David Almack, Workshop
David Almack serves CLC International as Regional Director for North America & the Caribbean. He also serves as National Director for the USA team overseeing CLC’s Christian bookstores, publishing house, and mission-sending base. Passionate about God’s transforming power to change lives for eternity through evangelical Christian literature, Dave is a regular blogger and contributor to Christian Retailing and publishing trade magazines and a frequent speaker and workshop leader for CBA. In 2016, Dave published his first book, The Bookstore that Matters. Dave is a graduate of Messiah College and has a master’s degree in human organizational science from Villanova University. He serves with his wife, Deb, and his two boys, Kenny and Mike.
Michelle Amster, Workshop
Michelle Amster has worked in the Christian retail industry since the early 1980s and has designed over 300 stores. Her passion for helping Christian stores survive and even thrive in this difficult retail transition has led to her keeping her finger on the pulse of current gift trends and the ever-changing world of design. She feels a one-solution-fits-all approach won’t work; instead, every store must look closely at their unique market and ask, “How do I get more guests in my store?”
Angela Breidenbach, Author Boot Camp
Angela Breidenbach is the Christian Authors Network president, a bestselling romance novelist, and the host of GraceUnderPressureRadio.com. Known for being forward-thinking and a techie enthusiast, she loves to share her knowledge to build up others whether readers, retailers, or writers. Find out more about her at: http://AngelaBreidenbach.com or at http://ChristianAuthorsNetwork.com/Angela-Breidenbach/. She’s available for interviews and appointments this week at Unite 2016.
Justine Bylo, Author Boot Camp
Justine Bylo works with IngramSpark authors and publishers to expand their platforms. She is committed to the innovation behind IngramSpark so that clients always have the most cutting edge services. Previously in her roles at Lightning Source and Ingram Publisher Services, she helped countless publishers grow their businesses.
Susan Chipman, Church Bookstore Connection Center
With a passion for connecting people with the latest resources, Susan Chipman is the go-to person at Granger Community Church for all things retail. With a B.S. in retail management and 13 years o experience working as a retail manager, she’s been overseeing retail services at Granger since 2002. She’s also been involved with The Church Bookstore Network since it began in 2006.
Terence Chatmon, Envision the Legacy Banquet
Terence Chatmon served in leadership roles with Johnson & Johnson, Citibank, and Coca-Cola, but he was failing to become the spiritual leader of his home. He was challenged by his wife to chart a course for the spiritual growth of his family and children. After much prayer, he took what he knew from his corporate-world success and biblical teaching to develop Charting Your Family’s Spiritual Course. He is the president and CEO of Fellowship of Companies for Christ International (FCCI.org), a network of executive leaders and is the author of Do Your Children Believe?
The Collingsworth Family, Worship Him!
From their first engagement together as musicians for a church camp in 1986 until now, the ministry God gave Phil and Kim Collingsworth has expanded to involve their entire family. This growth, which occurred during a transition to an all-concert ministry, is a direct result of the emphasis they have placed on prayer. The Collingsworths’ goal is to give the talent God has loaned them back to their creator as a sacrifice of praise. (StowTown Records / Provident Distribution)
Robin Cutler, Author Boot Camp
Helping independent publishers easily sell and distribute content to readers around the globe, Robin Cutler leads IngramSpark. She supports and refines the digital platform to better serve independent publishers around the world. After serving as assistant director at USC Press and as University of Wisconsin’s executive director of university relations, she founded trade imprint SummerHouse Press, serving as CEO. Most recently vendor manager for Amazon/CreateSpace, she has broad knowledge of indie, academic and trade publishing and is an expert in content creation and distribution, on-demand models, marketing, and author strategies.
Mary DeMuth, Global Crossroads Tea, Worship Him!
Mary DeMuth has known tragedy in her life but also has the joy of knowing God. A child of three divorces and a victim of sexual assault, she wanted to end her life in her teens. Then she heard about Jesus. Now the author of more than 30 books, including the upcoming devotional Jesus Every Day (Harvest House, 2018), she mentors writers around the world through booklaunchmentor.com. Find out more at www.marydemuth.com.
 Pam Dover, Author Boot Camp
Pam Dover is a sales specialist with IngramSpark helping authors, independent publishers, and businesses share their story by understanding their needs and pairing them with the right tools using Ingram’s digital print-on-demand print and ebook distribution services. Dover has worked closely with authors and booksellers for the past 35 years in various leadership, product management, training, and sales positions.
Erik Ernstrom, Retail Academy, Workshop
Erik Ernstrom has worked in the CBA industry for more than 25 years. He has managed an independently owned Christian retail store and a customer service department that served 300 Christian retail stores. Since 2007 he has managed the business analytics department of The Parable Group that yielded nearly 100 million customer contacts last year.
 Eric Grimm, Christian Product Trends “Rep Arounds”
Eric Grimm, CBA’s Director of Communications, has worked for CBA nearly 20 years involved in several major industry initiatives, including industry-promotion campaigns, supply-chain management and standards development, and various CBA research projects, including gift and specialty research, CBA State of the Industry Report research, and more. He won national awards during his journalism career and continues to contribute to various CBA media.
 Ann Kardos, Workshop
Ann Kardos is a second-generation bookseller who has always had a heart for drawing and creating art. She majored in Architecture and Interior Design at Kent State University. She and her husband, Shane, were married in 1993. Shane is the worship minister at their church. After school and starting a family, Ann put away her pencils and paints. As co-owner and manager of Logos Bookstore (Kent, Ohio), she and Shane focused on sustaining the bookstore through the most difficult of economic climates. While running their business and running their kids around has occupied much of her time, she has heard the Lord invite her to start using her art for His good purposes… and it has been a delight for her!
Mary Manz Simon, PhD, Christian Product Trends “Rep Arounds”
Dr. Mary Manz Simon has been a thought leader in the children’s Christian market for more than 25 years. She has also worked with a variety of general market companies including Walden Media, Sony Home Entertainment, and American Girl (Mattel). Her award-winning books have sold more than 3 million copies and are in 10 languages.
 Sherry Morris, Retail Academy, Workshop
Sherry Morris is marketing manager for Carpentree, Inc. She has been a regular contributor to Christian Marketplace. Equipping store buyers with the tools they need to be successful in selling gifts is her personal mission and ministry goal. Her love of merchandising stems from experience in product and interior design, trade show management, and product staging. Morris also is the author of four books, curriculum for a preschool missions magazine, and other periodicals and publications.
 Jim Pitman, Retail Academy
  Jim Pitman grew up in Bolivia, South America, where his parents were missionary linguists with Wycliffe Bible Translators. His love for reading, for people and for God’s Word led him to a career with CLC International (formerly Christian Literature Crusade) where he has worked for the last twenty years. His roles at CLC over the years have included running a bilingual Christian bookstore in Miami, Florida and an urban Christian bookstore in Philadelphia, serving as publisher for CLC Publications, serving as Director of World Mission, serving as Director of Retail Operations and his current role as Director of CLC Multi-Language Media. Jim has also served as an international trainer with CBA, doing Spanish bookseller workshops in Mexico and Puerto Rico among others. Jim is married with 4 children and lives near Philadelphia.
Steve Potratz, Retail Academy
Steve Potratz has been a leader in the industry for over 40 years. In 1985, he founded The Parable Group to help fellow independent store owners buy, promote, and sell products using data, technology, and marketing expertise. Under his leadership, The Parable Group has served over 1,000 Christian brands with customized marketing and digital solutions that reach and engage the Christian consumer. His ability to pinpoint marketing and digital trends and apply them to business strategies has made him one of the industry’s leading innovators.
 Rod Robison, Envision the Legacy Banquet
Rod Robison is a mentalist, illusionist, author, speaker, and broadcast professional. His comedy mind-reading show, Mentallusions, has been a popular feature at corporate and organizational events as well as aboard Holland America cruises. He is the author of Unmasking the Masquerade: Three Illusionists Investigate Deception, Fear, and the Supernatural (Encourage Publishing, 2017). He has been performing professionally for over 20 years and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Magicians and the Society of American Magicians.
 Cynthia Ruchti, Author Boot CampChristian Product Trends “Rep Arounds”
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories hemmed-in-Hope through her award-winning novels, nonfiction, devotionals, and through speaking events for women and writers. Her books have been recognized by many industry honors. Her latest releases are A Fragile Hope (PW Starred Review and RT Reviews TOP PICK) and the nonfiction As My Parents Age (WorthyInspired). As the ACFW professional relations liaison, she connects the organization and its writers with retailers, libraries, book clubs, readers, and other authors.
Noël Russell, Church Bookstore Connection Center
Noël Russell is director of retail services at Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois. This position uses her previous retail experience as well as her creative gifts and love for God to serve the church’s cafe and bookstore ministries. Her passion for vintage design and found objects throughout the store and her home helps her to repurpose furniture using different mediums. This experience has helped her to constantly reimagine The Bookstore and Cafe at Christ Church.
 Ricardo Sanchez, Worship Him!
Difference Media recording artist Ricardo Sanchez has helped write some influential worship songs, including “Power of the Cross,” “I Call Your Name,” “Great God,” and the Dove Award-winning “The Power of One.” A 2010 GRAMMY®-nominee for Best Gospel Song as co-writer of “Every Prayer,” Sanchez’s Windows 2 Worship seminars offer coaching and consultation to worship leaders around the world. His next project, Taste + See, releases in August. For further information, visit www.ricardomusic.com.
Rachel Savage, Church Bookstore Connection Center
In Christian retail since 1994, Rachel Savage currently serves as the senior director of bookstore operations at Calvary Chapel Melbourne and has run Watermark Christian Store since 2001. She spearheaded a remodel and rebranding of the store in 2014. An avid fiction reader, Savage also facilitates a book club in conjunction with the church’s women’s ministry, bringing a unique fusion of ministry and retail.
Jack Scott, Retail Academy, Free Consulting
After more than 30 years in publishing and Christian retailing, Jack Scott is owner of Scott Marketing & Training. Serving previously as director of training and member development for the ChristianTrade Association International and as the managing director of Provident Bookstores, Scott has presented training for the U.S. State Department, the American Booksellers Association, CBA International, CBA Canada, and numerous regional bookseller associations. He recently packaged his many years of knowledge into a store manual for international retailing and provides two- and four-day Professional Christian Bookseller Institutes. For more information, contact Scott at jscott.training@gmail.com.
Wendi Swanson, Retail Academy, Workshop
Wendi Swanson joined The Friedman Group in 1994, after 10 years of retail sales, management, and training-program development. Her client portfolio has included Godiva, Yankee Candle, La-Z-Boy, and Daniel’s Jewelry. She has pioneered the development of model store implementation and train-the-trainer programs. She teaches retailers around the world how to drive revenue and profit initiatives through talent acquisition, customer engagement, leadership development, and overall achievement of KPIs.
George Thomsen, Church Bookstore Connection Center
George Thomsen, director of the Harvest Bookstore and Café, has been employed by Harvest Christian Fellowship since 1994. As an industry consultant George has also been involved in the creation and development of more than 30 church bookstores and cafes. As an industry leader, he has served as CBA’s Chairman of the Board from 2009 to 2013, served on advisory councils, led industry workshops, and authored more than 100 articles in industry trade publications. In 2007, George’s store was honored with a CBA Jim Carlson Store of the Year award and in 2008 was recognized as Store of the Year by the Church Bookstore Network. Prior to entering Christian ministry as Director of Men’s Ministry at South Coast Community Church, George was active in the golf business as both a golf professional, association administrator, and in industry leadership.
Adrian Van Vactor, Envision the Legacy Banquet
Adrian Van Vactor is an internationally known, award-winning illusionist and Christian apologist, currently regional director with FaithSearch International. He has been working professionally in the field of illusion since 1992. Van Vactor worked for many years with Youth for Christ and Campus Crusade for Christ International. He also studied at the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. Van Vactor launched Adrian Van Vactor International Ministries in 2003 “to utilize the art of illusion as a tool to bridge cultural and generational gaps and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ with evidence to all peoples everywhere.”

More Attendee Info     UNITE 2017

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