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revitup! Speaker Biographies





Julie Anderman portrait photo Julie Anderman
Title: Break... or Brick? Claiming Sabbath for Clergy Spouses

Julie Anderman has been a clergy spouse (with reluctance and reward!) in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference for 20 years. She co-founded Artos Retreats two years ago out of a calling to improve the well-being of clergy spouses through connection and learning. Before starting Artos, Julie had provided independent instructional design and communications consulting for Fortune 100 companies for over 20 years. She has facilitated small group learning in both corporate and church environments for 25 years. Today, she applies her professional and clergy spouse experiences to design and facilitate experiential learning with common real-life clergy spouse scenarios. Current topics focus on claiming Sabbath, healthy transitions, and assertive boundary-setting.

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Thad Austin portrait photo Thad Austin
Title: Establishing Cultures of Generosity

Rev. Dr. Thad Austin serves as the Senior Director for United Methodist Engagement and Lifelong Learning at Duke Divinity School. A graduate of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Ph.D. program, Thad is a highly sought-after speaker at national and international conferences. His expertise centers on faith-based fundraising, congregational social entrepreneurship, and the theology of charitable religious giving. Thad is the recipient of the Indiana University William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion and the Association for Research in Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action’s national Emerging Scholar Award. An ordained elder in the United Methodist Church, Thad has served in congregational appointments in Kentucky and in Tennessee. His last pastoral appointment was as Executive Pastor at First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a 3,200-member congregation. In his free time, Thad loves to travel (44 countries and all 50 states, thus far), hike (has hiked the 1,100 miles between Pennsylvania and Georgia), sail, and spend time with friends.

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revitup presenter photo Michael Baughman
Title: Direct Donor Dollars and Sense—"The Big Ask"

The Reverend Michael Baughman is an ordained elder serving in the North Texas Annual Conference as the lead pastor for Union—a new kind of coffee house that seeks to care for those in the surrounding community. He has served congregations of varying sizes in the North Carolina, Greater New Jersey, Central Texas and North Texas Annual Conferences. Much of his time in ministry has been spent starting and building youth and young adult ministries.

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revitup presenter photo David Bell
Title: When There’s a Will, There’s a Way

The Reverend David S. Bell is the president and executive director of the United Methodist Foundation of Michigan and a senior design partner with Design Group International. His areas of expertise include charitable estate planning, stewardship education, planned giving, faith-based personal budgeting and clergy finance. With more than 20 years of experience consulting with individuals, congregations and non-profit organizations, he creates hope by designing practical services that help faithful people live generous lives. Bell has a keen understanding of the current economic climate and the consumer trends impacting charitable giving.

As an avid writer and speaker, he addresses the often-overlooked spiritual discipline of generosity and the debilitating impact of hyper-consumerism. He gained experience as a pastor, development director, and regional and national church executive. He is active with the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, the Christian Leadership Alliance and the National Association of Church Business Administrators. Bell recently completed a graduate certificate in Executive Leadership from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western University. He is a graduate of The College of Wooster and a magna cum laude graduate of the Drew Theological School.

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revitup presenter photo Nate Berneking
Title: Surviving Clergy Taxes

The Reverend Nate Berneking is the Director of Finance & Administrative Ministry for the Missouri Annual Conference, Nate serves as a resource to the clergy and congregations of the Missouri Conference. In addition to his oversight of Conference finance, legal and business matters, he also conducts regular workshops on finance, administration, local church trustees, stewardship/generosity, clergy benefits and tax issues. An attorney, he previously worked in a large law firm’s corporate, finance and securities practice group.

Nate is the author of The Vile Practices of Leadership, published by Abingdon Press and maintains a website with finance and administration resources for pastors and churches at www.nateberneking.com.

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revitup presenter photo Bob Christophel
Title: Revving Toward the Future: Clergy Benefits Review

Bob Christophel is Manager, Benefits Education at Wespath. He oversees a team of Benefit Educators who provide financial, retirement and other benefits education services for clergy and lay employees throughout the denomination. Prior to joining Wespath in 2014, Bob worked for 12 years at the Cultural Institutions Retirement System in New York City, a not-for-profit multi-employer pension and 401(k) system, providing benefit communications and participant education for employees of New York City museums, botanical gardens, zoo’s and performing arts centers. Before that Bob spent 12 years at Dreyfus Corporation, where he was a licensed investment representative in a corporate retirement services division, focused primarily on participant education for national corporate 401(k) plans.

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Craig Gilliam photo Craig Gilliam
Title: Conflict Resolution: A Skill and an Art

The Reverend Dr. Craig Gilliam is a JustPeace collaborative staff member, director of the Center for Pastoral Excellence, Louisiana Conference and adjunct instructor, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. With more than 24 years’ experience serving in Church, Gilliam has earned deep respect for his work with leaders and communities. He has worked with hundreds of congregations from different denominations over the years that are caught in conflict and anxiety. His areas of expertise include: conflict transformation in congregations, leadership education, team building and group process.

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revitup presenter photo Mary Henley
Title: Strengths-Based Leadership for Pastors

The Reverend Dr. Mary Bendall Henley is an ordained Elder in the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church and is in her 17th year of full time pastoral ministry. Mary is a Gallup-Certified Strength Development Coach, and has worked with individuals and groups on strengths-based development, utilizing Gallup’s Clifton StrengthFinder, for ten years. She has worked with both individuals and groups/team, clergy and church/denominational leaders, as well as nonprofit organizations, business and government. Mary currently serves as Senior Pastor at Helena United Methodist Church in Birmingham, AL and holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in leadership development.

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Cary James photo Cary James
Title: Understanding and Overseeing Church Finances

The Reverend Cary James, Jr., is an Elder in the Baltimore-Washington Conference and has served in full-time ministry for 20 years. He has served as a church planter, in congregational development, youth pastor, associate pastor and lead pastor. Rev. James is the lead pastor of Sharp Street Memorial United Methodist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Rev. James is a graduate and facilitator of the Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation Financial Leadership Academy. He is a graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary Urban Church Leadership Initiative. He is a graduate of the DeVos Foundation Transformational Giving Program. Rev. James serves on the Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits, Conference Investment Committee and the Board of Ordained Ministry. He is certified as a DISC Facilitator, Leading from Your Strengths Coach, ICF Certified Coach and Situational Leadership II Facilitator.

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revitup presenter photo Jane Pernotto Ehrman
Title: Chill and Refill: Creating Life Balance and Avoiding Compassion Fatigue

Jane, owner of Images of Wellness, LLC, is a Mind/Body Medicine Specialist in Cleveland, Ohio. She works with adults and children on a variety of issues, including chronic disease treatment stress-related illness and, grief and loss, and more. Jane has been an international speaker, for over 25 years on a variety of topics related to health and wellness, and work/life balance, compassion fatigue and burnout.

Besides her private work, Jane is the Lead Behavioral Health Specialist at the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Lifestyle Medicine, in the Wellness Institute.

She has a Master’s of Education from Pennsylvania State University, with an emphasis on Mind/Body Medicine and an undergraduate degree in Health Education from Youngstown State University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist, a National Board Certified Diplomat in Clinical Hypnotherapy, and certified in Interactive Guided Imagery™. She candidly shares her insights with high energy, compassion and humor.

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Beth Norcross portrait photo Beth Norcross
Title: Greening Your Congregation

Beth Norcross founded and directs the Center for Spirituality in Nature, which offers experiences in nature that open individuals to a lived, loving connection with the Divine and the natural world. She is also co-founder of Church of the Wild DC-MD-VA. Beth brings to her current work extensive experience in the environmental field, as staff for the US Senate Parks Subcommittee and as Vice President of Conservation for American Rivers. She is also the co-founder of the Green Seminary Initiative, is adjunct professor at Wesley Theological Seminary and has written numerous articles and curricula related to ecology and faith.

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Twanda Prioleau portrait photo Twanda Prioleau
Title: Time to Get Real About Money

The Reverend Twanda Prioleau has been a trained coach since 2013. She has a desire to see God’s people live into their God given purpose in the Kingdom of God. Believing in Ephesians 3:20, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,” she believes there is greatness in all of us. Rev. Prioleau has used her gift of coaching to coach individuals and churches to bring out God’s gifts in them.

She is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and the pastor of Christ United Methodist Church in Baltimore City. A graduate of Morgan State University and Lancaster Theological Seminary, she holds a BA degree in Accounting and a Master of Divinity degree. Rev. Prioleau completed Clinical Pastoral Education at York County Hospital in Pennsylvania. Currently, she is a student at United Theological Seminary, pursuing a Doctor of Ministry degree studying Dr. Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community.

She has taught leaders throughout Maryland. Her teaching has included courses such as Advanced Preaching to Lay Speakers; The Five Practices of a Vital Congregation; Clergy Self-care; Stewardship; Church Mission and Vision; and Narrative Budgets. She currently serves on the Baltimore-Washington Conference Baltimore District Committee on Ordained Ministry, mentoring candidates for ministry; Baltimore-Washington Conference Health and Wellness Board; Treasurer for the Black Clergy Women of the Baltimore-Washington Conference and Historian for the National Black Clergy Women of the UMC.

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Jeremy Steele portrait photo Jeremy Steele
Title: Enhancing and Extending Worship Through Technology

When he is not playing with his four children with his wonderful wife, the Reverend Jeremy Steele is the teaching pastor at Christ UMC in Mobile, Al. He is passionate about reaching people with the message of Jesus in a way that engages them with the movement of God. Jeremy has spent over 20 years working in youth and children's ministry and continues to train children and youth workers as well as writing and speaking extensively in that field.

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