Development Staff

Keith Christensen

Vice President for Development

Keith oversees all aspects of development, alumni relations, and campus programming, focusing on building relationships with Luther's constituencies. Keith invites gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of Luther and also assists donors with estate and gift planning. An officer of the college, Keith serves on the President's Cabinet.

Ann Sponberg Peterson

Director of Development, Principal Gifts

Ann manages the team of development officers and encourages leadership gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of Luther. She travels throughout the United States. Together with Jeanie Lovell, Ann serves as co-director of campaigns.

Bethany (Bierman) Krepela

Gift Planning Officer

Bethany lives and works in the Twin Cities where she affiliates with Luther’s young alumni, inviting annual fund gifts and advancing young alumni programming. Bethany also invites President’s Council-level gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of Luther in the metro area.

Sue J. Drilling

Director of Special Programs

Sue coordinates Luther’s President’s Council donor recognition events and the Parents Council and Class Agent volunteer programs. She also oversees the Development Office web pages, coordinates Family Weekend annually, and works with Luther volunteers to encourage gifts to the Annual Fund.

Kate Duffert

Assistant Director of Annual Giving

Kate facilitates young alumni donor engagement that supports annual giving. She promotes and invites reunion gifts from members of the 10- and 25-year reunion classes, and works collaboratively with class volunteer leaders. She also helps oversee Luther's student philanthropy efforts.

Nate Ersig

Gift Planning Officer

Nate encourages leadership gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the college. He travels in Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana, California, as well as the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City Areas.

Chris Frana

Director of Development Research

Chris directs development resources research and works to maintain accuracy in Luther’s donor records system. A trained attorney, she focuses especially on donor privacy and rights.

Mark Franzen

Head Men's Basketball Coach

Mark manages the efforts of the recently established Norse Athletic Association, raising funds in support of men's and women's athletics. He coordinates mailings, invitations for support, newsletters, and special events related to the NAA. In addition to his part-time development responsibilities, Mark serves as head men's basketball coach.

Jeff Leschensky

Gift Planning Officer

Jeff encourages leadership gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the college. He travels in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, New Mexico, Alaska, as well as Arizona.

Jeanie Lovell

Dir. of Corp. and Foundation Relations and Campaign Co-Dir.

Jeanie oversees all aspects of corporate and foundation support for Luther and works with faculty and staff to secure research funding and support for teaching and learning. She also leads Women, Faith, and Finance, Luther’s collaborative women’s philanthropy initiative. Together with Ann Sponberg Peterson, Jeanie serves as co-director of campaigns. 

Doug R. Nelson

Senior Gift Planning Officer

Doug encourages leadership gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the college. He travels in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, and Wisconsin, as well as Colorado, Missouri, Texas, Oregon, and Georgia. Doug also coordinates Luther’s endowed scholarship program, the Legacy Trust.

Maria Smith

Director of Annual Giving

Maria coordinates components of the annual giving program with other staff and student, alumni, and parent volunteers. She also facilitates the work of the Annual Fund Council and coordinates reunion programs for the 50th reunion classes.

Rachel Vsetecka

Reunion Giving Officer

Rachel oversees the 35th and 40th reunion efforts. She manages the programming, works collaboratively with class volunteer leaders, and spearheads the reunion giving campaigns. Rachel encourages leadership gifts from alumni, parents, and friends of the college.


Michelle Einck

Administrative Assistant, Development

Michelle serves as the administrative assistant to the vice president and handles all related duties for that position, including scheduling, correspondence, and college business. She also provides student worker supervision and coordinates the receipting communication process and supports communications with the President’s Council, and for donor recognition events through the Development Office.  

Cassie Fouts

Administrative Assistant, Annual Giving

Cassie provides support for annual giving and reunion giving programs, including the Annual Fund Council and Class Agent program.  She coordinates mailings and e-communications and keeps volunteer records.

Nicole Waskow

Donor Records Coordinator

Nicole is responsible for the computer entry of pledges/gifts and receipting of gifts, and she coordinates corporate and matching gifts. She interacts with the Financial Services and Financial Aid offices as well as the Library and Information Services application development team.

Kelly Wedmann

Development and Gift Planning Coordinator

Kelly coordinates planned giving activities, events, and seminars. She also provides administrative support for Development activities, campaign events, and mailings.

Vanessa Wiest

Donor Records Coordinator

Vanessa manages giving records and monitors giving trends through the use of computer reports and graphics. She also assists with Parents Council and Family Weekend programming.