Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors manages the affairs of WELS CEF. Our Bylaws provide that the Board may have between seven and thirteen directors. Our Board currently has seven members. Each is elected to a four-year term by the Synodical Council. A director may be removed by the Synodical Council if in its judgment the best interests of WELS CEF will be served thereby, and any vacancy on the Board shall be filled by a person elected by the Synodical Council. The Synodical Council has 21 members, including the Synod president, a lay representative from each of the Synod’s 12 districts, three district presidents elected by the Conference of Presidents, and six at large members elected by the Synod in convention. A director may not serve more than three terms. In addition to these voting directors, the Chief Financial Officer of the Synod, the Administrator for the Board of Home Missions and the Director Mission Operations also serve as advisory non-voting directors. The following individuals are our current directors:
Mr. Hansen currently serves as Vice President of Daktronics, which provides electronic display and audio systems around the world. Mr. Hansen has been with Daktronics for over 30 years in the areas of customer service, engineering, software development, project management, and company management. He has experience in managing primarily sports-related projects, including installations at MLB, NFL, NBA, Major College, and Olympic venues. Mr. Hansen earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1985 from South Dakota State University and a Master of Science in Engineering in 1986 also from South Dakota State University. Mr. Hansen has been a director since 2013.
Brookings, South Dakota
Term expires: 6/30/2021
Mr. Beal currently serves as President and CEO of One Nevada Credit Union, a position he has held for the past 25 years. The Credit Union provides financial services to approximately 78,000 consumers and has total assets approaching $800 million. Services provided include savings, checking, and certificate accounts, auto loans, first mortgage loans, and personal loans. Investment services, insurance services, and real estate brokerage services are also provided. The Credit Union also provides commercial real estate loans. Mr. Beal earned a bachelor of science degree in 1975 from Bradley University, Peoria Illinois, with an accounting major. He successfully passed the CPA examination later that year, and is currently a licensed CPA (inactive status) in the State of Nevada. He started his career with the CPA firm then known as Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co (now KPMG), where he spent two years primarily focused on financial institution audits. Thereafter he served various senior management positions in 2 community banks and a small credit union, before joining One Nevada Credit Union in 1987 as Senior Vice President. In 1990 he was promoted to President and CEO. Additionally, Mr. Beal previously served for 10 years on the Board of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU), a nationwide trade association located in Washington DC. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, and on the Credit Union Advisory Council for the State of Nevada, Financial Institutions Division. He also currently serves as Council President for Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, NV.
Las Vegas NV
Term Expires 6-30-2020
Mr. Kerr currently serves as the Chief Financial and Risk Officer of Country Bancorporation, an Iowa based multi-bank holding company. Mr. Kerr has been with Country Bancorporation since 2014. Prior to joining the holding company, he was a risk advisory and operational consultant from 2011-2014. Mr. Kerr has over 25 years of community banking experience which includes roles as President/CEO, Senior Vice President Operations and Loan Officer (real estate, consumer, agriculture and commercial). He began his career in public accounting serving clients in the financial, not-for-profit and government industries. He has served on numerous community bank boards as a Director or Secretary. Mr. Kerr earned a Bachelor of Business Administration-Accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire in 1986. He successfully passed the Certified Public Accounting (CPA) examination and is currently a licensed CPA in the State of Wisconsin. Mr. Kerr has been a director since 2017.
Term Expires 6-30-2021
Mr. Gensmer currently practices law in Sarasota, Florida. He has been a sole practitioner since 1992. Mr. Gensmer practiced law in Minneapolis. Minnesota from 1984 to 1985. Mr. Gensmer moved to Sarasota, Florida in 1985 and was an associate in the Sarasota office of the Chicago, Illinois law firm of Siemon, Larsen, Mattlin & Purdy. In March, 1988 he joined the Sarasota law firm of Icard Merrill, where he practiced until he started his own firm in 1992. Mr. Gensmer received his under graduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in 1980. He received his Juris Doctorate degree from Creighton University in 1984.
Term Expires 6-30-2021
Pastor Gauger has served as a pastor at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in Rockford, Michigan since 1989. He was the congregation’s founding pastor and is currently its senior pastor. He has served on the Wisconsin Lutheran College Board of Regents, the WELS Board for Home Missions, and the Michigan District Mission Board. Pastor Gauger graduated from Northwestern College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985 and from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree in 1989. He began his service as a director in 2012.
Term expires: 6/30/2020
Mr. Hartman retired in 2015 from the oil and gas exploration business where he worked for 33 years. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1982 from Texas Tech University and began his career as a geophysicist with Shell Oil. Over a 17 year period he worked in a variety of technical and management roles. After his Shell Oil experience, he worked for Meridian Resources and served as Vice President of Exploration. In 2004, he joined Yuma Exploration and Production Company, a small private company, where he served in a variety of positions and ultimately became Vice President of Exploration. Mr. Hartman also serves on the South Central District Mission Board, Board for Home Missions and Board for Home Missions Executive Committee. Mr. Hartman has been a director since 2018.
Term expires: 6/30/2022
Mr. Kock is a sales, marketing and business development executive from Omaha, NE. He is currently working as a Regional Manager for Imagine Tours & Travel, helping pastors organize and lead Biblical tours overseas to places like Israel, Greece and Germany. Prior to working with Imagine Tours & Travel, Mr. Kock was employed from 2013-2018 as the Executive Director at The First Tee of Omaha, an internationally acclaimed youth development program centered around the game of golf. As a volunteer lay leader, Mr. Kock served 5 years on the South Atlantic District Mission Board from 2008-2013. He was also a full-time employee at CEF from 2000-2005 serving as VP-Marketing/Investments from 2002-2005 and as Loan Originator Manager from 2000-2002. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration – Marketing from the University of Tulsa in 1992. Mr. Kock has been a director since 2018.
Term expires: 6/30/2019
Mr. Boerneke currently serves as a senior lender at Farmers State Bank, a community bank in Fox Lake, Wisconsin. He has been a loan officer at the bank for over twenty-one years and specializes in residential and commercial lending. Prior to that, he was an underwriter and branch manager for ITT CFC, a national finance company for seven years. Mr. Boerneke graduated from Minnesota State University – Mankato in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Finance. Mr. Boerneke currently serves on the Board of Directors of the WELS Foundation and the Association of Lutheran High Schools. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Winnebago Lutheran Academy. Mr. Boerneke has been a director since 2014.
Fox Lake, Wisconsin
Term expires: 6/30/2018
David currently serves as Senior Vice President at RBC Wealth Management in La Jolla, CA where he leads a team practice serving the investment needs of clients in 45 states. He has served corporate, non-profit and individual investors for nearly 25 years. A focus of the practice has been the retirement planning market, serving both as the consultant to employers on the design and compliance of retirement plans as well in counseling the individual participants. The team maintains a retail investment advisory, partnering with individuals on all aspects of their financial life to include investment/retirement/estate planning, philanthropy, corporate benefits/stock options, insurance, etc. all the while taking a personal interest in each client, challenging them to take a more active role in their own financial future.
Prior to that, Mr. Hirons worked 15 years for the Dayton Hudson Corporation (currently Target Corp.) in a Strategic Marketing role.
David was involved with a mission start-up project in Kentucky and has served on the Development Board of CLHS. He currently serves his home congregation Beautiful Saviour Lutheran Church in Carlsbad, CA in an Evangelism role.
A Wisconsin native, David earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration – Marketing from the University of Wisconsin and also holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from MSOE.
Term expires: 6/30/2020