Executive Director Announced

Lutheran Outdoors is pleased to announce Paul Hanson has accepted the executive director role, effective January 1, 2019. Hanson, who has served as acting executive director since May 2018, joined the LO team in October 2015 as business and operations director. Hanson is no stranger to camping ministry serving in leadership roles at various camping ministry organizations for the last 26 years.
Hanson was chosen from a field of 10 applicants by a search committee made up of LO board members. “As a search committee, we were looking for an executive director who could lead our ministry into the future as the industry is changing and facing many new challenges,” explained Christina Nath, LO board chair. “Paul not only understands how to lead and manage the many, many parts of a multi-site camping ministry, he also has a passion and commitment to see LO achieve our goal of welcoming all to explore experience Christ’s love and in creation and community.”
The key qualities the search committee focused on included:

  • Excellent communications skills, including the ability to bring together staff from multiple sites around a single mission

  • Fiscal responsibility with a focus not on just the whole, but each camp individually working with the directors to develop opportunities and support

  • Relationship building among staff, camp communities, ministry partners, ELCA congregations and Synod

  • Innovation and initiative and a willingness to step out and take risks for the greater good of all 

In addition to serving as acting director of LO, Paul recently stepped up to provide leadership for Joy Ranch, which has allowed him to learn the unique needs and challenges of a camp designed to welcome all abilities. “Paul jumped in with both feet, spending a great deal of time getting to know the staff, community and supporters,” said Nath. “He is fully aware of the challenges we are currently facing and will hit the ground running as we develop strategies and initiatives to ensure our future success.”

Mara Stillson