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Press Releases & Statements Youth Advocate Darrell Gordon Elected Chair of Lutheran Services in America Board of Directors

September 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Lutheran Services in America, a nationwide network of 300 health and human services organizations that transforms the lives of one in 50 Americans each year, is proud to announce the election of Darrell Gordon as the new chair of its board of directors. Gordon, the president and CEO of Wernle Youth & Family Treatment Center, has a long track record of spearheading services that provide opportunities for growth and development for children and youth.

For the past 20 years, Gordon has served as head of Wernle, a nationally recognized residential treatment facility serving severely neglected and abused youth primarily in Indiana and Ohio. Under his leadership, Wernle was chosen as one of three national finalists for the 2014 Performance-based Standards Barbara Allen-Hagen Award for extraordinary improvement to facility quality of life and operations. Gordon’s efforts also earned Wernle the 2005 Achievement of Excellence Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award.

“Lutheran Services in America is at the forefront of innovating new models, practices, and ways of thinking that ensure Americans of all walks of life have the opportunity to live their best lives,” said Darrell Gordon. “I am honored to serve as chair of the board of directors for the nation’s network of Lutheran health and human services organizations to continue this great mission of bringing transformational change to so many across the country.”

To commemorate Gordon’s new role as board chair, Lutheran Services in America produced a short video to highlight his personal journey that led him to the Lutheran Services in America board of directors as well as his contributions to the Richmond, Indiana, community over the past two decades. The video illuminates Gordon’s achievements at Wernle, his passion for achieving equitable outcomes for young people, and his excitement for advancing the initiatives of Lutheran Services in America, including the Results Innovation Lab which aims to dramatically improve the lives of 20,000 children in America by 2024.

“Darrell’s two decades of leadership at Wernle has made an extraordinary difference in the lives of countless children in Indiana,” said Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO of Lutheran Services in America. “His passion for helping people—as exemplified in our latest video—will further propel our efforts to strengthen communities and address disproportionate outcomes for older adults, children and youth, and many others who our network aims to lift up each and every day.”

Gordon’s video is the fifth in a series that showcases Lutheran Services in America board members who are called to empower others. View all five videos to hear our board members’ personal journeys and their dedication to achieve a healthier, more equitable future for millions of Americans.


About Lutheran Services in America
Lutheran Services in America is the nonprofit network of 300 Lutheran health and human services organizations that works with more than 1 in 50 Americans each year. 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 combined annual revenues. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., Lutheran Services in America leads groundbreaking programs in partnership with philanthropy, academia, healthcare, and others to empower Americans to live their best lives. To learn more, visit www.lutheranservices.org.