Fred Kraegel is a supporter of the Lutheran Services in America (LSA) network, a former member of the LSA board, and active with the LSA Development Committee.
For Fred Kraegel, service to others is second nature. Born in Tokyo, Japan, his family relocated to the United States and settled into the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC when he was a toddler. Fred was the oldest of five children born within seven years of one another. He credits his mother for instilling values of compassion and consideration for those less fortunate. With her roots as a pastor's child raised in a church parsonage, Fred's mother encouraged her children to give back during their youth. With frequent trips into Washington, Fred began his service by supporting communities in his own backyard. "Growing up in Washington, DC, we were encouraged to act accordingly; to give to others and support those in need, to provide clothes and food," Fred reminisced. Fred, a 40-plus year veteran of the business world has carried this spirit of service throughout his career and continues to support organizations and individuals alike, through his vocation and avocation today.
A graduate of Valparaiso University in Indiana, Fred began developing his strong business sense at what is now one of the top four accounting firms in the country, KPMG, LLP, ultimately rising to the senior position of Audit Partner. Fred has applied this experience to better support those people and organizations that provide direct services to vulnerable populations. "I was fortunate enough to have mentors along the way that helped me develop my skills to provide superior client experiences. Those services, in a professional setting, are no different when providing support for LSA members and their activities. It's all with the intention to help others become better." Fred went on to perform as chief financial officer and in senior leadership positions with multi-billion dollar organizations. For the past 15 years, he has applied this expertise through financial consulting and service as a board director.
Fred currently serves on the board of Thrivent Financial, and as Chairman of the Board for Concordia Plan Services and Valparaiso University, his alma mater. Concordia Plan Services provides comprehensive employee benefits to The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod organizations and church workers. Thrivent Financial is a not-for-profit, membership organization of Christians that offers strategic financial services to its members. "My board service is my avocation. As chair of the Strategic Oversight and Marketing Committee for Thrivent Financial, I work to identify opportunities for the future so that we can better serve our members. At Valparaiso University, it affords me the opportunity to provide meaningful leadership and direction for the mission of the University and the students we support." To his chairmanship, he brings over 40 years of board service experience from these institutions alone. Fred continues to stay active and give back through board service, involvement in his own congregation, and his steadfast support of Lutheran social ministry.
Fred is also a former Lutheran Services in America, Incorporated (LSA) Board Member and continues to support the mission of the network. Charlotte Haberaecker, President and CEO of LSA, recently reflected on Fred's service on the LSA Board of Directors. "Fred's vision and his enthusiastic dedication has opened doors we didn't know existed. Over the past six years, Fred has served as Treasurer and chaired or served on almost every board committee. Fred's many contributions are propelling LSA forward, moving us farther and faster together, in faith and service."
Fred remains involved through the LSA Development Committee. When asked about his role and impact of the committee, Fred said, "The funding of an organization such as LSA is critically important to their ongoing success. It is my role, and my responsibility as a former board member, to help LSA strengthen and grow their connections in order to ensure a thriving, sustainable network of Lutheran social ministries."
From Fred's service on the LSA Board of Directors and the Development Committee, he is aware of the impact of the LSA network, one of the largest and long-standing health and human services networks in the country. "There's initial surprise when you tell people that members of the LSA network touch 1 in 50 Americans. Coupled with our national presence in Washington, we have a unique ability to influence policy and funding which directly impacts those individuals our member organizations serve. We have an opportunity to provide a voice to be heard on behalf of those people that are otherwise underrepresented."
LSA is the voice for over 300 Lutheran social ministry organizations across the United States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. "LSA has a much bigger footprint than you would expect and their members provide a direct impact to vulnerable communities nationwide," Fred said.
Fred is passionate about his support of Lutheran social ministry and encourages his peers to get involved with the national network. Just as Fred's mother encouraged her children to support their neighbors, Fred continues to share this same spirit of service with everyone around him.
So, what's next? Fred will continue his board service through his new appointment on the Board of Directors for an LSA member organization, Lutheran Family Services of Virginia. He also continues to be an invaluable resource as an independent financial consultant. "I have a vocation and an avocation – for most, the two usually don't mix but for me it goes back to second or third grade and my call to serve."
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FREDERICK "FRED" G. KRAEGEL
Hometown: Richmond, VA
Claim to Fame: Fred was a basketball star in grade school.