Board of Directors

July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022

Mr. Darrell R. Gordon, Chairperson
President & CEO
Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center

Darrell Gordon is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Wernle Youth & Treatment Center in Richmond, Indiana. Wernle is a nationally recognized residential treatment facility serving severely neglected and abused youth primarily in Indiana and Ohio. Under his leadership, Wernle was chosen as 1 of 3 national finalists for the 2014 Performance-based Standards Barbara Allen-Hagen award for extraordinary improvement to facility quality of life and operations.  Wernle also received the 2005 Achievement of Excellence Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award.
Prior to joining Wernle Youth & Treatment Center, Darrell served as an adjunct Sports Law Professor for the graduate school at Ball State University and worked for the NCAA for five years in its legislative and student athlete advisory department. Darrell also serves as a national public speaker on the topics of Character Development, Diversity Training, and Leadership Empowerment for Change. Darrell earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business and a Master’s degree in Administration from Notre Dame, a Juris Doctorate from Northern Kentucky University's Chase College of Law, a Certification in Fund Raising Management (CFRM) from Indiana University School of Philanthropy, and Strategic Perspective in Nonprofit Management from Harvard Business School Executive Education Program.

Hear Darrell Gordon’s story on why he was called to join Lutheran Services in America.

Ms. Jane Isaacs Lowe, Vice Chairperson
Foundation Program Director (ret.)

Jane Isaacs Lowe has an extensive career in philanthropy, academics, and social work. With an 18-year tenure at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, she most recently served as their Senior Adviser for Program Development, and Director of the Vulnerable Populations Portfolio. Prior to that she was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Work teaching and publishing in the areas of community health practice, administration, and planning.  She began her career as a social worker and administrator at Mt. Sinai Medical Center (New York City) where she also was a faculty member in the medical school's Department of Community Medicine. She serves on the Board of Trustees of Playworks, and is a fellow at the New York Academy of Medicine. Lowe earned a doctorate in social welfare policy and planning from Rutgers University, a master’s in social work from Columbia University, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Cedar Crest College, where she was a member of the board of trustees from 2008-2017.

Ms. Colleen Frankenfield, Secretary
President & CEO
Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey

Colleen has worked in faith-based health care and senior services for over 30 years as a Nurse, Director of Nursing, Administrator and Executive Director. For 20 years, she worked with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. While in law school, she worked for the CMS/Maximus as a Medicare Appeals Adjudicator. After attending law school, in addition to practicing law in the area of professional liability, she also had the opportunity to work with educational institutions in matters related to special education, school law and other general corporate practice areas. During her time practicing law, she served as a member of several Boards, as well as legal counsel to the Board. She is currently the Chair Elect for Leading Age NJ, the Vice President of the Alumni Association Board at Felician University and a member of the Loyola Society at St. Joseph University. She has been instrumental with several health systems in developing and implementing plans to improve financial viability, while improving the quality of care and services. Colleen is currently employed by Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey. She is responsible for the oversight and management of a social ministry agency, which has 3 continuing care retirement communities, a PACE program, 16 Affordable Housing Communities, Adoption agency, Immigration services, Emergency Foster Care Program for Children, summer lunch program for children, a Homeless day treatment center, Home Care and Foundation.

   Rev. Jeffrey Thiemann, Treasurer
   President and CEO
   Portico Benefit Services

 The Rev. Jeffrey Thiemann began his term of office as President and CEO of Portico Benefit Services on October 1, 2011. Pr. Thiemann serves on the Board of Directors of the Church Benefits Association, which promotes       excellence for church benefit plans through nonpartisan education, collaboration and fellowship. He is the vice chair and member of the Steering Committee of the Church Alliance, a coalition of CEOs of 38 church benefit     programs to ensure that benefit-related legislative and regulatory initiatives fully address the unique nature of church plans. Pr. Thiemann was executive pastor at Saint Matthew Lutheran Church in Walnut Creek, California.     Prior to answering a call to ordained ministry, Thiemann worked in a variety of business settings that included technical, marketing and executive management and leadership roles. He consulted to startups in Silicon Valley,   was President and CEO of a startup and spent nearly 20 years at Hewlett-Packard Co., in global assignments and management positions. Pr. Thiemann earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering in 1980 from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. He is a 1997 graduate of Harvard Business School’s The General Manager Program, Executive Education, in Boston. He received his Master of Divinity in 2005 from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, Calif. Jeff and his wife, Pam, have four children and three grandsons. He and his wife reside in Plymouth, MN and are members of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, MN.

Hear Jeff Thiemann’s story on why he was called to join Lutheran Services in America.

Mr. David Duea
President and CEO
Lutheran Community Services Northwest

David Duea has been the President & CEO of Lutheran Community Services Northwest since July 1, 2014. LCSNW provides services to Youth and Families, Immigrants and Refugees, Seniors, Crime Victims, people seeking Affordable Housing, people experiencing Homelessness, and those seeking Mental Health services in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. During his time with LCSNW, David led significant growth for the organization, increasing the annual revenue from $30 million to $70 million in the past 7 years. In the last 18 months, he led LCSNW through the process to bring Compass Housing under the Lutheran Community Services umbrella, expanding their services to include emergency services and affordable housing. He formerly led HopeSparks Family Services in Tacoma, Washington, as its President & CEO beginning in 2001. David has served in leadership roles with professional and community organizations, including Alliance for Strong Families and Communities (Chair, 2014 Executive Leadership Conference; member, National Public Policy & Civic Engagement Committee), Council on Executive Directors of Pierce County, WA (President, Board of Directors), and Reach Ministries in Tacoma, WA (President, Board of Directors). He holds a BA from Pacific Lutheran University in Social Work and an MBA, with a focus on Total Quality Management, from City University. David and his wife - Jane of 33 years - live in Tacoma, Washington. They have two adult children that live in Seattle and San Diego.

  Dr. Kristen Gay
  President & CEO
  Gemma Services

 Kristen Gay serves as President/CEO of Gemma Services. She has devoted her career to serving children and families, previously at Silver Springs - Martin Luther School prior to its merger with theVillage, and now at     Gemma Services. After receiving a B.A. in Psychology from Franklin and Marshall College, and an M. Ed. in Psychological Services and a Ph.D. in School, Community and Clinical Child Psychology from the University of   Pennsylvania, Kristen joined the Silver Springs staff in 1999. Kristen worked in various roles throughout the organization, including: Clinical Intern, Foster Family Care Caseworker, Independent Consultant, Performance   Improvement/Family Resource Services Director, Development Director, and Vice President. In addition, Kristen has clinical experience in Counseling and School Psychology and has served as an Adjunct Instructor at the   University of Pennsylvania. Kristen’s diverse experience working within the programs and administration informs her strong and passionate vision for the future of the organization, and the myriad ways through which Gemma Services brings hope and healing to children and families. A proven collaborator and decisive leader, Kristen is honored to lead Gemma Services and its many programs providing hope, education, and healing for children, youth, and families in our region and beyond.

Ms. Karen L. Himle
Senior Vice President of Customer Experience and Corporate Affairs
Thrivent Financial

Karen joined Thrivent Financial as Vice President Corporate Affairs in November 2014. Karen is responsible for leading the communications, brand, community relations, government relations and external relations functions of the organization. Immediately prior to Thrivent, Karen was affiliated with the retained search firm, DHR International as Executive Vice President in the Minneapolis, MN office as part of the Board and CEO, Education and Non-Profit practice group and served as a member of the Board of Directors of HMN Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:HMNF), a Rochester, MN based public bank holding company until 2015. Described as a versatile, results-driven dynamic leader, Karen has served in executive positions in the property-casualty insurance industry, in health care and in higher education. Early in her career, she also worked in the natural gas industry and served as a policy adviser to the Governor of Nebraska. From 1985 to 2002, Karen worked for The St. Paul Companies rising through the ranks from Senior Government Affairs Manager to Senior Vice President for Corporate and Government Affairs. Karen served two four-year terms as a Supreme Court appointee to the Minnesota Commission on Judicial Selection. She was elected the first female president of the Minneapolis Club and also served as the Chair of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. Karen has volunteered for numerous non-profit organizations throughout her career and has been a dedicated mentor to those launching careers or moving through transitions. A frequent public speaker, Karen is well-known for her ability to build bridges between the business and non-profit worlds. Karen and her husband John Himle have two adult daughters and reside in Minnetonka, MN.

Hear Karen Himle’s story on why she was called to join Lutheran Services in America.

Rev. Dr. Rafael Malpica Padilla
Executive Director, Service and Justice Unit
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Rev. Rafael Malpica Padilla serves as Executive Director for the Service and Justice Home Area (formerly the Global Mission Unit) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, (ELCA). In this capacity, he oversees the ELCA’s worldwide program, including relationships with Lutheran churches in approximately 90 countries, the relief and development work supported by World Hunger and Lutheran Disaster Response; relationships with Lutheran Services in America, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services, Lutheran World Relief, ELCA Social Ministry Organizations, Independent Lutheran Organizations, and the Deaconess Community; the work of the Ethnic Specific Desk and relationship with the Ethnic Associations; the AMMPARO program; and the advocacy work of the church through the ELCA Washington Office, State Public Policy Offices, the Lutheran Office for World Community, and matters related to Corporate Social Responsibility. Prior to becoming ELCA Global Mission’s Executive Director in 2003, Pastor Malpica Padilla served the Global Mission Unit in several positions and previously served as bishop of the ELCA’s Caribbean Synod. Pastor Malpica Padilla holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Puerto Rico (1977 Cum Laude) and a Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He has been awarded honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees by Newberry College in South Carolina, the Academy of Ecumenical Indian Theology and Church Administration in India, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, and The Serampore College (University) in India.

Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie
Executive Director of Leadership for a Networked World
Harvard University

Dr. Antonio M. Oftelie is Executive Director of Leadership for a Networked World, an Innovation Fellow at the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard University (TECH), part of the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, an Expert in Residence at Harvard Innovation Lab, and a Commissioner on the Ireland Commission for the Future of Policing. Antonio conducts research at the intersection of law, policy and technology, administers the Harvard Public Sector Innovation Award program, leads the development and teaches of multiple summits and executive sessions, and since 2004, has developed and taught in more than sixty Harvard executive education programs. During his time at Harvard, Antonio has created practitioner-recognized frameworks and maturity models for organizational innovation and value creation including the Shared Services Horizons of Value, the Uptake and Edge Innovation Matrix, and the Health and Human Services Value Curve. Prior to Harvard, Antonio worked in private consulting where he led an innovation practice. On the public sector side, Antonio worked for the Minnesota Office of Higher Education where he developed the Student Educational Loan Fund and grew revenue from $12 million to more than $38 million in three years, and later for the Minnesota Department of Trade and Economic Development where he launched the Internet System for Education and Employment Knowledge – a cross-agency and public private partnership which successfully increased citizen and business access to education and workforce development services. Antonio holds a BS in Management and Ethics from Crown College, an MPA with a Business and Government Policy concentration from Harvard University, where he focused his studies on leadership, finance, and public policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and on strategic management, technology, and innovation at the Harvard Business School, and a Doctorate in Law and Policy from Northeastern University, where his studies and research focused on constitutional and administrative law, technology and society, and institutional transformation.

Hear Antonio Oftelie’s story on why he was called to join Lutheran Services in America.

Rev. Kevin D. Robson
Chief Mission Officer
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Rev. Kevin D. Robson was called to serve as the Chief Mission Officer for The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in May of 2015.  He had previously served God’s faithful as the pastor of Prince of Peace Ev. Lutheran Church in Baxter, MN since 2006. He also served as pastor of Trinity Lutheran, Elgin, MN and as vacancy pastor of Immanuel Lutheran, Red Wing, MN and Trinity Lutheran, Long Prairie, MN. Prior to earning his MDiv at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne in 2001, Pastor Robson enjoyed a broad career in R&D, product management, business development and sales, and consulting with Union Carbide Corporation (Chicago, IL) and Air Products and Chemicals (Allentown, PA). He is a graduate of The University of Chicago School of Business (MBA Finance and Marketing, 1988) and The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (BS Chemistry, BSE Chemical Engineering 1982). He is currently in process of completing his DMin degree (Pastoral Care and Leadership) at CTS Fort Wayne. He has been married to Peg for 30 years; the couple has one son, Karl, 25.

Hear Kevin Robson’s story on why he was called to join Lutheran Services in America.

Dr. Anthony Bateza - Theologian in Residence
Assistant Professor of Religion and RACE Program Advisor
St. Olaf College

Anthony Bateza earned degrees from Iowa State University (B.S, 2002), Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (M.Div., 2006), and Princeton Theological Seminary (Ph.D., 2017). Dr. Bateza is a specialist in Martin Luther, moral theology and Christian ethics. His research examines Luther’s understanding of human agency and his relationship with the virtue tradition. His other scholarly interests include the broader Augustinian tradition, the impact of Luther’s thought on 19th century philosophy, and questions of race, identity, and social justice. Anthony is an ordained pastor in the Lutheran Church (ELCA). He lives in Northfield with his wife, Cynthia, and two young children, Austen and Magdalene. In his free time he enjoys cycling, board games, and cooking.