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City woman named head of California Lutheran Homes Foundation

GLENDALE, Calif. — Williamsport-native Nancy J. Ackerman, CFRE, recently was named president and CEO of California Lutheran Homes Foundation and Community Services, an independent not-for-profit social ministry organization.

CLH provides affordable housing for seniors, veterans and other populations at risk of homelessness, along with human services resources and funding in Southern California.

Ackerman succeeds William Jennings, who is retiring after four years as CLH president and CEO. He will lead special projects during a year of leadership transition.

Ackerman is a deacon (minister of Word and Service), of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Southwest California Synod, and is certified as a fundraising executive. She has served on the CLH board since 2019.

She brings 30 years of nonprofit management and fundraising experience in religious, education, arts, and health and human services sectors. She has led multi-million-dollar fundraising campaigns and provided organizational strategic planning and guidance, executive coaching, interim department leadership, assessments and training.

In announcing her appointment, CLH Board President Robert Chillison lauded Ackerman’s relevant background in non-profit management, fundraising and Lutheran ministry, along with her knowledge of the organization.

“We couldn’t have found a more valuable asset than Nancy,” he said. “She has dedicated her career to making a difference for those in need, both in the church and in the world. We welcome her knowledge and experience, and know she’ll make a difference at CLH.”

Ackerman said: “Throughout their history in Southern California, Lutherans have been involved in improving outcomes among the most vulnerable in our population. I look forward to broadening CLH’s collaboration with the many community and church organizations that we work with, including Front Porch, The Biddy Mason Charitable Foundation, and congregations of the Southwest California and Pacifica Synods, ELCA.

Ackerman was also an assistant to the bishop of the Southwest California Synod, ELCA, where she oversaw all corporate operations, including fiduciary stewardship, ethical practice, financial management, fund development, governance, board development, policy administration, personnel management, strategic planning and execution, property management, and legal matters.

Most recently, she was a vice president at Netzel Grigsby Associates (NGA), California-based fundraising consultants serving the western United States. She counseled clients across the nonprofit sector in fundraising and non-profit management. She has specialized skills in donor relations, case development, research, and foundation/grant development.

Prior to her work at NGA, Ackerman was chief advancement officer for the Pasadena Symphony Association, and director of development for Solheim Lutheran Home in Los Angeles.

Her community service also includes board membership on FirstServe Community Services, and president-elect of the Greater San Fernando Valley Chapter, Association of Fundraising Professionals. She has also served with the North Central Pennsylvania Dialysis Center; Hillsides; the Lutheran Credit Union of America; Lutheran Planned Giving Partnership of Southern California and Hawaii; and Emmanuel Lutheran Church, North Hollywood. She was Volunteer of the Year in the category of Families with Children for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

The Williamsport native holds a bachelor’s degree from Penn State and a certificate in fundraising from UCLA Extension.

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