Monday, October 13, 1997

Name: John Derby
Age: 57
Position: Executive secretary, Hawaii Conference Foundation (United Church of Christ)
Education: Yale; MBA from HPU
Hobby: Music

A strong foundation

John Montague Derby Sr. oversees an investment account exceeding $25 million as the new executive secretary of the Hawaii Conference Foundation (United Church of Christ).

The foundation is responsible for managing the physical assets of the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ, the foundation's principal beneficiary, mainly lands and securities. As of Dec. 31, 1996, its investment account topped $25 million.

"I'm excited about it," said Derby, who sees the task as a triple challenge.

One is to bring the backlog of existing projects current; the second, to create a strong working relationship between the foundation and the conference; and third, to put a program together to buy land to support future congregations, he said.

"I've been a member of Central Union Church for a long time," Derby added. "I was christened there in 1941.

"My dad also was the head lay person there, the president. I learned about the job at the conference, and I thought that would be something that would appeal to me."

In the past year, the foundation has returned $3.5 million and more than 1,000 acres to the Hawaii Conference of the United Church of Christ to benefit native Hawaiians through their churches or foundations. This implements the Plan for Redress to Na Kanaka Maoli approved by the conference in 1996.

"I've worked on transferring the money, and I'm working now on transferring the real estate to the conference," Derby said.

"I'm glad that the Hawaiian community will benefit directly from this redress."

A Waialae-Nui resident, Derby's family includes wife, Lyn; son John Jr. (nicknamed "Montie"); and daughter Jenny, both pursuing advanced degrees in the San Francisco Bay area.

Derby comes to the task with more than three decades of executive banking experience. As executive vice president of Bank of America, Hawaii, from 1993 to 1995, Derby was responsible for the bank's Hawaii retail strategy and managed the Retail Banking group with about $1.5 billion in assets, 39 branches and 575 staffers. Previously, he was with Bank of Hawaii for 30 years.

Harold Morse, Star-Bulletin

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