Leadership Awards 2024


Leadership Awards

Lutheran Services in America launched a new tradition in 2021 to recognize distinguished member organizations in the network each year for their exceptional work and leadership and for exemplifying our core values.


This award recognizes a member that is advancing new solutions, technology or business practices to solve complex issues. Their breakthrough solutions are designed to empower all people in America to lead their best lives.


This award recognizes a member that is leading the way in its work in addressing justice, mercy and equity. This member best exemplifies the spirit of Micah 6:8, “Act justly, and love mercy, and walk humbly with your God.”


The Ken Daly Award for
Excellence in Mentorship

In honor of the late Lutheran Services in America board member Ken Daly, this award recognizes a leader with an exceptional gift for spotting potential in people and lifting up the next group of leaders.


Angela Bovill of Ascentria Care Alliance

Under Angela Bovill’s leadership, Ascentria Care Alliance has long been on the cutting-edge of the social services sector. Ascentria reshaped its care model to focus first on its clients and their well-being, helping vulnerable people and families move forward and thrive. This client-first care model has permeated all of its programs to provide practical resources, services, and training.

Examples include free Immigration Legal Services; a Language Bank to provide new Americans with employment through social enterprise; the Good News Garage to provide affordable, reliable transportation; rethinking of how to provide in-home care for older adults, foster and adoptive care; and support for mental health and people with disabilities. Ascentria identifies community needs and works to provide creative, people-centered solutions.

As president and CEO, Angela Bovill encourages her staff to take a proactive approach to identifying out of the box solutions to client problems, and it shows in the programs and services provided.

Learn more about Ascentria Care Alliance.


Sharif Walker of Bethel New Life

Under Sharif’s leadership, Bethel New Life has transformed its relationship with the Austin community in west-side Chicago. While maintaining the excellent services offered today (older adult housing and serving as a hub for a variety of community services), Sharif launched a bold vision to create the Bethel New Life Mildred Wiley Wellness Hub, providing programs through a partnership that will address the 10 Dimensions of Black Culture Wellness while creating a space that will improve the quality of life and health outcomes for Austin and neighboring communities. The foundation of the hub is a holistic health and education center.

Sharif is an active participant in the Race Equity Network, helping shape the group’s work for 2023 by leading discussions to creating welcoming and inclusive cultures where diversity can thrive. His support for the recent Convening on Unlocking the Power of Lived Expertise ranged from hosting the convening on the Bethel New Life Campus, serving as an advisor during Convening planning, and sharing his personal testament to the power of lived expertise. The convening cultivated transformative conversations examining ways to infuse, value and engage people with lived experience throughout our work and communities, fundamentally shifting how we approach our mission.

Learn more about Bethel New Life.



The Ken Daly Award for Excellence

Luanne Fisher of Liberty Lutheran Services

Luanne is an incredibly strong mentor, helping other CEOs who may be experiencing leadership challenges and offering advice and connection to other CEOs experiencing similar challenges. She is known for her strong leadership and insights for new leaders, and has won several awards from other organizations for her mentorship and inspiring leadership.

After the merger of several organizations to form Liberty Lutheran, Luanne laid out her vision for the organization: “World Class Objectives,” which are allied to quality of service, financial solvency, innovation and faith-based leadership. These World Class Objectives align with all of the work that she does and have inspired other organizations she has mentored to develop similar objectives.

Luanne is a true servant-leader who is committed to developing leaders within the Lutheran Services America network as well as at her own institution.

Learn more about Liberty Lutheran Services.