our team

  • Aaron Sturgis


    As Central’s Pastor, Aaron casts the vision for the church and leads them into a culture of discipleship. 

    In 1997, Aaron graduated from Bruce High School in Bruce, Wisconsin.  He received his undergraduate degree in Biology at the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire and he completed his Masters of Divinity at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2013.  Between college and graduate school Aaron served as the Youth and Family Director at Hope Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. 

    Aaron is married to Nikole and father to Ayden, Audrey, and Anderson. They have a Labordoodle named Ellie, a bearded dragon named Sushi, and two geckos named Sweetie and Buddy.  In his spare time, Aaron loves relaxing with family, watching movies, hunting and enjoying the summer sun on the family boat.

    Aaron takes his coffee BLACK!!!!!!  Is there any other way? And if Aaron won the lottery he would buy a daily planner.


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  • Dave Whelan

    Pastor of Visitation & Care

    Dave's role at Central is to identify and build relationships with people needing pastoral care, continue to recruit and equip our Eucharistic Partners and to educate and inform the congregation about the intention and direction of the caring ministry.

    Dave has had various job and educational experience including: BA (History) - University of Washington. Seattle.  US Navy Pilot (Utility Helicopters - serving non-aviation ships in the Eastern Arctic, Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic coast.  Aircraft Commander, Detachment Officer in Charge, Maintenance Test Pilot);  Juris Doctor (JD) - University of Wisconsin-Madison, (General Law Practice, Family Court Commissioner);  Master of Divinity (MDiv) - Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, MN (Parish Pastor, Volunteer Police Chaplain) and various community service organizations over the years.

    Dave has been married to Amy, his High School “steady,” since 1965.  His son Sean, and his wife Krista have 3 children, in Saint Paul and his  son, Mark and his wife Lori, 5 children and 4 grandchildren in Mondovi. 

    In Dave’s spare time, he enjoys family gatherings, backpacking, hiking, bicycling, canoeing, nordic skiing, and of course, reading. 

    “[How do I take my coffee?] In a cup. Blacker the better…the coffee, that is. The cup can be any color.” 

    If Dave won the lottery, he would buy whatever his family wants. And maybe a Lear Jet.


  • Pam Moran

    Church Manager

    Pam's position at Central is the Church Manager.  She oversee the day to day operations of Central. Her responsibilities cover ordering items to helping those in need.  Each day is something new or different.  On her desk, she has a saying "Ministry is in the interruptions.” Her door is alway open and she wants you to experience God’s grace when you enter our doors at Central.

    Pam has worked at Central for over 20 years. Before starting at Central, she worked in the banking world for 10 years.  She also has a degree in Marketing.

    Pam and Brad have been married for almost 30 years and they have two grown daughters. Their oldest is married and lives in Bethel Alaska and are expecting their first child in 2019.  Their younger daughter lives here in Chippewa Falls.

    During the summer, Pam and her family love camping at their permanent site at Chetek River Campground.  They have also fallen in love with Alaska and visit as often as they can. 

    Pam takes her coffee black but also likes a good favored latte and if Pam won the lottery, she would purchase a horse barn for her youngest as that is her passion and she would book many flights to Alaska.


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  • vicki jones

    ADMINISTRATIVE assistant

    Vicki is the administrative greeter, assistant, and phone answerer. She does a lot of computer work, printing needs, and general organizational work. 

    Vicki retired as a Postal Employee and moved to Chippewa Falls 4 years ago to retire. Then this great part-time job opportunity came her way and she has enjoyed working here at Central for a little over 3 years now. 

    Vicki's Chippewa Family consists of her 2 guys, her husband, Steve and her little dog, Mr. Bojingles. They have 4 adult children and 3 grandchildren who live in the Twin Cities. So, Steve, Jingles, and Vicki spend a lot of their weekends in the Twin Cities visiting their Grands! 

    Vicki is an avid reader, and she especially enjoys Biblical Studies. She enjoys gardening, walking,  and has recently taken up glamping. She enjoys listening to music and she likes to cook, but she hates baking!

    Vicki likes her coffee strong and black. And if she won the lottery, she would buy hearing aids for her husband! 


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  • Stacy Yearous

    communication & publication director

    Stacy is the Communications Director here at Central Lutheran.  If there is an event or an announcement that the Partners, friends of Central or the community need to know about, Stacy is the one who figures out the best way to get the message out.  If there is one thing she has learned about communication is that we can not over communicate a message.   That is why at Central we have so many different ways of communicating.  So make sure to read your bulletin, the Observer, watch the scrolling announcement slides, the video announcements, download our app, like our Facebook page and even check out the bulletin board so that you stay in the loop.

    Stacy graduated from the University of WI - LaCrosse with a degree in marketing.  She has had several jobs in that field but none has brought her the joy and sense of accomplishment that she has had since joining the staff at Central.   She has a big heart and is always will to put in the work that is need to help a project be successful.  With our mission of Loving God Loving People it makes her job that much easier.

    Stacy lives in Chippewa Falls with her husband Mike and their two children, Emma and John. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her kids.  Her two kids are very active and she enjoys being that supportive parent in the stands cheering them on.  In the summer months you will find her sitting behind home plate cheering loudly for both her kids ball teams.

    Stacy prefers her coffee with flavored creamer...lots of flavored creamer…  She drinks coffee for the caffeine to get her going in the morning, not for the taste. 

    If she won the lottery the first thing she would buy is a new house on the lake.   She would love to wake up in the morning and enjoy some quiet time drinking coffee and listening to the tranquility that a lake setting has to offer.  "As a family we also enjoy spending time on the water fishing, skiing and swimming."


  • Whitney Falkenberg

    Minister of Family Faith Formation

    Whitney oversees Kindergarten through 8th grade ministries. 

    Whitney has been a lifelong partner of Central, being baptized & confirmed here. She volunteered in children’s ministry for many years before feeling the call into ministry herself. She attended Vibrant Faith Ministries for Children, Youth and Family Ministry. She is a Certified Personal Trainer where she trains at the Chippewa YMCA as well as runs her own business, Falkenberg Fitness on the side. 

    Whitney is married to her husband Dennis and together they have two young children, Silas and Emberly. In her spare time she enjoys working out, watching Hallmark movies (especially Christmas), sitting down with a good book & finding the best shoe sales.

    How does Whitney take her coffee? Pumpkin Spice Latte… enough said. If she won the lottery, she would buy a vacation home on a beach in Maui. 


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  • Clay Howard

    High School and Creative Director

    Clay works with high school students, makes creative videos, creates graphics, runs production during services, and assists with all sound, light, and visual production.

    Clay grew up in Ohio, then was stationed in the Air Force in Las Vegas. In July of 2018, Clay moved to Chippewa Falls from Indianapolis, IN. Clay has been married to his wife, Tiffany since 2013 and they have a 7 year old chubby husky. In Clay’s spare time, he enjoys podcasting, gaming, breakfast, kayaking, and westerns.

    Clay takes his coffee with two shots of espresso over ice, with cream and sweetener and if he won the lottery he would buy a real life, functioning pirate ship. 


  • Zoe Volger

    Earl childhood coordinator

    Zoe is the Early Childhood Coordinator here at Central working with children 4 years and younger and their families.  This includes JAM, baptisms and Waumba Land. 

    Zoe graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Stout in 2017 with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She has worked at a day care in Menomonie, WI for 4 years working mostly in the infant classrooms. But it was at Central where she first started volunteering to work with children as a Kids of the King teacher and VBS volunteer when she was in high school.  

    Zoe grew up on her family's farm in Chippewa Falls, and most of her family lives here. Her parents live and work in Chippewa along with her younger brother, Jake.  Zoe's boyfriend, Seth, and her have been together for 4 years and 2 years ago they adopted their cat, River. 

    Zoe likes to spend time outside, hiking, swimming and kayaking in the summer and downhill skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. She also love to travel and spend time at her family's cabin on Lake Holcombe.  

    She usually don't drink coffee, but if she does, it's with a lot of sugar or caramel! And if she won the lottery, she would buy a plane ticket to Bali.


  • Tiffany Howard

    Worship Director

    Tiffany leads Central’s Wednesday night and Sunday morning Modern Worship Services. 

    After attending Azusa Pacific University, Tiffany interned at Central Church in Las Vegas, NV for two years as a Worship Intern, from there she was hired as a Worship and Production Director and worked there for another 3 years. After that, she worked as a Worship Director at various churches in Las Vegas and in Indianapolis. Before coming to Central Lutheran, she served as a Worship Director at Northview Church in Indianapolis.

    Tiffany and her husband, Clay, have been married since 2013 and have a spoiled, overweight, Huskey/Wolf named Koda. When she’s not playing music, Tiffany enjoys playing obscure board games, trying out new coffee shops, repairing and restoring vintage arcade games, playing video games with Clay, and watching funny puppy videos on youtube.

    Tiffany takes her drip coffee black, with a little sugar or she drinks vanilla lattes…unless its fall, then its all about the PSL. If Tiffany won the lottery, she would buy an espresso machine… and a big enough backyard to have “all of the puppies."


  • Judy Lies

    Director of traditional worship

    Judy is the Director of Traditional Worship at the Sunday, 8:30 service.  As such, she provides organ/piano music for the service, chooses the hymns, plans the special music and arranges for guest musicians.  Judy is also the choir accompanist and has joined the Freedom Ringers.  

    Judy is a graduate of Augsburg College, with a degree in Music Education and Piano/Organ emphasis.  She also has a degree in Mathematics from UW-Eau Claire.  Her first church music experience was as the organist in the church where she grew up (Bethlehem Lutheran in Frazee, MN), starting in 6th grade. After college and marriage, she moved to Chippewa Falls and joined Central Lutheran as the Organist and Children's Choir Director for 18 years.  She then moved back to Minnesota for a year, where she was employed by several churches and taught music in the elementary schools.  After returning to the Chippewa area, she was hired by First Congregational Church in Eau Claire and spent many years there.  Now she is back at Central, which she considers her "home" church!

    Over the years, she has always been a piano teacher, and has also taught elementary music and math (for a short time) in the public schools.  She accompanies many concerts for local schools and UWEC, but church music has always been her first love.  

    Judy's daughter, Teri (Haas), lives in Jefferson City, Missouri with her husband, Alan, and four children (Hannah, Chloe, Lydia and Daniel). Her son, Ryan is married to Michelle, and they live in rural Fall Creek with their two children (Allyson and Alex).  Judy's husband, Joe, passed away in 2003, and they were the owners of grocery stores in Chippewa Falls and Rice Lake.

    Judy loves all types of music (of course!), and has played piano since she was 6.  Clarinet and saxophone were her band instruments, and she played them through college.  She has played a little bit of everything through the years and decided to join the Freedom Ringers at Central this year.  "It's trickier than it looks!"  Reading is also a major past-time as well as many sports.  "I'm a die-hard Vikings fan (not popular in this area!)" and she enjoys attending the sporting events of her local grandchildren.  She used to be a runner, but now she's usually walking the dogs (Elmo and Charlie) or going to Zumba classes.  She also does a lot of boating, kayaking, and hiking.  Over the years, she has been fortunate to travel to many places in the U.S. and abroad.

    Judy drinks coffee by the gallons, but she like it strong and flavored the best! If she won the lottery at this stage of her life, there really isn't anything that she thinks she needs.  So after making sure that her mom, siblings and children/grandchildren were taken care of, she'd probably establish a charitable foundation......and take a major vacation!


  • Astri Gerdes

    Director of group ministry

    I am so glad to be a partner at Central! My husband Caleb and I moved to Chippewa Falls in 2017 and we love living here. I teach English Learners at South Middle School and Memorial High, and last year I just loved mentoring our senior high students. I also enjoy cross country skiing, biking, gardening and road trips. Most of all, faith in Christ and living in that Love is what brings me the greatest joy.


  • Tom Drehmel

    minister of DISCIPLESHIP living

    Tom works to connect with the community outside our church doors and see how we can join in with God’s work in action to live out our catch phrase of “Loving God, Loving People!” He believes that Worship and Bible Study, although important, are not the end of our faith adventure; they’re just the beginning. 

    Tom grew up in Fall Creek, Wisconsin (Go Crickets!), went to college at UW-Eau Claire and graduated with a major in Psychology and a minor in Journalism. He started work with Mason Companies right out of college in 1971 and worked there for 40 years as a Graphics Manager/Catalog Copywriter. He is currently retired.

    Tom and his wife, Jan, were married at Central Lutheran in 1972. "Not sure if we’re really married because she didn’t say the vows out loud … long story, ask me about it sometime." They had a set of twins (Craig & Lisa) in 1976. They currently have five grandchildren that keep them occupied with assorted athletic events as well as school & church functions. Tom's hobbies used to consist of baseball, softball, basketball, racquetball, kayaking and canoeing assorted rivers, as well as numerous trips to the Boundary Waters. However, as he has aged and had hips replaced, he has scaled back to golf and an occasional canoe/kayak adventure. 

    Tom doesn’t drink coffee, as it keeps him awake and cuts into his nap time. However, he has been known to have a glass of wine while sitting by the firepit in his backyard.

    Tom wouldn’t try to win the lottery... "having to think about what to do with huge sums of money would send my head spinning and would probably misdirect me from keep The Main Thing The Main Thing."


  • Jennie Owen

    Waumba land coordinator

    Jenny works in Waumba Land caring for Central's kiddos ages 0-4 years during all 3 services. 

    Jenny has worked in the childcare field since 1997. She loves working with children of all ages and has worked at Monkey Business for 10 years. She is currently in the 2 year old classroom.

    Jenny has 2 boys who keep her busy. Zane is 10 years old & Zeus is 9 years old. In her spare time, she loves to scrapbook. She also enjoys taking all sorts of pictures. Her and the boys enjoy exploring nature trails and kayaking together.

    Jenny doesn’t drink coffee, but rather saves the coffee for others who enjoy it. If she won the lottery she would by 2 houses, one for herself & one for her mom since she helps her so much.