Board of Directors

The affairs of WELS Foundation are managed by a volunteer board of directors consisting of between seven and thirteen directors. Not less than five nor more than eleven of the directors must be laymen representing financial, investment, trust, or legal backgrounds. All must be communicant members of a WELS congregation. Directors are elected to terms of four years by WELS through its Synodical Council. The Director of WELS Ministry of Christian Giving also serves as an ex officio member of the board.

Mark Maurice is a Philanthropic Adviser at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. In this role, Mark stewards endowment funds from nonprofit agencies throughout the area and beyond. Additionally, he works with individuals regarding their donor advised funds to ensure their philanthropic goals are met.

He has worked in the field of resource development for 26 years, including 17 years in major and planned giving. He earned his MBA in Finance from Concordia University Wisconsin and has held the Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation since 1997. Mark’s experience in gift planning and investments helps individuals and nonprofits desiring to strengthen their community.

Southeastern Wisconsin District
Term Expires: 06/30/2019

Mark MauriceChairman

Mr. Boerneke is the Vice President-Chief Lending Officer with Farmers State Bank, a Community Bank serving the Fox Lake, WI area. He has been with the bank for nearly 25 years.  In addition to lending, he serves the bank in many capacities including operations, branch management and security.  Previously, he was a Senior Underwriter for seven years with a Fortune 500 corporation serving the Midwest. He has served on numerous civic, community and  church boards.  He currently serves as Board Chairman for Winnebago Lutheran Academy. He also serves on the Board of Directors of WELS Church Extension Fund in addition to serving on the WELS Foundation Board.

Fox Lake, WI
St. John Lutheran Church
Term Expires: 6/30/2019

Tim BoernekeVice Chairman

In October, 2014 Michael retired from Maritz Research after 27 years with the company, the most recent 11 years as President and CEO. Maritz was ranked in the 2015 AMA Gold Report as the 12th largest marketing research firm in the United States and 18th globally.

Michael has since joined the faculty of Michigan State University’s Eli Broad Graduate School of Management where he is Executive in Residence and teaches Marketing Strategy and Consumer Insights courses in the Master of Marketing Research and Master of Business Administration Programs.

He also operates a private consulting practice through which he advises firms on strategy related to business transformation in the marketing research industry.

Livonia, Michigan
St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church
Term Expires: 06/30/2021

Michael BreretonSecretary

Nate Birkholz is the President of BTC Trust Company of South Dakota and works with clients and advisors to craft generational estate plans, uniquely tailored to each family.  Prior to joining BTC Trust Company of South Dakota, Nate worked for 18 years of experience as an estate and business succession attorney, community bank trust department manager, and has served as a fiduciary advisor for a Registered Investment Advisory firm.  Nate is active with several nonprofit organizations and is a frequent speaker on estate planning topics.  Nate earned his Associate of Arts degree from Bethany Lutheran College, Bachelor of Science degree from Minnesota State University – Mankato, and his Law Degree from the University of Nebraska.

Rochester, MN
Resurrection and Life Lutheran
Term Expires: 06/30/2020

Nate BirkholzDirector

Pastor Kolander is currently serving as the Lead Pastor at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights, CA. Endowments can have a significant role on local ministries for short and long term ministry efforts. As former chairman of the Ministry of Christian Giving in the Southeastern Wisconsin District of the WELS, part of his role was the promotion of Endowments on the local church level; along with connecting churches to the WELS Foundation and the WELS Investments Fund.  Previously, he served congregations in Indian River and Gaylord, Michigan and in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin. While living in Wisconsin Pastor Kolander also served as 2nd Vice-President of the Southeastern Wisconsin District, Vice-President on the Governing Board of Martin Luther College in New Ulm, Minnesota, and on the Board of Regents – Finance Committee for Kettle Moraine Lutheran High School in Jackson, Wisconsin.

Citrus Heights, CA
St. Mark’s Lutheran Church

Pastor Jon KolanderDirector

In October 2017 Mike retired as an engineering manager from the Dow Chemical Company after 28 years with Dow Corning and Dow. He received his undergraduate degree from Michigan Technological University and a MBA from Northwestern University. In addition to his service on the WELS Foundation board, he serves as president of his congregation, president of the MLS Foundation board, treasurer of Christian Life Resources Saginaw Valley and is an advisory member on the MLS Governing Board. Mike is also a past member of the Michigan District Mission Board.

Midland, MI
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Michael KruegerDirector

Scott Neitzel is the founder of Wilson Wells Advisory Services, LLC.  Previously Scott served as the Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration.  As Secretary he oversaw the state’s personnel, budget, finance, IT, gaming, building program and maintenance operations.

Previously Scott spent 18 at Madison Gas and Electric in Madison Wisconsin finishing his service as Sr. Vice President.  Scott has held various positions within the state and federal government both in Madison and Washington DC.

Some of his former board experience included: Trustee of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board; Board member of the State Bank of Cross Plains; past Chair of the Wisconsin Center District; Board of Elders of Our Redeemer Lutheran – Madison, WI; and member of the National Petroleum Council.

Scott earned a B.S. from the University of WI-Oshkosh and a MBA from the University of Chicago.

Verona, WI
Resurrection Lutheran Church
Term Expires: 06/30/2019

Scott NeitzelDirector

Rev. Kurt Lueneburg is the Director of WELS Ministry of Christian Giving, responsible for helping God’s people excel in grace of giving that glorifies Christ and provides funding for WELS gospel ministries. Previously, he served the Lord as a parish pastor in Memphis, Tenn. and Cannon Falls, Minn.’ and as a Christian giving counselor in the Minnesota and Nebraska Districts. He’s an advisory member of the WELS Investment Funds Board.

Ixonia, WI
St Mark’s Lutheran Church, Watertown, WI

Rev. Kurt LueneburgAdvisory member

Pastor Prange is the WELS Administrator for Ministerial Education, responsible for the schools and programs that train the next generation of pastors, teachers and missionaries. He has served as a home mission pastor in Austin, TX; and Roscommon, MI; as a world mission teacher at East Fork Lutheran Schools on the White Mountain Apache reservation; and as a tutor, professor, and president at Michigan Lutheran Seminary, Saginaw, MI. He holds certificates in German, education, and nonprofit management, and is a regular contributor to the Forward in Christ magazine.

Burlington, WI
St. John Lutheran Church

Rev. Paul PrangeAdvisory member

Mr. Poppe has been an employee of WELS since 2004. He serves as the WELS chief financial officer and treasurer. Formerly Mr. Poppe was the vice president, finance at Milwaukee Area Technical College. He received his B.B.A in accounting in 1983 from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Mr. Poppe is a certified public accountant.

Todd PoppeEx-officio member

The information contained on this website is not intended as legal advice. For legal and tax advice, WELS Foundation encourages you to consult an attorney or tax professional. The figures cited in the examples on this website are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income tax include federal taxes only. Individual state taxes and/or state law may impact your results.