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.

Before his election, Bishop Jaech was the Pastor of Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church of Vancouver,  WA  for 26 years 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” that is available on Amazon. He received his pastoral training from The Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and has been ordained for 44 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 lives in New York.


The Rev. Kim Latterell

Bishop’s Associate


Pastor Kim and his wife, Sharon have served in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Colorado and Washington in congregations, campus ministry and now in the Synod Office.  Pastor Kim is in his 40th year of ministry and Sharon has 30 plus years in nursing.  They have three married children and nine grandchildren.

Pastor Kim has a passion for proclaiming God’s grace and mercy in Jesus Christ, and is still excited about preaching, teaching and writing.  And passionate about pheasant hunting each fall.

As Bishop’s Associate, Pastor Kim works with Internship placement, Interim/Transition ministry, the Call process for rostered leaders, and is working to establish a new education program for the Southwestern Washington Synod called PSALM (Program for Synod Authorized Lay Ministry), a two year course of four classes, four retreats and four mentor assisted congregational projects to raise up lay leaders.


The Rev. Melanie Wallschlaeger   

Director for Evangelical Mission       


Pastor Wallschlaeger  serves as 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 Congregational and Missional Leadership.  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 in the synod office meeting new people, coordinating our Synod Assembly, Educational Gatherings and other events, visiting congregations, working with the Synod Candidacy Committee and our candidates for rostered ministry and facing new challenges.  She is the extremely proud parent of an amazing college-age son.  Allison co-chairs the Synod Hunger Committee.