Partnerships & the Power of the Network: Coming Together with Ted Goins

LSA Member Spotlight
Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Each day Ted Goins, President and CEO of Lutheran Services Carolinas (LSC), stops at Trinity Oaks, an LSC senior living community, to visit with his 85 year-old parents before continuing on his one mile commute home. A North Carolina native, Ted is the son of a Lutheran pastor and a mother nicknamed, ‘The Reverend Mother.' When asked about his call to serve, Ted chuckles, "I blame them. They raised me for this kind of work – I have always served others."

Ted began his career in long-term care as a certified nursing assistant and has spent nearly three decades with LSC. Today, Ted leads the organization that, in 2015 alone, provided direct care and services to nearly 5,600 Carolinians, consequently impacting thousands more, including seniors, children and families, refugees, persons with disabilities, veterans, and disaster victims. Named President and CEO in 2000, Ted has watched the organization grow from $21M in revenue to $125M under his leadership. Ted humbly reflects, "I like to serve people, and then I like to serve more people." Ted is passionate about growth through service of the LSC mission – a priority made evident through the organization's many partnerships and collaborations.

LSC has a long history of partnering with outside organizations to provide aid to the vulnerable populations they serve. As recently as summer 2015, LSC engaged in a partnership with Novus Way, a Lutheran outdoor ministry organization, which brings together the children of Camp Lutherroad and the residents of Trinity Village senior living community for a unique day camp experience. The partnership came as a result of conversations at the 2015 LSA CEO Academy, where both Ted and Keith Johnson, Executive Director of Novus Way, were in attendance. "This is what I love about the Lutheran network. There are so many ripples, so many connections, which all lead us to providing more impactful services to people in need," Ted said. The program is already slated for a second installment during summer 2016 and discussions about growing the camp outside of Trinity Village are currently underway.

Ted is constantly asking, "How do we serve more people outside the walls of our institutional buildings?" LSC now collaborates in two North Carolina PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) initiatives which address home and community based services for seniors. They also recently partnered with Raleigh-based non-profit, The Serving Cup, and Habitat for Humanity of Wake County on the Building Independence project. The project provides affordable housing and case management services for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. "The bigger we get, the less nimble we become – partnering with our neighbors is a great way to remain agile and serve those we might not have otherwise touched," Ted said of his partnerships with local organizations.

Several of The Serving Cup staff members will join Ted and his LSC team in Minneapolis, Minnesota this April for the 2016 LSA Annual Conference. It's certain that all will be in attendance for Jonathan Reckford's, Habitat for Humanity International CEO, keynote presentation that will highlight cross-sector partnerships which expand the vision and scope of the services organizations can provide.

The Annual Conference will bring together hundreds of Lutheran social ministry leaders united in the mission of transforming lives and communities. Ted Goins and his Board Chair, Eric Hoyle, will also participate in a panel presentation on the relationship between Board of Directors and CEOs. Recently, Ted offered a preview of his session and gave his three keys to success.

"Trust. Communication. Systems. First and foremost, without trust and communication the relationship has no longevity, but as you grow, and get more complex, you've got to have a framework in place for how you'll work together," Ted said.

The Conference will also convene several LSA Communities of Practice including the LSA Disaster Network, LSA Disability Network, Children, Youth and Family working group, and Advisory Board. Ted's senior team has been actively involved with LSA networks since he assumed his leadership role at LSC. When asked about the importance of these networks to LSC, he said, "We can't have all the ideas and we don't have all the ideas. So it's through these networks that we get a seat at the table with leaders from across the country. We get the opportunity to discuss many different opinions and approaches which in turn makes it easier for us to plan, be ready, and be proactive." The LSC senior leaders who participate in LSA networks share the ideas and lessons learned with their entire organization.

"I am blessed to have such wonderful people to work with – they are the voice of our organization, the boots on the ground, and the reason for our achievements," Ted said as he reflected on LSC's successes. Ted, and his team of nearly 1,800 employees, exemplify the strength of Lutheran social ministry organizations and the limitless transformation that can ensue when we come together. Their accomplishments are a defining symbol of success that results from shared knowledge and collaboration. When we unite as a network, we are better able to share the knowledge, skills, and resources that allow us to improve the lives of countless individuals who have been neglected and overlooked for far too long.

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