Press Releases

TLHA Announces Care of the Soul Leadership Award Recipients

Posted on May 09, 2018

JORDAN, MINN. May 7, 2018—During its annual board and leadership retreat in Jordan, Minn., The Lutheran Home Association (TLHA) recognized recipients of their Care of the Soul Leadership Award. Many ministry accomplishments are due to supporters and volunteers in special ministries. TLHA recognizes this faithful service through its “Care of the Soul” Leadership Award.

Orville Taecker

OrvilleOrville was instrumental is starting the Jesus Cares Ministries (JCM) program in Watertown, S.D. For more than a decade, he has served as JCM volunteer and advocate for those with disabilities in Watertown. He has completed radio interviews to spread the word and extended many invitations to families with a son or daughter with an intellectual disability. He has been a major donor supporting the JCM work of his local congregation, as well as JCM nationally and internationally.

“Orville is an encouragement to volunteers and pastors. His years of advocating for people with special needs and their families set an example for all of us. We all need to hear the Gospel,” said Julie Luetke, former JCM consultant.

Pictured (left to right) Michael Klatt, President and Chief Executive Officer; Arvid Schwartz, TLHA Board of Directors Chair and award recipient Orville Taecker.

Eugene and Marianne Miller

Pastor Collin VanderhoofGene and Marianne helped begin the Beaver Dam, WI, JCM program of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church and St. Stephen’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. The program celebrated its 10 year anniversary in the fall of 2017. Gene and Marianne worked hard to ensure the Beaver Dam program remains active and alive. Pastor Collin Vanderhoof of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church accepted the award on the behalf of Eugene and Marianne.

“If you just sit back and watch the joy Gene and Marianne have serving those people that come every week and the excitement they have to worship together, it’s just a neat thing to see,” explained Pastor Vanderhoof.

Pictured (left to right): Pastor Collin Vanderhoof; Arvid Schwartz, TLHA Board of Directors Chair and Michael Klatt, President and Chief Executive Officer.

The awards were presented by Michael Klatt, TLHA’s President and Chief Executive Officer. The purpose of the Care of the Soul Leadership Award is to recognize individuals who faithfully serve the Lord and provide leadership in the area of special ministries with an emphasis on:

  • Creating public awareness about these ministries in congregations and individuals.
  • Sharing the Gospel with those populations often forgotten.

“The ‘Care of the Soul’ Leadership award gives us the opportunity to recognize individuals who made a lasting impact in our ministry,” said Klatt. “Their godly talents enable us to serve more people and to share God’s message of eternal hope.”

Several TLHA team members also celebrated milestone anniversaries with TLHA.

Team members serving for 25 years include Margo Barnes at the National Ministry Offices in Belle Plaine; Loretta Glenna at Wellhaven Senior Living in River Falls and Tiffany Olson at St. Michael’s Assisted Living in Fountain City and Wellhaven Senior Living in River Falls. Team members serving for 30 years include Diane Borgardt at Kingsway Retirement Living in Belle Plaine; Jodie Johnson, at The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine and Jean Thomason, The Lutheran Home: Hope Residence in Belle Plaine. Team members serving for 35 years include Michelle Johnson, The Lutheran Home: Hope Residence in Belle Plaine and Kim Stier, The Lutheran Home: Belle Plaine.

“In total, these team members represent more than 250 years of service. They inspire me, and others in the ministry, with their dedication and commitment to our residents and family members,” said Arvid Schwartz, Chairman of the Board for The Lutheran Home Association. “Our ministry is able to provide hope to more individuals because of people like them.”

About The Lutheran Home Association

The Lutheran Home Association is a not-for-profit ministry dedicated to providing for the spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional needs of people entrusted to our care and others whose lives we touch.  We offer a wide variety of health care, housing, and spiritual outreach services with campuses in several states and congregational programs serving seniors and individuals with intellectual developmental disabilities nationwide.  Services and programs include senior living, skilled nursing care, memory care, disability services, rehabilitative therapies, chaplaincy, Bible classes, worship services, and property management services.  Learn more at, follow @TLHAword on Twitter and “Like” us on Facebook.


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