Rev. Dr. David H. Benke (Chair)
Dr. Benke serves as Chairman of the Lutheran Housing Support Board. David H. Benke has been President/ Bishop of the Atlantic District of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, representing the eastern half of New York State for the denomination and its 2.5 million members, since 1991. Ordained into the Holy Ministry in the LCMS in 1972, he has served previously as Pastor of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Brooklyn, New York from 1975-1991 and co-terminously with his President’s responsibilities from 1997 to present. During his tenure in Brooklyn, he has continued to be a leader in the East Brooklyn Congregations community organization which sponsored the Nehemiah Plan, leading to over 4000 single family homes being built on formerly ravaged inner-city acreage. Dr. Benke has enlisted the Atlantic District and the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod through the decades to provide undergirding interest funding for Nehemiah Homes. In 2001, following the events of September 11, Dr. Benke co-founded Lutheran Disaster Response of New York, which provided 20 million dollars to immigrants and others victimized by the terrorist attacks. Rev. Benke earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from New York Theological Seminary in 1983, and has received the LL.D. degree from Concordia College, Bronxville, in 1997.
Mr. Christopher Chandler (Vice-Chair)
Christopher was born in Bayshore, NY and grew up on Long Island. He received his BA from SUNY-Binghamton with a double-major in Politics, Philosophy, and Law and History. After college, he attended Law School at the University of Cincinnati where he received his JD and thereafter at the Boston University School of Law where he earned an LL.M in Taxation. Christopher was admitted to practice law in New York in 2002 and afterward served as the Director of a Low-Income Tax Clinic at a Legal Services Firm advocating on behalf of underserved populations in Massachusetts. During his tenure at the Tax Clinic he enrolled in Northeastern University’s MS in Accounting/MBA program and graduated from there in 2004. In that same year, Christopher commenced employment at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP where he spent six years working as an International Tax Consultant solving complex tax technical and accounting issues for major corporations. In 2010, after much prayerful reflection and consultation, Christopher answered God’s call on his life and began preparation for pastoral ministry. He is now a Seminarian at Concordia Seminary- St. Louis and is blessed to be on this powerful journey of faith with his lovely wife and four fantastic children.
Deaconess Dorcel Dowdell (Secretary)
Dorcel brings to the LCMS National Housing Support Corporation Board over 20 years of experience in working with Lutheran Social Services, Lutheran Home Society, Area Office on Aging and Cherry Street Mission Ministries (Homeless). In her past position as the Manager of the Main Library in Toledo, she gained experience in building development practices through the construction of an addition to the main historic building; working with contract managers, city officials and architects in the process. Currently, Dorcel is serving as a deaconess at St. Philip Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio, where she is in charge of Parish Education, Mission Projects, and Women’s Ministry. She is retired from the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, where she served as an administrator for 30 years – responsible for 40 librarians and the public services of the Main Library branch.
Mrs. Lynn Hutzel-Visel (Treasurer)
Mrs. Hutzel-Visel currently serves as the Vice President of Institutional Trust Business Development at Comerica Bank (Detroit, MI). She has more than twenty-five years of banking and investment experience. Mrs. Hutzel-Visel is a graduate of the University of Michigan and has completed graduate work through Michigan State University. In addition to serving on the NHSC board, her philanthropic work also includes volunteering at the Detroit Gleaners Food Bank and the area’s Ronald McDonald House. She is a board member at her home congregation (Peace Lutheran in Ann Arbor, MI) and is a member of Helen’s Circle at Cleary University.
Mrs. Janet M. Johnson (President)
Janet M. Johnson serves as the president of the LCMS National Housing Support Corporation. Prior to becoming the corporation’s president, she served on the board for six years and was its Secretary. Mrs. Johnson has been an associate and partner at Schiff Hardin LLP in Chicago, Ill., since 1980. Her practice is with the firm’s Real Estate Group, focusing on real estate transactions and development projects and representing commercial clients throughout the United States. Previously, Mrs. Johnson was an accountant with Cherry Burrell Corporation, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Mrs. Johnson served for 12 years on the Board of Directors of The Lutheran Church Extension Fund, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod’s ministry-through-investment organization that provides low-cost loans to churches, schools and rostered church workers. She has been involved with several affordable housing and community revitalization efforts in the Chicago area. These include: Ezra Homes, where, to date, 12 homes have been built in phase one and about 80 more homes are completed. Mrs. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Doctor of Law from the University of Iowa.
Mrs. Barbara A. Below, Representative from the LCMS Office of the President
Barbara A. Below is the assistant to Rev. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS). She is the first woman to serve on the executive-level staff for an LCMS president. Prior to joining the president’s staff in September 2010, Below, a licensed clinical social worker, served for six years as director of social ministry organizations for LCMS World Relief and Human Care, the disaster relief and mercy ministry of the Synod. In that position, Below worked directly with 125 social-ministry organizations recognized by the Synod and served as the Synod’s liaison to Lutheran Services in America, the inter-Lutheran alliance of nearly 300 agencies that is among the largest nonprofits in the country. She also served on the LCMS management team of the Dominican Republic Lutheran Mission.
Mr. Robert Chappell
Robert Chappell is semi-retired, but works part-time in real estate. In addition, he is owner of Robert L Chappell & Associates, LLC Real Estate Investment. Previously, Bob was president and owner of Chappell Management Group, Incorporated which owned and operated three McDonald’s Restaurants in the Detroit metropolitan area from 1990-2005. He has a strong background as a manager in real estate with McDonald’s Corporation with included responsibility of site selection and negotiations for land acquisition. Bob graduated from Alabama State University with a degree in secondary education. Bob and his wife Katherine have two sons and five grandchildren.
Mr. David Dasari
David Dasari is a senior portfolio manager with the Bank of New York/Mellon, Nevada/Arizona. Mr. Dasari worked previously for Wells Fargo Private Bank as a senior investment strategist and for the Arizona State Retirement System in Phoenix, Arizona. He has a Master of Science in Management with a concentration in Finance from Krannert Graduate School of Management from Purdue University. He also has a Juris Doctor from Hamline University School of Law and an undergraduate degree from Macalester College. Mr. Dasari attends Grace Lutheran Church in Henderson, Nevada. He serves as an executive board member/Treasurer for Faith Lutheran Middle & High School in Las Vegas, the largest Lutheran school in the U.S. He is active in the administrative affairs for Bible Faith Lutheran Church of India, particularly in the theological education of its pastors in confessional Lutheran tenets; supporting its 40+ congregations; and the running of Moriah Lutheran School and Moriah Childrens’ Home.
Mr. Alan Doud
Alan Doud is Senior Counsel for the Tejon Ranch Company, and has practiced in the areas of water, environmental, land use, public agency and eminent domain law. Mr. Doud has a BA in Political Science from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, and a JD from the University of San Diego. While in law school Mr. Doud worked in the legal department for the franchise subsidiary of UPS. Prior to that he served as a legislative assistant to a member of Congress representing California’s Central Valley, handling such policy issues as budget, tax, and telecommunications. While in San Diego Mr. Doud was on the Board of Elders of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. He now attends St. John’s Lutheran Church in Bakersfield. He is married and has two daughters.
Mr. Harold Lawson
Harold Lawson is a Real Estate Broker and owns Lawson Lighthouse Realty and HL Property Management Service, LLC. His companies manage several multifamily housing units as well as provide consulting services to multifamily unit owners since 2003. Mr. Lawson has also served as a Community Planner for the US Dept. of Homeland Security/Us Coast Guard and prior to that he held the position, Chief of Housing for the Department of the Army, providing housing for over 4,500 military families abroad and state side at the several military instillations. Mr. Lawson has served on numerous organizations over the years; the board of Cleveland Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry and was the co-founder of the Lutheran Housing Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio. Additionally, he assisted with developing a police department with the Cuyahoga Public Housing Authority in Cleveland, Ohio. Mr. Lawson’s awards include; Veteran Administration, Certificate of Appreciation for Improving Operation, 1969; Kiwanis Club East Cleveland, OH, Community Service, 1980; Boy Scout of America, District Award of Merit, 1981. He also has the following Credentials, Licenses and Certificates: BS in Public Administration from Dyke College, a Master of Regional Planning for Alabama A&M University, Alabama Real Estate Broker License: 2016 Amateur Radio Station licenses: K9AMA 8-1- 57 to 1-1-62 and KB6VWK 2-16-88 to 2-16-98. Federal Communications Commission 3rd Class Radio Licenses 1958, CHM, (Certificate Housing Management) and CPM (Certified Property Manager). Mr. Lawson and his wife, Nancy have a son and daughter.
Mrs. Jennifer Shields
Mrs. Jennifer Shields was born in Moline, Illinios in 1973 and has been a baptized member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod her entire life. She attended schools in Illinois and was a member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church in Milan, Illinois where she taught Sunday School and participated in the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League for many years. In 1995, Mrs. Shields graduated from Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois with a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude degree in Geography. She then worked as a Data Services Planner for Bi-State Regional Commission, serving the Quad Cities area of Illinois and Iowa. While still in college, Jennifer married Scott Shields and later moved with him to Fort Wayne, Indiana so that her husband could attend Concordia Theological Seminary. While living in Indiana, she worked first as a Community Development Planner for Region 3A Development and Regional Planning Commission of Northeastern Indiana, and then as a Planner II for the City of Fort Wayne, Indiana. In 2000, Jennifer and her husband moved to Gordon, Nebraska where Rev. Shields served his delayed vicarage and first call into the pastoral ministry. In 2003, they moved to Rock Springs, Wyoming where Rev. Shields is currently serving as sole pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church and 3rd Vice President of the Wyoming District. In May 2013, Rev. Shields was also commissioned as a Navy Reserve Chaplain. For over five years, Jennifer served as the Assistant City Planner for the City of Rock Springs, Wyoming until her promotion to head City Planner in April 2013. Jennifer has been named Planner of the Year -New Professional by the Wyoming Planning Association and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Rev. and Mrs. Shields are the proud parents of three daughters, Shelby, Grace, and Isabelle.
Rev. Steve Schave, Representative from the LCMS Office of National Mission
Rev. Steve Schave currently serves as the Director of LCMS LCMS Urban & Inner-City Ministry. Rev. Schave is a second career pastor with a decade of experience in entrepreneurship, information technology, and executive leadership in the business world. His church work began in church planting with a focus on outreach through human care and now church revitalization with a focus on neighborhood renewal. Previously, he served as the regional vice president in the SW region of the Ohio District and was 3rd Vice President of the presidium. Pastor Schave brings to the Board, 7 years of connecting word and sacrament ministry with engaging communities. In his first call, he helped to plant a church and establish a pregnancy resource center with his wife who serves as a deaconess in the church. After two years, in a close knit community, Pastor Steve was elected to serve as the president of the local ministerial association. In this role, he was able to build relationships between a local trust, businesses and local churches to start a soup kitchen and establish a community center to help those in need. He also helped the church’s transitioning benevolence society, in the transformation of their affordable housing apartments on the church campus and the integration of a community pre-school that is also housed on this campus. With the $20 million renovations completed on this HUD facility, he worked with the benevolence society to focus on opportunities for neighborhood revitalization through affordable housing. He served on the community steering committee which developed a quality of life plan that will begin to be implemented soon. The plan included education, business development, housing and improved infrastructure.
Mr. Jerald C. Wulf
Mr. Wulf serves as an Ex-officio member on the Lutheran Housing Support Board. Mr. Wulf is a Certified Public Accountant-Inactive. Currently, Chief Financial Officer of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Previously, Director of External Audits for the South Dakota Department of Legislative Audit (34 years). Duties included overseeing the work of approximately 40 private accounting firms doing government and not-for-profit entity audits, including OMB Circular A-133, Single Audits. Provided guidance and training for independent public accountants and Department staff to meet CPE requirements under Government Auditing Standards, issued by the Comptroller General of the United States. Performed quality reviews for independent public accountants, and participated in the National Association of State Auditor’s, Comptrollers’ and Treasurers’ and Association Quality Review Program, as team member, team leader and concurring reviewer. Also served as part-time Treasurer for the SD District of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for 20 years.
Rev. Dr. William H. Ameiss, Advisor to the Board
Rev. Ameiss serves as an advisor the NHSC Board of Directors. Prior to becoming an advisor to the board, Rev. Ameiss served six years as a member of the board. He retired in 2010 after serving his third term as president of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Northern Illinois District, based in Hillside. He has worked on behalf of the district since 1970, including in executive staff leadership roles in youth ministry, parish education and long-range planning. Previously, Rev. Ameiss served in parish ministry, planting a mission church, Our Savior Lutheran Church, in Mobile, Ala., and as pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Joliet, Ill. Rev. Ameiss has been a speaker on youth ministry, parish education and family life at numerous youth events and pastoral and educational conferences. He is a published author, producing teen Bible study courses and co-author of “Love, Sex and God,” the teen volume in the Concordia Publishing House “Learning About Sex” series. He also has contributed magazine articles on youth ministry and family life. Rev. Ameiss served 22 years as part-time visiting assistant professor at Concordia University, River Forest. He now serves as chairman of the university’s board of regents. A graduate of St. Paul’s College, Concordia, Mo., Rev. Ameiss earned a Bachelor of Theology at Concordia Seminary, Springfield, Ill., and Master of Arts in Education at Concordia Teachers College, River Forest.
Mr. William D. Swift, Advisor to the Board
Mr. Swift serves as an advisor to the NHSC Board of Directors. Prior to becoming an advisor, he served as a member and chairman of the NHSC Board. Mr. Swift is an Attorney at Law at Barrett & McNagny LLP in Ft Wayne, Indiana. Mr. Swift earned a Bachelor of Science in general business administration and Doctor of Jurisprudence from Indiana University. He attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned into the U.S. Navy, where he served from 1958 to 1961. He was active in the U.S. Navy Reserve and retired as a commander. Mr. Swift has been involved with numerous professional and civic organizations. He is a former board member of the Fort Wayne Homebuilders’ Association and past president of the Fort Wayne Council of the Navy League. He presently serves as president of Holy Cross Lutheran Church. Among Mr. Swift’s clients are the Fort Wayne Area Association of Realtors, Fort Wayne Multiple Listing Association, the Home Builders’ Association of Allen County, and the Fort Wayne Neighborhood Housing Partnership.