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A Legacy in the Making
Bertha’s career with CCMBC began in 1990. As a lifelong member of the MB Church, Bertha had been involved in analytical areas that she was gifted in and in 1990 was treasurer at her local church. During that time, she was approached by a friend, Jake Neufeld about a job opportunity with CCMBC.
“I told him I needed time to think about it,” she remembers. “I did a lot of prayer and deliberation that week.”
After her period of deliberation Bertha decided to take the job.
“Ultimately it came down to, ‘what would I miss out on if I didn’t do it,’” she says, “How can I compete with God?”
After only two days and one evening of training at the very start of the job, Bertha worked happily as an accountant for many years with CCMBC. Several times she was approached by her supervisor about advancing in her career, though the only way he could promote her was if she completed the CGA program. At first Bertha felt no reason to go forward with it, but eventually she felt the pull to further education. She was inspired, and knew that in order to do her job more effectively it was time to jump in.
“I know a woman whose mother graduated university at 53 and I thought I could do that!”
Thus she began her journey in the CGA program in 2007 and was promoted to Comptroller shortly thereafter in 2009. By 2018 Bertha had fully completed the CGA program.
After working as Comptroller for several years, Bertha was appointed as the CFO for Legacy and CCMBC. CCMBC Legacy Fund, and subsidiary CCMBC Investments Ltd, help to fill in those gaps so that focus can be returned to sharing the message of Christ, not on wondering if there will be funding for a building or meeting place. To date, and under Bertha’s direction, CCMBC Investments has provided more than 700 loans to MB churches and pastors so they can make a difference in their communities and spread the gospel throughout Canada.
During the 32 years Bertha spent working for CCMBC, there were many changes that she was part of that affected not only her direct work, but also the community and churches around her. The CCMBC offices moved from the second floor of the MBBC building to their current location on Taylor Ave in Winnipeg- thankfully no more kitchen vent through her office in the new building! Bertha was also present for a few changes in governance and structure over the years. Looking back, there are leaps in technology too such as transitioning from dial up internet to a switch box in the late 1990s, Y2K, moving to Microsoft Windows, and updates to IBM programs.
One more recent outstanding achievement for Bertha was during her time as CFO. She oversaw the reorganization of the deposits system, and transition to CCMBC Investments Ltd, which was finalized in August 2019. Shortly thereafter in October 2019, the approval was given to be compliant with the collaborative model.
“In some ways it was a personal effort but in many ways it was a team effort,” Bertha says.
By the spring of 2020 the world and workplace looked much different. COVID-19 had changed the way many people worked and lived. One might think that this abrupt transition would have challenged Bertha. Quite the opposite! Bertha’s steady spirit and constant work ethic allowed her to accept the changes quite smoothly.
“It really didn’t affect me, work got done just more from home!”
Leaving Her Mark
As a person looks back on their career and into retirement, they may ask how they will be remembered, and what kind of impact they had on their workplace during their career. Bertha believes her personal legacy to be the knowledge that she served God, community, constituency, and colleagues well.
“I believe that I was called to the role,” she says. “I have always tried to do the best job I can. It was technical, but I still viewed it as a ministry role.”
On the morning of her retirement celebration Bertha read in Genesis 12:1:
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.”
Bertha remembered these words and shared them with her CCMBC and Legacy colleagues in a heartfelt speech, “Similarly, I feel God telling me to go from this workplace and to wait on him for what he has in store for my future,” she remarks, “I feel blessed to have had the opportunity to serve our Lord in this environment. I believe I was called to this place, not just by Jake, but by God, and I hope He will say, well done, good and faithful servant, because that is what I have strived to be.”
Bertha is thankful for the opportunity she was given to serve the Mennonite Brethren churches and community for 32 years, and to have met new people through networking and attending conferences both in Canada and the US. There were many things that sustained her throughout her career, faith and family of course, but also the fact that she learned to live and thrive in periods of change, and she was never bored. Bertha learned quite a variety in her work, like different types of accounting for charities, leases, and investments, as well as facility and real estate purchases.
“I love to learn,” she says.
Of all the things Bertha will miss about full time work, the piece she will miss the most is the people.
“Really I’ll miss just being in the office!” she says, “the day to day of being around my coworkers.”
She will also miss using the analytical part of her brain on a daily basis and in such an intensive way. “When I’m analytical I’m in my happy place,” she chuckles.
In this new chapter, Bertha is looking forward to a few things. First on her list is some travel and mission work, then a good old fashioned house purge. She also plans to dive deeper into her existing passions like working on her garden, crafting-particularly anything with a pattern, and spending more time at the cottage. She is looking forward to spending more time with her family and grandchildren. In these first few months of retirement, she will gladly reflect on Matthew 25:23
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
Well done, Bertha. Congratulations on your retirement.
This story was originally published in the MB Herald.