By Patrick Scriven
As 2019 was drawing to a close, Laura Velonza was beginning a new role as a part of the Pacific Northwest Conference’s District Service Center (DSC). As District Administrator, she will offer administrative support for the Inland and Seven Rivers Missional Districts, remotely working alongside other DSC staff to advance the work of the conference’s five districts and their superintendents. Velonza will continue to serve half-time as the administrative assistant at Audubon Park United Methodist Church in Spokane, Washington, where she will also be based.
In his January newsletter to the Inland Missional District, Superintendent and Cabinet Dean Rev. Gregg Sealey wrote that Velonza “will be an incredible asset and resource for the clergy and laity of the district.”
Velonza grew up in Spokane and has been married to her husband, Vince Velonza, for 24 years. Together, they have three daughters, which she proudly describes as “very smart.” Two of their daughters are in college, and one is a freshman in high school. They currently have a home in North Spokane with Laura’s mother living with them along with “two dogs, one cat, and three very spoiled chickens.”
Raised Catholic and Christian, Velonza still sees herself as a newcomer to United Methodism.
“I have only been involved with the Methodist church for the past four years. First at Fowler UMC and then at Audubon Park UMC.” Velonza adds that “the best part about being so new is I think I bring fresh eyes to it.”
In addition to her work as an administrative assistant, Velonza has been active in Fowler’s United Methodist Women (UMW) for the past four years. Together with her husband, they also lead a 40/50-aged group once a month and help where they can despite busy schedules.
The District Service Center is a collaborative administrative model which first launched in 2013, bringing more continuity to the support of districts and local churches. Anna Conklin serves as the District Administrator for the Crest to Coast, Puget Sound, and SeaTac Missional Districts. Stephanie Franklin supports the work of the PNW Board of Ordained Ministry as Administrator while also offering some assistance to the districts.
“I have always been told that I can get along with anyone,” offered Velonza, who came to work in The United Methodist Church after leaving a job managing 220 apartments with Rockwood Property Management.
“I am someone who really does enjoy meeting people. So far, this position has allowed me to meet some amazing people, and I have learned something new every day. I count that as a blessing.”
You can contact Laura Velonza at (206) 870-6814 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Patrick Scriven is a husband who married well, a father of three amazing girls, and a seminary educated layperson working professionally in the church. Scriven serves the Pacific Northwest Conference as Director of Communications and Young People’s Ministries.