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Press Releases & Statements Lutheran Services in America Welcomes Three New Members to its Board of Directors to Support Growth and Innovation

February 15, 2024

WASHINGTON — Lutheran Services in America, one of the nation’s largest national networks of health and human service providers with a mission to cultivate caring communities that advance health and opportunity for all, has named three new members to its board of directors: Paula Phillippe, a leading executive and board strategist, Elizabeth Sullivan, an experienced leader in philanthropy, and David Trost, the president and CEO of St. John’s United in Billings, Montana. Phillippe joined the board on January 1, with Sullivan and Trost set to join on April 1 and July 1, respectively.

“I am thrilled to welcome Paula, Elizabeth and David as the newest members of our board,” said Colleen Frankenfield, chair of the Lutheran Services in America board of directors. “They each bring great dedication and unwavering commitment to advancing our mission, and I look forward to working with them to spur growth and innovation across our network.”

“With the deep expertise and experience that Paula, Elizabeth and David bring to our board, we are more strongly positioned to do what our national network does best: advance health and opportunity for all people,” said Alesia Frerichs, president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America. “Together, with the collective leadership of our board, Lutheran Services in America will continue to bolster the aligned impact of Lutheran social ministry by catalyzing innovation and amplifying our united faith-based voice that expands the ripple effect of policy and systems change across the country.”

Paula Phillippe is an executive who builds strategies for leaders to successfully deliver on organizational goals. She is well-versed in healthcare policy and systems, having served nearly a decade in leadership roles at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and Fairview Health Services. Phillippe has a long-standing commitment to diversity, with demonstrated leadership in several roles, including integrating diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts aligned with market and community factors. She brings an intentional focus on executive leadership as a key driver of strategy and performance, including as a strong partner with CEOs and boards to ensure culture, rewards and strategies are connected to outcomes.

“At the heart of the mission of Lutheran Services in America lies a strong dedication to fostering environments that bring people together to work in partnership,” said Phillippe. “This strategy—uniting social ministry organizations to take action together to empower people and communities—is this network’s unique strength. I am excited to join this organization to advance the mission and further its commitment to collaboration, innovation and meaningful impact.”

Elizabeth Sullivan recently retired from a distinguished career in philanthropy, where she served in program leadership roles with Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, the Kresge Foundation and the Community Foundation for Southeastern Michigan. Prior to her work with foundations, Sullivan’s work centered on aging services. Sullivan has served on the boards of national and community-based nonprofit organizations and has been active in professional associations throughout her career.

“I look forward to contributing to the growth of this network,” said Sullivan. “Together, we’ll deepen engagement and investment in this network by activating alliances and partnerships to strengthen our work across 1,400 communities in 46 states.”

As president and CEO of St. John’s United, David Trost leads a health and human services organization of more than 700 associates who support older adults, children and families. He has served in various executive roles in his 29 years at St. John’s United, including as the executive director of Mission Ridge, the largest continuing care retirement community in Montana. Trost also served in a leadership role during the formative years of the Eden Alternative, a culture change movement that improves the well-being of older adults and their care partners. He maintains strong governance experience, serving as the chair of the Big Sky Economic Development Corporation. Trost brings expertise in the areas of adoption, family stabilization and mental health. Moreover, he is responsible for expanding the St. John’s United Family Services program to embrace living opportunities within nurturing environments.

“The Lutheran Services in America network includes some of the most dedicated change makers in the country. I appreciate the opportunity to join my peers in a new capacity to strengthen families, support older adults and create pathways for people with developmental disabilities nationwide,” said Trost.

About Lutheran Services in America
Lutheran Services in America is one of the nation’s largest national networks of health and human service providers with a mission to cultivate caring communities that advance health and opportunity for all. With 300 nonprofit organizations across 1,400 U.S. communities and more than $26 billion in combined annual services, the Lutheran Services in America network advances equitable outcomes for children, youth and families, improves independence and choice for older adults, champions meaningful services and support for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and strengthens stability and purpose for veterans, refugees, new Americans and other special populations. Formed in 1997, Lutheran Services in America brings together a network of leaders, partners and funders to catalyze innovation, strengthen organizational capacity and advance public policy.

To learn more, visit lutheranservices.org or find us on Facebook, LinkedIn and X.