Nonprofit Executive of the Year: Mike Thirtle

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:35 pm

As president and chief executive officer of Bethesda Lutheran Communities, Mike Thirtle is tapping into the vast potential of cutting-edge technology to improve many facets of his organization.

The organization, which was founded in 1904 in Watertown, offers a number of programs for individuals with disabilities, including housing options in 13 states and employment support.

To help ensure Bethesda clients receive the highest-quality services possible, Thirtle plans to incorporate artificial intelligence technology into his organization.

“Before even entering a home, team members will interact virtually with a difficult-by-design avatar and will need to adjust their words, tone and body language in real time to appease the situation,” said Don Klein, Bethesda senior director of corporate communications and public relations.

Recently, the organization began construction of Cornerstone Village, a premier housing complex in Victoria, Minnesota, for ages 55 and up and people with disabilities, equipped with smart home technology to help foster independence. 

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