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Outstanding Alumni

John O. Gilbert


John O. Gilbert earned his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh College of Business Administration in 1978. He was named outstanding College of Business alumnus in 1992 and distinguished alumnus in 1996. He received an honorary doctorate from the University in 2003.

As chairman of the board for Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, he oversees corporate governance, law, field distribution, human resources, and fraternal (chapters, church relations, and membership growth) functions. He began his career with the organization in 1965 in insurance product development. After moving through several functions in the organization, he became president and chief operating officer in 1996. In 1997, he was named chief executive officer. He was named to his current position at the time of the merger that formed Thrivent Financial in 2002.

He is chair of the board of regents for Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, and a trustee of the Luther Seminary Foundation, St. Paul, Minnesota. He also was past chair of the Life Office Management Association (LOMA), Atlanta, Georgia.

He and his wife Marilyn reside in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They have two adult children and two grandsons.