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Local Pastor to serve on Lutheran Services directors, goal is to reduce social suffering

Tuesday, March 2, 2004

The Rev. Dr. Michael A. Last, Storm Lake, is no stranger to Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI). Bishop of the ELCA Western Iowa Synod and a former Lutheran Social Service of Iowa board member, Last accepted a call to serve on LSI's volunteer board of directors.

"As part of the Church's mission, LSI has a responsibility to serve Iowa's suffering children, families and senior adults," Last said. "I am honored to be affiliated with an agency whose mission is responding to the love of Jesus Christ through acts of service to all."

Created through the integration of Bremwood Lutheran Services and Lutheran Social Service of Iowa (LSS), LSI's first fiscal year began Jan. 1, 2004. The 15-member board of directors includes each Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Iowa Synods, appointed former Bremwood and LSS board members, clergy members and other stakeholders to ensure equal Synod representation.

The board operates under the John Carver policy governance model, which enables boards to ensure the organization's achievement of board-stated goals. Through management of policies and principles rather than functions and tasks, this model empowers staff to make decisions. The Carver model provides a values-based foundation for discipline, a framework for precision delegation and a long-term focus on what the organization stands for rather than what it does, according to Carver Governance Design, Inc.

"LSI is blessed with a proactive, knowledgeable and compassionate board of directors," said Jane A. Hartman, LSI president and CEO. "Their governance supports the organization's mission, vision and values. I'm pleased Bishop Last accepted the call to serve as an LSI founding board member."

Last is actively involved in the state as a member of Northwest Iowa Judicatories, Ecumenical Ministries of Iowa (EMI), and on the Waldorf College board of regents. He also served as board of governance chair for LSI's Beloit Residential Treatment Center in Ames.

LSI is the state's largest social service provider. Located statewide, LSI's service lines include bringing and keeping families together, specialized services and senior adult services. LSI is affiliated with Lutheran Services in America and the three Iowa Synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.



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