“We can’t be more pleased about Bill’s return,” said conference center President Pete Peery. “His knowledge of Montreat, the many close personal ties he has with the community of friends that supports us, and above all, his great love for this place and its ministry all make Bill a cherished asset to Montreat Conference Center.”
Montreat Conference Center Board of Directors chairman Frank Spencer agreed. “We were sad to see Bill go when he retired two years ago. His willingness to return now and take up the challenge of growing support for the conference center in such turbulent economic times is a gift for which we are extremely grateful.”
Straughan has agreed to a two-year tenure, during which time he will focus on strengthening individual and church support for the conference center. He will also direct the conference center in preparation for the launch of a long-awaited capital improvements campaign. As he recently commented, “It will require the diligent work and assistance of everyone who loves Montreat and the mission of the conference center to meet our goal. Regardless of the current financial climate, people of faith will prioritize the work they are called to support.”
Before coming to Montreat, Straughan successfully completed a $900 million fundraising campaign at Ducks Unlimited, Inc. Prior to that, he was president of World Book Encyclopedia, Inc., was assistant executive director/director for the American Bar Association Fund for Justice and Education, and was vice president for development and associate general counsel at Wake Forest University.
Straughan is an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a graduate of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. He received his M.Div. degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York, and a J.D. degree from the Wake Forest University School of Law. In addition, he is a graduate of the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School, Boston, Mass.