Upbring CEO, Dr. Kurt Senske, announces plan to step down in 2020 after nearly 25 years with the organization
The Austin-based nonprofit names current President and COO Michael Loo as Senske’s successor.
AUSTIN, TX – May 8, 2019 – Dr. Kurt Senske announced that he will step down as chief executive officer of Upbring, effective December 31, 2019. – Senske has served the organization for almost 25 years, 22 of those as chief executive officer. Michael Loo, currently the agency’s president and chief operating officer will succeed Senske and hold the title of president and CEO.
“On behalf of the Upbring Board of Directors, I want to thank Kurt for his remarkable leadership as CEO,” said Upbring Chairman of the Board Sig Cornelius. “Kurt oversaw the evolution of the organization’s rebranding from Lutheran Social Services of the South, refocusing on its origins in child welfare. Kurt’s passion for Upbring’s mission to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities is evident to all who know him, and he has served the organization exceptionally well.”
During Senske’s two-plus decades of service, he helmed the organization while it more than tripled in size. Upbring’s significant growth has made a difference in the lives of tens of thousands of children and families each year throughout the state of Texas as well as in parts of Louisiana.
An innovative trailblazer inside the child welfare and education arenas, Loo joined Upbring in 2013 as chief financial officer before his promotion to the role of president and COO in 2015. Loo has broad experience in areas ranging from strategic planning and operations to technology and finance. Under his operational direction, Upbring programs have experienced exponential growth with the current trajectory showing great promise to lead to systemic change in child welfare and social services.
While Michael’s professional skills and talents led him into the business and industry sector, his passion for helping families, inspired by his love and dedication for his wife and three children, called him to his current role in the nonprofit sector, Cornelius said. “We are profoundly grateful for the leadership Michael has already brought to the organization through his innovative strategies and growth of operations. We are fortunate to have an exceptional visionary in Michael to take the organization into the next decade and beyond.”
Prior to joining Upbring, Loo spent more than 25 years in business operations roles, 20 years of which were in higher executive management positions such as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He has held these positions in complex organizations that range from start-ups to large corporations. He formerly served as vice president of finance and administration of Kamehameha Schools, a private, multibillion-dollar endowed trust that was the largest private commercial, residential and agricultural real estate landholder and private school system in the State of Hawaii. He also spearheaded the initial public offering efforts of Sopogy, Inc., a technology provider in the micro concentrated solar power sector and was vice president, controller and treasurer in the restructuring of Hawaiian Airlines, Inc.
Senske and Loo will continue to work closely together and with Upbring’s senior leadership team to provide for a seamless transition and ensure the organization’s strong momentum continues.
Upbring is a leading Texas-based, faith-inspired nonprofit organization working to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities. Upbring partners with federal, state and local government agencies, community groups, small businesses, large corporations and dedicated individuals to deliver services that produce measurable progress toward five key markers of every child’s wellbeing: safety, life skills, education, health and vocation. Upbring benefits nearly 30,000 families each year with its life-changing programs-including foster care, adoption, education, children’s centers and community services. While Upbring has evolved over more than 136 years of service, our organization remains firmly focused on delivering innovative programs and services that address the root causes of child abuse and neglect. For more information, please visit upbring.org.