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Internal Awards

The Board Life & Governance Committee of the Board of Directors has the honor of selecting the Charles L. Calkins and the Clay F. Lee Award recipients. Individuals for these awards are nominated for extraordinary contributions, visionary leadership and dedication to the values of Wespath Benefits and Investments.

Charles L. Calkins Award

Established in 1988, the Charles L. Calkins Award recognizes an annual conference pension and health benefits administrator who, in partnership with Wespath Benefits and Investments, has provided exceptional service in the administration of pension and health benefits within The United Methodist Church.

The Charles L. Calkins Award is named for Charles L. Calkins, who served the agency as Associate Secretary from 1938 to 1952 and as Executive/General Secretary from 1952 to 1964.

The award recognizes those who have distinguished themselves in the administration of benefits by their:

  • Extraordinary effort and unusual and resourceful leadership
  • Overall helpfulness to pension and health benefit concerns and sharing of ideas and counsel with Wespath Benefits and Investments
  • Responsiveness to Wespath Benefits and Investments in pension and health benefit matters and cooperation and assistance in the overall presentation of the programs of the Church
  • Advocacy of pension and health benefit programs of the Church

2019 Award Winners
2019 award winner photo
Pictured from Left to Right: Wespath Board Life and Governance Committee Chairperson Reverend Dr. Gray Southern, Wespath General Secretary Barbara Boigegrain, Reverend Dr. Karl Stegall, Karen Fullerton, and Wespath Board Chair Bishop Robert Schnase.

Previous recipients of the Charles L. Calkins Award:

1989 The Reverend Virgil H.Ware
West Virginia Conference
  1990 The Reverend C. Edward Ditterline
New Mexico Conference
1991 E.Ward Emery
Northern New Jersey Conference
1992 The Reverend M. Ellsworth Walker
Iowa Conference
1993 The Reverend R. Terry Little, Jr.
Tennessee Conference
1994 The Reverend Harry E. Shaner
California-Nevada Conference
1995 The Reverend Russell E. Owen
Oklahoma Conference
1996 Donald A. Foster
South Carolina Conference
1997 The Reverend Gerald H. Maddox
Alabama-West Florida Conference
1998 The Reverend Richard Hamilton
New England Conference
1999 The Reverend Howard Bailey
Nebraska Conference
2002 Karen J. Crutchfield
New Mexico Conference
2003 The Reverend David Dodge
Florida Conference
2005 The Reverend Richard Van Giesen
Illinois Great Rivers Conference
2007 The Reverend Delos Corderman
South Carolina Conference
2009 Patricia Hutchinson
Virginia Conference
2011 Bruce Galvin
Pacifc Northwest Conference
Alaska United Methodist Conference
2013 The Reverend Stanley Sutton
West Ohio Conference
2015 The Reverend David L. Anderson
South Carolina Conference
2017 Jim Berner
West Virginia Conference
2019 Karen Fullerton
North Georgia Conference


Clay F. Lee Award

Established in 1999, the Clay F. Lee Award recognizes former directors of Wespath Benefits and Investments who have given exemplary service in caring for the pension and health benefits needs of The United Methodist Church.

The Clay F. Lee Award is named for Bishop Clay F. Lee who served Wespath as a member from 1980 to 1988 and as president from 1992 to 1996.

The award recognizes those former directors who have distinguished themselves by their:

  • Extraordinary contributions to and visionary leadership of Wespath Benefits and Investments
  • Strong advocacy of the pension and health benefit programs of the Church
  • Dedication to the values of Wespath Benefits and Investments

Previous recipients of the Clay F. Lee Award:

1999 Bishop Clay F. Lee   2000 Robert W. Stevens
2001 John W. English 2002 M. Harry Piper
2003 The Reverend Kermit L. Braswell 2005 Bishop Bruce P. Blake
2007 Joel Huffman 2009 Carl Nord
2011 Bishop Ben Chamness 2013 The Reverend Keith Ewing
2015 Dr. Joseph Heyward 2017 Jerry Pinkerton
2019 Reverend Dr. Karl Stegall