A New Africa Southeast Area Presidency Begins to Serve

News Release

In April 2018, the First Presidency announced a change in the Africa Southeast Area Presidency. Elder S. Mark Palmer was called as the new Area President, with Elder Joseph W. Sitati as first counselor and Elder Joni L. Koch as second counselor. Their service as the new Area Presidency began August 1, 2018.

                        

New Area President, Elder S. Mark Palmer was born in Te Puke, New Zealand. He previously served as first counselor in the Africa Southeast Area Presidency. Prior to his call in April 2016, as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Palmer had served as a full-time missionary in the New Zealand Wellington Mission, elders quorum president, high councilor, high priests group leader, counselor in a bishopric, bishop, counselor in a stake presidency, stake president, mission president and Area Seventy. He married Jacqueline Ann Wood in 1981. They are the parents of six children. Elder Palmer was founder of SMP Ventures, a real estate development company prior to his call to full-time Church service.

                      

First counselor in the new Area Presidency, Elder Joseph W. Sitati, was born in Bungoma, Kenya. Prior to his current assignment, Elder Sitati served at Church headquarters as an Assistant Executive Director in the Missionary Department and a member of the Boundary and Leadership Change Committee. Since joining the Church in 1986, Elder Sitati has served in a number of Church callings, including branch president, district president, counselor in a mission presidency, stake president, Area Seventy, and mission president. He also served as the Church’s international director of Public Affairs for Africa. He was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April 2009. He married Gladys Nangoni in 1976. They are the parents of five children. Prior to full time Church service, Elder Sitati served as an executive for Reach the Children, a non-governmental charitable organization. He had also worked in several positions with the Total Group, the fourth largest oil and gas company in the world.

                   

Second counselor in the new Area Presidency, Elder Joni L. Koch was born in Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil. Prior to his service in the new Area Presidency, Elder Koch was serving as second counselor in the Africa Southeast Area Presidency and will continue to serve in that capacity. Before his call in April 2017, as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Elder Koch served in numerous Church callings, including full-time missionary in the Brazil São Paulo North Mission, bishop, stake mission president, stake president’s counselor, stake president, Area Seventy, and president of the Mozambique Maputo Mission. He married Liliane Michele Ludwig in 1988. They are the parents of two children. Before his full-time Church service, Elder Koch worked in senior management positions at Cargill Foods, APM Maersk Group, and most recently as the CEO of Conexão Marítima Ltda.

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