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Thiemann Announces Retirement as Portico’s CEO Effective Sept. 30

The Rev. Jeff Thiemann, President and Chief Executive Officer of Portico Benefit Services, has announced that he will retire on Sept. 30 at the end of his third term with the organization.

The Rev. Jeff Thiemann

“This is a pivotal time for the ELCA, which recently launched the Commission for a Renewed Lutheran Church. Over the next two years, the Commission will explore potentially significant changes to the ELCA’s organizational structure, so Portico’s Board of Trustees and I strongly believe that my retirement aligns with the best interests of both Portico and the ELCA,” Thiemann said.

The Board has initiated the search process to identify the organization’s next CEO. During this transitional period, Stacy Kruse will assume the role of interim CEO while continuing to fulfill her responsibilities as Chief Operating and Financial Officer. Stacy has a long tenure with Portico, and her leadership will ensure a seamless transition for the organization.

Thiemann was elected President and CEO in August of 2011 after serving as executive pastor of Saint Matthew Lutheran Church in northern California. Prior to that, he had extensive executive management experience with public and private companies and led his own consulting businesses.

In the 12 years that Jeff has been with Portico, the organization has successfully navigated dramatic changes in the health care landscape, the COVID-19 pandemic, market volatility, and rapidly advancing technology on behalf of its members.

Lori Lewis, Chair of the Board, said, “We want to thank Jeff for his leadership and his dedication to Portico’s mission of enhancing the well-being of those who serve faith-based organizations. Under his leadership, Portico has continued to evolve its programs and services to meet member needs in a continually changing environment. We wish Jeff a wonderful retirement and know that he will continue his life of service wherever his path leads next.”

She added, “The Board has the highest confidence in Stacy’s ability to lead the organization through this transition and continue to provide all members with the excellent service they’ve come to expect from Portico.”