COTN–USA Announces New Chief Operating Officer (COO)

    Silverdale, WA – September 15, 2009 – Jim Wilson once directed cattle. Now, he directs people.

    From eighth grade through high school, Children of the Nations’ new Chief Operating Officer (COO) lived and worked on his family’s 7,000-acre cattle ranch in Dayville, Oregon. “I grew up as a cowboy,” he said.

    After high school, Jim attended the University of Oregon and became a lifelong Duck fan. From there he went on to study at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Hope International University, where he continues to work on a Master’s degree in Ministry Leadership.

    In the business world, Jim worked in retail for about ten years, managing for the K-Mart corporation. Though he eventually became an executive in the insurance industry—retiring as the Vice President of Human Resources for the Property and Casualty Companies of Seattle-based Safeco Insurance in December of 2004—he has always felt called to serve the Lord in ministry.

    “My ministry while working ended up being pastoring pastors,” Jim said. After Safeco, that mentoring role led him to serve as Executive Pastor at Beaverton Christian Church, after which he began doing consulting work, most notably for Children of the Nations.

    Jim and his wife, Vicki, first got involved with COTN ten years ago, when their son volunteered here. “COTN was still a pretty young ministry, and we were excited about what they were doing,” Jim said. “We started sponsoring a child, then my wife spent some time as the Volunteer Coordinator.”

    As part of his consulting work, Jim was helping Founder and Chief Executive Officer Chris Clark and the Board of Directors search for a COO. During this process, Chris asked Jim multiple times to consider taking the job himself, but Jim did not feel that he was the right person for the job. “I said ‘No’ to the point that Chris quit asking,” Jim said.

    As if to emphasize the point, Jim accepted a position in Vernon Hills, IL, working as the People Services Director for DaVita Village Health. However, he still committed himself to find a COO.

    After several months, the Board asked again why he would not take the job and unanimously voted to offer it to him. Jim finally agreed to pray about it for a month. “Within two weeks, God—through a process of people and contacts—could not have made it more clear that that’s where we needed to be,” Jim said.

    Since Jim joined our staff (Sept. 2009), he has been, as he put it, “leading from the second chair.” As the CEO and the Board provide direction and set the goals, his responsibility lies in figuring out how to make it so. Jim plans to implement more structure as the organization grows from its childhood to adolescence, and he sees COTN having nothing less than a miraculous impact in the future.

    “I look forward to seeing how this movement of people will transform nations—seeing our children filling positions of responsibility in their countries and becoming the leaders of tomorrow,” he said.

    Jim gives credit to God for the success of this ministry, both past and future, acknowledging the Board as people who seek God’s desire for COTN. “My favorite thing about COTN is the incredible reliance they have on prayer,” Jim said. And, taking his cue from Chris, he comes back to the old hymn: “Where He Leads, We Will Follow.”


    Pam Wright
    COTN–USA Communications Director