Director of Finance
Gene Gess spent years in the nonprofit world handling the finances for retirement homes and hospitals before he joined the Park Church staff as the Business Manager. His careful tracking of the money that flows through the church has helped to keep this historic building and its programs vibrant.
His masters degree in accounting from Western Michigan University belies the deep passion that he has for music. Originally a student in the education program at Western, he expected to use his undergraduate degree in music education to teach school. Instead, Gene followed the trail of numbers for his career and shares his talents as vocalist and flutist in the community as a performer.
He once spent three years in the flute section of the United States Army Band. He also has played in the National Guard Army Band and in the West Michigan Flute Association. Gene frequently plays the flute in worship services at Park as a soloist or as a member of an ensemble
The congregation knows him best, however, through his participation in the Chancel Choir each Sunday. Gene has been singing since college, with the Kalamazoo Oratorio Society and the Kalamazoo Singers, with choirs in churches where he was previously a member, and now, in addition to Park’s choir, with the Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids.
Gene and his wife Carol have been Park Church members since 1998. She has retired from her career as the choir director at Caledonia High School. They raised two children who are now married with children of their own, and Gene and Carol have discovered the delights of grandparenting.
Recreational bicycling on trails in the Grand Rapids area as well as travel, theatre, and, of course, music provide relaxation in a world apart from the numbers and spread sheets that fill his days. And when retirement finally beckons? Fewer numbers, more relaxing, and a continued commitment to the Park family through music.