The consultants of MIF Capital Campaign Services are highly experienced in leading capital campaign initiatives. Many started with the ELCA’s program Stewardship Key Leader and transitioned to the program now directed by the Mission Investment Fund. Meet the MIF CCS consulting team:
Paula Kitt, CFRE
Paula Kitt, Director of MIF Capital Campaign Services, has been part of the Mission Investment Fund of the ELCA since 2009, serving first as Regional Manager of an eight-synod territory.
She is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE), and since 2002, has directed a variety of philanthropic, fundraising and nonprofit efforts, including congregational campaigns, stewardship initiatives, and endowment fund endeavors.
Before joining MIF, Ms. Kitt directed her own consulting practice, focusing on managing capital campaigns and annual appeals, grant-writing, and donor-constituent relations for local, national and international organizations. Prior to that, she had been Vice President of Community Investment for the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, where she directed philanthropic efforts involving more than 600 nonprofit organizations in the Kansas City area.
A native of Nebraska, Ms. Kitt received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics from the University of Oklahoma. She currently lives in the Kansas City area and has one adult son. She is a member of The Table, an ELCA new-start congregation in Olathe, Kansas, and she is a member of the Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE) and the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).
Ms. Kitt believes that her aptitude and experience have allowed her to help organizations and their stakeholders fulfill their missions and philanthropic goals. Her approach is founded on strong and positive relationships, as well as a belief that every congregation has a Spirit-directed call and purpose, which it must identify, accept and faithfully carry out as a clear, compelling vision for ministry.
The Rev. Nancy Amacher
Pastor Nancy Amacher joined MIF Capital Campaign Services in 2008 and has consulted with a variety of congregations, ranging in size from 200 to more than 1,000 members. Pastor Amacher currently serves on the Stewardship Team of the Northwest Synod of Wisconsin and has facilitated workshops on generosity, best practices and tithing.
Pastor Amacher previously served as pastor at three ELCA congregations in Marquette, Michigan; Appleton, Wisconsin; and Rothschild, Wisconsin. As a pastor, she conducted annual stewardship projects, facilitated building renovation and mortgage reduction projects, and was active with her synod’s stewardship committee. She has also served in leadership roles in Lutheran Campus Ministry, Lutheran Social Services ministries, Global Mission Events, Synod Council, ELCA Churchwide Assembly and the ELCA’s former Division for Congregational Ministries.
She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, and a master’s degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Pastor Amacher believes that everything we have is a gift from God. In response to God’s generosity, we use our resources for the good of the community. Growing in generosity helps us grow in faith.
The Rev. Dr. Ann Bassett
Pastor Ann Bassett has been an ELCA pastor and the pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Spring Hill, Tennessee, since 2004. This congregation conducted two capital campaigns during Pastor Basset’s tenure there; she became so enmeshed in the process during the second campaign—with MIF Capital Campaign Services—that she began exploring opportunities of working as an MIF CCS consultant. She officially came on board in 2013.
Pastor Bassett has a Doctor of Ministry degree in spiritual direction from the Graduate Theological Foundation in Donaldson, Indiana, and a Master of Divinity in pastoral care and counseling from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with additional work at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to her ordination, she was a public school math teacher, a student assistance counselor, a chaplain and an intern at Christ Lutheran Church in Nashville. She is the daughter of foreign missionaries and grew up in Panama, Central America. Her husband is the Rev. Joel Emerson, an ELCA pastor.
Pastor Bassett’s favorite learning occurs by paying attention to God working with and through people in everyday life. She passes along her enthusiasm for connecting with God and others as she equips, empowers, minsters to, nurtures and teaches in her parish, community and beyond. Pastor Bassett believes that generous living stems from love of God and others— that God has provided us with resources to manage for the good of all creation, not just ourselves. Generous living promotes our connections with God and others. She has a love for congregations and delights in helping them accomplish the vision God has for them.
The Rev. Kathy Haueisen
Pastor Kathy Haueisen, a retired ELCA pastor who has served congregations in Ohio and Texas, has directed capital campaigns for MIF and the ELCA since 2007. She served as Executive Director of the ELCA’s Stewardship Key Leader program and then MIF’s Capital Campaign Services from 2011 through 2014, when she retired from full-time work and shifted to focusing on specific capital campaigns.
Pastor Haueisen became involved in fundraising efforts early in her pastoral career, when her first-call congregation conducted a capital campaign to build a new sanctuary. As the first Executive Director of the ELCA’s newly formed Lutherhill Ministries, the outdoor ministry in LaGrange, Texas, Pastor Haueisen focused much of her attention on development work. She became a member of the Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE) at that time. Pastor Haueisen then became Executive Director of The Melanchthon Institute, an ELCA center for continuing education in Houston, and did development work for The Lutheran Seminary Program in the Southwest in Austin, Texas, affiliated with Wartburg Seminary, where she had earned her Master of Divinity degree.
Pastor Haueisen, who also has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University, has written curriculum, devotions and articles for a variety of faith-based publications, including books for Augsburg Fortress and the Alban Institute. Prior to becoming a pastor, she worked in public relations for a college, outdoor theatre and a state agency. She lives in Houston with her husband, and she has two adult daughters and their families.
The Rev. Dr. Len Hoffmann
Pastor Len Hoffmann, a recent addition to MIF Capital Campaign Services, serves the Northern Illinois Synod as an interim pastor. His recent assignments in the synod were at Trinity Lutheran Church in Galesburg and Bethany Lutheran Church in Crystal Lake.
Pastor Hoffmann has significant experience in leading capital campaigns and ministry fund development. He has served as Vice President for mission support at Wartburg Theological Seminary, Associate Director of the ELCA Foundation and Executive Director for advancement for Lutheran Social Services New England.
He has a Doctor of Ministry degree, with a concentration in leadership and stewardship, from Luther Seminary. He earned a Master of Divinity degree from Christ Seminary (now Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago), with a focus on education, administration and communication. He is a member of the Association of Lutheran Development Executives and the Interim Ministry Association of the ELCA.
Pastor Hoffmann’s work in stewardship fulfills one of his personal goals: to educate, motivate and invite gifts for ministry that expand God's work in the world.
The Rev. Michael Meier
Pastor Michael Meier, based in Spirit, Wisconsin, has conducted nearly 50 capital campaigns for MIF Capital Campaign Services in congregations throughout the country over the past decade.
He began his work in church stewardship in 1991, when he served as Stewardship Specialist for five ELCA synods in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska. Following that, he led a six-year call as Director for ELCA Leadership Development of Stewardship, supervising stewardship specialists in the ELCA’s 65 synods. He was also the ELCA’s Coordinator for Mission Support, responsible for promoting the annual program of support for the Churchwide expression of the ELCA. He became a consultant for MIF Capital Campaign Services in 2007.
In addition to a Master of Divinity degree, Pastor Meier also earned an Master’s degree in education in guidance and counseling at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, where he also served as Lutheran campus pastor early in his career. He was also Program Director for Lutheran Outdoor Ministries of Oregon, Pastor of Sitka Lutheran Church in Sitka, Alaska, and more recently, Interim Pastor at First Lutheran Church in Prentice, Wisconsin. Pastor Meier and his wife have eight children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Pastor Meier believes in the joy of giving and the positive difference individuals and congregations can accomplish through their generous response to God’s generosity.
The Rev. Jon Olson
Pastor Jon Olson, who recently joined the MIF Capital Campaign Services consulting team, has a passion for stewardship and planned giving. During his longtime tenure as senior pastor at Hope Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, he helped establish the Hope Lutheran Foundation and was a key leader in five successful capital campaigns to fund a building addition and the remodeling of the church building. Pastor Olson has led other congregations in their stewardship programs, and is currently working with Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls in their "Beyond Bethlehem" capital campaign.
Pastor Olson believes good giving is central to our Christian faith, that it is a joy to return to God a portion of what God has given to us. People who give generously are typically the healthiest and happiest people we know.
Pastor Olson has Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from Minnesota State University in Moorhead, and a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. He lives on Long Lake, near Erhard, Minnesota. He is the father of adult twin daughters.
The Rev. Dr. Philip Reitz
Pastor Philip Reitz has been a pastor for more than 35 years, serving congregations in Chicago, Illinois, and Boise, Idaho. He became a consultant for MIF Capital Campaign Services in 2009.
Pastor Reitz began his work in stewardship in 1998 as a member of the Deployed Stewardship Staff in Region 1 of the ELCA, where he worked with congregations and synods to encourage and strengthen leadership competence in stewardship ministry. He led workshops, consulted with congregation leaders on stewardship planning and interpreting mission, and advised congregations on their capital and debt reduction campaigns. Asset-based planning, ‘story telling budgets,’ personal financial management and ministry in daily life stewardship are among his favorite workshop presentations.
Pastor Reitz has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Augsburg College, a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral care and counseling with an emphasis in family therapy from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Currently Pastor Reitz is serving as an Intentional Interim Minister and has served congregations in Washington and Montana in this role. He lives in Renton, Washington, a suburb of Seattle.
Pastor Reitz is committed to helping God’s people grow in their Baptismal covenants as stewards of all that God has entrusted to them. He affirms the connection between one’s stewarding habits and growth in discipleship. Pastor Reitz has a heart for congregational ministry and delights in sharing the journey as God’s people accomplish the vision God has for them.
The Rev. Dr. John Sabatelli
Pastor John Sabatelli, a native of New York City, and a graduate of the City University of New York and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, was ordained in 1971. He joined the MIF Capital Campaign Services team in 2012.
After serving two congregations on Long Island, he became the pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Baltimore's Inner Harbor-Federal Hill neighborhood, where he served for 30 years before retiring in 2012. During his pastorate he was involved in $40 million in capital construction and renovation. He has served on numerous boards, both church-related and in the medical field. He is a past chair of the InFaith Community Foundation, and served as president of the Tressler Foundation and the Christ Church Foundation. Pastor Sabatelli has served on many stewardship committees and commissions locally, synodically and nationally.
In recognition of his service to the church, the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia bestowed on him an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree.
Pastor Sabatelli and his wife, Jane, live in Catonsville, Maryland, and have two grown children and four granddaughters. He is currently the part-time interim pastor of a small congregation near his home.
Pastor Sabatelli believes that all that we call our own are gifts from God entrusted to us for a time and a place to be used to serve the neighbor, to give glory to God and to care for our families and ourselves. We can never outgive our generous God who gives us life and salvation in Jesus Christ.
The Rev. Dr. Karen Soli
Pastor Karen Soli has been a pastor for nearly 40 years and has devoted herself to professional church work even longer. In her ministry in Minnesota and South Dakota, she has served as senior pastor to large congregations, solo pastor to small- and medium-sized congregations, and interim pastor for her synod.
Pastor Soli has focused on helping congregations become vital, caring communities. She has helped congregations grow in stewardship, and she has worked with building projects and capital fund campaigns in several of the congregations she has served. She began working with MIF Capital Campaign Services in 2006.
Pastor Soli received her undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College and her Master of Divinity degree from the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. In 1998, she was awarded a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching through the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. From 1997 to 2003, she served as a member of the ELCA Church Council and has held other leadership positions in synods and the church.
She lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with her husband, Joseph Holt, a retired Presbyterian pastor. Together, they have two daughters, and Pastor Soli has three older stepsons and four grandchildren. She currently is serving her second term as a Representative in the South Dakota Legislature.
Her motivating force is helping congregations and individuals reach for the vision to which God is calling them. Helping individuals and congregations discover the joy of generous giving and how it can advance God’s kingdom is a key part of her ministry.
The Rev. Michelene Verlautz
Pastor Michelene Verlautz is a recent addition to MIF Capital Campaign Services. She has served as associate, interim and senior pastor for various congregations, and currently she is called to St. Timothy's Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights, Minnesota. She serves on the Candidacy Committee and Interim Ministry Advisory Team for the Minneapolis Synod, and is Dean of the North Conference of the Minneapolis Synod.
Pastor Verlautz has a Bachelor of Arts degree in human physiology from Drake University, a Master of Arts in child and adolescent development from St. Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota, a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, a Certificate in Fund Development from St. Thomas University in St. Paul, and specialized training in faith-based philanthropy from Lake Institute on Faith and Giving at Indiana University. Originally from the Chicago metro area, Pastor Verlautz now lives in Arden Hills, Minnesota, with her husband, James.
Pastor Verlautz knows the importance of developing a culture of generosity, recognizing that the joy of giving fuels a community’s engagement in their God-given calling. She recognizes the importance of helping each congregation to understand and live out of their unique mission. Aligning a congregation’s ministry with its mission and vision paves the road for an exciting and compelling future and creates the energy and engagement that makes a lasting impact.
Dr. Phyllis Castens Wiederhoeft
Phyllis Wiederhoeft, a long-time ELCA Associate in Ministry, joined MIF Capital Campaign Services in 2006.
For nearly 15 years, she has served as Assistant to the Bishop in the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin of the ELCA, focusing on stewardship, evangelism, the call process and long-range planning. Since December 2001, she has been Executive Director for the Association of Lutheran Development Executives (ALDE). She recently was awarded 2016 Outstanding Executive of the Year.
Ms. Wiederhoeft has a master’s and doctorate degree in adult education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She and her husband have two young adult daughters. They are members of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin.
Ms. Wiederhoeft is committed to helping God’s people grow in their relationship with their Lord through the stewardship of all that God has entrusted to his people. She is convinced that there is a direct connection between the use of financial resources and growth in discipleship. Phyllis has a love for congregations and delights in helping them accomplish the vision God has set for them.
Contact MIF Capital Campaign Services today!
For more information, or to set up a phone consultation to discuss your ministry and campaign needs, call us toll free at 877-886-3522 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.