December 30, 2021

Portico Leaders Elected to Key Church Benefit Association Positions

The Church Benefits Association (CBA) kicked off its annual meeting by electing its 2022 board members and committee chairs. While Portico leaders have always maintained a strong presence in the CBA, they will play key roles in 2022.

Rev. Jeff Thiemann

The Rev. Jeffrey Thiemann

Stacy A. Kruse

Stacy Kruse

Lori Brown

Lori Brown

Wendy L. Mortimer

Wendy Mortimer

  • Rev. Jeff Thiemann, Portico’s president and CEO, was elected CBA Board Chair.
  • Stacy Kruse, Portico’s chief operating and financial officer, was re-elected Board Treasurer. She will also continue to co-chair the CFO Committee.
  • Lori Brown, Portico’s general counsel, was elected Board Secretary.
  • Wendy Mortimer, Portico’s senior director of human resources, will continue to chair the Human Resources Committee.

As one of the CBA’s larger members, Portico has considerable visibility within this voluntary membership association. Roughly 50 organizations participate – including pension boards, religious orders, and denominational benefit programs for clergy and church professionals. Since 1915, the CBA has provided a collaborative space where leaders of church plan benefit providers from around the country can exchange ideas and best practices.

As the CBA’s newly elected board chair, Jeff Thiemann helped kick off the annual gathering, focused, not surprisingly, on the many changes organizations have navigated in 2021 — shifting to a hybrid work model, building deeper virtual connections, finding meaningful ways to be more inclusive, and identifying new ways to make a difference.

To this end, Wendy Mortimer participated in a panel discussion where she shared an update on Portico’s move and transition to a hybrid work model. David Quello, Portico’s chief investment officer, facilitated a Q&A session focused on how to adapt investment strategy to a low interest rate and low expected returns environment.

Importantly, said Thiemann, the CBA emphasizes cooperation, not competition. Portico members have saved millions via Portico’s participation in purchasing coalitions and other forms of cooperation with other denominations. And learnings from collegial discussions over the years have helped Portico shape the combination of benefits and resources it offers today.

“We were the first CBA denomination to adopt the health care coordination service through Quantum,” said Thiemann. “After sharing our learnings freely, other denominations followed, enabling us, together, to negotiate pricing as a coalition. When another denomination shared its positive experience with the 98point6 text-based primary care service, we confidently added the service to our benefit suite — and it’s been invaluable to our members during this pandemic.”