This virtual summit is designed for administrative teams focused on improving financial well-being in a way that aligns with your school’s mission. Our lineup of experts explores key challenges Christian schools are facing, as well as strategy, new ideas, and best practices for financial sustainability, donor engagement, enrollment, and more.
You and your whole school administrative team will have a tool box of tactics you can put to use immediately.
Click on the images to view speaker bios and session descriptions.
An energetic and strategic leader, Kelly Blake helps organizations grow through strategic thinking, culture transformation, focus, discipline, and systematic effort. He’s responsible for the strategic growth and development of Influencing Generations for Christ. Founded in 2014, IGC helps Christian schools, ministries, and nonprofit organizations develop and implement a comprehensive plan to create financial sustainability, operational excellence and a discipleship-infused education culture.
Kelly also serves as chief operating officer of The Champion Group. Before assuming his current roles, Kelly served nearly 11 years as president of the foundation, society, and business unit of a faith-based school in Calgary, Canada. Previously, he has held the titles of CEO, COO, and vice president of marketing at various companies. Kelly holds an associate of science degree from the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois, and a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of New Mexico.
Steve helps Christian schools, churches, and other ministries manage their legal and reputational risks. His areas of focus include child protection, worker screening, faith-based decisions, safety and security, and employment issues. Steve joined Brotherhood Mutual’s legal department in 2014 as an associate attorney. He became associate corporate counsel in 2016 and assumed his current role in March 2017.
Steve holds a bachelor’s degree from Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana, and earned his law degree at the University of Toledo College of Law. In 2017, he became a Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter. Steve is a member of the Christian Legal Society, Defense Research Institute, Association of Corporate Counsel, and the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel.
Steve attends The Pointe Church, where he previously served as the church’s Grow Group director and currently serves on the ministry advisory board. He and his wife, Karen, live in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
A thought-leading writer and recognized champion of the multiethnic church movement, Mark is in his 19th year at Mosaic Church of Central Arkansas. He also serves as president of the Mosaix Global Network, which he co-founded in 2004 with Dr. George Yancey.
In 2019, Mark launched an academic partnership with Wheaton College. It allows students to earn a master’s degree in Ministry Leadership with an emphasis on establishing healthy churches that are multiethnic, economically diverse, socially just, and financially sustainable. Mark also is an adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Charlotte campus) and at Phoenix Seminary, where he earned a D.Min. in 2007.
Mark has written seven books, including “Multiethnic Conversations: An Eight-Week Journey Toward Unity in Your Church.” His book, “Building a Healthy Multi-Ethnic Church,” was a finalist for a Christianity Today Book of the Year Award in 2008. In addition to books, Mark is a contributing editor for Outreach magazine.
Mark and his wife, Linda, have been married for 32 years and reside in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Rick Newberry partners with school administrators to provide coaching and consulting in enrollment management and marketing systems, strategies, and solutions needed to reach their goals. The goal is to provide school leaders with effective marketing and enrollment strategies as well as staff accountability, direction and results needed to grow their enrollment.
His expertise in enrollment management strategies and marketing planning provides in-depth educational consultation to independent, private and faith-based schools across the globe. With more than 30 years of educational leadership experience in both higher education and K-12 levels, Rick has served as the executive director of development and enrollment management at a Christian university and as well as head of a large Christian school.
He studied ancient languages at Cornerstone University, received a master’s degree in theological studies from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary and earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership from Michigan State University.
As a Certified Fundraising Executive, Teri O’Connor works with clients to help them build meaningful and long-lasting relationships with their donors. As a national speaker on the topics of donor cultivation and institutional advancement, she has had the privilege of working with faith-based and not-for-profit organizations for more than 25 years.
Teri currently serves as vice-chair of the ACSI Education Foundation. She is best known for her seminar, “How to Ask for a Million Dollars,” and has published research on Donor Motivations for Charitable Giving and Improving Donor Retention through Dialogue.
Teri holds a doctorate in leadership and professional practice from Trevecca Nazarene University. Her doctoral dissertation was a case study focused on major donors in a Christian school context. She also holds a master’s degree in communication and leadership from Gonzaga University, a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Barclay College, and degrees in Bible and music from Vennard College. She and her husband, Sean, have served together in full-time ministry for nearly 30 years.
Alan Pue draws from extensive academic and pastoral experience in helping school and church leadership teams with strategic planning, problem solving, leadership development, and governance. Since founding The Barnabas Group in 2001, he has worked with more than 200 schools, churches, and other nonprofit organization.
An author and featured speaker, Alan has served in many roles: classroom teacher, coach, headmaster, and vice president of a faith-based college. For fifteen years, he also served as an elder and teaching pastor of the Pike Creek Valley Baptist Church in Newark, Delaware.
Alan was an adjunct faculty member in the doctoral program at Columbia International University, Columbia, S.C., and has served on several boards for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI).
He holds a master’s degree in administration and supervision from Florida Atlantic University and a doctorate in school leadership from the University of Delaware.
Alan and his wife Linda live in Colorado, near their two adult children and seven beautiful granddaughters.
Larry Ross has more than 44 years of experience in mainstream and Christian public relations. He provides senior strategic PR counsel to organizations and individuals at both agency and corporate levels to help individuals and organizations influence public opinion through the power of story.
These include men and women on a mission for God or the common good, such as evangelist Billy Graham, for whom he served as principal spokesperson beginning in 1981; Dr. Rick Warren, Bishop T.D. Jakes, and many other national and international Christian leaders. In 2016, Larry served as communications director for Dr. Ben Carson and his presidential campaign.
He founded A. Larry Ross Communications, a Dallas-based full-service public relations firm, in 1994 to provide crossover media liaison at the intersection of faith and culture.
A graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, Larry and his wife, Autumn, have three sons, two daughters-in-law, and four grandchildren. They live in Lewisville, Texas.
Josh Thomason routinely serves as an expert guide in the areas of educational strategy and nonprofit finance for Christian education. He’s vice president of finance and operations at Greater Atlanta Christian School and also serves as executive director of the school’s online platform, Ethos School. Under Josh’s leadership, Ethos has more than tripled its revenue in a single year. Josh is currently leading a project to transform more than 140 school learning spaces into dynamic environments that allow online and face-to-face instruction to occur simultaneously, with a high level of engagement and quality.
Josh majored in management and earned an MBA in finance and strategy from Georgia Tech. He received a doctorate in entrepreneurial leadership in education from Johns Hopkins University, where he studied the impact of societal change on Christian schools.
Josh worships at North Atlanta Church of Christ with his wife, Ashley, and their two children.