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2014 CEO Academy

February 2-5, 2014

Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center
7415 East Elbow Bend Road
Carefree, AZ

Arizona Landscape

This year’s conference is focused around the theme of ‘adaptive leadership,’ and we’re looking forward to a high-level program with strong speakers. Each year, the CEO Academy gathers the chief executives of our Lutheran social ministry organizations from around the country in a trusted environment for candid discussions, tangible ideas and take-aways, camaraderie and ongoing reliable support – all wrapped in the context of faith and mission. 

We are again hosting this event at the popular Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center, a scenic and tranquil setting for renewal, relaxation and fellowship. Make plans to join us for sharing, learning, building relationships, and strengthening the LSA network. Please contact Shannon Steene, VP of Member Engagement, at, for more information. 

For detailed information about the program, please go to the Agenda

A scholarship for registration and lodging costs is available to new CEOs (joined the LSA system within the last year – November 2012 to November 2013) – please contact Shannon at for more information about the scholarship program.

The 2014 CEO Academy is made possible through generous gifts from the Twin Lakes CommunityPortico Benefit Services the ELCA Mission Investment Fund, and Bethesda Lutheran Communities. Lutheran Services in America is grateful for their generous support.

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"When I first attended the CEO Academy in 2009, I was amazed at its ability to embrace many new and seasoned Lutheran CEOs.   The CEO Academy had one agenda to suit an audience comprised of organizations of different sizes and different needs.  As a new CEO I was dealing with numerous things at once and trying to set up systems to take care of our organization's needs.   However, what I found interesting, refreshing and fulfilling was the fact that no matter the size or the needs of organizations, the CEO Academy succeeded expectations and became a harbor, a safe place of hope, learning, partnerships, friendships, and knowledge sharing.  The CEO Academy reassured me that with the help of our Lord, LSA and partner organization CEOs I too, will go through challenges facing our organization. 

 From then on, each time I attend the CEO Academy, I receive information from a new perspective and each time it is a new enrichment and experience.  As a seasoned CEO, the organization and I have other, new needs.  I get answers to those as well at the CEO Academy.  After returning from each Academy, I enforce, change, update certain structure or thinking systems.  For example, our organization had formally adopted the "Forces for Good" book as a guiding principle and strategy. 

The benefits of this wonderful organization LSA and the CEO Academy are countless.  They are real and true.  This is the time when I can focus on myself only!  This is the place where I immerse myself into the ocean of knowledge, love and care provided by the CEOs of other Lutheran Ministries who I trust."

Armena Mnatsakanyan, Executive Director, Lutheran Social Services of Nevada 

"It was wonderful to be able to attend the CEO Academy.  Coming from a new and smaller Social Ministry Organization, I must say, the first morning I felt a bit overwhelmed, but after listening to the presenters and the wonderful people I met I was glad to have been a part of the CEO Academy. I would encourage the CEO Academy to people who have never attended, who may feel that it’s just another conference, to attend the next CEO Academy, the information that is provided,   the connection with other social ministries, are of benefit in moving social ministries organization forward. The presentation by Darian Rodriguez Heyman on the future of social media and social enterprise helped me to see the importance of thinking outside the box and how social media is the fastest way of getting an organization’s message to a wider community.  Darian used the 4C’S, to encourage followers on social media: C-be Compelling, C-be Concise, C-be Creditable, and C-be Contiguous, As a leader I look at the 4C’s as a good approach moving forward."

Antonia Clemente, Co-Founder/Executive Director, The Healing Center NY

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