Leading up to the 21st World Methodist Conference, we’d like to introduce you to some of the people who are helping to make it happen. The first in our series of profiles is Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the World Methodist Council, Kirby Hickey.
When Kirby Hickey retired from a successful business career in 2005, he looked forward to life without many of the stressful decisions he often had to make on a daily basis. That relative calm lasted for a few years until Kirby was asked to play a vital role in an organization which strives to make the world a better, more peaceful place to live.
Kirby was owner, president and CEO of United Sales, a York, Pennsylvania, company that sold office furniture and provided interior design services. In 2004, Kirby’s company merged with another local office furniture firm, and Kirby retired about a year later.
Before starting his office furniture business, Kirby had been the long-time president and CEO of Hickey Toyota, a business started by his late father, George Hickey. In addition to his associate degree from Keystone College in La Plume, Pennsylvania, Kirby obtained a bachelor’s degree in economics from Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Besides his business career, Kirby became involved in the 1990s with the World Methodist Council (WMC), an organization which represents about 80 million Methodists in 133 countries around the world.
Kirby continued his volunteer work for the organization after his retirement. One day, he received a phone call from a WMC official asking him if he knew anyone who might have the qualifications and interest to take a position as the Council’s chief financial officer. As Kirby contemplated the question, the official admitted he was really thinking of Kirby and asked if he would take the position.
“I thought about it for a while and realized I may be able to be of service to the Council, and I agreed to take the job,” Kirby recalls.
“Certainly, my role with the WMC has been exciting, Kirby says. “But more than that, I feel really blessed to be part of the organization. This is one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve ever had.”
The most rewarding part of his job is meeting people all over the world and realizing that, regardless of race, nationality, or religion, most individuals simply want to live together in peace and harmony. He’s proud of the role WMC plays in working toward promoting that objective.
“The goal is more than just representing any one particular religion. WMC seeks to promote a greater understating of the world among people of all faiths so that we may live in peace with each other,” he says.