SPEAKERS 2017

Team Member

Todd Adkins

Director of LifeWay Leadership and Co-Host of 5 Leadership Questions Podcast

Todd Adkins is the Director of Leadership Development at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville, TN. Prior to joining LifeWay, Todd worked in the local church in student ministry and as an executive pastor. He has a background in launching strategic initiatives and web-based leadership development, and he’s passionate about helping churches create cultures of leadership development and training pathways for every role in the church. Since joining LifeWay, Todd has spearheaded the development of Ministry Grid, LifeWay’s dynamic leadership development platform, and written Developing Your Leadership Pipeline, a tool to aid church leaders in developing their people. He also hosts the 5 Leadership Questions podcast and tweets #Leadership incessantly at @ToddAdkins.

Team Member

Chad R. Allen

Editorial Director, Baker Books

Chad R. Allen (@chadrallen) is editorial director of Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, where he has worked for fifteen years. He has been honored to work with such authors as Mark Batterson, Kyle Idleman, Caroline Leaf, Michael Hyatt, John Burke, Phyllis Tickle, and Chip Ingram. He blogs for writers and other creatives at chadrallen.com and has been published in such online places as LifeHacker, The Accidental Creative, MichaelHyatt.com, Goinswriter.com, and The Good Men Project. He’s also the creator of Book Proposal Academy, an online course designed to help nonfiction writers build compelling book proposals.

Team Member

Amy Cerra

Creative Director, Discovery House, Our Daily Bread Ministries

Amy Cerra is a designer, artist, gardener, and food enthusiast who has worked in Christian publishing for 18 years. She is currently Creative Director for Our Daily Bread Ministries, a global, non-denominational ministry. In addition to her work in book publishing, Amy has experience in brand development, team management, and global operations. Amy lives in Grand Rapids, MI with her husband and son.

Team Member

Sam Curphey

Entertainment Law Attorney

Sam Curphey is an attorney with a solo practice in entertainment law. He represents rights holders, producers, writers, directors, actors and new media talent in a variety of matters running the gamut from film finance to distribution deals.

Sam prides himself on the breadth of scope in his practice and especially his work in independent film. His experience includes: drafting and negotiating option purchase agreements with authors and publishers for motion picture and television rights; drafting PPMs and advising producers on securities law compliance; providing production legal services on feature and documentary films and new media productions; completing rights acquisition agreements for film and television; and negotiating sales agent and distribution deals. Sample projects he has provided legal services in connection with include the following: Moms Night Out, Woodlawn, Beyond the Mask, Four Blood Moons, The Drop Box, Ragamuffin, The Hollywood Shorties, The River Thief, and The Dude Perfect Show.

Sam serves on the board of Director’s for Act One, a non-profit dedicating to cultivating the craft of Christian storytellers, and speaks at Azusa Pacifica and Biola on the topic of entertainment law. In addition to loving his job and his messy industry, Sam is blessed to live in Pasadena, CA with his wife of 12 years, Mary, and their 4 children: Bridget (8.5 going on 17), Charley (5 going on 3), Josephine (actually 3) and John (1.5 and named after the beloved Apostle).

Team Member

Josh Dennis

Executive Vice President of Creative, Crossway

Josh Dennis is the Executive Vice President of Creative at Crossway. Josh studied Business and Art and received his B.A. from Taylor University in 2002. Josh has worked in a variety of creative roles including Production Designer, Designer, Art Director, and Creative Director. He works with an award winning and talented team at Crossway. In his career he has been able to collaborate with a diverse group of talented creatives including, designers, illustrators, film directors, developers and more.

Team Member

Robert Downs

Director of Licensing & Subsidiary Rights, HarperCollins Christian Publishing

Rob has been in the publishing industry for nearly 30 years, working in areas from warehousing and distribution management, HR, Contracts, and now Licensing, in Domestic and International rights. Rob spent 10 years with Spanish-language publisher Editorial Unilit working in acquisitions before joining the HCCP licensing team in 2005.

Team Member

Nathan Flinn

Author and Dean of the School of Theology & Missions and Professor of Theological Studies, Union University

Nathan A. Finn is Dean of the School of Theology & Missions and Professor of Theological Studies at Union University (Jackson, TN). He is author of The Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement (B&H Academic) and History: A Student’s Guide (Crossway). He is an ordained minister and serves as a research fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty of the Southern Baptist Convention, a fellow for the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a fellow for the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Team Member

Nadiyka Gerbish

Author, Translator, and Rights Manager

Nadiyka Gerbish is a bestselling and award-winning Ukrainian author of children’s books, inspirational short stories, and Christian non-fiction. She is also a translator of numerous high-profile titles (English to Ukrainian) such as Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson; Decision Points, by George W. Bush; Psychology & Christianity: Five Views, ed. by Eric L. Johnson; On the Marriage You’ve Always Wanted, by Gary Chapman; Developing the Leader Within You, by John Maxwell; Once an Arafat Man, by Tass Saada with Dean Merrill, and others. Nadiyka has an MA degree in English Language and Literature (Kyiv National Linguistic University, Ukraine), and an MA in American Studies and Mass Media (University of Lodz, Poland). Nadiyka’s journey in the publishing world began more than a decade ago when as a student of English Language and World Literature, she started contributing to major national Ukrainian newspapers as a journalist and a book reviewer. She also worked as an editor-in-chief of a Christian publishing house and taught college-level courses on PR in Publishing in Ukraine. Her photography has been used in book illustrations produced by European, American, and Canadian publishers. Nadiyka will join the team at Riggins International Rights Services as Eastern European Rights Manager in September 2017.

Team Member

Tim Green

Senior Art Director, Faceout Studio

Tim Green is a senior art director at Faceout Studio, but he prefers the term “seasoned” art director. Tim graduated from Northern Arizona University in 2002, and he has been designing books and brand identity ever since. When he is not at his desk designing, he is most likely to be found at home, with his lovely wife and 3 children. If he's not with them, it's a safe bet you'll find him at a coffee shop, probably designing something. Be sure to say "hi" for me.

Team Member

Klaus Krogh

Founder and CEO, 2K/DENMARK

Klaus E. Krogh, together with his wife Liv, founded 2K/DENMARK (then named 2Krogh), back in 1987 after his 7-year employment at the Norwegian Bible Society. Since then he has been partner and CEO of the graphic design company, that today offers a range of services, both digital and in printed media. His company works with publishers around the world and have over the years specialized in font-design, design and typesetting of highly complex texts, among which the Bible holds a prominent and prestigious position. “My greatest achievement is that the company survives by insisting on delivering the highest quality possible. That also tells a story about our customers."

Team Member

Pete Larson

Owner and President, Bethany Press International

Pete Larson is the owner and President/CEO of Bethany Press International Inc., and has been in the book printing industry for over 17 years. Prior to book manufacturing, he held management roles in advertising and customer service in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. He is a graduate from the Michigan Technological University School of Business with a degree in Personnel and Industrial Relations.

Team Member

Brittyne Lewis

Head of Product, LibreDigital

Brittyne has worked in the publishing industry since graduating from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors degree in English. She has worked directly with global publishers in various capacities at LibreDigital over the past 8 years. She has a diverse background in managing software engineering projects, book publishing accounts and relationships with major retailers, and product development. Prior to LibreDigital Brittyne worked as a copywriter and editor for an imprint distributed by Elsevier.

In her role as Head of Product, Brittyne drives the development of products and solutions to meet publishers’ needs by anticipating market requirements, listening to publishers, and monitoring the industry and trends. She maintains the product roadmap for the company across solution sets for both Books and Magazines and manages the entire product line life cycle.

Apart from work, Brittyne enjoys spending time with her family, golfing, reading books to her daughter, and eating tacos and BBQ daily in Austin, Texas.

Team Member

Gabe Lyons

Author, speaker, and Q founder

Gabe Lyons is the co-author of Good Faith (2016), unChristian (2007) and authored The Next Christians (2010), as a manifesto for how Christians can faithfully lead in a changing culture. He is the founder of Q, a learning community of Christian leaders where they are equipped to engage our cultural moment. Their Q Conference (www.Q2018.com) annually convenes thousands of leaders from all industries while Q Commons, their global event simultaneously unites 140 cities and over 10,000 people on an October evening (www.QCommons.com). Called "sophisticated and orthodox" by The New York Times, Q equips Christians apply their faith to daily life by addressing some of the most difficult and controversial issues of our time. Gabe speaks to over 100,000 people each year on topics of equipping the next generation, cultural issues and research related to the intersection of faith and public life. He lives in Nashville with his wife, Rebekah, and their three children.

Team Member

David McKay

Producer and Creative Director

David McKay is both a Producer and Creative Director fueled by a personal mission to reflect the great and the good wherever it’s seen. After working at non-profits, marketing agencies, and production companies, David made the jump to independent work and has since produced films and video for brands like B&H Publishing, Chevrolet, Bentley Motors, Weebly, HCA, Southwestern Consulting, and Google. His experience ranges from animation and editing to directing and creative strategy; he’s even embarked on solo documentary filmmaking in Siberia. In business, he’s a firm believer that it’s not just content that’s king, but rather, great content is king. Today David continues to pursue dynamic projects while empowering brands to share their message and their story through brave, thoughtful, and creative video content.

Team Member

Kristen McLean

Executive Director of Business Development, NPD Book

Kristen McLean is the Executive Director of Business Development at NPD Book, a part of The NPD Group. With more than 20 years of experience in the publishing industry in roles including retailing, sales, marketing, and industry advocacy, she oversees research into the consumer behavior of readers, and she is NPD Books' in-house specialist on both the Children's and the Christian markets. She is the editor of the recent ECPA Landscape Survey of Book Buying Trends in the Christian Market. As part of her role as an industry strategist, Kristen speaks extensively on issues facing the publishing world including the effect of technology and culture on books and reading, and evolving models for publishing. Kristen is deeply interested in the confluence of consumer behavior, technology, literacy, and global information in the Digital Age.

Team Member

Jonathan Merkh

Former VP and Publisher, Howard Books a division of Simon & Schuster

Jonathan’s career in Christian publishing encompassed roles in ministry, agenting, and sales through work at Thomas Nelson, Guideposts, William Morris and Simon & Schuster. His extensive and varied experience gives him a well-rounded and unique perspective on most every area of the business.

Merkh spent fourteen years with Thomas Nelson Publishers in various roles including a post as senior vice president and publisher of the Nelson Books division, the company’s flagship imprint. While there he published more than twenty New York Times bestsellers, including works by Dave Ramsey, John and Stasi Eldredge, Dr. John C. Maxwell, and Donald Miller. Jonathan, a graduate of Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management, also launched the Nelson Business imprint.

In his eight plus years at the helm of Howard Books/Simon and Schuster, Jonathan has overseen the publication of over 40 New York Times bestsellers from authors like Dave Ramsey and Brad Paisley to fiction best-sellers William Paul Young and Karen Kingsbury. Most notably Howard books made publishing history with the Duck Dynasty franchise of books that dominated the bestseller lists for most of 2013 and sold nearly 7 million copies. Of those 40 bestsellers, five hit the #1 spot on the lists. Publishers Weekly noted that for 2014, Howard Books had more hardcover bestsellers than any other Christian publishing company in the country.

Jonathan is presently on sabbatical, consulting with several firms and studying trends in the industry that may lead to hints about the future of the publishing landscape.

Jonathan is the father of three beautiful daughters and the grandfather of one little boy who has a little sister on the way in late 2017.

Team Member

Russell Moore

President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, SBC

Russell Moore is president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, the moral concerns and public policy entity of the nation’s largest Protestant denomination. He is a frequent cultural commentator, an ethicist and theologian by background, and an ordained Southern Baptist minister. Moore is the author of several books, including Onward (B&H Publishing Group). A native Mississippian, he and his wife Maria are the parents of five sons.

Team Member

Ryan Myers

Creative Director, She Reads Truth and He Reads Truth

As Creative Director of She Reads Truth and He Reads Truth, I oversee the strategy, design, and implementation of the She Reads Truth brand across the web, printed materials, and in the She Reads Truth mobile apps with a team of art directors, designers, developers and contract artists.

Over the course of the first 9 months (3/14-12/14), under the vision of the CEO and Editorial Director, I have worked with a team to produce:

  • An iOS & Android app featuring a full Bible in multiple translations and incorporating community study plans
  • 12 printed Study Packs including two 100+-page perfect-bound books
  • A successful Kickstarter campaign, reaching our goal of $35,000 in less than 24 hours and going on to earn $87,000
  • 2 live streaming events
  • Various merchandise products
  • Daily share images for social media
  • Seasonal Gift guide

The Results

  • Reached Top Chart in App Store
  • Consistently one of the top 50 free apps in the Reference Category in App Store
  • Instragram follower increase of 300%
  • 100% Facebook Page likes
  • 70% increase in Twitter followers
  • Web & Mobile User increase of 750%
  • Sustainable business model
  • Company growth from a team of 5 to a team of 12

2015 Achievements

  • 15 printed study packs
  • a full study book redesign to be fully perfect-bound magazines
  • website redesign
  • launch of a subscription plan
  • development and launch of He Reads Truth

The analytics continue to trend upward with a social platform of nearly 500,000 and users in 20+ countries. Our offline product continues to be a pioneer in the industry.

Team Member

Jade Novak

Managing Art Director, B&H Publishing Group, an imprint of LifeWay Resources

Jade is an art director and product designer for B&H Publishing with a background in advertising and graphic design. She has worked on an array of products including (from smallest to largest) business cards, pencils, CDs, menus, magazines, catalogues, books and Bibles, t-shirts, displays, and billboards (plus a tv commercial circa 1995, but we're trying to forget about that). Her personal favorite: the Worm Dirt bag. Having survived the age of amberlithe and attended press checks from Chicago to Shenzhen, Jade will share a bit of designer wisdom with anyone who wants to add a little color to their vocabulary.

Team Member

Jackie Hill Perry

Writer, speaker, and artist

Jackie Hill Perry is a writer, speaker, and artist whose work has been featured on the Washington Times, the 700 Club, Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and other publications. Since being saved from a lifestyle of homosexual sin and the like, Jackie has been compelled to share the light of the gospel truth through poems that have reached over one million views on YouTube. She is becoming an influential voice on various topics influencing culture. She is signed to Humble Beast Records, and released her debut album “The Art of Joy” in 2014. At home, she is known as wife to Preston and mommy to Eden.

Team Member

Barnabas Piper

Marketing Manager, B&H Academic and Word Search, LifeWay; speaker, author

Barnabas Piper is a speaker and the author of The Curious Christian (B&H Publishing Group), The Pastor’s Kid (David C. Cook) and Help My Unbelief (David C. Cook) and a contributor to several websites. He blogs regularly at BarnabasPiper.com and co-hosts The Happy Rant Podcast. Barnabas has worked in publishing since 2005 and currently serves as the marketing manager for B&H Academic and Word Search at LifeWay.

Team Member

Russ Ramsey

Author, pastor, speaker

Russ Ramsey is an author, pastor, and speaker who loves making the Word of God come alive for his readers and listeners. He is the author of Struck (IVP), Behold the King of Glory (Crossway), and Behold the Lamb of God (Rabbit Room Press).

Team Member

Marcos Simas

Acquisition Editor, Managing Editor, and Consultant

Marcos Simas has acquired Portuguese rights for over 500 titles for major general trade and Christian publishers in Brazil. He has served as both Acquisition Editor and Managing Editor on key books and Bible projects for several major publishers and also as an editorial consultant for both Christian and general trade publishers who want to acquire rights to translate into the Portuguese language from the American market. He currently works for Thomas Nelson Brazil, Geográfica Editora and Editora Planeta. Marcos is currently studying towards a Ph.D. in the field of Religious Studies.

Team Member

Joshua Tallent

Director of Outreach and Education, Firebrand Technologies

Joshua Tallent, the Director of Outreach and Education at Firebrand Technologies, has been an eBook developer since 2002 and is a well-known eBook expert and teacher. He serves on multiple industry committees and working groups and teaches at publishing conferences year-round. Joshua provides consulting and training services, helping publishers understand their content better and figure out how to sell it more effectively. He and his team are also the creators of FlightDeck, the most robust EPUB quality assurance tool available. Visit him on Twitter at @jtallent or www.ebookarchitects.com.

Team Member

Andrew Tebbe

VP of Marketing & Communications, Crossway

Andrew Tebbe is Vice President of Marketing & Communications at Crossway, where he has served for eight years in a number of marketing and sales roles. Andrew has a passion for seeing the Word of God and Bible-centered books equip and edify the church. He and his wife Laura live in Wheaton, Illinois with their son Caleb.

Team Member

Phil Warner

VP of Video Production, RightNow Media

Phil Warner serves as the Vice President of Video Production for RightNow Media where he leads the creative team that produces all of the video resources for the ministry. Throughout his 18-year career Phil has helped create over 100 video-based Bible study projects, partnering with key authors and teachers like Francis Chan, Matt Chandler, Max Lucado, Mark Batterson, Chip Igram, Tim Tebow, Dr. Tony Evans, John Ortberg, Kyle Idleman, and David Platt. Phil lives in the Dallas area with his wife Becky and his two sons Hayden and Andrew.

Team Member

Gabe Wicks

VP of Creative Services, HarperCollins Christian Publishing

Gabe Wicks has been part of Nashville’s creative workforce for almost twenty years, first in the film and video community, and then in the book world. He’s worked for Thomas Nelson/HarperCollins Christian Publishing since 2002, serving as VP of Creative Services since 2004. Gabe and his wife have three kids, an old house that needs constant upkeep and a couple of antique cars that require frequent prayer to stay running. In his free time he mourns the fact that he has no free time.

Team Member

Jennifer Willingham

Co-Founder of Icon Media Group

Jennifer Willingham is a 23-year veteran of media, having served as Vice President & Associate Publisher of an imprint of Simon & Schuster, one of the top publishing companies in the world. Prior roles include leading the book division of DeMoss, one of the nation’s largest faith-based public relations firms and as Vice President of Marketing and Publicity for Thomas Nelson Publishers. Jennifer now serves as co-President of Icon’s film division and has worked on films including War Room, God's Not Dead, All Saints, and I Can Only Imagine (coming 2018).

Team Member

Andrew Wolgemuth

Literary Agent, Wolgemuth & Associates

Andrew Wolgemuth is a literary agent at Wolgemuth & Associates. Andrew has been surrounded, challenged, taught, and blessed by books and great authors for his entire life, and he’s had the privilege of working with them as a literary agent since 2005. His first official paycheck came from Wolgemuth & Hyatt Publishers a couple of decades ago. Though far less relevant to his current occupation—albeit, far more conducive to puns—his second employer was Can-Do Trash and Recycling Service. Andrew is a reader, a jogger, a sports fan, the lucky husband of Chrissy, a dad of three girls and a son, and a foster care and adoption advocate. He and his family have lived in Colorado since 2008.

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