Five pastors, church and lay leaders serve on the CLH Board. 

Robert Chillison


Born in Detroit MI, Robert earned a BBA in Management and MBA in finance from Wayne State University. His career path began in branch management with Comerica Bank before he trained to become a commercial loan officer. After moving to LA, he was employed by Imperial Bank, and later, Comerica Bank after it merged with Imperial. He retired from Comerica in 2011 as FVP/commercial loan officer. He began a second career with Front Porch Communities and Services, serving as director of the Winner’s Circle Program that assessed the organization’s service quality and standards of practice. During his last year at Front Porch, he reviewed and evaluated the company’s fund development programs. Since his retirement in 2017, Robert has chaired the boards of CLH, Front Porch, and the Mission Investment Fund of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; and served on the boards of Southwest California Synod, Centinela Freeman Health System, and Front Porch Communities Foundation.

The Rev. Dr. William Hurst

Vice Chair

Bill has served as senior pastor at First Lutheran Church and School in Torrance since October 2004. He holds the Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, where he has served as an adjunct instructor in training pastors for parish mission. Before coming to Torrance, Bill was pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church of White Plains, N.Y. and an assistant to the bishop of the Metropolitan New York Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He oversaw the synod’s work in evangelism and mission outreach, and was the synod’s director of communication, and ecumenical officer. In addition to serving at First Lutheran, Bill is executive director of FirstServe Community Services of the South Bay.

Scott Larson


Scott Larson joined HomeAid America as the CEO in October of 2019, and brings more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership, strategic planning, project management, program implementation and community development to the organization. For the past 21 years, Scott served as executive director of HomeAid Orange County, the founding chapter of HomeAid. Larson unites builders, community leaders, service providers and government officials to lead the development of 33 housing projects, valued at $64 million. The projects have added more than 975 beds, providing safe and dignified house to thousands of previously homeless individuals and families. Scott earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Biola University, and holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Sean Leonard

With more than 30 years of experience in the Southern California real estate development and construction industry, Sean L. Leonard began his career as a concrete subcontractor and progressed to general contracting and development management. As President and CEO of S.L. & Associates, Sean oversees multi-million-dollar projects primarily for nonprofits and public entities. He has managed the development of iconic buildings such as Walt Disney Concert Hall and The California Endowment Headquarters and Community Conference Center. Sean is proud to have assisted S.L.Leonard clients in the development of more than 7,000 units of affordable housing.

Michele Bignardi

Michele Bignardi is a senior vice president with Netzel Grigsby Associates (NGA). She consults with a variety of nonprofit organizations to enhance their fundraising strategies and increase the impact of their work. Michele is passionate about the power of philanthropy to build better, stronger communities.

Michele has served as lead counsel on a number of successful feasibility studies and capital campaign projects. Recent clients include Providence Holy Cross Medical Center ($7 million capital campaign), Los Angeles LGBT Center ($57 million capital campaign), Valley Beth Shalom ($30 million capital campaign), and Variety Boys & Girls Club ($10 million capital campaign).

She is a certified fundraising executive (CFRE) and a certified specialist in planned giving (CSPG). She  trains and coaches both professional and volunteer fundraising. She has been an instructor with the UCLA Fundraising Extension program, is the president of the Southern California Council of Charitable Gift Planners, a past president of both the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Orange County Chapter, and the Southern California Association of Healthcare Development. Michele co-chaired the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference, and received the 2019 Outstanding Leader Award from the Southern California Association of Healthcare Development, and the 2023 Outstanding Professional Award from AFPOC.

Michele is a member of the Board of Managers of the San Pedro & Peninsula YMCA, a branch of the Los Angeles Metropolitan YMCA. She has served in every major leadership role included board chair and has provided volunteer leadership to two successful capital campaigns. In 2018, Michele was inducted into the Golden Book of Distinguished Service in recognition for her 20+ years of volunteer service, which noted her commitment and emphasis on the role that the Annual Support Campaign provides to the volunteer leadership development process. She holds a bachelor of arts from San Francisco State University.

Deacon Nancy Ackerman

President and CEO

Nancy is a deacon (lay minister), of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), Southwest California Synod, and a certified a fundraising executive. She was named president and CEO in 2021, after serving on the CLH board since 2019. Nancy was an assistant to the Lutheran bishop of the Southwest California Synod, ELCA, where she oversaw all corporate operations, including fiduciary stewardship, ethical practice, financial management, fund development, governance, board development, policy administration, personnel management, strategic planning and execution, property management, and legal matters. She also has been a vice president at Netzel Grigsby Associates (NGA), California-based fundraising consultants serving the western United States. She is a member of FirstServe Community Services, and President of the Greater San Fernando Valley Chapter of AFP. She has also served with the North Central Pennsylvania Dialysis Center; Hillsides; the Lutheran Credit Union of America; Lutheran Planned Giving Partnership of Southern California and Hawaii; and Emmanuel Lutheran Church, North Hollywood. She was Volunteer of the Year for the Families with Children Campaign for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. The Pennsylvania natives holds a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership from The Pennsylvania State University, and a certificate in fundraising from the UCLA Extension.