Board of Directors

Rev. Dr. David H. Benke (Chair)1-Behnke_David

Rev. Dr. Benke serves as Chairman of the Lutheran Housing Support Board. Benke was President / Bishop of the Atlantic District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod from 1991 to 2015, representing the eastern half of New York State.

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 coterminously with his president responsibilities from 1997 to present.

During his tenure in Brooklyn, he was a leader in the East Brooklyn Congregations community organization that sponsored the Nehemiah Plan, leading to over 4,000 single family homes being built on formerly ravaged inner-city acreage. Benke has enlisted the Atlantic District and the LCMS through the decades to provide undergirding interest funding for Nehemiah Homes.

In 2001, following the tragic events of September 11, Benke co-founded Lutheran Disaster Response of New York, which provided 20 million dollars to immigrants and others victimized by the terrorist attacks.

Benke earned the Doctor of Ministry degree from New York Theological Seminary in 1983, and he received the LL.D. degree from Concordia College, Bronxville, in 1997.

Christopher Chandler (Vice-Chair)1-Chandler_Chris

Mr. Chandler was born in Bayshore, New York, and grew up on Long Island. He received his B.A. from SUNY-Binghamton with a double-major in Politics, Philosophy, and Law and History. He attended law school at the University of Cincinnati, where he received his JD, and Boston University School of Law, where he earned an LL.M in Taxation.

Chandler was admitted to practice law in New York in 2002, and he 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 in 2004.

In that same year, Chandler commenced employment at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he spent six years working as an International Tax Consultant and solved complex tax technical and accounting issues for major corporations.

In 2010, after much prayerful reflection and consultation, Chandler answered God’s call on his life and began preparation for pastoral ministry. He was a seminarian at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and he is a pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Danbury, Conn.

Deaconess Dorcel Dowdell (Secretary)1-Dowdell_Dorcel

Deaconess Dowdell 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, and she worked with contract managers, city officials and architects in the process.

Currently, Dowdell 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 and was responsible for 40 librarians and the public services of the main library branch.

Lynn Hutzel-Visel (Treasurer)LynnHV

Mrs. Hutzel-Visel serves as the Vice President of Institutional Trust Business Development at Comerica Bank (Detroit, Mich.). She has more than 25 years of banking and investment experience.

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, Mich.) and is a member of Helen’s Circle at Cleary University.

Janet M. Johnson (President)1-Johnson_Janet

Mrs. 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.

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, Johnson was an accountant with Cherry Burrell Corporation, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Johnson served for 12 years on the Board of Directors of The Lutheran Church Extension Fund, which is 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.

Johnson earned a Bachelor of Business Administration and Doctor of Law from the University of Iowa.

Barbara A. Below, Representative from the LCMS Office of the President1-Below_Barb

Mrs. Below is the assistant to the Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. 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.

Robert Chappellbobchappell

Mr. 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.

Chappell was president and owner of Chappell Management Group, Inc., 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.

Chappell graduated from Alabama State University with a degree in secondary education. Bob and his wife, Katherine, have two sons and five grandchildren.

David Dasari

Mr. Dasari is a Senior Portfolio Manager at Assetmark, Inc. He has 17 years experience in the Financial Services Industry. His experience includes portfolio construction, asset allocation, portfolio management, relationship management and business development.

Before joining Aris, Dasari worked at various Bank & Trust, Brokerage and Institutional firms. Most recently, he was a Senior Portfolio Manager at BNY Mellon and Wells Fargo Private Bank.

Dasari holds a B.A. in Biology/Liberal Arts from Macalester College. He also holds a JD from Hamline University along with an MBA from Krannert Graduate School of Management at Purdue University.

He holds several professional designations such as the Chartered Financial Analyst, Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst, Financial Risk Manager and Certified Financial Planner.

Dasari 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. He assists the church in supporting its 40-plus congregations as well as running Moriah Lutheran School and Moriah Children’s Home.

Dasari attends Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in State College, Penn., with his family.

Harold Lawson

Mr. 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.

Lawson has also served as a Community Planner for the United States Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Coast Guard. Prior to that he was Chief of Housing for the Department of the Army, providing housing for over 4,500 military families abroad and stateside at several military installations.

Lawson was on the board for 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.

Lawson’s awards  include Veteran Administration, Certificate of Appreciation for Improving Operation, 1969; Kiwanis Club East Cleveland, Ohio, Community Service, 1980; Boy Scouts of America, District Award of Merit, 1981.

He also has the following credentials, licenses and certificates — B.S. 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; Certificate Housing Management and Certified Property Manager.

Lawson and his wife, Nancy, have a son and daughter.

Antonio R. Riley

Mr. Riley is President and CEO of the Stewart Riley Consulting LLC.

In October 2010, iley was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Regional Administrator for the six states in HUD’s Midwestern Region, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Riley has also served as Chair of the Chicago Federal Executive Board, which is comprised of Chicagoland federal agency leaders. In this capacity, he collaborated across 178 federal offices that represent over 55,000 federal employees and military personnel serving 9 million people throughout 11 Chicago counties.

He has also worked as Chair of the Chicago Federal Executive Board (FEB).

Riley is graduate of Carroll University in Waukesha, Wis., and of the Senior Executives in State and Local Government programs at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Riley served 10 years in the Wisconsin Legislature, representing Milwaukee’s 18th Assembly District.

Charles (Charlie) St. Onge

St. Onge is a real estate broker and currently sits on the St. Louis Association of Realtors Commercial Board of Directors. St. Onge is a Certified Commercial Investment Member and was awarded the CCIM of the year award in 1998 for his service to the Industry.

St. Onge has owned his own Commercial Real Estate firm and Real Estate Management business for over 25 years. In the past, he has been president of his congregation at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Wildwood, Mo., for eight years and is serving as an elder in St. Paul’s Church.

St. Onge sits on the International Student Ministry Board of Directors as vice-president, and he has assisted with the Celebrate All Abilities Now program developed at Lord of Life Lutheran Church and at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

St. Onge is married and has five step-children, a son in law enforcement and a daughter in nursing.

Ex-officio Members

Rev. Dr. Steve Schave, Representative from the LCMS Office of National Mission 1-Schave_Rev. Steven

Schave serves as the Director of LCMS Urban & Inner-City Ministry. 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 church revitalization with a focus on neighborhood renewal.

Previously, he served as the regional vice president in the southwest region of the Ohio District and was 3rd Vice President of the presidium.

Schave brings to the board seven years of connecting word and sacrament ministry with engaging communities. In his first call, he helped 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, 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 preschool 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.

Schave served on the community steering committee that developed a quality of life plan to be implemented soon. The plan included education, business development, housing and improved infrastructure.

Jerald C. Wulf1-Wulf_Jerry

Mr. Wulf serves as an ex-officio member on the Lutheran Housing Support Board. Wulf is a Certified Public Accountant-Inactive.

Wulf serves as Chief Financial Officer of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.

Previously, he was Director of External Audits for the South Dakota Department of Legislative Audit (34 years), and his 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.

Wulf 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.

He also performed quality reviews for independent public accountants, and he 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.

Wulf also served as part-time treasurer for the Southern District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod for 20 years.


Rev. Dr. William H. Ameiss, Advisor to the Board1-Ameiss_Rev. William

Ameiss serves as an advisor the NHSC Board of Directors. Prior to becoming an advisor to the board, 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’s Northern Illinois District.

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, Ameiss served in parish ministry, planting a mission church (Our Savior Lutheran Church) in Mobile, Ala., and as pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Joliet, Ill.

Ameiss has been a speaker on youth ministry, parish education and family life at numerous youth events, pastoral conferences and educational seminars.

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.

Ameiss served 22 years as part-time visiting assistant professor at Concordia University Chicago in River Forest, Ill. He now serves as chairman of the university’s board of regents.

A graduate of St. Paul’s College, Concordia, Mo., Ameiss earned a Bachelor of Theology at Concordia Seminary, Springfield, Ill., and Master of Arts in Education at Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, Ill.

William D. Swift, Advisor to the BoardWilliam D. Swift

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. Swift is an attorney at law at Barrett & McNagny LLP in Fort Wayne, Ind.

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, and he served from 1958 to 1961. He was active in the U.S. Navy Reserve and retired as a commander.

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 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.