Lutheran Services in America recognized the outstanding leadership of three peer leaders and three exceptional Results Innovation Lab members with an award presentation on June 23, 2021.
The Beacon Award recognizes peer coaches from the Results Innovation Lab for advancing transformative change for children, youth and families through exceptional leadership across the Lutheran Services in America network. Recipients of this award use data-driven approaches to address underlying racial disparities that stack the deck against children and families of color.
The Scion Award recognizes leaders for their commitment to learning and development in the Results Innovation Lab and dedication to improving outcomes for children, youth and families. The award recipients were selected by the Results Network facilitators, peer leaders, and Lutheran Services in America staff based on the leadership they demonstrated on their team and their understanding and application of the results-based leadership tools and concepts.
Additional information is available in our news release.
2021 Award Recipients
The Beacon Award
Stories about the achievements and experiences of the Beacon Award winners will be released over the next few weeks.
Beverly Jones is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois. Beverly has been delivering child welfare services around the country for more than 40 years and has been with LCFS for approximately 10 years. Beverly oversees all of LCFS’ service delivery and several key supporting departments. She is a vocal advocate around the need for change in disparate outcomes within the state of Illinois. She is integral to the implementation of any changes and business models.
Rebecca Kiesow-Knudsen is Chief Operating Officer at Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota. Rebecca’s responsibilities include the oversight of all program services and information technology. She leads the development and implementation of strategic initiatives, annual service plans, and race equity and inclusion efforts. In her former role as Vice President of Community Services for LSS, Rebecca provided leadership and oversaw mental health counseling services, Center for Financial Resources, Center for New Americans, childcare and education services, re-entry services, mentoring services and disaster response services.
Amanda Krzykowski is Director of Performance and Quality Improvement at Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Amanda works with programs to establish quality outcomes and success measures. Her background providing services to children and families in outpatient, day treatment, residential and school settings enables Amanda to better collaborate with program staff at LSS. She received a BSW from Concordia University Wisconsin and MSW from Loyola University Chicago.
The Scion Award
Tonya Blasen is Director of Service Quality at Lutheran Services in Iowa. She has worked in the human service field for 17 years. After attaining her degree in sociology with a concentration in human services with young people, Tonya gained experience as a direct care staff, caseworker, and program supervisor of a day treatment and residential program at Family Resources, Inc. She was also a member of the Incident Response Team and a trainer in Therapeutic Crisis Intervention. During her 10 years with LSI, Tonya has held an array of positions, including caseworker, service coordinator, and residential treatment manager. She is also trained in Family Team Meetings, Youth Dream Teams, Strengthening Families, Motivational Interviewing, and Mandt instruction.
Jere Murry is Executive Director of Children’s Community Services at Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. Jere has been in child welfare for over 23 years spending her first 8 years at the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services before joining Lutheran Social Services of Illinois (LSSI) in 2006. She is responsible for administrative oversight of child welfare and mental health services provided to youth and families throughout the state of Illinois. Jere has dedicated both her personal and professional life to social justice action anchored in efforts towards dismantling institutional systems which continue to perpetuate disparity and marginalization of minoritized groups. She serves as a mentor for both K-12 and college level Black females as she accepts her moral obligation to help cultivate tomorrow’s female leaders.
Jason Sroufe is Division Director for Family Services at Wellspring Lutheran Services. He has overseen programs that include residential treatment, teen parent programming, counseling, parenting classes, supportive housing, and home-based family preservation services. Jason previously worked at a local church in Mount Pleasant and for the past ten years has been a part of the Village Art Project, a place-based Christian ministry, which includes summer art projects, camping, and year-long mentoring.