Lutheran Services in America Staff

President and CEO


Charlotte Haberaecker

President and CEO

Charlotte Haberaecker is the President and CEO of Lutheran Services in America, a network of more than 300 Lutheran health and human services organizations across the country that serve 1 in 50 Americans each year. Lutheran Services in America is ranked #25 on the Philanthropy 400 and provides over $21 billion in services annually. Lutheran Services in America members serve a broad range of people from children and youth to veterans and people with disabilities and the elderly.

In 2015, Charlotte was named to The NonProfit Times Magazine's "Power & Influence Top 50" listing that recognizes 50 of the nonprofit sector's leaders for innovation, influence on the sector and for developing organizational models that can be replicated. Prior to joining Lutheran Services in America in 2012, Charlotte was the #2 Executive at Global Impact, a $110 million non-profit organization that provides funding for critical humanitarian needs at home and around the world where she led two of the world's largest fundraising campaigns raising over $80 million a year. Previously, she held senior leadership positions at Price Waterhouse where she helped strengthen organizations providing children and family services and health care and Fannie Mae where she led an industry transformation initiative.

Staff Members

 Jennifer Beltz

Jennifer Beltz

Vice President, External Affairs

Jen Beltz is Lutheran Services in America’s VP of External Affairs. Jen has 24 years of experience in public affairs, media relations and legislative roles in political, corporate and advocacy settings. In her current role, she works with Lutheran Services in America’s communications and advocacy teams to build awareness of and support for the organization’s priority issues and projects. In previous years, Jen led public affairs and media relations efforts for Boston-based global health firm Best Doctors, Inc., and served on legislative and speechwriting teams at AARP headquarters in D.C. She also led communications for two members of Congress, managed a 2014 gubernatorial race in Massachusetts, and founded a New England PR firm.

In addition to delivering coverage in national outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Washington Post, TIME and USA Today, Jen has earned placements on a variety of television and radio outlets including the CBS Evening News, NBC’s TODAY show, CNN, NPR, and several nationally syndicated radio outlets. Her speeches and statements have been featured in Vital Speeches of the Day, Executive Speeches and The Congressional Record. Jen earned her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Belmont University, and is completing her Master's in Communication at The Johns Hopkins University.



Sarah Dobson

Director of Public Policy and Advocacy

Sarah Dobson serves as Director of Public Policy and Advocacy. In this role, she leads the pursuit of sound public policies that support vulnerable Americans and represents the Lutheran Services in America before Congress, the Administration, regulatory agencies, national organizations, and coalitions. Sarah began her career working on legislative policy for two different members of the House of Representatives, making policy and funding recommendations on issues from health care and social security to education and the arts.

After moving to the private sector and working for two small lobbying firms, Sarah most recently served as the Senior Government Relations Representative at Independent Sector, a membership coalition for nonprofits, foundations, and corporate philanthropies committed to advancing the common good by advocating public policies that support a dynamic nonprofit sector and providing resources so that nonprofits can improve their organizations and better serve their communities.



Dania Douglas

Director of Public Policy and Advocacy - Disability Network

Dania Douglas is the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy for the Lutheran Services in America Disability Network. In this role she promotes policies that improve the lives of people living with disabilities and represents the Lutheran Services in America Disability Network before Congress, the Administration, regulatory agencies, national organizations and coalitions.

Prior to joining Lutheran Services in America, Dania was the Manager of Disability Rights and Policy at NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, where she worked on a wide variety of policy issues including access to mental health care, mental health parity, Medicaid, and other disability rights issues. From 2011-2013 she was a staff attorney in the American Diabetes Association’s Law and Advocacy Section, where she focused primarily on fighting discrimination against individuals with diabetes. After graduating from law school, Dania was awarded a J.D. Distinguished Law Fellowship from the Washington College of Law and worked at the National Association of the Deaf. Dania holds a J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law and a B.A. in Government from the College of William and Mary.



Christopher Findlay

Senior Marketing Manager

Chris guides the development and implementation of marketing efforts for Lutheran Services in America. As Senior Marketing Manager, Chris leads the organization’s promotions by producing content for email marketing, social media, and other digital properties. He supports public relations initiatives and assists the events team by managing logistics. Chris coordinates with the advocacy, development, and member services teams for integrated marketing communications campaigns.

Chris has worked with non-profit organizations in Washington for several years. Before joining Lutheran Services in America, he managed communications and marketing efforts for seven client associations in the agricultural science field at a management services company. Chris previously worked for the Renewable Fuels Association, a prominent trade association representing biofuel producers in the United States, where he managed strategic communications and marketing activities. Prior to moving to the nation’s capital, he worked on independent film productions in Los Angeles.

A native of Southern California, Chris traveled to the East Coast to earn a BS in film and television from Boston University, and is currently pursuing an MPS in public relations and corporate communications at Georgetown University.


Alesia Frerichs

Vice President, Member Engagement

Alesia joined Lutheran Services in America in September 2014 to lead the member engagement function as VP, Member Engagement. Membership engagement supports Lutheran Services in America members by building strategic, fruitful connections, inside and outside the network. The member engagement team strives to identify critical funding sources and key partnerships for Lutheran Services in America members, advance leadership development, and foster the unique bond of trust members have developed through fellowship within a strong community of faith and a shared call to serve.

She brings more than 20 years of strategic management consulting experience and corporate leadership, most recently, as a Senior Consultant with Sapere Consulting, Inc., where she worked with Lutheran Services in America Strategic Planning Task Force and staff to develop the multi-year strategic plan. A graduate of St. Olaf College with a BS in Economics, and an MS in Statistics from George Washington University, Alesia has been actively engaged and served many roles in several local nonprofit organizations including service as board chair and interim executive director for Southeast Ministry, a Lutheran social ministry organization and member of Lutheran Services in America.



Renée Williams Hockaday

Senior Manager of Communications

Renée joined Lutheran Services in America in September 2017 as the Senior Manager of Communications. In this role, she leads the organization’s outreach to the press, develops and maintains reporter relationships, provides communications support to the government affairs team and manages sponsorships and exhibits for Lutheran Services in America events. Prior to joining Lutheran Services in America, Renée served as Director of Communications for a rare disease organization where she managed media relations and communications and worked with affiliated chapters to raise the organization’s profile. Renée has worked most of her professional career in nonprofit and education organizations, promoting the work of school board members, speech, language and hearing professionals, public television and an online university system. 

Renée holds a B.A. in Telecommunications with a concentration in broadcast journalism from Morgan State University and a M.A. in Communication with a concentration in public communication from American University.


Deborah Hoesly

Vice President of Development

Deborah joined Lutheran Services in America in October 2014 as Vice President of Development. In this role, Deborah is responsible for individual, corporate and foundation giving, as well as donor relations and development strategy. Prior to joining Lutheran Services in America, Deborah served as Director of Development at George Mason University's College of Visual and Performing Arts in Fairfax, Virginia, where she was responsible for securing and monitoring compliance of $2M in annual support for the College's seven academic disciplines as well for the "Great Performances at Mason," the university's premiere presenting series of national performances, and ARTS by George!, the College's signature annual benefit event.

Deborah earned a M.A. in Arts Management from George Mason University and B.A. degrees in Political Science and Spanish from the University of South Carolina. Deborah is an active member of the community in Northern Virginia. Currently, Deborah serves on the Development Committee for the "Fall for Book" festival. 


Swathi Mannem

Program Development and Outreach Manager

Swathi Mannem serves as the Program Development and Outreach manager. In this role, she leads efforts to bring quality to program design, relationship management, and project management within programs concentrating on seniors, children, youth and families. Swathi strives to advances the organization’s mission and the efforts in health and human services to a national level.

Swathi previously was an Associate, Patient Support at WomenHeart, the National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease where she helped implement a national volunteer-led patient support and volunteer services program for women with heart disease.  Earlier she was a Patient Engagement Representative at Proove Biosciences in the National Spine and Pain where she led the team in recruitment for clinical trials and post care treatment plans for patients in chronic pain. Swathi also worked with patients, providers, and clinicians in the battle against the nation-wide opioid epidemic. Beforehand, Swathi worked as a Program Coordinator at Cornerstones, Herndon Neighborhood Resource Center.  Swathi has her Masters in Health Care Quality from the School of Medicine and Health Sciences from George Washington University.


Bola Sodeinde

Director, Business Operations

Bola joined Lutheran Services in America in November 2013 as the Business Operations Manager at LSA and provides financial, administrative and operational support to staff members. Part of his role also includes overseeing financial management of Managed Network Funds for all Lutheran Services in America networks. He serves as the point of contact for finance/IT related issues and he is responsible for overseeing daily office management functions. Before joining Lutheran Services in America, Bola was an Accountant at Park Associates, a consulting company, and Dreammaker International, a lifestyle company. Bola has a Bachelor's in Accounting from Southeastern University. His academic background also include disciplines in Physics and French Language, while his professional experience revolves around Accounting, Human Resources, Database/IT and Relationship Management.


Sheila Weber

Director, Strategic Initiatives 

Sheila joined Lutheran Services in America in July 2018 as Director of Strategic Initiatives in Member Engagement. Her responsibilities include leading the Children Youth and Family Community of Practice and the newly formed Results Innovation Lab. Sheila most recently served as Vice President of Children and Youth Services at Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, responsible for leadership, personnel management, contract and regulatory compliance, financial management and operations of multiple statewide services. While at LSS, her program portfolio included pregnancy counseling, adoption services, treatment foster care, kinship services, psychiatric residential treatment, group care, shelter care, alternatives to detention and independent living services. 

Sheila began working in the human services field 25 years ago at a residential program for adults with developmental disabilities. She has also served clients with serious mental health and emotional needs ranging from childhood through adulthood in residential and outpatient treatment settings. For over 17 years, Sheila provided clinical and administrative oversight of treatment programs for children and youth.

Sheila holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from South Dakota State, a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Nebraska in Omaha, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Trident University.


David Zauche

Director, Health Care Collaboratives

David Zauche joined Lutheran Services in America in January of 2018 and serves as Director of Health Care Collaboratives. In this role, he works with LSA member organizations to develop innovative ways to help seniors stay healthy and minimize their time in hospitals. David convenes members to explore new service programs for seniors, share best practices, and identify potential revenue opportunities. Previously, David worked at the American Cancer Society and Partnership for Prevention, where he led a variety of disease prevention and health promotion programs. David founded the ActionToQuit Network, an affiliation of over 2000 health leaders and advocates committed to tobacco control policy and practice. He managed the Council on Aspirin for Health and Prevention, a multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals dedicated to the appropriate use of aspirin to improve health. He has extensive experience in leadership, program development, partnership building, and advocacy. He graduated from Western Maryland College with honors in English.


Cristina Zegarra-Valente

Program Assistant to the President & CEO

Cristina is the Program Assistant to the President and CEO of Lutheran Services in America. In this role, she is responsible for providing logistical support and office coordination to the organization. Cristina is also responsible for delivering comprehensive support and assistance to the CEO & President. Before joining Lutheran Services in America, Cristina was the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, Administrative and HR Coordinator at Global Foundation for Democracy and Development. She also served as the Filmmakers and Special Guests Liaison and Logistics Coordinator for the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival. She earned a B.S. in Management from Purdue University and a Master of Human Resources from the University of Phoenix.



Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Domestic Mission Unit
8765 W. Higgins Road
Chicago, IL 60631


Joe Young

Director for Poverty and Justice Ministries
(800) 638-3522 Ext. 2683

Joe Young serves as Director for Poverty and Justice Ministries for the ELCA. He has been with the ELCA for the past 15 years, serving as Program Director for Community Development Services through the end of 2017. Joe completed his undergraduate work at Wartburg College, in Waverly, Iowa, with a major in Social Work. He went on to earn his Master’s Degree from the University of Iowa. He and his wife Debra, have five daughters, one son, and four grandchildren. Hobbies: he loves hiking with his wife, and fishing with grandkids.

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295

Dorothy Krans

Director of Recognized Service Organizations
Phone: (800) 248-1930 ext. 1636