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Guilderland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 9, 2010

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans opens on Carman Road

By Anne Hayden

GUILDERLAND — A faith-based financial services company is coming to town.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is opening a branch at 3418 Carman Road in Guilderland.

Gregory Mendel, the manager of the Guilderland branch, said that Thrivent Financial serves Lutherans and non-Lutherans alike, but is a fraternal organization, which means instead of paying income tax on profits, the money goes to different charities.

“Unlike most other financial services companies, we’re focused on doing good within the community,” said Mendel. Different Lutheran charities throughout the United States receive the dollars that would normally be paid to the Internal Revenue Service; this year, nearly $180 million will be distributed, said Mendel.

Thrivent Financial for Lutherans was founded over 100 years ago, and Mendel said he has worked for the local branch for more than a decade. He was a client before he was employed by the company.

“One of my managers was my representative years ago; I was unemployed, he asked me to come join his business, and I’ve never looked back,” Mendel said. He said the company handles life insurance, disability, long-term care insurance, estate planning, and retirement planning.

“There is not a tool in the toolbox that we don’t have,” said Mendel. Not only is the company into giving, it encourages its clients to volunteer, as well, he said.

“The charitable side really resonates with a lot of people. We are helping their families with planning, but we’re also helping other families.” Mendel explained. One of the company’s favorite charities is Habitat for Humanity, and it recently pledged to build 500 houses over the course of five years.

The local branch of Thrivent Financial used to be on Wolf Road, in Albany, but Mendel said a client of his owned the building on Carman Road, and noted that it would be perfect for a financial planning service. Mendel liked the idea of owning space rather than renting it.

“Also, I’m a resident of Guilderland, so it’s nice to have my office near my home,” said Mendel. He said he feels the company can reach out to residents of Guilderland, Altamont, and Rotterdam.

“If people are interested, we love to sit down and talk to them. It begins with a get-to-know-you session. A lot of times, we find out things about people’s finances that they haven’t even though about,” Mendel said.

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