Longtime PNW staff member Anna Conklin retires as newly hired Erin Tombaugh joins the District Service Center


After 17 years working within the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference, Anna Conklin retired effective April 3. Serving first as an administrative assistant and office manager for the PNW Office of Connectional Ministries, Conklin brought her gifts and knowledge to the District Service Center several years ago. Before she arrived in the conference office, she served nearby Des Moines United Methodist Church as office manager for nine years.

“It was Anna’s desire not to make a big fuss about her retirement. Still, those who wish to send cards of acknowledgment can direct them to the conference to be collected and forwarded,” said Brant Henshaw, treasurer and director of administrative services for the PNW Conference.  “Anna’s knowledge, dedication, and laughter will be greatly missed by everyone who knows her. Anna looks forward to spending her retirement with her family in Montana.”

With Conklin’s retirement, the conference is excited to announce the hiring of Erin Tombaugh, who will serve as district administrator for the Puget Sound and SeaTac Missional Districts. Erin will join Laura Velonza and Stephanie Franklin in supporting local churches and ministries within the PNW Conference. Velonza, who recently transitioned from part to full-time, will be taking on additional responsibilities as DSC lead and adding the Crest to Coast Missional District to the districts she supports; she has been the administrator for the Inland and Seven Rivers Districts since 2020.

“SeaTac District Superintendent Derek Nakano and I are excited to welcome Erin to this new position and to partner with her in ministry with the many great people in the churches we serve in the Puget Sound and SeaTac Districts,” shared Rev. Mark Galang, who serves as superintendent for the Puget Sound Missional District.

A native of the Sunflower State, Kansas, Erin Tombaugh moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2015. She has spent the last seven and a half years in full-time ministry at Oak Harbor First United Methodist Church, primarily working with young people. Even before serving in ministry, Erin’s United Methodist roots were deep as the daughter of two clergy. She grew up attending church camps and participating in the Conference Council on Youth Ministries.

Since being in the PNW, Erin has gotten involved in our conference’s CCOYM as the Puget Sound district adult, served as a young adult lay member to annual conference, and was elected as an alternate delegate to the Western Jurisdictional Conference. “It was great to be a part of the delegation at the jurisdictional conference in Salt Lake City last November and join United Methodists from across our connection in addressing important legislation and electing bishops,” shared Tombaugh. 

Outside work, Erin enjoys being a chorus member and librarian for the Whidbey Community Chorus and acting on stage at the Whidbey Playhouse. Though she would not call herself an avid outdoor enthusiast, Erin finds peace in the beauty of the PNW and likes occasional hiking and nature exploration. She loves to travel for vacations with friends or back to the Midwest to visit her family, including her energetic nephews and niece. At home, Erin likes to relax with a book or movie and her two cats, Leviosa and Daphne, snuggled nearby.

Erin is excited to expand the ways she can be in ministry in The United Methodist Church by joining the District Service Center staff. She finds hope in the future of our denomination as we continue to look for ways to engage in meaningful ministry for all people.You can contact Erin Tombaugh at (206) 870-6818 or etombaugh@pnwumc.org.

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Patrick Scriven
Patrick Scriven is a husband who married well, a father of three amazing girls, and a seminary-educated layperson working professionally in The United Methodist Church. Scriven serves the Pacific Northwest Conference as Director of Communications.

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