This past November, retired Northwest District LCEF Vice President Susan Olson was honored with the esteemed 2023 Arthur C. Haake Leadership Award. The award recognizes individuals who exemplify outstanding service to both LCEF and the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.
Having dedicated nearly 17 years to LCEF, Olson was celebrated for her unwavering commitment as a consummate professional, extraordinary servant-leader, and exceptional communicator. Colleagues praised her passion for LCEF’s mission, describing her as a dedicated advocate for congregations and schools across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. As one co-worker said, “No one loved LCEF more than Susan! She was passionate about her work and committed to assisting congregations and schools in whatever way she could.”
Despite the challenges of traveling through diverse landscapes and encountering differing religious backgrounds, her resilience and innovation left an indelible mark. She worked hand-in-hand with the District, providing essential support, encouragement, and resources to congregations, schools, and Recognized Service Organizations. Her retirement in June 2022 marked the end of a remarkable chapter and left a legacy of commitment and excellence.
“After traveling around the District for the past year, it is obvious the lasting impact she has made on our ministry,” said current LCEF Northwest District Vice President Mike Madison. “Pastors and lay leaders miss her smile, work ethic, and her love to help ministry.”
The 2023 Art Haake Leadership Award is a fitting tribute to Olson’s exceptional contributions, recognizing her as a leader who has made a significant impact on the community. We congratulate her on this well-deserved honor!
The Arthur C. Haake Leadership Award is an accolade that recognizes outstanding service to both the organization and the LCMS. This award, steeped in the legacy of the late Art Haake, LCEF’s second president, pays homage to individuals who embody the spirit of service and a positive attitude – values synonymous with Haake’s esteemed legacy. He is a revered figure in the organization and was remembered for his inspirational leadership, visionary guidance, and unwavering commitment to LCEF’s mission.
Diana Haake, Art’s wife, emphasized the significance of recognizing the divine influence behind LCEF’s work. She stated, “It was essential that people understood that it was the figure, Christ, behind the figures of LCEF that made the difference,” a sentiment Art Haake lived by.