Two Missouri Synod Lutherans have been named to top posts at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans:
- Brad Hewitt, currently the organization’s chief operating officer, begins serving Feb. 1 as its new president and chief executive officer. Hewitt, who will also join the Thrivent Financial Board of Directors, succeeds retiring Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Bruce Nicholson.
- Kurt M. Senske, CEO of Lutheran Social Services of the South Inc., in Austin, Texas, has been named chair of the Thrivent Financial Board of Directors as part of a new governance structure. Senske currently serves Thrivent Financial as vice chair, lead director, and chair of the board’s Governance Committee.
From 1998 to 2003, Hewitt was the Synod’s chief administrative officer. He joined Thrivent Financial in 2003 as senior vice president of Fraternal Operations and also has served as president of the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation. In November 2008, he was promoted to chief operating officer.
Hewitt began his career in 1982 with Minnesota Mutual Life and joined United HealthCare Corp. in 1986 as director of underwriting. From 1993 to 1998, he served as chief financial officer and then as president and chief executive officer of Diversified Pharmaceutical Services.
Hewitt currently serves as the chair of the board of regents of Concordia University, St. Paul, Minn., and is on the board of the Lutheran Community Foundation. He is also a trustee of the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans Foundation.
The new governance structure will allow Hewitt to focus on running the organization while Senske leads the board.
“I am excited to work with such an outstanding leader such as Brad,” Senske said. “The board went through an extensive selection process to ensure we chose the right person to lead the organization to even greater success. We are confident we have made the right choice, and we look forward to Brad’s leadership of this great organization.”
According to Senske, Hewitt was selected because of his unique background and character that fit the criteria the board was seeking in the new leader. His business and church leadership, combined with his integrity and his performance as Thrivent Financial’s chief operating officer, made him the unanimous choice by the board.
Hewitt, a member of Peace Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale, Minn., said he is “honored and humbled” to have the opportunity to lead Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.
“Our members can look forward to a seamless transition, as well as the beginning of an exciting new chapter for the organization,” he said. “Our commitment to our members and the causes and communities which are important to them will continue to grow over the coming years as we assist them in being good stewards of their resources.”
On the board’s behalf, Senske also thanked Nicholson for his 27 years of service to the organization.
“The merger of Aid Association for Lutherans and Lutheran Brotherhood was planned and successfully implemented under Bruce’s leadership,” Senske said, “forming the largest fraternal benefit society in the world.” Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is based in Minneapolis.
Senske has been a member of the Thrivent Financial Board of Directors and its predecessors since 1999 and has served on the LCMS Board of Directors since 2007. He is a member of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Austin.
Posted Jan. 27, 2010