Synod StaffFour synod staff 8-15

The Rev. Richard E. Jaech 


Bishop Jaech


The Rev. Rick Jaech was elected as synodical bishop at the Synod Assembly in Tacoma on June 8, 2013.  He began his 6 year call on August 1st, 2013.

Bishop Jaech was the Pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church of Vancouver,  WA  since 1987 and previously served a Latino congregation in San Francisco. He  holds a master’s degree in conflict facilitation and published a book titled “Transforming Church Conflict: A Guide for Pastors and Leaders.” He received his pastoral training from The Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and has been ordained for 40 years.

Bishop Jaech is working hard to bring ecumenical groups together for common work. In Vancouver, he organized and led a two-year dialogue among Christian, Muslim and Jewish congregations. “That is how God gathers us together for ministry,” Jaech told the assembly.

Bishop Jaech really enjoys visiting our synod congregations and rostered leaders; meeting new people and hearing their faith stories.

Bishop Jaech and his wife, Satya, live in Tacoma.  Satya is a licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Spiritual Director.  Their son, Nick, works for the United Nations in Washington DC.


The Rev. Kim Latterell

Bishop’s Associate


Pastor Kim and his wife, Sharon, grew up just outside of Lake Wobegon in West Central Minnesota.  They have three married kids and nine grandkids spread out from Atlanta to Seattle to University Place near Tacoma.  Sharon is a nurse at a pediatric office in Puyallup.  Pastor Kim just hit the 37 year mark in ministry and together, they celebrate 43 years of marriage.

Pastor Kim is passionate about God’s grace and mercy in Jesus Christ, passionate about family, preaching, teaching, writing a monthly newspaper column, and alas, hunting pheasants with  his sons each fall in the Midwest.

Pastor Kim is also excited about the opportunity to serve the church, the Synod and its congregations alongside Bishop Jaech, Pastor Melanie, and the always resourceful Allison in the Synod Office.

Pastor Kim works with congregations and rostered leaders during the transition process as well as congregations requesting assistance for their special needs.


The Rev. Melanie Wallschlaeger   

Director for Evangelical Mission       


Pastor Wallschlaeger began in our ELCA  Director for Evangelical Mission.  Prior to her coming to the Southwestern Washington Synod in 2009,  she served in several congregations in the Midwest.   Pastor Melanie is a graduate of Luther Seminary and holds a Doctorate in Mission Development.  She and her husband Joe, also a Lutheran Pastor, have two daughters.  Pastor Melanie’s responsibilities are in helping to build new mission starts, renewing congregations and providing stewardship assistance and education for the synod and the synod congregations.



Allison Ramsey

Office Manager   Allison Ramsey photo 2015


Allison’s background is in program management working with youth and adults, and in mental health counseling.   Allison is a graduate of PLU with a bachelor’s in Psychology and a Master’s in Education- Counseling and Guidance.  She is a lifelong Lutheran and enjoys her work with the synod office meeting new people, visiting congregations and facing new challenges.  She is the extremely proud parent of an amazing college-age son.  Allison co-chairs the Synod Hunger Committee.