The branch will have a chance to honor John at a later date, Craig said.
Besides South Bend, the other two of the community’s three largest branches will also see leadership changes in the next several months. Joel Kibler’s second term as principal branch coordinator of Servant Branch ends on February 8. Lek Kadeli’s second term as principal branch coordinator of the northern Virginia branch also ends on February 8. Principal branch coordinators cannot be appointed for three consecutive terms without a dispensation from the board of governors.
“Please pray for Rich and Trice and the whole branch during this time of transition,” Craig said.