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Press Releases & Statements Lutheran Services in America Welcomes Three New Board Members

June 30, 2020

WASHINGTON — Lutheran Services in America, the Washington, D.C.-based national network of Lutheran social ministry organizations, is proud to announce Kristen Gay, Katherine Hayes and the Rev. Jeffrey Thiemann as the newest members of its board of directors. Gay, Hayes and Thiemann will each serve a three-year term, beginning Wednesday. Lutheran Services in America connects more than 300 Lutheran health & human service providers nationwide, working to improve the lives of one in 50 Americans each year, and helping them reach their full potential and live purpose-driven lives.

“Lutheran Services in America is pleased to welcome three outstanding leaders onto our board of directors,” said Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America. “The impressive backgrounds and skill sets that Kristen, Katherine, and Jeff bring to our board during this unprecedented time in our nation’s history strengthen our organization even more as a leading voice for strong, healthy and sustainable families and communities across the country. Their addition is particularly important given our ever-growing role in providing the vital support that nonprofit health and human services organizations need now more than ever.”

Kristen Gay serves as the president and CEO of Gemma Services, after holding several positions within the organization for many years in a career devoted to children and families. Gemma Services is the product of a November 2019 merger between theVillage and Silver Springs — Martin Luther School, which Gay formerly led as president and CEO. Gay has clinical experience in counseling and school psychology, and has served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Pennsylvania where she previously earned a Ph.D. in school, community and clinical child psychology.

“The opportunity to continue serving children, youth and families — as well as seniors, veterans, and others — in a new capacity as a member of the Lutheran Services in America board of directors is thrilling,” said Gay. “I am delighted to join the ranks of the 12 other members who share the same conviction of improving the health and quality of life for so many, from our youngest generation to our oldest, by leveraging the power of this respected national network.”

Katherine Hayes is the director of health policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, where she has focused on health care reform, delivery system reform, chronic care, and long-term care. Hayes has 35 years of health policy experience in health care financing, long-term care and Medicare/Medicaid. She has extensive academic credentials as an associate professor at the George Washington University and an adjunct professor at American University. Hayes also has experience as health counsel to several members of Congress, as policy director for two nonprofit health systems, and has worked for a governor and state Medicaid agency. She received her B.A. from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law, and she is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.

“I am excited to work with Charlotte and the rest of the board in pursuit of Lutheran Services in America’s mission to transform the lives of millions by helping them reach their full potential,” said Hayes. “The Lutheran Services in America name is one built on trust, trust that has been earned over the years by turning ideas into a reality for communities nationwide. I look forward to strengthening our efforts through our strategic partnerships across the health and human services landscape to deliver better outcomes for children, older adults, people with disabilities, and many others.”

The Rev. Jeffrey Thiemann has led Portico Benefit Services as its president and CEO for nearly a decade. Thiemann also serves on the board of directors for the Church Benefits Association and is vice chair of the steering committee for the Church Alliance. He previously served in several technical, marketing, and leadership capacities, including nearly 20 years in global assignments and management positions at Hewlett-Packard. Thiemann holds a master’s degree in divinity from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and is a graduate of MIT and the Harvard Business School’s executive education general manager program.

“One of the biggest assets of Lutheran Services in America is its reputation as an innovator. I whole-heartedly believe in the mission of this national network to improve the well-being of one in 50 Americans through innovative practices,” said Thiemann. “I am eager to begin working alongside some of our nation’s best leaders with proven track records in making the greatest difference in people’s lives.”

The arrival of these newest members to the Lutheran Services in America board follows the retirement of David Fenoglietto, president and CEO of Lutheran SeniorLife, and David Swartling from the board today. As of July 1, the 2020–2021 board will be comprised of 13 members.

About Lutheran Services in America

Lutheran Services in America is the national network of Lutheran social ministry organizations — connecting over 300 nonprofit health and human service providers located throughout the country. Recognized by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and Forbes as one of the nation’s largest nonprofits, the Lutheran Services in America network operates with more than $22 billion in annual revenue and over 250,000 member employees. Together, the network lifts up the nation’s most vulnerable people from children to seniors — making a difference in the lives of one in 50 Americans every year. To learn more, please visit www.lutheranservices.org.