Mr. Ron Hillmann has accepted the position of executive director for the WELS Church Extension Fund (CEF). CEF's primary purpose is to make loans to mission congregations for constructing or purchasing worship facilities, schools, parsonages, and land. CEF receives funds for making loans from WELS members, congregations, and entities. CEF also provides grants to eligible missions for land and facilities.

“I am honored and overjoyed by the opportunity to support spreading the gospel through my service to our Lord and Savior as the executive director of CEF,” says Hillmann.

Prior to joining CEF, Hillmann worked as a bank loan officer and in managing local farm supply cooperatives. “It’s awesome to me to have the opportunity to be part of mission work in an area that I understand and I think I can help with,” says Hillmann.

Mr. Todd Poppe, WELS chief financial officer, says, “We are very pleased to have Mr. Hillmann join the CEF team. His professional experience and, most importantly, his Christian heart, will help CEF continue its mission.”

Hillmann succeeds Mr. Jim Buelow, who has served as CEF president since 2002 and is retiring at the end of the year. Hillmann currently resides in Menomonie, Wis., with his wife and is staying with family closer to Milwaukee while they make the transition. He has three grown children and 10 (almost 11) grandchildren.