Washington Conference: Auburn ABC Begins New Management
BY HEIDI BAUMGARTNER, communication director, Washington Conference
Conversations at the end of 2013 were a bit nervous: Would Washington Conference have an Adventist Book Center (ABC)?
This topic at four year-end town hall meetings began a few months earlier when Pacific Press Publishing Association announced they planned to cease their management of Adventist Book Centers.
The Adventist Church in western Washington state entered into an agreement with Pacific Press in 2005 to manage the western Washington ABC store (in transition from Bothell to Auburn). In this arrangement, Pacific Press owned the contents of the store and Washington Conference owned the building.
With Pacific Press’ decision to exit ABC contracts by the end of 2013, Washington Conference and 16 other Pacific Press-owned stores had to make a decision.
Washington Conference administrators talked with local church representatives and the conference executive committee about three basic options: close the store, keep the store as-is, or keep the store with a new management model.
The executive committee, the governing body of the conference between constituency sessions, voted in December 2013 to pursue favorable negotiations with Pacific Press to obtain full ownership of the ABC in Auburn. The negotiations and transfer of ownership were completed on February 14. The new ownership arrangements allow the Auburn ABC to seek innovative ways to increase its customer base and introduce new product lines.
“The transition from Pacific Press to the Washington Conference is going very smoothly and quickly,” says Mike Schwartz, Auburn ABC manager. “We are looking at a number ways we can meet our customers’ spiritual and nutritional needs and do our best to anticipate future needs and interests. Thank you for your continued support, and your feedback and input is always welcome at your local Adventist Book Center.”
“Since 1869 the Adventist Book Center (known by various names) has serviced the members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church with the best in Christian literature and more recently added vegetarian foods,” says Dennis Carlson, chair of the newly formed Auburn ABC management committee. “There is a strong heritage in the past, and the Auburn store is transforming its operation to reflect the realities of the 21st century. Washington Conference believes in the ministry of the Adventist Book Center and has now invested in the Adventist Book Center to keep the Auburn store open for serving Adventist members, the community and friends of the church.”
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