Synod Staff

  • REv. Rick Hoyme


    Rick’s role is to ask why and help lead the church to where Christ tells us to go. As bishop he serves as pastor to the entire synod which means creating a culture that is passionate about following Jesus. Rick is married to Diane and a father of two wonderful daughters and a grandfather to two amazing grandkids. Rick loves strength training, exercise, spending time with his bride, cruising on the geezer boat and hunting pheasants with his dog Sully.


  • Rev. Greg Kaufmann

    Assistant to the Bishop

    Rev. Greg Kaufmann has served on synod staff since 2000. His primary synodical work includes serving as the director of the Synod Resource Center and the Lay School of Ministry, as well as working with congregations in the call process, the Youth Workers Network, the interim pastor’s network and the Synod Women’s Organization. Additionally, Rev. Kaufmann serves as the director of the ELCA’s Select Learning ministry and is on the leadership teams for the ELCA’s Book of Faith Initiative and the Life of Faith movement. If you can’t find him, chances are good that he is either playing with his three grandchildren, raising daylilies,creating something out of Legos, or camping with his wife Diane.


  • REv. John Sutherland

    Assistant to the Bishop

    As Assistant to the Bishop, John's call includes candidacy, call process, Bridgebuilders, Healthy Start, and he is the companion synod coordinator with Malawi. Home for John and his family is Hudson, WI. He and his wife, Kathy Beito, have four children at home. In his free time, John lifts weights, loves fishing when able, and gardening. St. Olaf College and the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago LSTC are his alma maters.


  • Rev. Laurie Skow-Anderson

    Director For Evangelical Mission (DEM)

    Laurie has been the Director for Evangelical Mission (DEM) and Assistant to the Bishop since January 2014. Congregational Renewal, New Mission Starts and Stewardship are her three primary areas of ministry. Laurie graduated from Luther Seminary with a MDiv in 1986 and again in 2010 with a DMin in Congregational Missional Leadership. She served congregations in SWMN and NWMN Synods before being called to the NWSWI staff. Her husband Randy is a pastor at Christ Lutheran in Menomonie and they have three adult children. In her free time, Laurie enjoys traveling, gardening, cooking, canoeing and biking.


  • Liz Bartsch

    Assistant to the Bishop for Administration

    Liz manages the day-to-day operations of the office and handles Bishop Rick’s calendar. She supports the mobility process as the Call Process Administrator, assists with candidacy, and guides the planning of Synod Assembly and the annual Walking Together event. Liz’s other responsibilities include maintaining the roster, administration for the Synod Council, and guiding congregations through the process of updating their constitutions. When Liz isn’t at work you can find her at home digging in the garden, cuddling the chickens, or managing daily activities on the hobby farm she shares with her husband, Randy and three children.

    715-859-6810 office

    715-914-9253 cell

  • Deacon  Laura Ramlow

    Synod Communicator

    Laura has served on synod staff since the fall of 2015.  Her call includes updating social media, weekly newsletters and advertising, maintaining the website, and creating & managing powerpoint presentations for events.   Her alma maters include Luther College (2000, Go Norse!!) and Luther Seminary (2011).  She also serves as the Campus Minister for Journey House at the UW-River Falls.  She and her husband, Nik, live in Baldwin with their four children.  When not at work, Laura enjoys geeking out with a good book or sci-fi movie, listening to music (preferably live), breathing in the fresh air at the lake, or spending time around the fire with friends and family.  


  • Carole De jardin

    Synod Youth Board Coordinator