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Eight Luther alumni named the 2018 Distinguished Service Awards

Eight Luther College alumni will kick off homecoming weekend festivities with being bestowed the Luther Distinguished Service Awards by Luther President Paula Carlson.

The alumni will be honored during the college’s annual Homecoming Alumni Dinner, 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26, in Peace Dining Room, Dahl Centennial Union, on the Luther campus.

The Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest honors awarded by the college, is given in recognition of success and achievement in professional fields, service to society, contributions to community, and loyalty and service to Luther.

Recipients of the 2018 Luther Distinguished Service Award are: J. Erik Beguin, Austin, Texas, founder, chief executive officer, president and organizing director of Austin Capital Bank, Luther class of 1993; Marilyn (Wangberg) Brattskar, Nesbru, Norway, cantor in Holmen Church in Asker, Norway, Luther class of 1978; Deborah Hafner DeWinter, Poughkeepsie, New York, pastor of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Poughkeepsie, Luther class of 1973; David Lietz, Washington, D.C., principal and founding member of The Lietz Law Firm, Washington, D.C., Luther class of 1988; Russell P. Loven, Guttenberg, Iowa, retired district superintendent of shared Garnavillo (Iowa) Schools and Guttenberg (Iowa) Schools, Luther class of 1958; Cecelia (Nybro) Manlove, Anchorage, Kentucky, president of Kentucky Medicaid, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Louisville, Kentucky, Luther class of 1978; Wayne Rohne, Arlington, Texas, retired attorney, Luther class of 1953; Anjela A. Shutts, Des Moines, Iowa, attorney at Whitfield and Eddy, P.L.C., in Des Moines and member of the Luther Board of Regents, Luther class of 1993.

J. Erik Beguin

Erik Beguin graduated from Luther in 1993 with a Bachelor of Arts in accounting and economics. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1995 and later received his Master of Business Administration in marketing and corporate strategy from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1999.

Since 2006, Beguin has served as the founder, chief executive officer, president and organizing director of Austin Capital Bank in Austin, Texas. Earlier this year, he founded HomeVantage Mortgage and Credit Strong, a division of Austin Capital Bank. He’s been federally appointed to the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Community Bank Advisory Committee and to the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States 11th District Community Depository Institution Advisory Council. From 2002-05, he was the president and founder of Libertad Financial, Inc., and Libertad Bank in Organization.

Beguin is a member of the Texas Banker Association Government Relations Council and Entrepreneurs Organization in Austin, Texas. He was the winner of the Austin Under 40 Award for financial services in 2007. He also has been a guest lecturer in the Luther’s entrepreneurship class.

Marilyn (Wangberg) Brattskar

A 1978 Luther graduate, Marilyn (Wangberg) Brattskar earned a Bachelor of Arts in music. She received a Master of Music and Doctor of Music in organ performance from The Catholic University of America in 1991.

Now a resident of Nesbru, Norway, Brattskar has served as the cantor of Holmen Church in Asker, Norway, since 1995. Prior to that, she spent five years as the cantor at St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Long Island, New York. She’s given a number of solo organ concert performances throughout the world, including at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, New York, the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and cathedrals in Oslo and Toensberg, Norway. She is the composer of five Biblical operas for children’s choirs and was a contributing composer to “Pull Out the Stops: Congregational Song Accompaniments for Organ” in 2005.

Brattskar has served as a lecturer for the Luther J-term Paideia 450 course “Green Germany (and Norway): Advanced Models of Sustainability” in 2011 and 2013. In her spare time, she’s served as a volunteer with music for children through Sri Lanka through Four Seasons and in 2015 was appointed the Paul Harris Fellow for contributions to the Rotary International’s work to help eradicate polio.

Deborah Hafner DeWinter

A 1973 Luther graduate, Deborah Hafner DeWinter earned a Bachelor of Arts in English. She later garnered a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1985. She was ordained in 1986 and joined the United Church of Christ in 1995.

Hafner DeWinter is the pastor at First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Poughkeepsie, New York, where she’s been since 2012. From 2014-18, she also served as the chaplain and coordinator of pastoral care at the Lutheran Care Center in Poughkeepsie. She is a member of the nominations committee of the Dutchess County Interfaith Council, is an executive committee member of the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity of Dutchess County and is an active participant of the Poughkeepsie Ecumenical Committee, hosted by St. Martin de Porres Roman Catholic Church.

Hafner DeWinter was the first executive director of FilmAid International, the associate director of Church World Service Immigration and Refugee Program in New York, New York, and served as the program director for resettlement for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service in New York. She was an ELCA missionary in Hong Kong for four years and was the program executive for the United States at the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland for six years. She spent four years as the director of the Career Planning and Placement Center at Luther in the late 1970s and was the director of student activities from 1974-76.

David Lietz

Lietz graduated from Luther in 1988, earning a Bachelor of Arts in political science. He later received a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center, in Washington D.C. in 1991.

Lietz is the principal and founding member of the Lietz Law Firm in Washington, D.C., where he’s served since 2006, and of counsel with Varnell & Warwick in Lady Lake, Florida. He worked at Coale, Cooley, Lietz (FKA Coale and Van Susteren) in Washington, D.C. from 1994-2005, serving first as an associate attorney then as a partner. He started his professional experience as an associate attorney at Loewinger, Brand and Kappstatter in Washington, D.C., in 1992.

He’s admitted to practice before District of Columbia Court of Appeals; the U.S. District Court for District of Columbia, Eastern District of Michigan and District of North Dakota; and the U.S. Court of Appeals Fourth, Sixth and Tenth Circuits. He’s a member of The International Society of Air Safety Investigators and is a member of the D.C. Trial Lawyers Association.

Lietz continues to remain involved at Luther. He’s served as a mentor for copious Luther College Washington Semester students and was a co-teacher of the 2007 J-term course “English 185: Literature, Law and Justice.” He is a regent emeritus, having served from 2005-17 and was a part of the presidential search committee from 2012-14. He and his wife, Suzette Derrevere, are life members of the President’s Council and founded the Moeller Faculty Development Fund at Luther.

Russell P. Loven

Russell P. Loven graduated from Luther in 1958 with a Bachelor of Arts in history and business. He went on to earn a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Northern Iowa in 1963 and a Ph.D. in education administration from the University of Iowa in 1991.

Prior to his retirement in 2002, Loven served for seven years as the district superintendent for the combined Garnavillo, Iowa, and Guttenberg, Iowa, schools. From 1978-1994, he was the superintendent at South Winneshiek Community Schools, located in Calmar, Iowa. He also served as the principal and assistant principal at Watertown Senior High School in Wisconsin, the junior high guidance counselor at Stoughton Middle School in Wisconsin, and was a teacher at Postville Junior and Senior High School in Iowa and Grand Meadow High School in Minnesota. He served in the U.S. Army from 1954-56, serving at the RYCOM Headquarters in Okinawa, Japan.

Loven continues to serve his community in a variety of ways. He was appointed the mayor of Guttenberg in 2011 and through elections served through 2017. He was the president of the Clayton County Emergency Management Board, 2014-17, and has been a member of the Northeast Iowa Community College Foundation Board since 1987, serving as the president from 2003 to 2011.

He and his wife Juanita (Zeman), Luther class of 1956, are members of the Luther President’s Council and Heritage Club, and they founded the Loven-Zeman Scholarship in 1995. They are the parents of alumnus Thomas Loven, class of 1985, and the grandparents of Cade Loven and Seth Loven, both class of 2009.

Cecelia (Nybro) Manlove

A 1978 graduate, Cecelia (Nybro) Manlove earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and German from Luther. She went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1996.

Since 2013, Manlove has served as the president of Kentucky Medicaid, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to that, she was the chief operating officer and vice president of the provider network at AMERIGROUP Texas, an Anthem company. During the 1990s, she served as the senior vice president of health services for Northwestern National Life in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Manlove was listed in the “20 People to Know in Health Care” and “20 People to Know in Insurance,” in the Louisville Business First publication in 2015. She is a senior warden of the church vestry at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Louisville. She’s a member of the Neighborhood House in Louisville, a nonprofit organization that attempts to break the cycle of poverty for children and families in the Louisville area, and since 2014 has been a member of the Kentucky Association of Health Plans.

Wayne Rohne

A 1953 graduate, Wayne Rohne earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and classical studies from Luther. Prior to his time at Luther, he received an Associate of Arts from Clifton Junior College in Clifton, Texas, in 1951. He graduated with a Juris Doctorate in 1958 from the University of Texas School of Law, where he was a member of the Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity.

Prior to his retirement in 1994, Rohne had a long career as an attorney. From 1985 to 1994, he was a counselor with Rohne, Hoodenpyle and Lobert in Arlington, Texas. Prior to that, he was with Rohne, Hoodenpyle, Lobert, Meyers and Scott from 1978 to 1985. From 1954-56, Rohne served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, being stationed in Fort Bliss, Texas; Fort Monmouth, New Jersey; and the Panama Canal Zone.

Rohne served on the Luther College Board of Regents from 1987 to 2001. He was the mayor of the town of Pantego, Texas, for a decade and later served as the Pantego city attorney until his retirement in 2006. He founded the Norwegian Society of Texas and is a member of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum in Decorah, serving as a trustee from 1987 to 1989. He has served as the president of the Prince of Peace Lutheran Church and as a member and vice president of the Board of Trustees for the Clifton Lutheran Sunset Home.

Anjela Shutts

Anjela A. Shutts earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Luther in 1993 and graduated from Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1996.

Since 1996, Shutts has practiced law at Whitfield & Eddy Law Firm in Des Moines, Iowa, where she became a partner in 2003 and she is co-chair of the Family Practice Law Group. Since 2000, she has been trained and certified to mediate family law in the Iowa Supreme Court. For the past two years, she’s been the vice chair of the Iowa Supreme Court Access to Justice Commissions and since 2015 has been a member of the Iowa Supreme Court Family Law Case Processing Task Force. She’s a member of the Polk County Bar Association, where she’s held numerous leadership positions, including president, 2012-13.

Shutts has been honored many times in her career. She’s been recognized by Best Lawyers in America and Great Plains Super Lawyers for her work in family law. In 2015, she was named to Drake University’s “150 in 150” list of outstanding alumni in the school’s 150 years. She was awarded the Award of Merit by the Polk County Bar Association in 2017. This year, she’s been awarded the Willie Glanton Stevens Award by the Polk County Women Attorneys and the Voice of Justice Award by the Iowa Supreme Court.

Shutts continues to remain active in the Luther community. She was awarded the Jenson Medal, presented annually to the outstanding senior, and continues to volunteer at many Luther alumni events in the Des Moines area. She was a part of the Strategic Planning Group in 2003 and was a member of Presidentsrad from 2005-13. She and her husband, Peter Kitundu, are members of the President’s Council. Earlier this year, Shutts was named to the Luther Board of Regents. She came back to speak at the “Women as Leaders: Luther Alumnae Perspectives on Talent, Power and Ethics” panel in the fall of 2017.

A national liberal arts college with an enrollment of 2,005, Luther offers an academic curriculum that leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree in more than 60 majors and pre-professional programs. For more information about Luther visit the college’s website:

Contact Information

Lydia Slattery
Media Relations Specialist

Phone: 563-387-1417