PBS appoints first woman General Secretary
The Philippine Bible Society makes history with the appointment of its first woman General Secretary. Mrs. Nora G. Lucero, who served as Deputy General Secretary, was unanimously appointed by the Board of Directors as the 11th General Secretary succeeding Dr. Medarlo B. Rivera, who is retiring from full time Bible work on December 31, 2003. Her appointment also made her the first General Secretary to be promoted from within.
Mrs. Lucero, a Certified Public Accountant, formally assumed her duties as General Secretary on September 1, overlapping with the four remaining months of Dr. Rivera’s term. Formal turnover rites and installation ceremony will take place during the PBS 104th Anniversary Thanksgiving Dinner on December 4, 2003.
Sharing her thoughts about the appointment, Mrs. Lucero admitted she was overwhelmed with the trust given her and struggled with the thought of taking the rein from Dr. Rivera at a time of political and economic instability and at the height of implementing PBS’ Transformation Plan. It is her fervent hope, however, to see the Bible Society continue as a leading provider and advocate of Scriptures.
She stressed, “We have to strengthen Scripture engagement and how the Bible can be used as a daily manual to life, as the first choice of daily direction and guidance as our share in national transformation.”
Recognized as a dedicated and competent Bible woman, Mrs. Lucero joined the Bible Society in 1979 as Business Manager and Treasurer after her stint with SGV and Company, one of Philippines’ leading auditing companies. In 1985, she was appointed Deputy General Secretary and Treasurer, a post she served for 18 years.
“My role as General Secretary was easier with Nora as my Deputy,” Dr. Rivera said. “Apart from being very competent, she has been prepared well for this leadership position in the Bible Society. Most important of all: she has a big heart for the Bible ministry.”
While faithfully serving PBS, Mrs. Lucero was also involved with Bible work in the Asia-Pacific Region, the most notable of which was her contribution in the re-establishment of the Bible Society in Cambodia where she and her family stayed from 1993 to 1995. She is currently the only woman member of the United Bible Societies Area Board of the Asia-Pacific Region. She is also active in ANGLOSEC, an organization of Bible Societies that serve the Scripture needs of a large English speaking local population.
While being a good Bible Society leader, Mrs. Lucero is likewise a very dedicated wife to World Vision Deputy Director Danilo Lucero and a loving mother to their four children.
Dr. Rivera appointed PBS Consultant
Although retiring from full time Bible work, Dr. Rivera who will be turning 70 in December, was appointed by the Board of Directors as PBS Consultant. He will assume this assignment on January 1, 2004.
Dr. Rivera served PBS as General Secretary since 1985, succeeding Dr. Ricardo Jumawan, who is currently with PBS as Corporate Secretary and Consultant. He served with distinction for the last 18 years, the second longest service after Dr. W. Fonger who served for 23 years from 1934 to 1957.
“Those 18 years breezed by so quickly,” Dr. Rivera said. “I feel there’s much more to be done, more frontiers to open and more lives to touch than when I got started. I just wish I were young again. And if I were, I will still opt to be actively involved in the Bible ministry.”
During Dr. Rivera’s term, PBS became a net supporting Bible Society from 1994, regularly contributing to the UBS global work in the areas of leadership and financial support. He served in the Asia-Pacific Regional Executive Committee for 14 years, with concurrent sub-committee responsibilities. His capable leadership also led to his co-option to the UBS Executive Committee, the highest governing body in the United Bible Societies’ global fellowship.
Locally, Dr. Rivera led PBS to another stage of Bible work. During his term, PBS became a more stable organization and the leading Scripture source throughout the country, strengthening partnerships with various church denominations and confessions. It was also during his term that PBS expanded its operations, establishing three more ministry facilities – warehouses in Pandacan, Manila and in Lawang Bato, Bulacan, and a five-storey office building in Sta. Mesa, Manila while keeping the original Bible Society home at UN Avenue – to respond to the growing Scripture needs of the country.