RCMA Executive Director Announces Retirement

After 30 years with the Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA), Executive Director Dr. DeWayne Woodring will retire effective Dec. 31, 2011, the Convention Industry Council (CIC) reported yesterday.

Replacing him will be the current vice president of RCMA's board, Rev. Harry Schmidt, who for the past two decades has served as president of Christian Life College in Mt. Prospect, Ill.

"This felt like the right time to pass on the mantle of leadership," Woodring said. "And I know RCMA will continue to thrive under Harry's leadership for years to come."

A past CIC chairman, one of the original founders of CIC's Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) certification program, and a 1994 inductee into CIC's distinguished Hall of Leaders, Woodring started his career with RCMA in 1982 with a small group of mainly Protestant clergy working evenings out of a close office in his home. Today, RCMA is a professional, nonprofit, multifaith organization representing more than 800 diverse religious organizations, members of which are responsible for planning 14,000 conventions, meetings, assemblies, retreats and cruises that annually attract more than 11 million participants.

"The foundation DeWayne built ensures this will be a smooth transition for RCMA," Schmidt said. "My calling has always been unmistakably in organizational development, and I look forward to the opportunity to continue to grow RCMA and nurture these leaders of excellence."

Replacing Schmidt as RCMA board vice president is Melvin Tennant, president and CEO of Meet Minneapolis, marking the first time a supplier has held that position within the organization.