What's Happening at Thrivent
Member generosity, CFO retirement, radio feature and more!
Shoe Donations Give Hope, Bring Smiles
Samaritan’s Feet and Thrivent have partnered to provide athletic shoes to kids in need. Having good shoes not only keeps children’s feet healthy, but it helps them be confident and engaged, according to Samaritan’s Feet. In a yearlong program that started in June, Thrivent members have already donated 1,731* pairs of shoes and $7,695* in monetary support. Some of the shoes were distributed in September at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center in Grand Forks, North Dakota (see photos), where volunteers washed children’s feet and then fit them with shoes. The event was organized by the Thrivent Member Network—Northland Region. Learn more about how you can help by contacting your Thrivent Financial professional or going to Thrivent.com/samaritans-feet. *Through Sept. 30, 2019
Thrivent Radio Feature Hits the Airwaves
Stations across the country are playing the messages
At Thrivent, we want to inspire our members to think differently about money—to think of it as a tool, not a goal. To thoughtfully consider all the ways money affects your life. Our hope is that you’ll find your finances are more closely aligned with your faith and values.
To help further this mission, Thrivent recently launched a new daily 60-second radio feature. Airing on radio stations across the U.S., the “Be Wise and Thrive” program is different from an advertisement. Instead of selling a product or service, these features educate and inspire listeners who are seeking financial wisdom from a faith perspective. And the topic is new each day.
“Thrivent is in a unique position to talk about wise with money topics in the context of Christian stewardship,” says Callie Briese, director of External Affairs at Thrivent and the voice of the radio spots. “And we know that people who listen to Christian radio stations are interested in being wise stewards of all God has given them.”
“We use everyday experiences to make the topics engaging and fun, whether it’s stewardship or financial guidance,” Briese says.
Currently, about 160 radio stations are airing the feature.
“The stations value these spots because the content is lighthearted and inspirational, which is what their listeners want to hear,” Briese says.
Want to hear a sample? Check out Thrivent.com/radio to listen to a few radio features. If you like what you hear, let your local Christian radio station know about these spots.
Attend Thrivent’s Free Webinars
Starting in 2020, you can log onto your computer or other device for a national Thrivent webinar featuring a different financial topic each month. Planned webinars for the first quarter include:
- January 9: Swipe2Save: Saving Money in a Cash-free Age
- February 6: Economic Update
- March 5: Identity Theft—What You Need to Know
There is no cost to attend and no products will be sold. You’re welcome to invite family and friends to join you. To sign up for events hosted locally, go to Thrivent.com/TMN and click on your region on the map. You’ll be taken to your Thrivent Member Network page. Upcoming events are listed on the home page or you can click the Events tab to learn more.
Chief Financial Officer Randy Boushek Plans to Retire
Randy Boushek, senior vice president, chief financial officer (CFO) and treasurer at Thrivent, plans to retire in 2020 after a 39-year career with the organization.
Boushek’s retirement will be effective mid-2020, and until that time he will serve as special advisor to Thrivent President and CEO Teresa Rasmussen.
“Thrivent has benefitted from Randy’s leadership, diligence and steadfast dedication to managing Thrivent’s finances to serve the needs of our membership,” Rasmussen says. “Thrivent’s financial strength and stability are a testament to Randy’s skill, integrity and stewardship.
Boushek joined Thrivent’s predecessor organization Lutheran Brotherhood in 1981 as an actuary. He was named senior vice president and chief investment officer in 1999. He was named treasurer in 2002 and CFO in 2004. Among his accomplishments:
- Boushek co-led the financial integration of Aid Association for Lutherans and Lutheran Brotherhood, which merged in 2002 to form Thrivent.
- His thoughtful stewardship enabled Thrivent to successfully weather the global financial crisis of 2008.
- Under Boushek’s leadership, at the end of 2018, Thrivent held a record-high $10.7 billion in total adjusted surplus and $134 billion in assets under management and advisement. (As of Dec. 31, 2018)
Vibhu Sharma Joins Thrivent as Chief Financial Officer
Vibhu Sharma succeeds Randy Boushek as senior vice president, CFO and treasurer. Sharma joined Thrivent in September after most recently serving as executive vice president, CFO and treasurer at Mutual of Omaha.
“We’re fortunate to have found in Vibhu a successor who possesses the knowledge, skills and leadership experience that will enable us to build on Randy’s legacy to transform our business model to better serve our members today and attract a new generation of members tomorrow,” says Thrivent President and CEO Teresa Rasmussen.
Sharma joined Mutual of Omaha in 2017. Prior to that, he spent eight years with Zurich Insurance Group, where he served in multiple global leadership roles. Before joining Zurich, Sharma worked for reinsurance firm Collins Associates, where he served as CFO and chief operating officer. At the beginning of his career, Sharma spent 17 years in public accounting at KPMG in Minneapolis, Dallas and Kansas City. He rose to partner while serving insurance companies in the U.S. and globally.
Sharma and his wife, Julia, live in Minnetonka Beach, Minnesota. They have three adult children: Adrienne, Hayley and Hayden.