Drew Page Stepping Down From Staff

Drew Page Stepping Down From Staff

Drew Page, who has served the Southern New England Conference and the historic Connecticut Conference staff for more than 12 years, is stepping down on Friday, June 24, due to health issues.

Drew was diagnosed with cancer in 2020, and for the past 2.5 years has undergone various treatments and surgeries, but the disease persists.

“I’m grateful for the 12 ½ years working for the UCC in Connecticut and in the Southern New England Conference,” Page said. “My work as Media and Data Manager gave me an outlet to be creative, solve technical problems, and to assist incredible people with a passion for making the world a better place. Now it’s time for me to focus all my energy on my family and my health.”

Drew directing the audio and video crew at the joint Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island Conference Annual Meeting in Springfield, MA in 2018
Drew has served in various communication roles, including as news writer, Starting with Scripture weekly devotional editor, videographer, AV event support and IT specialist. He was instrumental in creating the infrastructure for the new Conference, merging the databases of the three historic Conferences, moving computer servers into the cloud so they could be accessed remotely, and providing training to staff who had a wide variety of past practices and experience.

"Drew has been tirelessly dedicated to the onboarding of new staff, helping to build technological infrastructure for this new Conference, and even more so contributing weekly to the spiritual development of members of the SNEUCC community and beyond," said Executive Conference Minister the Rev. Darrell Goodwin. "His presence and skill set will be sincerely missed and in all honesty is irreplaceable."

Drew is also a long-time Silver Laker, having volunteered as a counselor and dean at Silver Lake summer conferences for the past 30 years. He was the Camp Family “dad” in 1997.

"Drew is most often working behind the scenes - whether it be at a computer keyboard or behind a video camera - making sure everything is running well," said Tiffany Vail, Director of Media and Communications. "Over the years I have worked with Drew, he has never shied away from teaching himself new skills so that he could take on new tasks. He has always had in mind how to make communication within the Conference more effective, and how to make the jobs of his colleagues easier."

Drew has continued to work for the Conference throughout his illness, only recently reducing his work to part-time.

"Drew has approached his illness with an incredible level of bravery, practicality, and openness," Vail said. "He has also been very careful to make sure he leaves us with the tutorials and information we need to move forward without him on staff, as difficult as that will be."

Current and former members of the staff gathered recently for a celebration of Drew, where he was presented with a plaque commemorating his service and other gifts. One of the former staff members who spoke then was the Rev. Kent Siladi, former Connecticut Conference Minister.

"I was blessed to work alongside of Drew Page. Not only were we co-workers, we became friends," he said. "I often would start my day checking in with Drew on the Garden Level of Sherman Street.  We would talk about work, but more often than not we would talk about our lives – our families, our friends – and a lot of the time I would hear Drew share his love of fencing, both as a fencer and just as importantly as a coach."

"Drew is a great videographer and editor.  He was a true professional and would make sure everything was perfect – sound, lighting – even the way people faced the camera and making sure my tie was not crooked," Rev. Siladi said.

Finally, he added:  "Drew cared about the staff community that we all created together" and as examples pointed to how Drew spearheaded a stair-climbing challenge at the Hartford office designed to encourage staff to exercise daily while learning how to record their steps in a new computer application.

The work that Drew has been doing will be covered in a variety of ways. Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane, who worked for many years for the historic Massachusetts Conference as publications editor, has returned to the staff part-time to take on some of the writing work that Drew had been doing. She is also taking over management of the Monday Starting with Scripture email newsletter. Prayer requests for that newsletter can be sent to Marlene at: cochranem@sneucc.org. Digital Minister Eric Elley is taking on AV event support and video editing. Other contractors are being put in place to take on Drew's IT and database work.

Anyone with questions should contact Tiffany Vail at vailt@sneucc.org
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