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Virtual Think IT Event: Real Time IT Challenges and Initiatives at Thrivent

Last Friday, we hosted a Virtual Think IT Event to discuss the Real-Time IT Challenges and Initiatives with Jeff Einhorn, Senior Vice President Integration, Infrastructure & Operations at Thrivent, Chris Chapman, SVP, CIO of Commercial at Thrivent, and Shari Steeno, VP, Enterprise Technology Solutions at Thrivent. Thank you to everyone who joined the event and participated in the discussion!

Below you will find a summary of what was discussed.


An introduction to Thrivent and our Panelists

Thrivent Financial is a Fortune 500 not-for-profit holistic financial services organization headquartered in Minneapolis. They provide advice, investments, insurance, banking, solutions and generosity programs to help people “make the most of what they’ve been given. They have been around for over 100 years and helped people build their financial futures. One of their biggest focuses is their commitment to generosity. It has always been important for them to provide their clients with the tools they need to create an impact on their community. Thrivent is currently transforming to grow and serve more clients by delivering exceptional experience.  During this transformation they plan to accelerate digital, modernize technology approach and build a new way of working.

Chris Chapman joined Thrivent in September of 2021 with a focus in their commercial business, which correlates with their insurance portion of the company.

Jeff Einhorn also joined Thrivent in September of 2021 and oversees integration, infrastructure, and operations. Thrivent’s integration is a core part of their modernization plan for the future of the company. They are investing in building a platform to decouple their systems of engagement and user experience tools.

Shari Steeno has been at Thrivent for over 16 years and is currently the Vice President of Enterprise Technology Solutions. She has held several different roles within the past 16 years and has had the opportunity to work across many different domains at Thrivent.


What are some challenges that Thrivent faces?

As Thrivent is transforming from a traditional insurance company to a more modern financial services company, they want to make sure they don’t lose the factors that make them so unique in comparison to other companies. Maintaining the core values during this evolution but also recognizing where they want to go in the future is one of the most important challenges they are currently facing. They also want to ensure that they are improving and growing what they build within their technology teams and make sure those are not disparaged during this evolution. When thinking about the challenges Thrivent is facing, it is finding a balance between the things that make their culture great, while continuing to evolve the culture and innovate their business practices.


What does the talent currently look like at Thrivent and how do you plan on attracting more?

Thrivent has a very strong presence of talent in their organization, and they are only looking to improve that and bring in more talent to fill in the gaps in their organization. They also utilize consultants and contractors within their business. They are continuing to build their teams to be able to support the amount of demand they are currently seeing. Thrivent is going to attract new talent by getting their brand out there and showing people what makes them unique.


What does a Product Operating Model look like at Thrivent?

Thrivent has introduced a new product operating model, so a large focus of their time is training teams to adapt to this model instead of their old project model. Their hope is that these teams can develop a skillset based on this model while working in the model, because that is one the best/most efficient ways for teams to learn. For the industry as a whole, this product operating model likely felt like the missing leg of the stool. Switching to this new operating model and focusing on better software development practices is an investment they are eager to make to adhere to their modernization plan.