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Current COO Michael Loo named President of Austin-based Upbring


Austin, TexasFebruary 16, 2016Upbring, the new Lutheran Social Services of the South, is delighted to announce the promotion of its current COO, Michael Loo, to president of the Austin-based nonprofit; he will retain his COO duties. Now 135-years-old, the organization serves more than 30,000 children, elderly and underprivileged people annually across Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Loo has close to 30 years of nonprofit and for-profit experience, with more than 20 years in higher executive management positions.

Loo is passionate about our mission to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities and views finance as a tool to accomplish this. He is a change management expert who, in his first three years at Upbring, has worked with the board of directors, CEO and other senior leaders to guide a strategic transformation allowing the agency to increase its impact for years to come.

Included in this transformation are:

  • the creation and implementation of a strategy to help solve the societal issue of breaking the cycle of child abuse;
  • the creation of strategic alliance partnerships with Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas, The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work, Goodwill of Central Texas, Boys and Girls Clubs of the Austin Area, to name a few;
  • restructuring of the organization’s Senior Services’ division that will result in a reduction of debt and the enhancement of Upbring’s endowment;
  • the creation of a first-class finance department and program support branches;
  • the stabilization and enhancement of Upbring’s financial condition;
  • the strategic vision to put building blocks in place to double the size of the organization and create a best-in-class culture designed to attract and retain employees.

Before joining Upbring, Loo was executive vice president and CFO for Sopogy, Inc., a technology provider in the solar power sector. From 2003 to 2010 he served as vice president of Finance and Administration at Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, the largest private landholder and private school system in the State of Hawaii. Prior to his employment with Kamehameha Schools, Loo was vice president/controller/treasurer for Hawaiian Airlines for seven years and a senior manager with KPMG LLP prior to that time.

“Michael had a proven track record of success prior to arriving at Upbring. Since joining our team three years ago, he has put to good use his skills as a strategist, change agent and financial analyst. In his new role as president of Upbring, he will help further position Upbring not only as a leading nonprofit here in Texas, but across the region, and beyond. Every day, Michael brings positive energy and dedication to this agency; he passionately believes in our mission—that there is faith in every future,” said Dr. Kurt Senske, chief executive officer of Upbring.

Loo’s served on the Board of Directors of the Hawaii chapters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Boys and Girls Club and Better Business Bureau Hawaii. He was a multiple award recipient as a Certified Public Accountant and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Oregon.

About Upbring

Upbring, the new Lutheran Social Services of the South, is a 135-year-old nonprofit organization with a rich legacy of serving vulnerable people across Texas. Its mission is to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities. Upbring serves more than 30,000 people annually and provides innovative programs and services for children including foster care, adoption, education, residential treatment and community services. For more information, visit


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