Insurance Officer for the Conference Retires After 23 Years of Service
Lydia Fay Lopez has been a part of the Texas Annual Conference family since September of 1989. She will be retiring from her position as the Benefits Administrator and HIPAA Privacy Officer in June, following twenty-three years of service to the clergy and laity of the TAC.
She noted the “tremendous changes in health care” through the years and reflects how when she first began, “it was all done manually. There were no databases.” They transitioned to a DOS application which ran for 17 years, later converting that the Blackbaud system and building it into a master file. “It’s almost saying you have a baby. You raise it, you see it go to college, then it’s on its own. It is exactly where I dreamed it would be.”
Lopez says she will remember working with the staff at the Methodist Service Center and how “seeing the outpouring of love, dedication, self denial and commitment to serve HIS people has been exuberating. I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve The Texas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in the capacity that I have.” She adds that she will miss the fellowship with other staff as well as the contact with the members. “That has been very special - having ongoing communications and being able to care for them.”
She listed eight Directors she has worked for during her time here: Dr. Guston H. Browning, Dr. Keith Kellow, Dr. Wallace Shook, Dr. Allen Mayes, Dr. Glen Eckols, Dr. Lloyd Giles, Rev. B.T. Williamson and at present Rev. Gail Ford Smith. “Each director brought to the position their uniqueness and professionalism and a high spirit of love for the church, which energized me in my ministry; but it does not stop there because you also see it within the Group Health Benefits and Pensions Committee - such exceptional compassion.”
“Working with the carriers was a very rewarding experience,” Lopez continued. “They were always courteous, respectful and went out of their way to assist the members. She states, “Lastly, I could not have done my work had it not been for the Data Team. We pulled together for the cause and worked side-by-side until we met our objectives. For that I will forever be grateful.”
Adding that she’s looking forward to the next chapter in her life, Lopez said “this year I turn 65, and while I am still in good health I feel the season for retirement has arrived. I pray, I have served the conference well and will continue to keep each and everyone in my prayers. My plans in retirement are to take more time to smell the roses, walk barefoot on the sand, travel, and - most of all - spend more time with my spouse, 4 children and their spouses, 7 grandchildren, mother (93), sisters and my twin, to have fun, and just enjoy life.”
A reception will be held May 16, 3-4:30 p.m. If you wish to send cards or well-wishes, they can be addressed to the United Methodist Service Center at:
Texas Annual Conference
c/o Lydia Retirement
5215 Main St.