From the Worldwide Faith News archives

CEO Dismissed From Investment And Loan Program

Date 04 May 1996 18:52:08


96147     CEO Dismissed From Investment And Loan Program 
                         by Julian Shipp 
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Roughly six weeks after taking office, the Rev. Robert D. 
Curtis, president and chief executive officer of the Presbyterian Church 
(U.S.A.) Investment and Loan Program, Inc. (PILP), has been dismissed by 
the PILP board of directors because of "differences in [his and the 
board's] vision for the direction of the program." 
      Curtis could not be reached for comment, but the unanimous decision 
to terminate his employment "without prejudice" is effective immediately, 
according to board chair Alvin N. Puryear of the Bronx, N.Y. Puryear said 
the board expects to name an acting president by the end of April and begin 
the search for a replacement. Curtis was selected for a four-year term by 
the PILP board Feb. 5. 
     The Rev. John W. Coffin, parish associate at Harvey Browne 
Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Ky., told the Presbyterian News Service 
that he has been "in conversation" with PILP officials regarding serving as 
acting president, but said it would be "inappropriate to comment further on 
the matter at this time." Coffin was director of the denomination's former 
Stewardship and Communication Development Ministry Unit. 
     The decision to release Curtis came during PILP's board meeting here 
on April 13. Curtis, the former CEO of the Synod of Mid-America's Church 
Development Corp., was hired March 1 to head the new program, which was 
approved by the 1995 General Assembly. 
     PILP was formed to generate money for new church development and other 
projects by issuing investment certificates to Presbyterian investors at 
competitive rates and lending the money to churches at below-market rates 
to meet their capital needs. 
     Puryear said the board has worked long and hard over the past several 
months to implement the General Assembly's mandate to develop the program 
and hire a CEO. But during the meeting "it became clear that there were 
sufficient differences in the directions in which the board and Bob wanted 
to go to warrant a decision to seek new leadership," Puryear said. 
     In taking its action, Puryear said, the board was looking at PILP's 
long-term needs. He said the decision represented only a temporary setback 
in getting the program off  the ground. 
     "No other staff were involved -- Bob had not yet brought other staff 
on board -- and the initial offering circular is still being prepared," 
Puryear said. "We thought it better to make the decision now than to 
prolong it to a point where, if things didn't work out, we'd have more to 
deal with once we started receiving investment dollars and making loans." 
     PILP is a separate entity from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  But 
Eric Graninger, PC(USA) general counsel and PILP secretary, said that since 
Curtis was "separated without prejudice," and since the PILP board adopted 
the personnel policies of the General Assembly Council, Curtis is entitled 
to receive the standard benefits under the denomination's  personnel 
policies. These entitlements include notice, severance allowances, and 
outplacement assistance.   

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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