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. Tappe is currently a co-owner, Vice President and Secretary of Forrest Tappe Builders, Inc., a residential building and development company located in Weston, Wisconsin. He and his son established this business in 1991. Mr. Tappe is the partner and co-owner of Tappe & Tappe Rentals LLC and a Director of Advantage Community Bank. He is also co-owner, Vice President and sales agent with Keller Williams Integrity Realty of Wausau and has been since April 2004. From 2000 – 2004, Mr. Tappe was a salesman with Century 21 Tri-City Realty in Wausau, Wisconsin. He holds a Wisconsin Real Estate Brokers license. He has an Associate Degree in Residential Design from North Central Technical Institute in Wausau, WI, graduating in 1963. Mr. Tappe began his services as a director in 2007.
Term expires: 6/30/2019
Since 1994 Mr. Christ has been the owner of Best Exploration, Inc. a company that joint ventures with other independent oil and gas companies to explore for and produce oil and natural gas. From 1979-1994 he worked for VECO International, an oil field construction, engineering and drilling company in Alaska and Colorado. From 1967-1979 he worked for Exxon Corporation in their production department. Mr. Christ has a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Nebraska. He previously served on WELS Board for Home Missions and was involved with a number of mission start-up projects. He began his service as a director in 2010.
Grand Junction, Colorado
Term expires: 6/30/2018
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