Meet Stacy Martin, Lutheran Social Services' new CEO

Jess Deyo
Columbus CEO
Stacy Martin

The Lutheran Social Services board of directors has named Stacy Martin its new president and CEO. She began May 3, replacing Rev. Larry Crowell who served for a decade.

In her new role, Martin will be responsible for providing direction and strategic guidance to the 27 counties LSS serves in its goal of providing Ohioans with basic needs. She will also explore partnerships with local organizations like the Community Shelter Board as well as local and state policy makers, she says. 

Martin has spent much of her career leading faith-based organizations, with experience stretching for over a decade. Most recently, she served as the president and CEO of Lutheran Family Services based in Omaha, Nebraska, where she contributed to the expansion of both services and locations, adding an additional office in Kentucky.

Martin hasn’t stayed in one place for too long—before living in Omaha, she was executive vice president of programs for Lutheran Service Florida and also spent time in Washington, D.C., with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. However, her passion for helping others may be rooted in her international travels—Martin has taught English in South Korea, worked with Zimbabwe refugees in South Africa and taught cultural orientation in Turkey. 

Why Ohio? For Martin, the state matters on the national stage for a variety of reasons. 

“It's a state that's facing a whole set of issues in a relatively small geography. So you're feeling some of the strains of urbanization and the urban and rural divide,” Martin says. “It's just a really interesting place to be from the Health and Human Services standpoint.” 

On Martin’s to-do list is continuing to connect with service partners and focus on cross-sectional collaboration to identify new ways to decrease homelessness and food insecurity, particularly in Columbus, rather than putting a band-aid on it, she says. 

The opportunity to help the community feel more secure and go without need is what Martin looks forward to beyond all else. 

“Working in a collaborative community to make this part of the U.S. the best place for families, the best for individuals, so when people think of Ohio, they consider it to be the place where they know that they have access to what they need to contribute in all the ways that they can and to have the best sort of life that they possibly could—that's what excites me the most.”