LSSWis - Lutheran Social Services (LSS) of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

Lutheran Social Services of
Wisconsin and Upper Michigan

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Meet Patricia Wesner

LSS Foundation Board Member 

When Patricia Wesner decided to close the door on her successful 29-year banking career, God was opening windows elsewhere at the exact same time. One of those windows was the LSS Foundation Board.

Pat was preparing to leave a senior-level position at U.S. Bank that required her to travel 45 weeks a year. Because she spent nearly as much time outside of Wisconsin as in it, she felt she was losing touch with what was happening locally. She looked forward to trading in her business suit for jeans and her frequent flyer miles for time at home and the opportunity to work with her husband in his residential construction business. 

It was around that time that Pat was approached by Bob Seidel, who was the chairperson of the LSS Foundation board and a longtime friend. Our Foundation is a separate organization from LSS supporting our mission of changing lives through fundraising and donor engagement. When he learned that Pat would be leaving her banking job, he lobbied her to join him on the foundation board. That was more than five years ago, and she remains deeply committed to the foundation and the work it does.

“On the Board, we hear about all the good things being done by LSS,” said Pat. “Our job is to raise funds and attract donors so more good work can be done. There is a great opportunity for the foundation to do more and to be more strategic in its approach.” 

She recently led a nationwide search for a new president for our foundation president, and Cynthia Halverson was chosen out of a deep field of candidates. Cynthia came on board in March, and will direct a comprehensive, organization-wide advancement program to enable it to provide financial support to further our mission, vision and values. Her responsibilities include marketing, communications and fund development, as well as church, community and public relations outreach.

“LSS has a very positive vibe in the nonprofit arena,” explained Pat. “That made the search for a president very nice. We had great candidates, and that is, in part, because of LSS’s legacy. It was the right time to bring on a new president, and Cynthia will add more horsepower to the group and help us take things up a notch.”

As Pat introduces Cynthia to our organization and its leaders and programs, she notes that she, too, is growing her own relationships with senior leaders, and wants to become an even better board member this year to further our work.

“There are so many negative things going on in the world that it’s easy to lose sight of the good, wonderful things happening, like families being made better and people who are valued and not lost in the shuffle. LSS has such a legacy.”

Now that the search for a new president has wrapped up, you might expect Pat to take some time to pursue the hobbies she’s surely accumulated in her retirement, but she laughs and says simply, “We don’t do free time.”

Her husband is beginning to wind down his construction business, and together they are busy remodeling a 1940s home in Whitefish Bay and spending time with his three daughters and four grandchildren. She admits that their vacation last fall was the first one they’d taken since 2006.

When asked what’s on her bucket list the year she says they are starting small - they hope to get out and ride their bikes as the weather turns warm.

“We are going to start with that.”

647 W. Virginia Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204
414-281-4400

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