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The LSA Board of Directors

July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015

Mr. Samuel Sipes, Chair

President and CEO
Lutheran Services Florida

Samuel M. Sipes, LCSW, BCD, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Services Florida. Sipes joined LSF in September 2007. As President and CEO, Sipes manages 1,300 employees who oversee more than 60 programs with an annual budget of more than $200 million. Sipes has a background in leadership roles in nonprofit organizations, as well as experience in child welfare, social services and programs for senior citizens. Prior to joining LSF, Sipes served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Lutheran Social Services of the South in Austin, Texas, which became the largest provider of children's residential services in Texas with an annual operating budget of more than $100 million. LSS’s foster care program grew from serving 13 children to nearly 3,000 children during his tenure. Sipes also was instrumental in expanding residential and non-residential services to senior citizens as well as leading disaster response efforts across Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Ms. Junia John-Straker, Vice Chairperson

Chief Executive Officer
Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands

Junia John-Straker is the Chief Executive officer of Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands, Inc. (LSS), a position she has held since February, 2007. With over 29 years of financial and management experience, she holds a bachelors degree in accounting. As CEO of LSS, Ms. Straker is responsible for managing the Queen Louise Home for Children (a home for neglected and abuse children), Sister Emma Cottage (a home for children with disabilities), and the only Early Head Start programs in the Virgin Islands.  Lutheran Social Services has a number of other programs to include housing for low income seniors and adults with disabilities, group homes for adults with disabilities, as well as providing fiduciary services to the Department of Health for the Virgin Islands Government.

Rev. Patricia A. Davenport, Secretary

Director for Evangelical Mission
Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA 

The Rev. Patricia A. Davenport is a Director for Evangelical Mission for the Congregational and Synodical Mission Unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America as it relates to Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod. Rev. Davenport's responsibilities include working with new mission congregations and support to synod-wide congregations in the areas of evangelism, outreach and transformational ministry.  Rev. Davenport joined the synod staff in November 2007.  She previously served as Pastor of Spirit and Truth Worship Center in Yeadon, PA.  She formed this congregation from a new mission in August 2001 as a Mission Developer.  Under Pastor Davenport's direction and care, the congregation grew and became an organized ELCA congregation in December 2005.  Spirit and Truth Worship Center continues to thrive to this day.  Pastor Davenport completed studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and was ordained as an ELCA pastor in September 2001.  She has previous experience working at the synod in the areas of urban, youth and redevelopment ministries. 

 Mr. Frederick Kraegel, Treasurer

Senior Director 
Parham Partners, LLC

Frederick (Fred) G. Kraegel, a Valparaiso University graduate with a Bachelor of Science, emphasis in Accounting, degree, is a self employed financial consultant. He began his career in 1971 with Peat, Marwick Mitchell & Co. (now KPMG LLP) in Chicago and Milwaukee, through 1987, including  as a Partner from 1980 through 1987.  From 1987 until 2003 he served as President, Chief Financial Officer or in other senior management positions for company’s ranging in size from $150 million to $8 billion in annual revenue.  Since 2003 he has been a financial consultant serving a wide range of companies which are experiencing financial difficulties, often involving formal bankruptcy court proceedings. He is also on the boards of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, Concordia Plan Services, Inc. and Lutheran University Association, Inc., d/b/a Valparaiso University (currently serving as the Chair of the Board of Directors).  

Rev. Dr. Stephen Bouman

Executive Director
Congregational and Synodical Mission
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Rev. Dr. Stephen Paul Bouman was called to the position of Executive Director for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission unit in November 2007 and officially assumed office in February, 2008. He previously served as bishop of the ELCA Metropolitan New York Synod from 1996 to 2008. Pastor Bouman graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary/Seminex in 1973. He received his Master of Sacred Theology from New York Theological Seminary in 1978 and his Doctor of Ministry degree in 1980, an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church in 2001, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Wagner College in 2008. He has pastured parishes in New York and New Jersey and is founder of the Diakonia ministry education program, which trains lay people for ministry in local congregations. He currently serves on the board of Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Ministries in Chicago, Illinois. Pastor Bouman is author of a number of scholarly articles, books, curricula and devotionals. Two recent books are They Are Us: Lutherans and Immigration, coauthored with Ralston Deffenbaugh, published in 2009 and Grace All Around Us (an account of ministry in the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks) published in 2007. 

Rev. Melody Eastman

Senior Pastor
St. Paul Lutheran Church

Ordained in 1987, Rev. Melody Eastman has served congregations in the Metro Chicago Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) for almost 25 years. She has been the senior pastor at St. Paul in Wheaton, Illinois since 1998. Pastor Eastman also currently serves on the Board of Directors of Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and has been active in various synod and community organizations.

Rev. John Fale

Associate Executive Director
Mercy Operations
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Rev. John A. Fale is the Associate Executive Director of Mercy Operations for The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. He is also the LCMS’ ecclesiastical endorser for Specialized Pastoral Ministry (chaplaincy, pastoral counseling, and clinical educators). John is a board certified chaplain by the Association of Professional Chaplains, a certified Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, and a Nebraska licensed mental health practitioner.

Mr. David Fenoglietto


President & CEO
Lutheran SeniorLife

David has over 25 years of professional experience having worked for health care organizations and held senior management positions for health care systems at Hamot Medical Center in Erie, PA and St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo Ohio. He also worked for a physician practice management division of Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. Prior to becoming President and CEO for Lutheran SeniorLife in 2004, David held the position of Vice President of System Development at Lutheran SeniorLife.  Under his leadership, he has grown the organization to become a more diverse and contemporary senior living service provider and has enabled the organization to forge several new strategic partnerships.  David earned a Master of Science degree in Health Services Administration from Gannon University and an undergraduate degree from California University of Pennsylvania.

Ms. Wendy Z. Goldstein

President & CEO
Lutheran HealthCare

Wendy Z. Goldstein was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Brooklyn’s Lutheran HealthCare system in April 2001. At Lutheran Medical Center, Ms. Goldstein does much more than manage a nationally recognized 400-bed voluntary community teaching hospital; she is also responsible for the entire Lutheran HealthCare system. Her goal is to make Lutheran HealthCare Brooklyn’s “provider of choice” by maintaining the strongest commitment to quality health care and continuing Lutheran’s historic relationship with its local community. According to Lutheran’s mission statement, “the institution has no reason for being of its own; it exists ONLY to serve the needs of its neighbors.” In this pivotal position, Ms. Goldstein continues this tradition. She has more than 32 years of leadership expertise in some of the country’s finest academic medical centers, including New York University Medical Center, The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Mount Sinai Medical Center and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital. She is the recipient of numerous awards. 

Mr. William Hanawalt

Executive Director
Peace Community Center

Peace Community Center in Tacoma, Washington.  He has held this position for nearly eight years and enjoys living, working, and going to church in the diverse, urban context of the Hilltop neighborhood where the Center is located.  Peace Community Center opened its doors in 2001 and is the community-based non-profit vision and ministry of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church. At Peace Community Center, Bill has gained skills and expertise in fundraising, community based program development, and start-up non-profit development.  Additionally, Bill has worked extensively in building a strong collaborative relationship with Peace Lutheran Church and other local Lutheran congregations. Today the Center, a Social Ministry of the ELCA, serves over 500 children and youth, and 500 adults each year.  Over the last three years the Center has support 42 low-income and or minority students to graduate high school, of which 36 are currently enrolled in college as freshmen, sophomores, or juniors.  These students have garnered over one million dollars in scholarships to support their goal of a college education.

Dr. Brian F. Hofland

President
Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.

Brian Hofland, Ph.D., is President of Research to Prevent Blindness (RPB), located in New York City, the leading foundation in the country whose mission is to support and advance research to develop treatments, preventives, and cures for all conditions that damage and destroy sight. RPB also seeks to strengthen and advance an excellent and diverse vision science research community.  The important mission of RPB is even more critical with the aging of the Baby Boomers and the expected dramatic increases in age-related eye diseases and blindness over the next 30 years.  Hofland, who began at RPB in January 2013 and works with a 12-member Board of Trustees, spearheaded strategic planning to more sharply define RPB's mission and develop strategies to maximize the foundation's impact, including development of a variety of strategic collaborations across the vision field.  Previously, Hofland held senior leadership positions with the National Council on Aging; AARP Foundation; The Atlantic Philanthropies; and The Retirement Research Foundation.  Hofland was a delegate to the 1995 and 2005 White House Conferences on Aging and was founding board chair of the foundation affinity group, Grantmakers in Aging.  He previously served on the ELCA Foundation Board of Trustees and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Lutheran Services in America.  Hofland holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Health and Human Development from the Pennsylvania State University.  

Rev. Kurt F. Kusserow

Bishop
Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod, ELCA

Kurt F. Kusserow was born to Rev. Ralph and Carol (Zigler) Kusserow and grew up in Malaysia and Singapore, where his parents served as missionaries from 1966 to 1982.  He was confirmed at Jurong Christian Church, Singapore, on Christmas Day, 1977. Bishop Kusserow received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English from Thiel College in 1985, and a Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, in 1989.  He was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament on September 10, 1989 by Bishop Paull E. Spring, at Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church in Pittsburgh.  His first call was to a cooperative ministry, Town and Country Lutheran Ministry, where he served Faith Lutheran Church in Oklahoma Boro, and Hebron Lutheran Church in Avonmore.  In 1997, he was called to serve St. Paul Lutheran Church in Trauger, until his election to the office of bishop in June, 2007.

Ms. Armena Mnatsakanyan

Executive Director
Lutheran Social Services of Nevada

Armena Mnatsakanyan has held the position of Executive Director of Lutheran Social Services of Nevada (LSSN) since August 2008.  Mrs. Mnatsakanyan is a graduate of Yerevan State University in her country of origin, Armenia.  She received her Masters of Public Administration from the University of Delaware. Mrs. Mnatsakanyan has over 21 years of nonprofit management experience, including her role as Director of Operations and Development with Mission Armenia, a $15M public agency with international branches and 28 regional offices, which prepared her for the challenges of expanding the services currently offered by LSSN.

Ms. Betty Oldenkamp

President and CEO
Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota

Betty Oldenkamp has served as the President and CEO for Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota since March 2006.  LSS/SD is a diverse, multi-service agency touching over 50,000 lives each year with a presence in 30 communities.  Prior to her service with LSS/SD, Betty served as the Cabinet Secretary for the South Dakota Department of Human Services for five years.  Betty previously held the positions of Director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities and Director of the Division of Mental Health. She began her professional career as a direct service professional in sheltered work settings, job placements and job coaching, residential services and case management.  Betty continues to pursue her interest in public policy through her participation in a variety of committees and organizations including appointments to the statewide Council of Juvenile Services and the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Statewide Steering Committee. Betty was twice awarded a Governor's Award for Employee Excellence and received distinguished service awards from the Rocky Mountain Council of Community Mental Health Centers and Dakota Wesleyan University. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Dakota Wesleyan University.    

Julie E. Swanson

President and CEO
Lutheran Family Services of Virginia

Julie E. Swanson is President and Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia. Swanson joined LFSVA in July 2005.  As President and CEO, Swanson manages 400 employees in 15 locations across the state with a total annual budget of $29 million. Swanson has worked with Lutheran agencies in the Virgin Islands, Florida and Colorado and has a background in both management and fund development.   Throughout her career Swanson has been involved with programs serving children, families, refugees and the elderly. She served as a national Lutheran Disaster Response consultant after experiencing and then coordinating the response and rebuilding efforts for Hurricane Hugo and Hurricane Marilyn in the US Virgin Islands. Under Swanson’s leadership LFSVA acquired a company thus allowing it to expand its’ mission to serve adults with disabilities.   In nine years the organization has tripled in size.  LFSVA’s vision is to be a leading provider of services by helping children in foster care find permanent homes, strengthening families through therapeutic services, educating children with complex needs, and helping older adults and adults with disabilities live the most abundant lives possible. Swanson currently serves as the Chair for LSA Disabilities Network and is a member of the LSA Public Policy Advisory Council.   She is a board member for the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and has been involved in organizing Virginia nonprofits as a coalition. 

Mr. David Swartling


Mills Meyers Swartling

David Swartling was elected secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America at the 10th Churchwide Assembly in Chicago in August 2007 and served until October 31, 2013. He has been the only layperson to serve in this leadership position in the ELCA.  He attended Princeton University on a Navy Scholarship and served four years in the submarine force.  Following his military service, he attended the University of Washington School of Law and practiced law in Seattle for more than 30 years.  During this time, he was elected a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and received the President's Award from the Washington State Bar Association for his work in continuing legal education. David is a life-long Lutheran and has served the ELCA in all its expressions prior to his election as secretary.  He was the congregational president at Bethany Lutheran Church on Bainbridge Island in Washington state, a member of the Synod Planning Group and Vice President of the Northwest Washington Synod, Chair of the Region 1 Governing Council, and Chair of the ELCA Foundation Board of Trustees.  He also served as parliamentarian for two Churchwide Assemblies and numerous Synod Assemblies.

Ms. Ann Vazquez

President and CEO
Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis

Ann Vazquez moved to St. Louis in 1985 after graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in business/finance.  She spent the next 21 years in commercial lending, the last 17 of which were with US Bank.  She spent the first 11 years specializing in providing banking services to not-for profits and healthcare companies in St. Louis.  The last 6 years she was the Senior Vice President and manger of the Broker Dealer and Mutual Fund Group. In September 2006 she left the banking world and was hired as the President and CEO of Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis.  Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis make grants to health and human care organizations and congregations in the St. Louis metropolitan area.  Lutheran Foundation currently has 6 funding focus areas: Congregation Social Service Outreach Ministry, Christian Volunteerism, Lutheran Education, Older Adults Maintaining Independence, Service to Ex-Offenders and Their Families and Supporting Foreign-Born Populations. Ann's non-profit board service has included: Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition, YWCA of Greater St. Louis and Junior Achievement of Mississippi Valley.  She is currently on the board of the Visiting Nurse Association of St. Louis, Gateway Center for Giving. For-profit board service includes: Board member of Scottrade Bank. She also serves on the audit and CRA committees of the Bank. 

Rev. Gregory S. Walton

District President
Florida-Georgia District, LCMS

Walton grew up in Upstate New York in the Mid-Hudson Valley. He attended Concordia Bronxville for his undergrad studies, where he met his lovely bride, Edith. He also attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. His first call was to to Trinity Lutheran Church, Toccoa, GA, a mission outpost of the District, where Edith and he served 12 years. During that time he helped them build a church building and strengthen their ministry. He was elected to the District Board of Directors as Region One Pastoral Representative. He was later called to serve Faith Lutheran Church and School, Marietta, GA, where he again took part in a major building project to build a school and remodel the sanctuary. During this time Walton completed his third term on the Board of Directors and was asked to serve as the first Circuit Counselor for the newly formed Atlanta North Circuit. He served a little over a year when he was elected to serve as the Georgia Vice President on the District Board of Directors. Walton served in Marietta a little over 10 years before being elected to serve as the President of the FL-GA District in 2009 and was reelected for his second term at the District Convention in June of 2012. 

Rev. Dr. R. Reed Lessing - Theologian in Residence

Senior Pastor
St. Michael's Lutheran Church - Fort Wayne, Indiana

Serving the LSA Board of Directors in calendar years 2012-2014 as Board Theologian in Residence is the Rev. Dr. R. Reed Lessing, Senior Pastor at St. Michael's Lutheran Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Reed Lessing was born and raised in Denver, CO.  His formal academic degrees include a B.A., M.Div., S.T.M. and Ph.D. Reed was ordained into the Office of the Public Ministry on June 29, 1986 at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church, West Monroe, LA.  He served as the church’s pastor until March of 1990.  From March, 1990 to August, 1999 he was the pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church, Broken Arrow, OK.  During that time he served the Oklahoma District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as Secretary, Circuit Counselor and Second Vice-President.  In September of 1999 he was installed as Assistant Professor of Exegetical Theology at Concordia Seminary.  In May of 2005 he was advanced to the rank of Associate Professor and in May of 2010 he was advanced to the rank of full Professor. In August of 2007 he became the Director of the seminary's Graduate School. Reed is the author of numerous journal articles, sermon studies and a CTCR document and Bible Study entitled, "A Lutheran Response to the Left Behind Series."

 
 
 
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