Sakstrup will lead Thrivent's growth and generosity efforts, positioning the organization to help more people achieve financial clarity.
MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 16, 2021)—Thrivent, a Fortune 500 diversified financial services organization, announced that Carolyn Sakstrup will be joining the company as executive vice president and chief growth and generosity officer. She will lead the organization’s efforts to ensure millions of people understand how Thrivent’s purpose-driven approach to money can help them achieve financial clarity, enabling lives full of meaning and gratitude.
In this executive leadership role, Sakstrup will report directly to the CEO and have overall responsibility for areas including marketing, client insights and analytics, membership attraction and engagement as well as generosity programs and solutions.
Sakstrup will help Thrivent grow and transform by building the company’s brand, delivering exceptional, integrated client experiences and enhancing Thrivent’s generosity offerings. She’ll use client insights to advance Thrivent’s transformation into a digital-first, holistic financial services organization and will define the generosity strategy to mobilize Thrivent’s clients to do good in communities.
“Carolyn is passionate about deeply knowing and understanding clients and delivering personalized, relevant experiences,” said Terry Rasmussen, president and CEO of Thrivent. “At Thrivent, we believe humanity thrives when people make the most of all they’ve been given. Her innovative ideas and expertise will help Thrivent transform our client experiences so we can build relationships and deliver financial advice, products and services in ways most meaningful to our clients. And her leadership for our generosity strategy will equip us to inspire our members so we can together make an even greater societal impact."
“It’s an honor to join Thrivent at such an important time in the organization’s history,” said Sakstrup. “As a company founded on and driven by purpose, we have a tremendous opportunity to grow our reach -- introducing Thrivent to millions of clients who will find resonance with a company that shares their values and helps them achieve financial clarity. I'm excited to partner with talented colleagues to expand Thrivent's impact."
Sakstrup brings a depth of marketing and strategy experience to her role at Thrivent. Most recently, she served as senior vice president of Insights, Strategy and Innovation at Target. In that role she led the development of Target’s long-term strategic agenda, consumer insights-driven annual strategic planning processes and development of the innovation pipeline to support longer-term growth. Before that, she served as Target’s senior vice president of Marketing where she led the team responsible for launching Target Circle to generate brand loyalty via personalized offerings across the entire guest experience. The Target Circle program grew to more than 80 million members in its first year.
Prior to her 12 years at Target, Sakstrup spent seven years at McKinsey & Company. As a strategy consultant with McKinsey, she focused on marketing and organizational strategy for financial services clients.
Sakstrup holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota and a master’s in business administration from the Harvard Business School.
In service to the community, she serves on the Board of Directors for the YMCA of the North.
Thrivent is a fraternal benefit society that helps Christians be wise with money. As a mission-driven, membership-owned organization, it offers its more than 2 million members and customers a broad range of financial products, services and guidance to help them obtain a life of contentment, confidence and generosity. Thrivent and its subsidiary and affiliate companies offer insurance, investments, banking and advice over the phone, online as well as through financial professionals and independent agents nationwide. Thrivent is a FORTUNE 500 company with $134 billion in assets under management/advisement (as of 12/31/18). For more than a century it has helped Christians make wise money choices that reflect their values while providing them opportunities to demonstrate their generosity where they live, work and worship. For more information, visit