Place Conference Influencer's Dinner
Dove and Emmy Award-Winning Artist, BMI Artist of the Year 2014
Brandon Heath is a prolific singer-songwriter, and has released five studio albums: Don't Get Comfortable(2006), What If We (2008), Leaving Eden (2011) and Blue Mountain (2012). No Turning Back was released in 2015. He is best known for the No. 1 "I'm Not Who I Was" and "Give Me Your Eyes". He was nominated four times at the Dove Awards of 2008 and won in the "New Artist of the Year" category. His second album was nominated for "Gospel Album of the Year" at the 51st Grammy Awards of 2009. Brandon is married to Siebe and they live in Nashville.
Place Conference Main Sessions
Founder and Director of Arrabon
David M. Bailey is a speaker, producer and author who has spent the last 15 years using music as a tool in the reconciliation process. David is a native of Richmond, VA, the former Capital of the Confederacy, and he hopes that his work will help the city of Richmond to become known as the Capital of Reconciliation.
He is the founder of Arrabon; a nonprofit that helps communities understand diversity and reconciliation through the vehicles of cultural training and music. He is an active member of East End Fellowship, a multicultural Christian faith community that endeavors to be a faithful presence to seek the joy and justice of both the poor and rich in the gentrifying neighborhood of Church Hill in Richmond, VA. Over the last five summers, he has conducted an urban songwriting internship to create new songs with people of diverse ethnicities, races and socioeconomic backgrounds in order to tell new stories and create spaces of belonging in a gentrified community.
He is the author of Arrabon: Learning Reconciliation through Community and Worship Music and the producer of the Urban Doxology. David's greatest honor in life is to be married to his wonderful and beautiful wife, Joy.
President, National Center for Fathering
Carey Casey leads the National Center for Fathering, and is a chaplain and friend to many professional athletes. He is a former pastor, and the chaplain of the Dallas Cowboys. His mentors were his father and legendary Dallas Cowboys coach, Tom Landry. He is the author of Championship Fathering, and The 21-Day Dad's Challenge: Three Weeks to a Better Relationship with Your Kids.
Carey has lead a fascinating life - in high school, Carey played in the 1971 Virginia State Championship football game - the game later dramatized in the award-winning movie, Remember The Titans. Carey is still friends with former Titans coach Herman Boone and many of the people portrayed in the movie. His career has also included serving as chaplain at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, chaplain for the Dallas Cowboys under Hall of Fame Coach Tom Landry, and chaplain for the Kansas City Chiefs. He continues to speak on life issues for numerous professional and college sports teams across America. You can interact with Carey on Twitter via @NCF4Dads. Carey lives with his family and serves his community in Kansas City, Missouri.
LT. WAYLAND CUBIT
Oklahoma City Police Officer; Founder FACT Gang Prevention Unit
Lt. Wayland Cubit is the founder and leader of FACT - which he started in 2007, here in Oklahoma City. FACT is the Oklahoma City Police Department is a revolutionary preventative program reaching troubled youth, youth in gangs, youth struggling with school attendance. FACT is empowering and building character in at-risk youth. FACT has been featured on CNN.
Lt. Cubit has transformed the Oklahoma City truancy system for children dropping out of school, and under his leadership, thousands of youth have stayed in school. Lt. Cubit is a master mentor, having mentored hundreds of youth and numerous gang members and leaders, helping them transition from the gang and into contributing members of society. Lt. Cubit studied Criminal Justice Administration at the University of Oklahoma, Police Science at Oklahoma State University OKC, and Family Studies & Gerontology at Southern Nazarene University.
Author, Let's All Be Brave; speaker, mentor, blogger
Annie F. Downs is an author, blogger, and speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee. Flawed but funny, she uses her writing to highlight the everyday goodness of a real and present God. An author of three books- Let’s All Be Brave, Perfectly Unique, and Speak Love, Annie also loves traveling around the country speaking to young women, college students, and adults.
DANIEL DE JESUS
Children's Pastor, Bent Tree Bible; Mentor advocate
Daniel De Jesus is the Elementary Pastor at Bent Tree in Dallas, TX. His passion to see men recognize their critical and unique contribution to the next generation propels him to constantly rethink how the church approaches ministry to kids and families. Daniel loves consulting with churches on childrens ministry initiatives and partnering with leading organizations such as The Mentoring Project, This Side Up Family Center and Orange, who earlier this year invited him to host their annual conference's live stream experience, broadcasting to over 60,000 ministry leaders across the globe. He holds an MA in Ministerial Leadership from Wesley Seminary and teaches dance in his spare time. Daniel lives in McKinney, TX with his high school sweetheart, Marquita, and their beautiful daughters, Emmy & Elle.
Former Director of White House Faith-Based Partnerships, Author, The President's Devotional
Joshua DuBois is former White House Director of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the author of the bestselling book, The President’s Devotional. Joshua is one of our leading voices on community partnerships, religion in the public square and issues impacting African American men. He also spearheads the White House’s work on responsible fatherhood, grassroots community partnerships and religion in foreign affairs, and brought together diverse religious leaders to tackle the nation’s most pressing challenges.
Joshua now leads a consulting firm, Values Partnerships, that creates faith-based and community partnerships for the public, private and non-profit sectors, teaches at Princeton University, and is the religion and values columnist for The Daily Beast.
Lead Guitarist, Carrie Underwood, Founder, Mentor Quest
Ed Eason started playing guitar when he became a teenager with one goal - to grow up and play on stages and arenas around the world. He has played guitar for artists who have sold more than twenty million records. Artists Ed Eason has worked with include Carrie Underwood, SHeDAISY, Paul Brandt, Matthew West and many more. For the past seven years, he has been the lead guitarist for Carrie Underwood.
Ed has performed on The Grammys, Saturday Night Live, Grand Ol' Opry, Letterman, Leno, American Idol and just about every other award show. Ed grew up in Texas, and he enjoys hunting, camping and making outdoor mentoring videos on his youtube.com channel: mentorquest. Ed is a husband and father, and lives in Nashville and Texas with his wife and three boys.
NYT Best-Selling Author, Love Does; Founder, Restore International; Attorney, Professor, Honorary Consulate General for the Republic of Uganda
Bob Goff is the New York Times best-selling Author of Love Does, as well as an attorney who founded Restore International, a nonprofit human rights organization operating in Uganda, India, Iraq and Somalia. Restore Leadership Academy in Northern Uganda educates over 300 students with a focus on character and leadership development. Because of Bob’s vision and the work of Restore International, he serves as the Hon. Consul for the Republic of Uganda to the United States. Bob is a highly-sought after speaker, and speaks several times a week, all over the world. Choosing to live and love audaciously, Bob connects to audiences in a powerfully inspirational, yet down to earth manner.
Founder, Wheeler District; former professor of city planning Oklahoma University; Humphreys Fund
Blair Humphreys works for Humphreys Company, overseeing the design and development of Wheeler – a mixed-use New Urbanism development on the Oklahoma River – and serves as a Director of The Humphreys Fund. He has a Master in City Planning and Urban Design degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BBA in Entrepreneurship from the University of Oklahoma. He is a founding member of the Urban Land Institute Oklahoma District Council, currently serving as Chair of the statewide organization. Blair and wife Maggie live in Oklahoma City’s Historic Gatewood Neighborhood with their sons Bonn, Naaman and Theodore, and dog Stella.
Lead Pastor, Frontline Church
Josh serves as the Lead Pastor of Frontline Church, a multi-site church in GReater Oklahoma City. He is a long-time mentor, and values one-on-one relationships. Josh leads the way for disaster relief and spent months helping the victims of the Moore tornado in 2013. He is married to Nancy, who he met in seventh grade. His heart is to equip and train leaders to be effective and faithful in their calling both to Christ as well as for Christ.
NYT Best-Selling Author, Scary Close, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years, Blue Like Jazz; Founder, Storyline and StoryBrand
Donald Miller is a student of story. He’s the author of New York Times best sellers: Blue Like Jazz, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, and Scary Close. He co-wrote the major motion picture Blue Like Jazz which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival and was listed as one of the top four movies to get you through freshman year by USA Today. He founded The Mentoring Project and has served on The Presidential Task Force for Fatherhood and Healthy Families, a joint effort between government and the private sector to rewrite the story of fatherlessness in America. Currently, he helps people live a better story at www.storylineblog.com and leaders grow their businesses at www.storybrand.com. Donald lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their lab, Lucy.
Founder, LOVE146; Advocate for survivors of sex trafficking
Rob Morris is the President and Co-founder of Love146, an international human rights organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation through prevention and survivor care. He has worked closely with the End-It Movement, and made presentations to the United Nations on stopping trafficking. He loves his six children, lasagna, and the New York Yankees.
Live Events Consultant, Feed the Children; COO, IF:Gathering
Lindsey works furiously as Strategist for the IF:Gathering. Under Lindsey’s direction, the IF: Gathering has grown exponentially in its first few years and has become the most far-reaching Christian Women’s Conference in the world. Lindsey also serves at Feed the Children, where she directs initiatives through strategic partnerships, empowering communities, through real needs - food and clothing as well as relationships and mentoring. Lindsey believes that women need place, both physically and emotionally, where they can come together, reflect, rest, and redeem our passions, our purposes, and our lives. Lindsey lives in Austin, Texas.
Dove Award Winning Singer-Songwriter; Author, Love Story
Nichole Nordeman was raised in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where she played the piano in church. She has won multiple GMA Dove Awards, including two awards for Female Vocalist of the Year. Her best-known songs include "Why", "This Mystery", "Holy", "Legacy", "Brave", and "What If". She sang a song on the soundtrack Music Inspired by the Chronicles of Narnia, called "I Will Believe." Her new album, The Unmaking, debuted at #1 on iTunes. Nichole lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Dr. John Perkins
Co-Founder Community Development Association; Founder John & Vera Mae Perkins Foundation
Dr. John M. Perkins was born into Mississippi poverty in 1930. After overcoming the barriers of being black in the segregated South, and his older brother’s murder at the hands of a town marshal, he moved to California and vowed never to return. However, in 1957, Dr. Perkins was converted to Christianity and after three years of discipleship, he was called back to the struggle of his home state of Mississippi.
Since then, Dr. Perkins engaged in the work of developing our world’s most troubling cities. His faithfulness has been recognized by thirteen honorary doctorate degrees. Dr. Perkins has personally advised three U.S. presidents, has participated in writing 14 books, and founded the internationally-known organization, the Christian Community Development Association. With all these accolades, Dr. Perkins’ pride comes from his 62-year marriage to his wife, Vera Mae.
Dr. Perkins has authored 14 books including his autobiography Let Justice Roll Down (2012), With Justice For All (2011), Leadership Revolution: Developing the Vision & Practice of Freedom & Justice (2012) and his latest Making Neighborhoods Whole: a Handbook for Christian Community Development (2013).
Assistant Public Information Officer, Office of Media Relations OKC Police Department
Sgt. Ashley Peters is a 9-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department. During that time she has held the assignments of a Patrol Officer, undercover Narcotic officer in the IMPACT unit, and a gang prevention officer in the FACT Program. Ashley is currently assigned as Assistant Public Information Officer for the Oklahoma City Police Department in the Office of Media Relations.
She graduated from University of Central Oklahoma, where she was crowned Miss Black University of Central Oklahoma and later competed in the state level pageant, placing 1ST runner up in Miss Black Oklahoma USA. Ashley has been a part-time worship leader for People’s Church, and currently continues to lead worship. She has served various organizations including: The Mentoring Project, Positive Tomorrows, Arise Ministries and created youth empowerment programs. Ashley is an active mentor for several young women within the community.
Rodney & Cresha Redus / Taylor Doe
Founders, Dinner Table OKC
Rodney & Cresha Redus have been married for six years with four grown kids and five grandkids. Rodney served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and is currently a Master’s Candidate at Oklahoma Christian, a published Author and Entrepreneur. Cresha is a Partner Engagement Manager at It's My Community while serving in a variety of organizations.
Taylor Doe works in Community Outreach at SandRidge Energy. He is founder of CareNotebook and TimeStakr and is also a serial entrepreneur who uses his businesses for the good of others. He lives intentionally in Northeast Oklahoma City and is passionate about racial reconciliation and community development. Rodney, Cresha and Taylor are one of many Dinner Ambassador Teams who are shaping our city with redemptive conversations through DinnerTable OKC.
JOHN LUKE ROBERTSON
Featured on ten seasons of the hit television show Duck Dynasty, Founder of Young and Beardless; Author, Be Your Own Duck Commander series
John Luke Robertson is a 19 year old student at Liberty University from West Monroe, Louisiana. He is the founder of Young and Beardless. He has written a children series called, "Be Your Own DuckCommander." He has featured on ten seasons of the television show Duck Dynasty. He has a variety of animals, including a llama (Phoenix). God found him at a young age and his life has been an adventure ever since. He is addicted to helping people see their life as an adventure also. John Luke is married to Mary Kate and they live in Virginia.
Director, Saint Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre, Gulu, Uganda. Voted one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in 2014
Time Magazine recently named Sister Rosemary as one of the "100 Most Influential People" in the world. Sister Rosemary has given hope to thousands of young women scarred by war - and has openly defied Joseph Kony and the Lord’s Resistance Army.
Since 2002, Sister Rosemary has enrolled thousands of girls in Saint Monica’s School in Gulu, Uganda. Girls who had been previously abducted by the LRA or abandoned by their families. She has taught these brave girls to make their own clothes, grow their own food, learn a valuable trade, and show mercy to others that are less fortunate.
Dr. John Sowers
Author, The Heroic Path and Fatherless Generation; President, The Mentoring Project; Speaker, Community care advocate
Dr. John Sowers is President and Co-Founder of The Mentoring Project, which he incorporated in 2009, to rewrite the fatherless story through mentoring. His past experiences include: directing an inner-city homeless shelter, teaching as a university professor, speaking in federal prisons and developing international cities for Dr. Billy Graham. John directed multi-cultural initiatives for Dr. Graham in both Los Angeles and New York, working with over twenty different language groups in both cities.
John finished his doctorate from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in the area of fatherlessness. Zondervan published his dissertation under the title, “Fatherless Generation: Redeeming the Story.” Because of his work in the field of mentoring, John was awarded The President’s Champion of Change Award at the White House, and he currently serves on the My Brother’s Keeper Faith Advisory Board, formed to reach young men and boys of color, alongside: TD Jakes, Dr. Barbara Skinner, Joshua Dubois and others. John is also the author of The Heroic Path, an experiential rites-of-passage book for men, and his third book will be released in 2016. He lives in Oklahoma City with his wife, Kari and their two daughters.
In-House Counsel, The Mentoring Project; Author, River Over Rocks (2016)
Kari Sowers is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of PLACE: a Conversation on Mentoring, Relationships and Reconciliation, and serves as In-House Counsel for The Mentoring Project. She completed her undergrad coursework at the American University in Cairo, after previously studying at Universite Moulay Ismail in Meknes, Morocco and The King Fahd Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Arkansas, graduating with a degree in International Relations and Middle Eastern Studies, with minors in both Arabic and French. She attended Pepperdine University School of Law where she graduated Magna Cum Laude, with an additional certificate in Entrepreneurial and Business Law. Licensed in both California and Oregon, Kari practiced law in the area of Intellectual Property with Latham and Watkins, a multinational law firm headquartered in Los Angeles, where she worked directly with the Global Chair of Intellectual Property and was responsible for overseeing client projects that simultaneously launched in Europe, North America and Asia. Kari is a master gardener, previously tending an urban rooftop garden in Los Angeles and launching an organic teaching garden for the disadvantaged in inner-city Portland. Kari mentors young non-profit leaders and facilitates leadership retreats for female entrepreneurs, seeking to strengthen the innovative sisterhood. She is the author of the forthcoming book, River over Rocks: We Believe What We Repeatedly Hear. She is passionate about building leadership skills into girls and young women. She travels often, but lives in Oklahoma City, with her husband John and their two daughters.
Performance Coach; Co-Founder, Love Montreal; Singer/songwriter; former Canadian National Team water polo player
Rosanna Tomiuk is an Olympic Canadian water polo player turned singer/songwriter, life coach and triathlete. On the Olympic, global stage with Team Canada, Rosanna has won silver medals at World Aquatic Championships, the Pan American Games and the Commonwealth Games. She played water polo while studying Biology and Music at Loyola Marymount University and the University of Southern California. She also brought home a silver medal with the Trojans at NCAA Championships. It was Rosanna's meandering between sport and music that incited her inquiry into human uniqueness and the subsequent co-founding of THIS IS ME. She delved into studying people, personalities and talent and became a graduate of The Dale Carnegie Course (Highest Award of Achievement) and a certified StrengthsFinder, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Level I and II), The Birkman Method and Strong Interest Inventory coach. She has also coached the Self-Expression Leadership Program with landmark Worldwide. Rosanna is active on Twitter, @rosannatomiuk, and as she creates the future, she imagines herself traveling the globe to help people become the best version of themselves by day and then morphing into a rockstar by night!
Place Conference Action Workshop
director of marketing at twubs
Dawn has been using technology to connect, communicate and train since before most of you were born. She's a corporate refugee who now brings her Edge Think to Twubs.com, as Director of Marketing. When not luring Newbies into online platforms or randomly connecting Do Gooders, she offers her social media and storytelling experience with neighborhood groups, nonprofits and her fair city of Riverside, CA.
Director of Development for the Western Division for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma
Rachel Hernandez is the Director of Development for the Western Division for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma. She is in her twelfth year in fundraising and has raised more than $16 million dollars for local nonprofits. Rachel was selected as OKC Biz' 40 under 40, and managed to be nominated for Ion Oklahoma's 30 under 30 at the age of 31. (Don't worry, she fessed up)
Convinced mentorship is the key to solving intergenerational poverty, Rachel's lifework is fighting for children's potential by evangelizing the relationship between influence and impact.
NASCAR All-American Series driver, author, speaker, singer and host of The Amplified Life podcast
Tyler Williams is passionate about helping young people discover their voice, their passions and their intentions, enabling them to perform at the highest level each and every day. In his spare time, Tyler enjoys music, motorsports and living a life of exploration. To learn more about Tyler, connect with him online at tylerwilliamslive.com or @twilliamslive on Twitter and Instagram.
Scott & shannon dahlstrom
National Directors and Co-Founders of Generation Outdoors
Scott & Shannon Dahlstrom serve as the National Directors and Co-Founders of Generation Outdoors, which exists to equip, serve and mobilize faith communities in mentoring relationships with fatherless children through the spirit of the outdoors.
CEO, STORIED COMMUNICATIONS
Julie Serven has a special place in her heart for the underdog or under-resourced. This led her to start Storied Communications to help OKC nonprofits and individuals share their stories. It also is why she teaches adult literacy classes and started a Reading Buddies mentoring program for 3rd graders in her urban neighborhood school. Julie partners with her husband in ministering at City Presbyterian Church where he is a pastor. They have four teenaged children.
Siyanda Dlamini & Siphelele Zungu
education director & ENTREPRENEURSHIP director, ubuntu youth project
The Ubuntu Youth Project exists to engage the next generation to fight poverty and a cycle of other escalating issues in Cottonlands, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Ubuntu Youth is an after-school program that seeks to invest in promising high school students by providing a strong educational and life-skills foundation that is often overlooked in rural public schools. Instead of perpetuating the top-down handout mentality that is often prevalent in the developing world, Siyanda and Siphelele and the rest of the Ubuntu crew strive to help students realize they can be part of the solution, instead of continually viewing themselves as a victim and part of the problem.
Marcus Jackson serves as Mentor Coach for The Mentoring Project, meeting regularly with active and prospective mentors to encourage and train them for mentoring success. Marcus expertly connects with kids through his music and mentoring ministry. Marcus is a Dove Award Winner producer and an accomplished musician, featured two years in a row at SXSW. Marcus is also a leader with Youth for Christ and a youth pastor who deeply loves investing in the kids who call Eastside OKC home.
Creative director / ceo at group fly clothing, llc
Vernon currently serves at the Creative Director and CEO at Group Fly Clothing, LLC. To Vernon, the term Group Fly simply means, “a group of people reaching a higher destination”. He desires to accomplish 3 things with this brand: CREATE amazing product, LEAD, and INSPIRE others.
ACcountant, TMProject Mentor
Jed currently serves as an Accountant for an Oil & Gas company in Oklahoma City. He's also currently studying / testing to obtain a CPA. In the midst of his busy schedule, Jed has been a consistent and incredible TMProject mentor for the last two years.
Founder, Canaries running team; Creations After School Program Director
Three years ago Abigail Prescott started the Canaries Running team, a free after-school activity for young girls in Oklahoma City in one of the most crime-ridden communities in the county. Abby was inspired to start the group while volunteering to make sandwiches for a boys’ wrestling team at Inner City church. She also recently launched the Creations After School Program to expand upon the concept of a safe, positive place for kids to go in their free time. Earlier this year, Abby was named Oklahoma's Hero by Glamour Magazine as part of their "Home Town Heroes: 50 Women of the Year Who Are Making a Difference." Abby is newly a foster parent for the one who's had her heart from the beginning.
Whiz Kids director
As Whiz Kids' director, Bea Jai handles all aspects of the Whiz Kids program, focusing on growth including recruitment and possible sites, partner churches, schools, as well as individual volunteers. Prior to serving as the director, she worked as a Whiz Kids site coordinator for Life Church, was a member of the Whiz Kids fund raising committee and served as a City Care board member for seven years. Bea Jai has held several positions of management and leadership during the course of her career and is also a former educator and an ordained minister. As the director, she is committed to seeing Whiz Kids steadily grow and serve Oklahoma's children.