Human Resources

Pierre Steenberg, Director of Human Resources and Personnel 

High Resolution Photo

Pastor Pierre Steenberg joined the Central California Conference administrative team Feb. 1 as the vice president of human resources and personnel. Dennis Seaton, who served that department for nearly 20 years, has joined to the Pacific Union as associate director for public affairs and religious liberty.

Steenberg knew he wanted to be a pastor since his elementary school days. He was preaching by age 12. Growing up on a campus with an elementary school, an academy and an old folks home in South Africa provided the opportunity to preach.

“Since my freshman year in high school, I have always felt called and knew I wanted to be a pastor,” Steenberg says. “The idea was that I would go to grad school to eventually teach theology.” Never once did he aspire to be a personnel or human resources director. That idea never crossed his mind.

He met his future wife, Karlien Voster, at college. “We were forced to work together on a project, and we just never stopped,” Steenberg shares. They have been married for 19 years and have two sons, Elmer, 14, and Dylan, 12. Steenberg began serving as a pastor in 1992 and was ordained in 1998. He received a bachelor’s from Andrews University. From the University of Pretoria in South Africa, he earned a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies, a master’s degree in biblical studies and a Ph.D. in New Testament studies.

“I just love studying. If someone was to pay me to study, I would gladly become a full-time student until I retire,” Steenberg explains. Ten months before completing his Ph.D., he began asking God where and how He wanted to use him. “I told God that I was willing to do anything He wanted me to do and that I would work anywhere in the world, including staying in South Africa.”

Other than his wife, Steenberg didn’t tell anyone about his prayers. In short order, one professor after another after another told him that he should go to the United States. So they went. When the Steenberg family arrived in the U.S., many of the interviews Steenberg had arranged didn’t end up happening. “Basically, God prevented me from being interviewed by the right people in most of the other conferences,” he says. “All except one — Central California Conference.” He also was interviewed by a university and later offered a teaching position, but he just did not feel at peace with that option.

As he and Karlien sat in a vacant pastor’s office while the Hollister, Calif., congregation deliberated, each independently felt a deep peace that they were where God wanted them.That was in 2001.

     Linda Barron, Associate  Director of Human Resources 

Linda joined the Central California Conference in 2006, shortly after the birth of her daughter Aleya. “I wasn’t looking for work,” she says, “but the Lord called me and I know He wants me here.” 

As Associate Director, Linda provides a vital link between the Central California Conference and its nearly 1,700 permanent and temporary employees. She works with hiring, moving, workers compensation, background checks, orientation, health insurance and more, and is also the benefits coordinator for all conference employees, teachers and pastors.

Linda worked as office manager for a law firm in the Lake Tahoe area before coming to the Central California Conference. Her seven years there have made her appreciative of the conference office’s spiritual atmosphere. “I think it’s awesome that we all gather to pray when someone in our office has a problem,” she says. “You don’t see that at other offices.”

Linda is passionate about her daughters, Tiffany and Aleya, and her husband Gary, a pharmacy technician. She enjoys reading, hiking, biking and boating. Her favorite scripture is Philippians 4:4-7, "May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice! Show a gentle attitude toward everyone. The Lord is coming soon. Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hears and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus."

Sulianne Gouveia, Administrative Assistant

Sulianne joined the Central California Conference November of 2015 as the Administrative Assistant for Human Resources.  She and her family recently moved to the United States from Portugal where she worked as a managing Pharmacist.As Administrative Assistant, Suliane will provide support in the areas of hiring locally funded employees, background checks and billing, compliance with employee trainings, moving truck compliance, taking minutes, employment posters and many other items around the Human Resources office. Sulianne earned a Doctor in Pharmacy degree in 2003.  She later earned a master’s degree in Public Health in Lifestyle Medicine in 2015. Sulianne has been happily married to Daniel for thirteen years.  He is the pastor of the Fresno Hispanic church. Sulianne is passionate about health and lifestyle education. 
They have one child, Lucas, age 7.  Lucas attends Fresno Adventist Academy.
Sulianne enjoys blogging and geneology.  Her favorite scripture is Acts 20:35 - “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

     Shirley Meyers, HR Compliance

In November of 1989, Shirley left her job in bank finance to join the Central California Conference. From 1989 until 2014 Shirley ably cared for the many aspects of payroll, cutting checks and maintaining payroll records for all of the conference’s pastors, teachers, office employees, camp meeting and summer camp employees, school bus drivers, secretaries and custodians, as well as assisting with general accounting work and much, much more. In 2007, that meant serving more than 2,000 plus people!In 2014 she joined the team in the Human Resources department helping with employee compliance.  She assists with assigning employee training, conflicts of interest, I-9 compliance and many other aspects of HR compliance and billing.
Shirley enjoys helping people, working with numbers, having Fridays off and working with her coworkers. "And there's special perks to working here." she says, "I always get to go to camp meeting!
Young children are a special passion of Shirley's, and she has found many ways to work with them over the years. She is presently involved with Children's Ministries in her church and is developing a children's club.Shirley is married to Earl, a retired schoolteacher and professional singer. They have two grown sons, Earl III and Marc. Her favorite passage of scripture is Revelation 21:1-27, for its description of Heaven and the New Earth.

     Eleen Straw, Administrative Assistant/Receptionist

In November of 2013 Eleen came to the Conference Office as a floater (occasional worker).  She worked in that capacity until April 2015 when she was made a regular employee working at the front desk.  Eleen also does all of the Conference Shield the Vulnerable compliance for all the Conference employees and volunteers.  This includes keeping track of over 4000 records of keeping up with expirations, renewals and church reports.  She is also at our front desk to greet visitors and answer incoming calls. 
Eleen received her Bachelors in Business Administration from Pacific Union College in Angwin, California.  Her emphasis was in marketing. 
Eleen is an identical twin. She enjoys running and anything active. She especially enjoys spending time with her daughter. Her favorite scripture is 1 Peter 5:7: Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.