Ed. Note: This post is part of the
Commerce in the Community series highlighting the work of community leaders and
organizations that are strengthening the middle class and providing ladders of
opportunity for all Americans.
Below is an interview with Charlotte Haberaecker, President
and CEO of Lutheran
Services in America (LSA), one of the nation’s largest health and human services
networks. Prior to joining LSA in 2012, Charlotte was the number-two executive
at Global Impact, a $110 million non-profit organization that provides funding
for critical humanitarian needs at home and around the world. Previously, she
held senior leadership positions at Price Waterhouse where she directed a
management consulting practice and Fannie Mae where she led an industry
Q1: Tell us about
Lutheran Services in America. What is your mission and main focus?
Lutheran Services in America (www.lutheranservices.org) is one of
the largest health and human services networks in the country. Our more than
300 members provide a broad range of critical services from health care to
children and family services, senior services, disaster relief, refugee
services, disability support, housing, and employment support, among
others. Collectively, LSA members touch
the lives of 1 in 50 Americans each year in thousands of communities across the
Ranked at #25 on the Philanthropy 400, the LSA network
represents close to $21 billion in combined annual revenues in the U.S. Our
members employ close to 250,000 people in all 50 states and parts of the U.S.
Virgin Islands. Our members provide services to all, regardless of their
religious affiliation, race, or social or economic background.
LSA works to ensure our members’ resilience in an
increasingly evolving environment. Our newly revised mission is to “build
valuable connections, amplify our voices and empower our members,” and our
vision is a network of “connected, strong and thriving” members that “transform
the lives of people and communities.” A distinguishing characteristic of our
network is the deep trust and sharing that come from a shared set of values and
goals. Our network strives to help people become self-sufficient so they can
lead more independent, secure and higher quality lives. The deep trust
facilitates rapid innovation and scale.
We help our members to build resilience through specialized
programming for CEOs and executives; we also work to help build the capacity
and infrastructure of our member organizations, for example by exploring new
business models that can create more sustainable revenue streams. We also find
opportunities for our 307 members to work together to achieve outcomes they
couldn’t achieve on their own so they can grow and continue to serve their
communities for generations to come.