Justin Keller is a creative strategist, the founder of Circle Fifty Creative and creator of the branding system, Brilliant Brands™. For years he served as a Creative Director at one of the largest churches in America. Now you’ll find him using his unique blend of business and ministry experience to build brands in all sectors ranging from a national golf tour, mid-size businesses and some of the country’s largest churches. A sought after leader of creative teams and brand development projects for more than a decade, Justin is equipped with keen instincts for seeing through the clutter and giving brands an unparalleled edge. Justin's passion is contagious and he’s not afraid to help brands break free from the rules they’ve inherited and push beyond preconceived limits.
Social entrepreneur and creative, Eryn Eddy Erickson is the founder of So Worth Loving– a lifestyle clothing brand. Since it’s start in 2011, Eddy has since grown So Worth Loving into a notable company that has sold to all 50 states, 20 countries, and continues to garner a growing presence of over 30,000 across social media channels. Eddy and her work have been featured in publications such as CNN headline news, MSNBC, Mashable, Jezebel Magazine and Mollie Makes Mag. She lives in the heart of Atlanta with her husband and best friend Jared and their French Bulldog Sprocket.
Alex Medina, works as the art director at Reach Records and music producer for Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Trip Lee and others. He and his wife, Elidaysi, were born and raised in New York City to Hispanic parents. They currently reside in Atlanta with their son, Luca.
John J. Thompson is the creative director at Capitol CMG Publishing and a 25-year music industry veteran, author, songwriter, artist, producer and teacher. He recently wrote the book Jesus, Bread, and Chocolate; Crafting a Hand Made Faith in a Mass Market World. He joined Capitol Christian Music Publishing in early 2007 where he currently oversees a roster of Gospel songwriters (Andrae Crouch, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Aaron Lindsey, John P. Kee, Fred Hammond, Anita Wilson, VaShawn Mitchell, etc) and provides Music Supervision services for films. John loves the creative, independent spirit of East Nashville where he lives with his wife and four children. | JohnJThompson.com | @JohnJThompson
Joe Koenig first visited Uganda in January of 2010. Amazed and inspired by the level of poverty he witnessed while there, he returned to St. Louis, MO, and founded Three Avocados, a non-profit coffee company. With no experience in the coffee industry, Three Avocados has been an amazing journey for Joe. Three Avocados has provided access to clean drinking water to over 20,000 people in Uganda, and recently funded its first education project in Nicaragua.
Eric Brown is co-founder and chief creative officer at Whiteboard, an award-winning interactive design firm. With over a decade of experience in leading organizational strategies and research, Eric bridges the gap between client and creative. He lives in Chattanooga, TN, with his wife, Katie, and his daughter, Ella. | Taylor Jones co-founded Whiteboard, an award-winning interactive design firm whose client list includes Chick-fil-A, Passion Conferences, Youth For Christ USA, and Q Ideas. Taylor serves as Whiteboard's CEO and leads the development team. He lives in Chattanooga, TN, with his wife, Eren.
Victor Saad has been called a designer, strategist, and connector; but really, he's just an Egyptian-American who calls Chicago home, and believes relationships are the most powerful engines for change. Through The Leap Year Project, a self-made Master’s Program and community project, he worked with an array of remarkable companies and individuals around the world. He staged his graduation at TEDxWindyCity, co-produced a book about taking leaps, and recently launched Experience Institute, joining forces with industry leaders from Leo Burnett, Stanford’s d.school, and a group of pioneering students to design a new type of higher education rooted in real-world experience.
Described as a utility-creative, Ali Nelson- artist, letterer, maker, entrepreneur, designer and drifter- began making things in a new way after an accident with a drunk driver claimed an estimated 60% of her vocabulary and left her with a Traumatic Brain Injury. Influenced by the gritty and beautiful discord of real life, Ali is committed to connecting with others through carefully crafted, honest words and images. Ali has since founded Kindred, a concept, event, and design firm, and Ali Makes Things, where most of her time is spent sending her carefully-crafted and meaningful mail subscription to her social community of over 30,000. Ali and her work have been featured by Designlovefest, The Everygirl, Style Me Pretty and has worked with brands and nonprofits like Warner Brothers, Skullcandy, and To Write Love on Her Arms. In the last year and a half, she has called Chicago, Santa Barbara, Newcastle, Nantucket, her Subaru Forester, and Atlanta "home."
Ryan Booth is a former audio engineer and photographer who won a short film contest sponsored by Canon and Vimeo in 2010. The final film premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and launched Ryan's career as both a Director and Director of Photography. Since then, he has shot extensively for the BBC, A&E Networks, MTV and VH1, as well as numerous commercial clients including Home Depot, Spotify, and Under Armour. He DP’d his first narrative feature, This is Where We Live, which was selected in the dramatic competition at SXSW 2013,and went on to a successful festival and theatrical run. He also created and directs a live music project, SerialBox Presents, which has garnered several million impressions and has been featured on numerous media sites including Paste Magazine and NPR. PDN recently named Ryan as one of the “20 Filmmakers to Watch in 2015.” Ryan currently resides in Texas with his wife and two daughters and is currently developing his first narrative feature as Director.
Chuck Anderson, also known by his studio's name NoPattern, is an artist and designer from Chicago. Chuck began NoPattern in 2003 within months of graduating high school. Since then, Chuck has gone on to work for international brands and agencies, such as Microsoft, Nike, Target, Reebok, ESPN and many more. He has become well known for his use of intense, vibrant light and unexpected color as well as his often-chaotic illustration style.
Sheldon Popiel is the Creative Director and co-founder of Dissolve, a stock footage company that aims to empower today’s video storytellers with footage from the world’s most exciting and relevant shooters. Before that, he was Creative Director of Global Brands for Corbis and a founding partner and Global Creative Director of Veer. | George Georgeadis is the Product Manager & Storyteller at Dissolve helping creatives, marketers, and brands tell better stories with video. Combining his love of storytelling with the art of filmmaking, George brings together an incredible community of filmmakers and cinematographers as contributors and plans to change the face of stock footage.
Branden Harvey is a professional photographer based in Portland, Oregon but can usually be found looking for wifi in airports around the world. He has quickly become a leader in the world of online storytelling and uses his unique position to help brands, organizations, dreamers and doers tell their story better. In the last year he's helped brands like Sony, smart car, Clif Bar and PetSmart tell stories that matter through social media and photography. He also has really goofy hair.
Bobby is an adjunct Professor at Moody Bible Institute and a pastor at New Life Community Church’s Lincoln Park campus in Chicago. Located in a highly transient, affluent, and university neighborhood, Bobby and his team are creating non-traditional opportunities to build relationships with people and serve the neighborhood. Having interviewed the fastest growing churches in America, Bobby represents Outreach to consult pastors on the creative methods those churches are using to reach their communities. Bobby has a BA in Psychology from Governors State University and a MA in Biblical Exegesis from the Wheaton Grad School.
Whitney is the Executive Pastor at Church on the Move, where he oversees the operations and ministries of the church. He led the COTM Arts and Production teams for 10 years and is widely respected for his creative thinking.
Brian Hardin founded the Daily Audio Bible, which has been downloaded over 75 million times. He’s a music producer with hundreds of album credits and a healthy collection of Grammy and Dove Award nominations, as well as a photographer. He wrote the book Passages: How Reading The Bible In A Year Will Change Everything For You, and recently released his second book Reframe: From The God We’ve Made To God With Us. Brian aslo ventured into filmmaking with the release of “Promised Land: Experience The Land Of The Bible In Vivid Clarity.”
Austin Kleon is a writer, artist, and New York Times bestselling author of Steal Like An Artist, an illustrated manifesto for creativity in the digital age. It’s based on a list Austin drew up one day of key insights he wishes he’d known when he started out. His follow-up book, Show Your Work!, is a guide to the next step – getting known – by sharing generously. Ranging from broader life lessons about work to the practicalities of internet life, it’s an inspiring manifesto for succeeding as any kind of artist or entrepreneur in the digital age. Austin is also the author of Newspaper Blackout, a collection of poetry made by redacting newspaper articles with a permanent marker. Austin speaks on creativity, visual thinking, and being an artist online. His work has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, PBS Newshour, TIME, The Atlantic, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal.
austinkleon.com | @austinkleon
Liz Danzico is chair and co-founder of the MFA Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts, one of the world’s top design schools. She is creative director for NPR, whose mission is to work in partnership with member stations to create a more informed public. She is advisor to startups, nonprofits, global companies, and lecturer. She writes for assorted and sundry publications, including her own blog, bobulate.com. Liz is on the advisory boards for The New School’s Journalism + Design program and the Austin Center for Design.
bobulate.com | @bobulate
Blaine Hogan is a former actor who has appeared on FOX’s Prison Break and on stages across the country. He is now a creative director at Willow Creek Community Church. He also freelances as a creative director for YouTube, U.S. Olympic Team, Google, Chic-Fil-A, and a number of other boutique brands. He is the creator of the online course for creatives: Make Better; the author of UNTITLED: Thoughts on the Creative Process; and blogs at blainehogan.com.
Jena Lee Nardella is the co-founder for Blood:Water, which she started in 2004 at the age of 22 alongside the band Jars of Clay. Following her vision and leadership, the organization has brought clean water access to more than one million people in Africa. She has contributed to numerous books including Hope in the Dark and The Revolution: A Field Manual for Changing Your World, and has been featured in the films Sons of Lwala and Unconditional Love. In 2012, Nardella was invited by President Obama to pray for the nation in front of a TV audience of 20 million. She is a graduate of Whitworth University with a degree in political studies. She and her husband, James, have one son, Jude, and split time between Nashville and East Africa. She has been honored as an Epoch Award Winner, as GOOD Magazine's GOOD 100, and as one of Christianity Today's 33 under 33 Christian leaders shaping the next generation of faith. Her first book will release this August.
Nikki Giovanni is a world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist, and educator. One of the most widely-read American poets, she prides herself on being "a Black American, a daughter, a mother, a professor of English." With more than three decades of publishing and lecturing, she has been called both a "National Treasure" and, most recently, one of Oprah Winfrey's 25 "Living Legends." Her album Truth Is On Its Way, on which she reads her poetry against a background of gospel music, received the Best Spoken Word Album given by the National Association of Radio and Television Announcers. The recipient of 25 honorary degrees, she has been named Woman of the Year by Mademoiselle, The Ladies Home Journal, and Ebony Magazine. She was the first recipient of the Rosa L. Parks Woman of Courage Award and was awarded the Langston Hughes Medal for poetry. Black Enterprise named her a Women of Power Legacy Award winner for work that expands opportunities for other women of color. The author of 30 books for both adults and children, Nikki is a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Stephen Brewster is the Creative Arts Pastor at Cross Point Church in Nashville, TN. His 12 years in professional creative environments include music marketing and management, artist development, creative team leading and art directing. It is Stephen’s desire for the church to regain its position as a leader of the creative frontier. He lives in Franklin, TN with his wife Jackie and their four amazing kids.
Jeremy Cowart is a celebrity photographer, entrepreneur and humanitarian. Recently named as "the most influential photographer on the internet,” he just released an online education platform called See University. He is also the founder of an iPhone app called OKDOTHIS and the founder of the global photography movement Help-Portrait. Jeremy lives in Nashville, TN with his wife and 4 children. | SeeUniversity.com | OKDOTHIS.com | Help-Portrait.com
Pete Wilson is the senior pastor of Cross Point Church in Nashville, which he and his wife, Brandi, started in 2002. Over the course of twelve years, Cross Point has grown to reach more than 5,000 people at five campuses throughout the Nashville area and online. He wrote the books Plan B, Empty Promises, Let Hope In, and What Keeps You Up At Night. Pete earned his Bachelors degree in Communications from Kentucky Western University and attended seminary at Southern Seminary in Louisville, KY. Pete is also an avid blogger at PeteWilson.tv. He enjoys the outdoors, farming, and Titans football. When he’s looking for rest, you can often find him working in his garden, hanging out with Brandi, or playing outside with their three boys.
John Mark Comer is lead pastor at Bridgetown: A Jesus Church, which is part of a family of churches formally known as Solid Rock in Portland, Oregon. Prior to planting Bridgetown in 2003, Comer was the college pastor at a Calvary Chapel mega church and played in a band signed to BEC recordings. He is currently finishing up a Master’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Western Seminary. He wrote the books Loveology and My Name is Hope. John Mark is married to Tammy and they have two boys, Jude and Moses and a little girl, Sunday.
Amy Grant's new album How Mercy Looks From Here is the soundtrack of a life well-lived. Her first album in 10 years, Amy recruited an array of friends to join her, including James Taylor, Carole King, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Eric Paslay, and Will Hoge. Ever since Amy burst on the scene as a fresh-faced teenager bringing contemporary Christian music to the forefront of American culture, she has gained a reputation for creating potent songs that examined life’s complexities with an open heart and keen eye. She became the first artist in Christian music to have a platinum record and went on to become a crossover sensation, her musical gifts transcending genre boundaries to make her a household name. She’s earned six Grammy Awards and numerous Dove Awards as well as three multi-platinum albums, six platinum albums and four gold albums. She’s achieved 10 Top 40 pop singles and placed 17 hits on the Top 40 Adult Contemporary chart as well as scoring numerous hits on the contemporary Christian charts. A longtime Nashville resident, Amy and her husband Vince Gill are tireless in their efforts to aid worthy causes.
James Rhodes has no formal academic musical education, and he was dogged by suffering in his early life as the name of his debut album suggests: "Razor Blades, Little Pills and Big Pianos." Classical music became his solace and the key to his survival. In 1993, mental health issues stopped him taking up a scholarship to the Guildhall. But 10 years later, a chance meeting with Franco Panozzo, agent to Russian concert pianist virtuoso, Grigori Sokolov, enabled him to be tutored by the renowned piano teacher Edoardo Strabbioli in Verona Italy. Uncomfortable with the austere and traditional "white tie and tails" recital, he decided to communicate directly with the audience in his own way. Having performed in non-traditional classical venues, James built on this revolutionary performance approach. His debut album went to number one on the iTunes chart. His second album “Will All Freudians Please Stand Aside" also reached Number one on the iTunes chart. In March 2010, Rhodes became the first core classical pianist to be signed to the world’s largest rock label Warner Bros Records where his first album "Bullets & Lullabies" became his third number one iTunes album. That summer he was also the first solo classical pianist to play the Latitude Festival sharing stages with international stars such as Florence + the Machine and The National. Three years later, James performed in his very own television series JAMES RHODES: PIANO MAN on Sky Arts. James is passionate about the power of music to change lives and is shocked at the state of music education in the UK. This two-part documentary followed James’ attempt to give schoolchildren the chance to learn a musical instrument by calling for an "instrument amnesty" - a mission to collect unused musical instruments from around the country.
Jon Guerra was raised in Wheaton, IL, where he spent his developmental years learning to play guitar and obsessing over artists like Rich Mullins and Bob Dylan. Jon is a multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter currently living in Chicago, IL with his wife, Valerie. He has one of the most compelling and unique voices you’ll ever hear, and he is one of the most interesting and intriguing artists you’ll ever meet. His debut EP was entitled Glass, and he recently released the album Little Songs
SHOULD I ATTEND THIS EVENT?
If you value creativity in your life and work, this conference is for you. Most of our attendees work in a creative field or lead the creative efforts of their organizations, but everyone is welcome.
IS LUNCH INCLUDED?
No, but there will be food trucks at the venue where you can buy great local food without going anywhere. Also, some sponsors offer free lunches, which will be announced closer to the event.
CAN I GET A REFUND?
We regret that refunds are not available; however, you may sell or transfer your ticket to anyone else. To make a transfer, e-mail your name and the new registrant's name to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARE SPONSORSHIPS AVAILABLE?
Yes, we’d love to talk. You can reach Ben Arment the director of STORY at email@example.com for information.
HOW CAN I VOLUNTEER?
ARE SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE?
Because we offer such low-priced, early-registration rates, we don’t have scholarships. But if you’re interested in bringing a larger group at a greater discount, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR PRESENTERS?
We're always on the hunt for great talent, but we prefer to find our presenters by discovery. If you'd like to be considered, we suggest having someone recommend you rather than making a direct appeal.