Eighteen board members, representing 30 Lutheran Churches Missouri Synod (LCMS) in the western Pennsylvania area, comprise Concordia’s governing body. Installed by Rev. Jack Hartman, director of chaplaincy services, the newly elected members follow. Each will serve a three-year term.
Rande Casaday of Canonsburg
First Vice President of Investments and Branch Manager at Stifel Nicolaus, a financial services holding company, Casaday has been on the Concordia parent board for nine years and currently served on the Concordia Foundation and CLM of Pittsburgh subsidiary boards, was Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee and member of the Executive and Personnel & Chaplaincy Committees. He is a member of Peace Lutheran Church in McMurray where he was the president of church council and lay chairman of the Merger Leadership Committee. He has an MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. Casaday is blessed with three children and married to wife Vickie.
Jennifer Ciccone of Gibsonia
Vice President of Human Resources for Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc, a 1,000-employee professional services firm, Ciccone graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with an M.B.A. She is President of Ascension Lutheran Church in McCandless Twp., and recently served on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for Christian Outreach (broadly evangelical campus ministry) as HR Committee Chair. She and her husband Carl have been married for 25 years and have two children, Adriana and Connor.
Rev. Dr. Edward Grimenstein of Bridgeville
Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church in Bridgeville since 2017, Rev. Grimenstein was Associate Executive Director for the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod Office of International Missions prior to his arrival at Zion as well as a chaplain in the U.S. Army serving in Afghanistan/Qatar and Belgium. He earned his M.Div. at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne and a Th.D. from the University of Toronto. Married to Tevia for 22 years, the couple has eight children ranging in ages from two to 21 years old. Currently he served on the CLM of Pittsburgh Board.
R. Russell Lucas of Wexford
Lucas, an attorney in private practice with Andrews & Price LLC, served on the Concordia Board of Directors for six years. Former congregational president of Ascension Lutheran Church in McCandless Twp., he has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for Redeemer Lutheran School. He graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He and his wife of 26 years, Ali, are blessed with four daughters.
Katie Straszheim of Pittsburgh
Straszheim has 35 years in Information Technology with Howmet Corporation, a business unit of Alcoa/Arconic, where she is currently the Data Analytics and Reporting Manager for Arconic’s Global IS organization. She recently joined Ascension Lutheran Church and is a member of the choir and praise team. Originally from Michigan, she earned her B.S. in computer science at Western Michigan University. Married to Mark for 33 years, they have three daughters.
James Wolf of Presto
A retired International Banking Executive, Wolf is a current member of the LCMS Board for International Missions and Chairman of the Sister Cities Association of Pittsburgh Board. Wolf earned his MBA in Finance and Marketing from St Louis University. He has served in many capacities at various Lutheran churches in the area. A current member of Peace Lutheran Church, he is a Stephen Ministry Leader. He served on the Concordia parent board for six years and is a current member of the CLM of Pittsburgh Board. Married to Mary for 46 years and blessed with two children and two granddaughters, he is a decorated USMC Vietnam veteran.
Outgoing Board Members who were presented with a thank-you plaque for their service were: Rev. Dr. Douglas Spittel for six years (First Trinity, Oakland); Rev. Arthur Litke for six years (Bethel, Glenshaw); Fred Heintz Jr for six years (Bethel, Glenshaw); Donald Olmstead for six years (St Luke, Cabot/Butler); and Gail Holzer for six years (Redeemer, Oakmont).
Frndak said he is both impressed and delighted with the caliber of the new Board Members and looks forward to robust expansion and strong support of Concordia’s mission of faithful caring.