Speaking at Storyline Conference at Willow Creek Church, Chicago

Dr. John Sowers

President, The Mentoring Project; Author and speaker 

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 completed 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. John is the author of The Heroic Path, an experiential rites-of-passage book for men, and his third book will be released in 2017. He lives in the Ozark mountains with his wife, Kari and their two daughters.


Kari Sowers

Co-Founder of THE Place Conference and In-House Counsel.


Kari Sowers is the Co-Founder of PLACE Conference and serves as In-House Counsel and Lead Trainer for The Mentoring Project. Prior to joining The Mentoring Project, Kari practiced corporate Intellectual Property law with Latham and Watkins, a multinational law firm headquartered in Los Angeles. An avid gardener, Kari co-founded and lead a community teaching garden in a food scarce portion of Portland, OR. The fruits, veggies and herbs were offered freely to any kids who came to visit St. John’s Community Garden. Kari consults non-profit leaders and facilitates leadership retreats for female entrepreneurs, seeking to strengthen the innovative sisterhood.  Her first book comes out in 2017.  

Bruce Doane

Mentor Site Coordinator 

Bruce Doane serves as Mentor Site Coordinator for The Mentoring Project, overseeing and supporting mentors recruited and trained by TMProject for Police Gang Prevention mentoring. Bruce also directs and participates in TMProject Mentor Moments and engages in other content development and programming support.  In his spare time, Bruce enjoys reading, writing, cycling, hiking, campfires and most anything outdoors.  Bruce is married and lives in Oklahoma City. 


Marcus Jackson

MENTOR COACH and Site Coordinator 

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.  He also oversees one of our inner-city mentoring sites and works closely with the Police Gang Prevention unit to match mentors with high-risk children.  Marcus 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 a father, a dad and a great mentor. 

Photo Credit: Mitya Ku

Donald Miller


Donald Miller is the founder of The Mentoring Project and Storyline, an organization that helps people live better stories.  Since 2009, Don has worked with his Storyline and StoryBrand team full-time.  Don is still a fierce advocate for mentoring and headlines The Mentoring Project's yearly Father's Day fundraiser - Don't Buy the Tie.

In 2009, Don asked then-board member John Sowers to lead The Mentoring Project, which was a ministry of Imago Dei church.  Because of their common background of growing up without a father and because of their mutual desire to help people not be defined or defeated by their past - John and Don have remained close friends.  When speaking about working with John, Don said that "John Sowers is living proof that God can take fatherless boys and turn them into men of integrity and excellence, men who lead movements and love their wives, and even men who write books. I am very proud of him, and he is very proud of me.”

Don is a celebrated author of several books including New York Times bestsellers Scary CloseBlue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.  He lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Elizabeth and his dog Lucy.