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2024 brings transitions to the Dakotas Conference office.

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communication, Dakotas UMC

Fiannce 2024

Dakotas Conference Finance and Benefits Office; From left to right, Kathy Roll, JoAnn Early, Dana Bassett, and Jim Ducker. Photos by jlynn studios.

In 2024, the Dakotas Conference Finance Department is transitioning to new roles and new faces. 2023 brought the retirement of long-time employees JoAnn Schlimgen and Leana Stunes.

Jim Ducker, Dakotas Conference Executive Director of Finance and Administration, is completing his first year.

“It has been a year of transition. We are grateful for the service of JoAnn Schlimgen and Leana Stunes. They have been faithful servants of the Dakotas Conference,” said Ducker.

Ducker welcomes aboard JoAnn Early, Dakotas Conference Benefits and Human Resource Officer.

“We welcome another JoAnn to the Dakotas Conference staff, JoAnn Early. She has exprience serving several churches in the Bismarck area in the functions of accounting  and treasurer matters. Her role is newly defined. We have divided our human resources efforts across several positions in the past. We hope to coordinate human resources within one position,” Ducker said.

Kathy Roll, a certified public accountant, has been hired part-time as the Senior Accountant and Payroll Administrator. Kathy brings experience as the Chief Financial Officer for the North Dakota Attorney General’s office. She works remotely from home and travels to the conference office in Mitchell, South Dakota, as needed for training and meetings.

“I retired in May, and this position became available. I do all the deposits for the conference and camping. I enter payments into the online system. I do payroll. That involves about 28 different people, not all full-time,” said Kathy. “I am fulfilling parts of JoAnn’s previous role."

Kathy is married to Al Roll, who is Dakotas Conference Missional Impact Development Coach. They have three adult sons and live in Maple Grove, Minnesota.

Roll Kathy

Kathy Roll serves as the Senior Accountant and Payroll Administrator for the Dakotas Conference.

She works with different software systems. The conference utilizes Vanco for payments from churches. Dakotas Conference Camp and Retreat Ministries use Vanco for registration fees. Roll also works with XLedger, which is an accounting software. Payroll is done through Intuit. Bloomerang is used as a donor database and receipts management software.

“It is interesting. There are a lot of different tools. I used Vanco and, of course, Microsoft Office—Excel and Word, in my previous role,” said Kathy. “I sometimes get frustrated at my mistakes as I learn. I suppose everybody feels that way at first.”

Dana Bassett, who previously served as the accounting clerk, is serving as the Assistant Director of Finance and Administration. She works with insurance, building and trustee matters, accounts payable, and other duties. Bassett has been with the conference for six years.  

“Our specific roles and responsibilities are still in transition,” said Bassett.

The business hours at the Dakotas Conference Office in Mitchell, South Dakota, will change. Beginning January 2, 2024, the business hours will be Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to noon, and 1-5 p.m. The conference office will be open by appointment only on Fridays. The conference office will be closed over the holiday, December 22, 2023-January 1, 2024. 

“We have more remote employees and people serving in dual roles. Many of the staff travel, work weekends, and need some uninterrupted time to complete various tasks,” said Ducker. “We are always available to serve our churches and leaders. We want to be good stewards of all our resources, including people’s time.”

Kathy is grateful for the people and the opportunity. “I like what I am doing, and I really like the people I work with.”


Dakotas Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church 605.996.6552 1331 University Ave. Mitchell SD 57301-0460 US 43.69689310 -98.03291320 122 W. Franklin Avenue Ste 400 Minneapolis MN 55404 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 W University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000 1331 University Ave Mitchell SD 57301 US 0.00000000 0.00000000