A new chapter opens in the ongoing story of Montreat Conference Center as its Board of Directors names Richard T. DuBose the 15th president of the Mountain Retreat Association, succeeding the Rev. Dr. Albert G. “Pete” Peery, Jr., who announced his retirement on March 20 of this year.
DuBose will take office on November 17, 2014.
“Richard DuBose is a providential choice,” said Peery. “He is a bold, imaginative, and winsome leader. He knows Montreat to the core and understands that Montreat is a crucial instrument God uses to shape and nurture persons for lives of faith. I am humbled and honored to have him as my successor and pledge him full support.”
A Presbyterian “since before I was born,” DuBose is the son and grandson of ministers and a 1984 graduate of Davidson College. Currently, he is Chief Development Officer of Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service. Under his leadership, fundraising revenue grew from $16.7 million in 2011 to $21.8 million in 2014.
His career in leadership and financial development includes serving for eleven years as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Columbia Theological Seminary, where he led a successful campaign that raised more than $70 million for capital and program development, doubled the size of the seminary’s annual fund, and significantly increased the number of individual and alumni donors. Earlier in his career DuBose was Campaign Director at Coxe, Curry & Associates, a company that helps raise money for non-profits. He also served as the Director of Development at Atlanta International School.
“Richard has a strong track record of success in executive leadership and development roles,” commented Elizabeth Brooks Mailander, co-chair of the committee. “That, coupled with his deep understanding of the Montreat community, makes him ideally suited to lead Montreat at this important time in our history.”
“Throughout my life I have been drawn again and again to Montreat, and now feel drawn even more to join the conference center’s work to nourish people, young and old, into a closer relationship with Christ and to a life in the church,” DuBose said. “Personally, no other place has had as profound an impact on my own life, and I’m deeply honored by the Board’s decision to call me as Montreat’s president.”
In seeking Peery’s successor as president, the search committee cast an expansive net, including input from more than 400 individuals on Montreat, its present, its potential and the challenges that lay ahead for the next president.
The committee initiated its search in June, advised by Sockwell Partners of Charlotte.
Following an expansive search and interview process, DuBose was unanimously recommended by the Search Committee to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors unanimously appointed DuBose on October 15.
“Richard has demonstrated an ability to lead non-profit and Christian organizations to think more broadly and creatively about how to accomplish their missions,” said the Rev. Ludwig Weaver, co-chair of the MRA Presidential Search Committee.
DuBose is a long-time Montreater, having come with his family to their home on Alabama Terrace and participated in the Club Program as a child. As a college student, he worked as a counselor in the Club Program, at the Historical Foundation, and at the skating rink. In 2012 he was tapped to serve on the MRA Board of Directors, and for the past year has served as treasurer and chair of the Finance Committee. His spouse, Jeannie Cochran DuBose, is a graduate of Vanderbilt. She currently serves as the Director of Spiritual Formation at Trinity Presbyterian Church and is an ordained Elder. She is also a well-known author, keynote speaker, and retreat leader. They are the proud parents of three children. Their daughter, Kirby, is a junior at Tulane University. Their son, John, is a high school senior and son, Will, is an 8th grader.
In presenting DuBose to the Montreat community as its new president, MRA Board Chair Helen Krone underscores his gifts: “Richard brings vision, wisdom, and a deep love of Montreat to the presidency. He is articulate and leads with respect, compassion, and a sense of humor. He understands the Presbyterian Church and Montreat and the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead.”
Montreat Conference Center is one of three national conference centers serving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Each year, over 5,000 youth attend one of several Youth Conferences at Montreat, while more than 40 different programs draw pastors and lay persons from across the country. Montreat is host to hundreds of retreats and other special events throughout the year. During the summer months, Montreat hosts special Services for the Lord’s Day in historic Anderson Auditorium, featuring leading voices among pastors and educators from across the country.
Today, Montreat offers meeting space, housing, and recreational facilities for individuals, groups, and families, and serves as host to non-profit and business organizations seeking retreat opportunities in a peaceful, gracious setting.
During his six-year tenure as President of the Mountain Retreat Association, Peery led the Conference Center in a $17 million dollar campaign to renovate Montreat’s core facilities, build its endowment, and grow its annual fund. He oversaw extensive renovations to the Belk Center at the Left Bank, Assembly Inn, Freeland Hall, Moore Center, Anderson Auditorium, and the Allen Building. Peery has led a reshaping of the conference center’s adult conferences, making them more relevant to current challenges and concerns. He was also instrumental in enlisting more members of the Montreat family of supporters to join the MRA Board of Directors, and deepened Montreat’s ties to and support of congregations throughout the Presbyterian communion.