Online Speaker Series
In this series, our CEO Anthony Flynn interviews distinguished professionals who exemplify living at the center of work and faith, making it a priority to reflect Christ-centered lives while empowering others to do the same.
August 23rd / 9:30am CST
Founder of What Good Looks Like, LLC
Dr. Adam Downs is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) in the state of Alabama and a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy and the Alabama Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. He is happily married to Dr. Karly J. Downs who is a professor at UA, and they have two little girls (9 & 4). Dr. Adam founded What Good Looks Like, LLC (WGLL), a mental wellness consulting firm that partners with university student organizations and student athletes to empower students to create the collegiate experience it was always meant to be; a life-enriching, life-changing opportunity. WGLL partners with 9 different universities across the Southeast, Texas, and Ohio.
Senior Vice President of
Human Resources for FedEx Ground
In our July Work + Faith Online Speaker Series, we had the honor of hearing from Christian Lee, Head of Business Operations for the Flame Broiler Inc. Christian shared with us the story of how his family started their family business and how it became a success, by the grace of God, despite the barriers they faced. Christian emphasized the “power of food” and how you can connect to the community through this. His faith with God led him to continue the generosity of helping others through Flame Broiler, and the legacy that the Lee family has founded. We welcome you to hear more from Christian by standing in faith and being resilient in times of struggle, while also having humility, by placing God’s will at the center in times of success.
For our June Work + Faith Online Speaker Series, We had the honor of hearing from Dr. Nashlie Sephus, CEO of The Bean Path and Tech Evangelist for Amazon Web Services AI. Dr. Nashlie shared with us how her experience with computer science in her early career, helped her value differences in people and achieve success in the tech industry. Dr. Nashlie explained that her passion for AI and helping others has led her to build her own company, establish a non-profit organization, and collaborate with Amazon AI. We welcome you to hear more from Dr. Nashlie’s journey on being compassionate in her community even in times of success, and placing God’s will at the center of her life!
For our May Work + Faith Online Speaker Series, we had the honor of hearing from Dr. Jacki Hillios, the Deputy Executive Director for the Phoenix, who shared that her exposure to the community has helped her begin to believe in people and in the community. This belief has led her to co-found The Phoenix. Through the Phoenix, a grassroots movement where sober community can help each other recover and rise above in various ways such as music, fitness, team building and outdoor adventure sports. Jacki encourages listeners to believe in people and help in the community, especially to those who are in recovery, so that they will rise stronger in their journey of sobriety. We hope that Jacki’s story will inspire you to be involved in the community, such as The Phoenix, and help empower others who can rise above and beyond in accordance with the will of God.
For our April Work + Faith Online Speaker Series, we had the honor of hearing from Todd Greer, Executive Director at Innovation Portal. Todd shared his journey as he served in multiple capacities at the University of Mobile, first as Dean of the School of Business, then Vice Provost, and finally as Vice President for Academic Affairs, after working in ministry, nonprofits, and coaching. In this notion, he emphasized many life changing advice and wisdom that will help the audience in their journey to reaching their full potential, all for the Glory of God!
For our March Work + Faith Online Speaker Series, we had the honor of hearing from Blake Wilson, Vice President of Operations for Manufacture Good. Blake shared his faith journey by being a part of Manufacture Good, unexpectedly stepping into a leadership role to serve the needs of many young men. By providing woodworking skills, Blake and his team at Manufacture Good strives to give these young men a better opportunity in the workforce. Blake is continuing his ministry by serving the people of Birmingham and the state of Alabama. Through God’s guidance, he continues to make “common goods, for the common good!”
For the February edition of our Work + Faith Speaker series, we had the incredible privilege of speaking with Mallory Dwinal-Palisch, Chancellor at Reach University & CEO at the Craft Education System. In this edition, Mallory spoke on the beginning of her career as a teacher with Teach for America and later co-founded an experiential learning high school, Oxford Day Academy, a nonprofit charter school in East Palo Alto, CA. Watching her students thrive in these real-world learning environments, Mallory later co-founded Reach University (formerly the Oxford Teachers Academy), the first-ever regionally accredited university to offer apprenticeship-based AA, BA, and MA degrees. Mallory emphasized how her inspiration for excellence was formulated in a household where hard work was made the pinnacle of everything she did—and everything she would do in the future.
For the January installment of the Work + Faith Online Speaker Series, we had the privilege of speaking with Derwin Sisnett, Co-Founder & Partner at Maslow Development Inc. Derwin reflected on the challenges of growing up in an environment that lacked necessary physical and educational infrastructure. This led to a career of community development and battling major systemic issues. Derwin discussed stepping out in faith and lifting up disadvantaged communities through high performing schools and surrounding infrastructure. Derwin's God-given gifts of persistence, thinking outside the box, and dedication has helped create a major shift in the communities he has served: Derwin states, "a neighborhood in which people once were fighting to get out of are now fighting to get back into".
For our December Work + Faith Online Speaker Series, we had both the honor and privilege of hearing from Orlando Bowen, Keynote Speaker and Executive Director of One Voice One Team. Orlando reflects on the foundational experiences that shaped who he is today, helping youth in the community redefine their possibilities. He shares his incredible triumph story with the audience highlighting the true power of forgiveness in the face of unthinkable adversity. Orlando encourages listeners to see that “our humanity connects us” and inspires us to move conversations towards action despite differences. We hope Orlando’s story of resilience inspires you to show forgiveness in areas of your life where you would least expect, love without boundaries, and focus on what you can do with the gifts God has given you.
In our November Work + Faith Online Speaker Series we had the honor of hearing from Ed Woo, Vice President of Analytics for Walmart Connect. Ed shared his journey of meeting the Lord while pursuing his MBA and unexpectedly stepping into the field of database marketing, leading to a successful career in data analytics. Ed explained that “data is the new oil” and as individuals “we think of analytics every day, we just don’t call it that”. We hope you are inspired by Ed’s insight on data analysis, investing in others, and doing the little things that matter - even when costly.
We had the joy of hearing from Donnie, President of PSP Metrics, on his journey from working with athletes to living out his dream of acquisition entrepreneurship. Donnie spoke about the importance of exposure to various career paths, taking the next step towards career dreams through shameless audacity, and the blessing that comes with living within God's will. We hope you are encouraged by Donnie's words on stepping out in courage and faith.
We had the joy of hearing from Paige Robinson, Founder and CEO of Will Reed. Paige shared on the evolution of her business, being called to lean into her faith throughout the process, and serving first-time venture capitalist founders through her talent pipeline and expert-level approach to team building. Paige challenges listeners to be good stewards of their gifts, step outside the bounds of society through intentional relationships, and be faithful to where God has placed them.
We had the honor of hearing from Rennie Curran, CEO of Game Changer Coaching, in our August Work + Faith Online Speaker Series. Rennie shared with us how he accepted pressure to perform in the NFL without allowing fear to hinder him as he navigated his time with the Tennessee Titans. Rennie explained his approach to helping others is grounded in an “abundance mindset” and establishing his own personal “board of directors”. We welcome you to hear more from Rennie on humility in times of success, his unique perspective on teamwork, and placing God’s will at the center of his life.
In our or June Work + Faith Online Speaker Series we had the honor of hearing from Heather Broeder, Executive Vice President of People at Refined Technologies, Inc. Heather shared with our community the immeasurable impact that valuing people over profit has in the corporate business sector as she said, “it is more important to be right with people than being right”. In her experience at RTI, through servant leadership and second chance hiring, they have lowered attrition rates and increased profits. Heather also shared with us her heart for the Lord and encouraged leaders to “offer what is broken to God, and watch him redeem it.”
In our May Work+Faith Online Speaker Series with Danny, Executive Director of Desire Street Ministries, he shared the impact of growing up with multi-cultural immersion and his successful career in the NFL. Danny provided insight on remaining humble in the midst of success through faith and the encouragement of community that prioritizes a servant-leadership mindset. Danny's heart for the underdog inspired his interest in the work of Desire Street Ministries. We hope you are inspired by the organization's 31 years of experience of revitalizing neighborhood ministry leaders through the intersection of work and faith.
Terrica shared with us her powerful life testimony of overcoming abuse, homelessness, and poverty to become a top realtor and developer in Louisiana. Her story of redemption is a living example of Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD”. Terrica has not let rejection from her childhood or professional endeavors stop her from believing that God has a plan purpose for her life. She is now living that out through her $14 million development, Madeline Cove, for Lafayette’s lower-income residents to find safety, stability, and a roadmap to long-term wealth through homeownership.
To kick off the New Year, we had the blessing of learning from Lee Behar on the topics of stewardship and generosity. Lee serves as the Director of Finance and Strategy Director for The Maclellan Foundation, which is one of the largest Christian family foundations in the world. In our time together, Lee shared with us 5 principles for Biblical generosity and the difference between the mindset of “how much can I give” vs. “how much do I keep”. We hope this conversation encourages you to give generously because God has first given to us.
In our December Work + Faith Online Speaker Series we had the honor of hearing from Scott Sabin, CEO of Plant With Purpose. During our time with Scott, he shared about the impact of how viewing work as a privilege, and a gift, has helped people around the world realize that God has given them a way to contribute to society. We are encouraged by the life changing empowerment Plant With Purpose is making around the world through the connection of work and faith!
We were able to hear about Barbara's calling from God while in Germany, and how she made her "Nehemiah Walk" around the city of Houston to see where resource gaps were for those in need. Realizing the need for employment resources, Barbara wanted to be sure the faith component was there to provide purpose and a stable foundation, while also giving people an opportunity to gain the skills to find meaningful employment. We hope you are as encouraged as we are by Barbara's story and reliance on God!
In our October Work + Faith Online Speaker Series, we talked with our friend Chris Winton (Senior Vice President, Human Resources FedEx Ground). Chris shared with us about his experience finding a career through nontraditional paths and allowing adversity to shape and grow him positively. He shared how living out his purpose of helping people reach their full potential launched him into his current position. I hope you were as inspired as we were from our time together.
In our July Work + Faith Online Speaker Series, we talked with our friend Kem Wilson III (Principal at Kemmons Wilson Companies). Kem shared with us how he learned by example to carry on his grandfather's legacy of treating others with dignity and respect. We also heard about Kem's heart for giving back, both personally with a South Memphis youth outreach and professionally with KWC staff volunteer hours. I hope you were as inspired as I was from our time together.
In September, we spoke with our friend Candace Matthews (Amway's Chief Reputation Officer) in the Work + Faith Online Speaker Series. We heard about Candace’s experiences of relying on God to open windows when the doors are closed, finding a network of support as a means to take care of oneself and one’s career, and investing time and energy into others. I hope you were as inspired as I was from our time together.
In our July Work + Faith Online Speaker Series, we talked with our friend Andy Crouch (partner for theology and culture at Praxis; M.Div. Boston University School of Theology). Andy discussed topics from his book Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing. We heard about Andy’s perspective on power, and how to utilize authority and vulnerability so that we may flourish in our everyday lives, and in our experiences with others.