MennoMedia announces new board chair and vice-chair

HARRISONBURG, VA — MennoMedia will have a new board chair and vice-chair, effective July 1. The joint executive committee of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA have appointed Chris Steingart and Nelson Okanya as chair and vice-chair, respectively, of the Mennonite publishing agency.

Steingart, who currently serves as vice-chair, will step into the chair role in July 2023 when current chair Lee Schmucker rotates off the board. Schmucker has served on the MennoMedia board since 2013.

“This is a role I have enjoyed so much,” said Schmucker, of Wichita, Kansas. “MennoMedia does such good and important work to help people grow in faith, and my faith has grown and been stretched as I served as board chair. Voices Together, Shine curriculum, Herald Press books, our commitment to antiracism, and now Anabaptism at 500 are all huge initiatives undertaken by our small staff and board. It has been my pleasure to be part of the large vision for this ministry.”

Incoming BOARD CHAIR Chris Steingart is a freelance web and graphic designer from Kitchener, Ontario. Throughout his life, Chris has appreciated MennoMedia materials for their impact on his faith formation. He is a strong believer in the important role that hymnals, periodicals, curricula, and books play in challenging people and enriching their faith in a complex world.

A member of Breslau Mennonite Church, Chris enjoys participating onstage and behind the scenes in community theater and working on projects around the home with his wife Jillian. Chris also loves to coach and play a variety of sports with children Rowan and Maya.

Incoming BOARD VICE-CHAIR Nelson Okanya serves as global missions president of the Center for Serving Leadership. Prior to his current role, he served as president at Eastern Mennonite Missions for seven years and as pastor at Capital Christian Fellowship for over five years.

Nelson is chair of the Global Mission Fellowship, serving a 74-member global network through Mennonite World Conference. He has served on four nonprofit boards and brings rich cross-cultural experiences and a passionate vision of a flourishing world. Nelson lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, with his wife Pastor Carmen Horst Okanya and their two sons. Nelson is a trained executive and leadership coach. He holds an MDiv and a DIS in intercultural studies.

He loves hiking and engaging in exciting and enlightening discussions and enjoys foods and delicacies from around the world.

“I am excited to work more closely with Chris and Nelson in their new capacities on our board,” said Amy Gingerich, MennoMedia publisher. “Both bring strong gifts in leadership and practice. They also each have a passion for helping MennoMedia in its kingdom-building work of faith formation. Their strong commitment to the church and to MennoMedia will ensure that our ministry is equipped to enrich people’s faith and values as they follow Jesus in all of life.”

Other members of the MennoMedia board include Edith Yoder of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Pauline Steinmann of Waldheim, Saskatchewan; and Rafael Barahona Jr., of Goshen, Indiana. Schmucker’s seat will be filled via a vote by Mennonite Church USA delegates in July 2023.