Adventist Women of the Year for Distinguished Service

[Silver Spring, Maryland] General Conference Women’s Ministries (GC WM) awarded two women, October 11, 2016, at Women’s Ministries meeting during Annual Council. Audrey E. Andersson and M. Odette Ferreira received recognition as the 2016 Adventist Women of the Year for Distinguished Service.

Andersson is Executive Secretary of the Trans-European Division and brought her husband Lars who died in a tragic accident two weeks later.

Ferreira recently retired from her position as associate director of the Department of Education for the North American Division and director of Adventist Colleges Abroad. She was not able to be present at that time due to moving to back home to Portugal.




Audrey E. Andersson comes from a first generation Adventist family. Educated in Ireland, England, and Canada, she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theology from Newbold College of Higher Education. Due to lack of openings in the church structure, she spent eleven years in the private sector in marketing and as legal editor.

She served as a lay person, particularly with Children’s Ministries developing resources for the conference, union, and division, including the Gracelink curriculum for the General Conference Sabbath School Department.

Meeting and marrying a Swedish farmer opened new opportunities. After commuting to London for five years, she set up her own communications company in Sweden. Soon she was invited to serve on the Executive Committee of the Swedish Union, then called as Executive Secretary of the union in 2003, where she used her skills in management and communication, in addition to her theological training. She completed a Master of Arts degree in pastoral ministry in 2009. In 2010 she was called to be Executive Secretary of the Trans-European Division.




M. Odette Ferreira is a fourth generation Adventist. She grew up the daughter of a pastor and missionary. She has been an educator for many years in the denomination in several European countries, in Africa, in the Middle East, and in the United States. She's done extensive work with foreign languages in Adventist Institutions and also with the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, as well as some non-Adventist Colleges. Her field of specialization is Linguistics. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Germanic Philology, and a doctoral degree in Linguistics from the University of Lisbon in Portugal.

She and her husband have two adult children and five grandchildren. Elia is a pediatric nurse at Loma Linda Medical Center and Paulo is a businessman and a successful artist in the South of Portugal.