Pat Hickman retires from the conference staff after longtime service

Article published: April 19, 2018

By Forrest White

After 41 years of service to the Virginia Conference, senior administrative assistant Pat Hickman retired in early April, leaving behind the legacy of a hard worker, a team player, a trusted confidant and a woman of deep faith.

“I was ultimately inspired by the depth of her faith,” said the Rev. Mark Ogren, Director of Congregational Excellence for the conference, and Hickman’s boss for the past seven years.

“She and I shared with each other things we didn’t share anywhere else when we both had serious family concerns or crisis. She is steadfast in her faith.”

Hickman served in administrative roles with every office within the conference, with the exception of the Commission on Disabilities.

“She was an awesome coworker, a hard worker,” said Cindy Ingroff, a fellow member of the administrative staff whose open door was across from Hickman’s at the conference center in Glen Allen. “She would do anything to help you.”

Another member of the administrative staff team agreed with Ingroff.

“She was always willing to assist wherever she was needed,” Becky Tate said, “and she never complained.”

Hickman has a depth of knowledge about The United Methodist Church, and specifically about the Virginia Conference, after more than four decades of service. It made her a go-to person for fellow staff members seeking insights.

Described by all as a “quiet, private person,” Hickman has retirement plans that include spending more time with her three grandchildren.

Though she’s only been retired for a couple of weeks, her coworkers already miss her.

“When something was upsetting or something was going on in the conference, she always had this positive, assuring line, ‘It’s going to be OK, it’s going to be OK,’” Ogren said.

Perhaps no one will miss Hickman more than Marian Loving, the receptionist who greets all who enter the conference center.

“I shared many secrets with her, as I knew she was a family person that loved her kids,” Loving said. “She became my work mom.”

Tate summed things up for everyone.

“She will be terribly missed by all of us,” Tate said. “I wish her the very best on this new journey in retirement.”

-Forrest White is a news associate with the Virginia Conference Communications office.


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