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                                                                     A U T U M N  1 9 9 8

A Job Well Done

The year was 1994 and the Synod had a deficit of $400,000 when Associate Executive for Finance Halilu Haruna was hired to “fix” the problem. By 1997, there was a surplus of approximately $200,000 and Haruna felt very good about what he had accomplished. He is now moving on to work for the Woodcraft Rangers, where he will be Director of Operations.

SCHP Editor Karen L. Kiser met with Halilu in his office in September for this “exit interview.”
Ed. How do you feel about leaving the Synod after four years?
H: I feel pretty good about it. I have done what I was hired to do in 1994— fix the finances of the Synod — and I am proud of my achievements. But I want to expand and grow, utilizing my other management skills, I want to do more than just accounting.
Ed. What do you think are the challenges facing the Synod in the future relating to financial management?
H: The Synod needs to he able to communicate the need for long rang financial planning and not just spend money because it is “there.” There are tensions, because of lack of priorities, between Camps and Conferences and Congregational Development. A culture of accountability needs to be developed so that you follow a budget based on those priorities. The Synod will have to be very realistic, because mission giving is only twenty-one per cent of its revenues.
Ed. With so much dependence on investment income, how can the Synod plan with all the uncertainty in today’s financial markets?
H: The Synod has to be flexible from year to year when funding for mission comes primarily through investment monies.
Ed. Any words of wisdom for all of us now?
H: Maybe the Synod could be a financial holding institution where people get their interest and they also help mission.

Halilu Haruna is also a business consultant. The name of his consulting business is .Amana Conception, which is an African term for “trust.” If you need help with your investments, you may wish to call him at 310/842-7993. He is still in the neighborhood of Los Angeles. 


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