10 Questions with Leora Conway-Moreno

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” by Major Jason Swain

Leora Conway-Moreno is the Director of Business for The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Centers and Family Stores in the USA Central Territory. She oversees the finance, human resources and property departments as well as communication and branding across Chicago. Leora is also a soldier and mission council member at The Salvation Army Norridge Citadel Corps.

1. How did you meet The Salvation Army?

Knee deep in water amidst Hurricane Sandy, with no electricity and no idea where my next meal would come from, I was sure that my life was over. A Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services canteen provided hope and sustenance to carry me through to the next day and beyond.

2. What drives you to excel?

Seeing the difference that one can make in other’s lives keeps me focused on using the skills and abilities that He gave me. I think of Colossians 3:23: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” 

3. What are two of your greatest strengths?

The ability to motivate and offer encouragement. During an emotional and spiritual care class I attended, Major David Dalberg (Chicagoland’s Emergency Disaster Services Director) stated, “Never underestimate the difference you are making in someone else’s life.” As a leader, one of my primary roles and privileges is to support others in reaching their desired goals and actualizing talents and gifts. 

4. How would you define servant leadership?

Servant leaders possess a serve-first mindset and focus on empowering and uplifting people. They serve instead of command, display humility instead of wielding authority and seek to enhance others’ development in ways that unlock potential, creativity and a sense of fulfillment. Instead of focusing on the transactional facets of management, a servant leader actively looks to develop and align individuals with a sense of purpose for the mission. 

5. What are some of your passions and joys?

In the Metropolitan Division there is a ministry called “Hope-Strong,” a mission seeking to align all Salvation Army resources around Chicagoland to form an integrated, comprehensive, sustainable and Christ-centered model of community-based ministry. The purpose is to achieve greater effectiveness, improved efficiency and increased capacity for strategic future mission expansion. I am most passionate and joyful when I engage in actions that are “hope strong.” 

6. Who has been an inspiration to you in life and why?

When managing Public Relations for the Metropolitan Division, I visited the Norridge Citadel Corps to interview Community Ministries Director Pamela Church-Pryor for a news segment on the pet food pantry. While waiting to discuss this ministry, Pamela was speaking to a client, Grace, whose husband was in hospice. I overheard her tell Grace that she would come alongside her for funeral arrangements. I was blown away by the love, care and concern that Pamela showed this woman who evidently came to the Corps for more than material help. On that day, desiring to be a part of this church body, I surrendered to Christ. Pamela continues to serve as a mentor and close friend, and I am blessed to collaborate with her in ministry. 

7. How do you handle change and conflict?

The road to becoming “conflict competent” and embrace change is to adopt a growth mindset, learn new skills and be willing to compromise. It starts with putting others first and being open to actively listen and understand.  

8. Does being a Christian affect the way you view business?

Absolutely! Following Jesus often means going against cultural norms. It requires us to treat others well, maintain integrity and forgive those who wrong us. These are principles that can sound counterintuitive in business, however, when practiced will lead to God’s richest blessing.

9. What do you see as one challenge for The Salvation Army?

The infiltration of politically correct culture and the fear of being bold. Our mission states “to serve human needs in His name without discrimination.” All too often we forget the “in His name.” If we are to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus, we must never shy away from sharing “the why.”

10. Finally, pineapple on pizza? Yay or Nay?

Yay! And while residing in the mecca of deep-dish, I opt for New York style pizza.

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