Aaron Cohen is a human rights activist who has established a modern-day Jubilee movement to free slaves and forgive debts around the world. Media stories have lauded his work finding and retrieving victims of human trafficking and have called him a "Slave Hunter". On many of his missions in the US, in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Sudan, Ecuador, Columbia, Cambodia, Thailand, and in the Junta ruled Myanmar Burma-- Cohen worked undercover and assessed the phenomenon of slavery from the inside. He was recently named by the World War II Memorial Foundation, the Immortal Chaplains, as the recipient of the 2008 Prize for Humanity for "risking all to save others", and he was honored with a US Congressional Certificate of Merit for his public service.
Adam Christing, founder of Clean Comedians, has entertained thousands of people every month with his hilarious blend of comedy, magic, and audience involvement that leaves audiences roaring with laughter. He began performing comedy and magic at the age of 9. At 17, he became a junior member of the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood. In the 1980's Mr. Christing was listed among the "Top 5 After-Dinner Speaker" in the national college rankings. Since then he has been featured on more than 100 television and radio programs throughout the U.S., including Entertainment Tonight, and NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. Mr. Christing is a graduate of Biola University, in Southern California. He speaks and performs regulary to civic, business and church groups.
Michael O. Sajbel is a feature film writer and director. His most recent film, The Ultimate Gift, was released theatrically by 20th Century Fox in 2007. He also directed the 2006 feature, One Night With The King.
Reba Toney is the author of the forthcoming "The Rating Game," to be published in June of 2009 by St. Martin's Press. She recently celebrated her 7th year on KFSH 95.9 Los Angeles with the "Family Friendly Morning Show with Bobby Shaw and Reba Toney". Reba continues hosting a Top 3 aired three times a week on cable in 700 cities. She has traveled to Ecuador with a Relief Organization and raised over $75,000 for aid to the Latin America radio campaign. She was World Vision Radio Personality of the Year in 2006 and 2007 where as she traveled with WV to Ethiopia to garner support for the Aids and Children relief campaign. She resides in Los Angeles.
The son of acclaimed actor Morgan Freeman, Alfonso Freeman used his striking presence to build into his character roles. He took his first onscreen bows in the mid-'90s, gracing the casts of many productions that starred his father, including The Shawshank Redemption, Seven, Nurse Betty, and The Bucket List. Alfonso also appeared in such films as Burn and Lord Help Us, as well as taking on guest roles on such popular TV series as The West Wing, ER, and The Practice. In addition to his onscreen work, Freeman is an accomplished stage actor and gospel singer.
Andrew W. Mayoras is a prominent lawyer who specializes in contested legal issues effecting seniors, caregivers, and their families, including probate litigation, guardianships and conservatorships, exploitation of the elderly, and disputes involving wills, trusts, and estates. His well-known blog “The Probate Lawyer Blog: Famous Fortune Fights!” boasts a substantial audience and explores celebrity and other true stories of national interest. An American MENSA member and public speaker, he teaches attorneys, professionals, businesses and others through presentations, print and broadcast media, and social media websites.
Paste Music Magazine, in a poll conducted by both writers and artists, listed Bill Mallonee as #65 in their "100 Greatest Living Songwriters Poll."
Mallonee, (pronounced MAL-O-KNEE) the lyrical and musical source behind the late Vigilantes of Love, started playing music in Athens in the late 80's. Mallonee learned guitar quickly and the post-punk-pop of the La's, XTC, Joy Division, the Clash and Echo and the Bunnymen. Great college scene bands that passed through Athens, Georgia during that time were Athen's own R.E.M., the dbs (with the great Chris Stamey and Peter Hosapple), Mitch Easter's 'Let's Active. These were also big influences. Each of those bands proudly wove indebtedness to the first "British Invasion" into their musical flags. Still, Bill's deeper love for music and lyricism of artists like Dylan and Neil Young left an indelible mark on his writing and vocal delivery.
Whether writing Americana or trippier stuff, Mallonee seems equally at home with both. With Vigilantes of Love behind him, Bill is focusing on the solo artist gig. He's back to being "just a guy from a college band from Athens, GA." He's 8 albums into his solo career (he's been doing about 2 a year since 2002), touring and performing with his wife, keyboardist and vocalist, Muriah Rose.
Billy Pittard specializes in what he calls “professional creativity,” helping companies and individuals get more value out of their creative efforts. Over his career, he has managed hundreds of top creative professionals and an enormous body of work. He took this as an opportunity to study what makes great work possible, and developed a unique set of processes that yield consistently high levels of creative quality and results.
Winner of five Emmy Awards and hundreds of other industry accolades, his body of work spans over 200 television network brand identities around the world such as ABC, CBS, and DirecTV; pioneering work for interactive platforms such as TiVo, AOL Plus (broadband), Oscar.com, and ABC.com; hundreds of main titles for television and film including ER, Nature, The West Wing, and Groundhog Day; unprecedented educational programs including algebra’scool and Super Size Me eeDVD; as well as numerous on-air TV promotions and commercials. He is the inventor of the award winning ZOOOOS Interactive Video System. He is the executive producer of the popular monthly documentary series Creative Inspirations on Lynda.com.
He has served on numerous boards and is currently an active member of the Board of Professional Advisors for Middle Tennessee State University’s School of Communications, and a member of the Board of Best Buddies California, a non-profit organization that creates friendship and job opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Bonnie Brown had already lived a very colorful and eventful life before becoming one of Google’s first massage therapists. She owned and operated a private school in California for ten years and taught high school English for four years. And she graduated from the American Academy of Nutrition, specializing in counseling health issues.
But an unexpected divorce left Bonnie with two teenage daughters; her home and school were robbed; and she was forced to close the school and move from her home. A chance encounter led her to massage school and then to a new career and a new life working for Google, where she witnessed the impact of the power of touch on the men and women who fueled the growing engine. Bonnie's life was never the same; which was especially true on August 19, 2004, when Google went public and her stock afforded her the opportunity at yet another new beginning.
Bonnie is a life-long learner, world traveler, and adventurer. She lives in Nevada and enjoys spending time traveling and hanging out with her two daughters and four granddaughters. She is also the president of a private foundation, the sole purpose of which is to provide relief and ministry to needy people around the world.
Brian Quincy Newcomb (Quincy to his friends) began his career as a rock critic in 1980 for a small but influential fanzine, The Progressive Pacer, and since then has been a regular contributor to a variety of publications including Billboard Magazine,The RiverFront Times, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, HM, and Spotlight. For 8 years he served as editor of Harvest Rock Syndicate. He lives in Ohio.
Peggy Medberry has been a literary agent for the past 15 years and worked as the Vice President of one of Hollywood's premiere agencies, Shapiro-Lichtman. Her work involved guiding a six member department and overseeing the careers of more than 200 writers, directors and producers.~ She has been a featured speaker at many forums including the WGA, DGA, Flash Forward and the Hollywood Screenwriting Conference. She has been a judge as well for the ACE Awards and the Humanitas Awards.
Before her work at Shapiro-Lichtman, Peggy had a variety of jobs in the entertainment industry which include teaching commercial acting classes, freelance reading for a number of production companies and temping at most of the major studios. She also found time to act in a few commercials and one Japanese music video.
Prior to coming to Los Angeles, Peggy was a high school teacher for 10 years where she was the Drama Dept Chairman for St.Petersburg Highschool in Florida and later was selected to be on the staff of the Pinellas County School of the Performing Arts where she taught acting, directing and writing.
Recently, Peggy and her husband Chauncey Medberry have started a new management company PATRICK MEDBERRY ASSOCIATES and are working with top Christian novelists like Bill Myers, Meldody Carlson and Beverly Lewis in helping to bring their work to a mainstream audience. Peggy has two grown daughters Anna and Christina.
An expert in the fields of charisma, trust, influence and persuasion, Olivia gives people the skills and the self-confidence that lead to outstanding performance. From a base of thorough behavioral science, she extracts the most practical tools for business; giving her clients techniques she originally developed for Harvard and MIT.
Olivia has lectured at Stanford, Yale, Harvard, MIT and the United Nations; she is a frequent keynote speaker and executive coach to the leadership of Fortune 500 companies.
In addition to being a regular columnist for Forbes, she is often featured in media such as The New York Times, Bloomberg or BusinessWeek; and was recently profiled in The Wall Street Journal.
A former Advisory Board Member of Columbia University's AIESEC Council, Olivia has both French and American nationalities and is fluent in 4 languages. She is the youngest person ever to have been appointed Foreign Trade Advisor to the French Government.
Chris Willman has been a senior writer in Entertainment Weekly's Los Angeles bureau for the last decade, contributing cover stories on the Dixie Chicks, Coldplay, U2, Alan Jackson, Gretchen Wilson, Outkast, Avril Lavigne and many others. Prior to that he wrote about music and movies for the Los Angeles Times and Musician, as well as penning liner notes for artists like Steely Dan and Randy Newman. His commentary on the music scene has been seen on CNN, VH1 and CMT. He is the author of Rednecks & Bluenecks: The Politics Of Country Music.
Formerly the Executive Story Editor at ICM, I recently followed legendary talent agent Ed Limato (after his highly publicized ICM exit) to the William Morris Agency, where I continue to look for potential projects for a small roster of "A" list clients including Mel Gibson, Denzel Washington and Steve Martin. I'm also a creative consultant for COLLATERAL producer Julie Richardson and have set up several projects, including A RHINESTONE ALIBI (Paramount) and THE MIDNIGHT MAN (Dimension). I teach a screenwriting class at L.A. Valley College, lecture around the country and have published several articles. My free writing workshop, THE INSIDE PITCH, aired locally on TV station LA36 in the summer of 2004 and earned an L.A. Area Emmy nomination. The subsequent DVD release won the 2005 Aegis Award. I dish out advice and feedback to writers at the free screenwriting website www.twoadverbs.com. I graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts with an MFA in dramatic writing. I'm a member of the "Organization of Black Screenwriters" and "The Academy of Television Arts".
Written by Chuck DeVore - California State Assemblyman
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 19:46
California State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore is a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2010. He is a retired Army National Guard lieutenant colonel intelligence officer. Before being elected in 2004, Chuck was vice president for research for an aerospace company. Chuck was a Reagan White House appointee in the Pentagon where he served as a Special Assistant for Foreign Affairs from 1986 to 1988. Chuck and his wife Diane have been married since 1988 and they have two daughters.
Written by Danny Fontana - Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host
Friday, 09 January 2009 11:11
Danny Fontana is an award winning television and radio host, author, public speaker and founder/Senior Partner of Triune Capital Advisors.Mr. Fontana hosts the Danny Fontana Show which is broadcast to a national audience via the iLifetv television network as well as Charis Radio Network which Fontana founded in 2003.He is currently in his second year as a weekly contributor to the Fox Business Network, serves as a featured blogger for BullyPulpit.com and provides analysis on a recurring basis to “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Network.
Mr. Fontana garnered number one radio ratings in top 50 US markets as a morning show host, and served as a National Investment Commentator to 209 NBC affiliate stations in 1996. More recently his radio and television program have featured guests ranging from financial experts Steve Forbes, Sir John Templeton, Louis Rukeyser and Ron Blue to marquee political guests Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain, President Elect Barack Obama, Governor Sarah Palin, Governor Mike Huckabee and Senator Mitt Romney…just to name a few.
In 1994 Danny garnered national attention for his award winning Business Beat series which he hosted from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange and in 2007 Danny garnered further attention from a series of interviews from the National Rethink conference featuring Lou Holtz, Kathy Ireland, Ben Vereen, Chuck Colson, George Foreman and several other A-list names from Hollywood and beyond.
In 2002, Danny left a seven figure annual salary as Managing Director at the fourth largest US bank to found Triune Capital Advisors.In 2007 Triune Capital Advisors was named one of the 20 Fastest Growing Financial Institutions in the banking hub of Charlotte, NC and Fontana was awarded a 2008 Top Financial Leader honor by Charlotte Business Leader magazine.
Mr. Fontana has authored two books, Waking up to Wall Street and A Christian’s Guide to Investing. The latter earned top ten ranking on Amazon.com’s Faith and Values category, and was the catalyst to a successful national publicity tour.
Danny lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife and has 5 grandchildren.
Dave Mustaine was born in La Mesa, California in 1961, in what can be described as a broken home. His parents divorced when he was 7 and he spent most of his childhood bouncing around various homes, sometimes living with his sisters and brothers-in-law. In 1981, Mustaine helped create Metallica with Lars Ulrich and James Hetfield. Mustaine played lead guitar for two years, and stayed with the band during the formative years, laying the groundwork that led to Metallica's eventual success. But personal conflicts arose between the members, resulting in Mustaine's departure.
Mustaine immediately partnered up with bassist Dave Ellefson and formed Megadeth, while drummer Lee Rash and guitarist Kerry King soon joined. Mustaine became the songwriter, singer and guitarist for the band, and has remained in that position for more than 20 years now. In the first two years of inception, the band toured, developed a fan base, and eventually signed with an independent label. The success of their first album, Killing Is My Business... And Business Is Good!, led to the band signing with Capitol Records. Their major label debut, 1986's Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?, created the kind of buzz that catapulted them to platinum sales and "heavy metal gods" status. Since then, Megadeth has released numerous hits, developing a loyal following in the process.
In April of 2002, Mustaine suffered a serious injury, leaving him without the use of his left hand. He has since recovered and is now stronger than ever. Over the course of the band's lifetime, the lineup has changed many times, however, Mustaine is the last original member standing.
Del Breckenfeld is Director of Entertainment Marketing at Fender® Musical Instruments Corp., the biggest name in electric guitars, amplifiers and musical products. Before coming to Fender, he worked for Dean Guitars, where he developed a groundbreaking promotional program for Anheuser-Busch, working with some of the most astute marketers in the world. Through his career he has worked with some of the biggest names in music, movies, and TV and has been involved in promotional campaigns with some of the world's most successful and best known brands, all while learning the ins and outs of partnership marketing.
Denis Waitley is an authors, keynote lecturer and productivity consultant.
He is the author of 12 non-fiction books, including several international best sellers, "Seeds of Greatness," "Being the Best," "The Winner's Edge," "The Joy of Working," and "Empires of the Mind." His audio album, "The Psychology of Winning," is the all-time best selling program on self-mastery.
Dr. Waitley has counseled winners in every field from Apollo astronauts to Superbowl champions, from sales achievers to government leaders and youth groups.
During the past decade, he served as Chairman of Psychology on the U. S. Olympic Committee's Sports Medicine Council, responsible for performance enhancement of all U. S. Olympic athletes. Dr. Waitley is a founding director of the National Council on Self-Esteem and the President's Council on Vocational Education, and recently received the "Youth Flame Award" from the National Council on Youth Leadership for his outstanding contribution to high school youth leadership.
As president of the International Society for Advanced Education, inspired by Dr. Jonas Salk, he counseled returning POWs from Viet Nam and conducted simulation and stress management seminars for Apollo astronauts.
A graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, and former Navy pilot, he holds a doctorate degree in human behavior.
Dennis is a veteran financial advisor who has served many individuals, couples, and family-run businesses for three decades. When providing financial advice for his clients, Dennis uses a personal values based approach to tackle current problems and in planning for the future. This approach has given him keen insight into the dynamics of families - and especially into the relationships between husbands and wives. This led him to write about how women and men not only think, but feel, so that they are able to communicate more effectively. In the fall of 2008, Dennis released his first book entitled “Love Your Wife – Get Better Sex.”
In his book, Dennis brings awareness to the rewards of a healthy, happy marriage and notes they are plenty, including more satisfying and stimulating sex. Combining personal life experiences with gentle humour, he is able to offer “real” perspective on the very issues facing couples today. When asked why he is always happy to help, and why he chose to go one step further and write a book on the subject, Dennis replies "My personal mission is to make a positive difference in the life of each person I meet, each time we meet. I believe that a good marriage is one of the strongest positive forces on the planet...and that helping people achieve warmer, more intimate and sexier marriages helps me fulfill my mission."
Di Patterson, MSG, CPG (Credentialed Professional Gerontologist), is author of the forthcoming book series AgeWise™ with articles at http://AgeWise.tv, Founder of Success In Aging TV™, the magazine website devoted to Gerontology (the social study of Aging), and is Editor of the Journal for Success In Aging™. Ms. Patterson holds a Master’s degree in Gerontology and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership. Her expertise includes R.C.F.E. Administrator (Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly), Pharmacy Technician and Legal Assistant in California Probate, Conservatorship and Trust Administration Law. She also has many years of experience as an in-home caregiver for both her wonderful grandmother and amazing mother-in-law. Di speaks and writes at national and local Aging events, and is an Advisory Board Member of NAPG: the National Association for Professional Gerontologists.
Di launched Let’s Move Mom™ *in Orange County, California, in 2002; now with offices in Florida and Southern California. Let’s Move Mom™ offers custom elder-moving plans for a smooth, successful move for clients and their elderly loved ones. Let’s Move Mom™ National Registry hosts knowledgeable and bonded professionals from the fields of Gerontology (credentialed by NAPG) and Professional Organizers (credentialed by NAPO).
Doug TenNapel was born and raised in the town of Denair, California. He started out as an animator on Attack of the Killer Tomatoes: The Animated Series. He soon began working in the video game industry on projects like 1993's Jurassic Park and Stimpy's Invention for the Sega Genesis and The Jungle Book for the SNES and Sega Genesis. In 1994, he created Earthworm Jim, the character that would star in Shiny Entertainment's video game, toy line, and cartoon series. In 1996, working for Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks, he created for The Neverhood for the PC. The sequel, entitled Skullmonkeys, followed in 1998.
As for his film production, works on TenNapel's first feature length live action film, entitled Mothman, began somewhere in the late 90s, although as of 2002, the film was never finished. Regarding television, TenNapel was also the creator of the Project G.e.e.K.e.R. cartoon series for CBS, and was a consulting producer on the ABC series Push, Nevada with Ben Affleck.
As a graphic artist and cartoonist, TenNapel released his first comic book in 1998: GEAR, a surreal epic based on his real life cats, Simon, Waffle, Gordon and Mr. Black in a war against dogs and insects using giant robots as weapons. The cats from GEAR would eventually become the Nickelodeon series Catscratch. His second graphic novel, Creature Tech (2002), became the focus of a bidding war between movie studios. 20th Century Fox and Regency Enterprises won the war and are developing the script for a live action motion picture based on the novel.
Eric Kampmann has been section hiking the many miles of the Appalachian Trail for the better part of his adult life. He has made great progress in completing the Trail, but he still has miles to go before he sleeps.
In the meantime, in his off trail life, Eric is president of two publishing related companies; he also is an author, teacher and speaker and he has been frequently featured in the national media including the Today Show and the New York Times. Over the years, he has taught at Harvard, Columbia and other university venues. He is a graduate of BrownUniversity and he holds a graduate degree from Stony Brook. Click here (Trail Thoughts) to take a look at books Eric has authored.
Dr. Everett Piper speaks boldly and unapologetically on issues such as natural law, unalienable rights, self evident truths, and the unavoidable consequences of ideas on personal, political, community and corporate wellbeing. He challenges his academic and political peers for what he calls their “fallacious Orwellian duplicity” of “intolerant tolerance.” His commentary rhetorically confronts the reader and listener to consider issues such as freedom, justice, common sense, human dignity, sexual responsibility and moral objectivity.
Piper is specifically passionate in arguing that postmodern political correctness is really nothing more than an unvarnished ploy to consolidate power among society’s elites and to, thus, restrict the individual freedoms and rights of the general public. He claims that without an objective moral standard (above and beyond the subjective feelings and wishes of those in power) there is no freedom, there is no justice, and there is no liberty. Opinion as the final measure of right and wrong always leads to the rise of the “rule of the gang” or “the tyranny of one.”
Everett Piper and his wife Marci of 25 years have two sons, Seth (17) and Cobi (14).
Written by Fiona Ma - California State Assemblywoman
Monday, 19 January 2009 16:25
Democrat Assemblywoman Fiona Ma is the highest ranking Asian American woman in the California legislature. A Certified Public Accountant, Fiona Ma got her start as head of a business association working to promote women and minority-owned businesses. As a delegate to Bill Clinton's 1995 White House Conference on Small Business, Ma learned the importance of building coalitions to get things done. For seven and a half years, Fiona worked as an to aide to John Burton, an Assemblyman and Congressman who served as leader of the California State Senate. In 2002, voters in the Sunset district entrusted Fiona Ma with representing their interests by electing her to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
In 2006, Supervisor Ma defeated a wealthy opponent in a heated and expensive Democratic primary for California State Assembly by earning 60% of the vote. Upon arriving in Sacramento, Fiona Ma was named Assembly Majority Whip. As the Assemblywoman representing San Francisco and San Mateo counties, Ma brings a progressive perspective to Sacramento. Ma chairs the Legislative Committee for the Legislative Women's Caucus. Fiona Ma serves as the Speaker's representative on the California Democratic Party's Executive Board, where she works to protect democracy and make every vote count. She is a founding member of the Westside Chinese Democratic Club and an active member of many local organizations.Ma earned her B.A. from Rochester Institute of Technology, her Masters in Taxation from Golden Gate University and her M.B.A from Pepperdine University. She resides in San Francisco's Sunset district.
A native New Yorker, George Barna has filled executive roles in politics, marketing, advertising, media, research and ministry. He founded the Barna Research Group (now The Barna Group) in 1984 and helped it become the nation's leading marketing research firm focused on the intersection of faith and culture. The company has served several hundred parachurch ministries and thousands of Christian churches throughout the country. It has supplied research to numerous corporations, churches and non-profit organizations, as well as the U.S. Navy and U.S. Army.
To date, Barna has written 39 books, mostly addressing leadership, trends, church health and spiritual development. They include best-sellers such as Revolution, Transforming Children into Spiritual Champions, The Frog in the Kettle, and The Power of Vision. His most recent book is Revolutionary Parenting. Several of his books have received national awards. He has had more than 100 articles published in periodicals and writes a bi-weekly research report (The Barna Update) accessed by more than a million people each year, through his firm's website (www.barna.org). His work is frequently cited as an authoritative source by the media.
He is a popular speaker at ministry conferences around the world and has taught at Pepperdine and Biola Universities and several seminaries. Barna served as a pastor of a large, multi-ethnic church and has been involved in several church start-ups. Since 2005, he has been leading a house church. After graduating summa cum laude from Boston College, Barna earned two Master's degrees from Rutgers University. At Rutgers, he was awarded the Eagleton Fellowship. He also received a doctorate from Dallas Baptist University. He lives with his wife (Nancy) and their three daughters (Samantha, Corban, Christine) in southern California. He enjoys reading novels, watching movies, playing guitar, and relaxing on the beach.
Gloria Allred is a three-time Emmy nominee for her commentaries on KABC television in Los Angeles, and she was selected as one of the most important radio talk show hosts in America by USA Today. She has won the presidential award from the National Association of Woman Lawyers and the President’s Award for Outstanding Volunteerism, presented to her by President Ronald Reagan at the White House. She has been voted by her peers as one of the best lawyers in America.
Over the course of her 30 year career, Gloria Allred has won countless honors for her pioneering legal work on behalf of women's rights and rights for minorities. An active feminist, Ms. Allred founded and is currently serving as President of the Women's Equal Rights Legal Defense and Education Fund (WERLDEF).
Gloria lives in Los Angeles and has two grandchildren, Sarah and Sam. Her daughter, Lisa Bloom, is an attorney who appears as an anchor on Court TV.
Written by John Hartmann - Music Industry Expert/Educator
Sunday, 26 April 2009 12:22
John Hartmann began his professional career in the famous mailroom of the William Morris Agency. He later served as the Morris office liaison to Colonel Tom Parker the legendary manager of Elvis Presley the king of rock n' roll. A veteran music agent, personal manager and record executive, John has provided career direction for such luminaries as Chad & Jeremy, Sonny & Cher, Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Canned Heat, Eagles, Peter, Paul & Mary, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne, America, Poco, and many others. Hartmann is a results oriented operational leader with more than fifty years experience in the entertainment industry. His proven expertise in creating and executing career strategies is evidenced by the quantity and quality of great artists he has been honored to serve. Hartmann lectures in the School of Film & Television at Loyola Marymount University where the students voted him outstanding professor of the year for 2007, 2008 and again in 2009
John Marks, a former 60 Minutes producer, is the author of three novels and a work of non-fiction. His most recent book, Reasons To Believe: One Man's Journey Among The Evangelicals And The Faith He Left Behind, was named one of the Best Books of 2008 by Publishers Weekly. His most recent novel, Fangland, a version of the Dracula story set in the world of net work news, has been optioned for the movies by Hilary Swank. He is the co-producer with Craig Detweiler of the film Purple State Of Mind and blogs regularly at www.purplestateofmind.com.
John Thune grew up in Murdo, South Dakota. His interest in politics was sparked at a young age after making five of six free throws during a freshman basketball game. He was greeted by a spectator who said, “I noticed you missed one.” That spectator happened to be well-known sports enthusiast and U.S. Representative Jim Abdnor. The introduction was the start of a friendship that ignited John’s career in public service.
Thune received his undergraduate degree at Biola University and his Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of South Dakota. Upon completion of his Master’s Degree in 1984, he married Kimberley Weems, a native of Doland, South Dakota.
John’s attraction to public service took him to Washington, DC to work for U.S. Senator Jim Abdnor. He then served at the Small Business Administration under an appointment from President Ronald Reagan.
In 1989, John he served as the Executive Director of the South Dakota Republican Party. In 1991, Governor George S. Mickelson appointed him the State Railroad Director, a position he held until 1993, when he became Executive Director of the South Dakota Municipal League.
In 1996, with a shoestring budget and the support of family and friends, John won his first term as South Dakota’s lone member of the United States House of Representatives. John was reelected to a second term by the largest margin in South Dakota history. He returned again to Washington in 2001 to serve his third term in the House.
Thune then honored his 1996 campaign pledge to serve only three terms in the House of Representatives. After a narrow loss in a Senate race in 2002, Thune won his Senate seat in 2004, when he made history by defeating a sitting Senate party leader for the first time in 52 years.
Thune serves on the Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee, the Armed Services Committee, the Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee, and the Small Business Committee.
John and his wife Kimberley live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota and have two daughters, Brittany and Larissa. In his free time, John enjoys spending time with his family, pheasant hunting, and playing basketball.
Jonas McCord is a dual Emmy, Peabody, and special Academy Award winning Director/Writer/Producer with over twenty years experience on stage, screen, and television. As Executive Producer/Writer of the TV series "The Young Riders", "Earth Final Conflict", and "The Dirty Dozen", as well as the award winning movies "Women of Valor", starring Susan Sarrandon, and Stephen Spielberg's "Class of '61" McCord has supervised the production of over 100 hours of television. McCord's feature writing debut, "Malice", starring Alec Baldwin and Nicole Kidman, opened number one domestically in the late nineties. His debut writing/directing effort "The Body" starring Antonio Banderas, bested New Line Cinema's "Lord of The Rings" to win the Movieguide award as the most spiritual uplifting film of 2001. In 2003 McCord Executive Produced Robert Altman's "The Company", starring Nev Cambell, as well as "Eulogy" starring Deborah
Kazumasa Okajima is a leader in one of Japan's top political parties, the Democratic Party of Japan, and was first elected to parliament in 2004. He graduated in 1981 from Waseda University, where he studied the Social Sciences. Previous for and winning his father's seat in the Japanese parliament, his work as a TV producer helped him bring to light to hundreds of issues such as nationality issues of children born to U.S. soldiers and Japanese women and the plight of military photographers in war.
In September 1988, Okajima was a military correspondent for the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, and covered the civil war in 1989 until the complete withdrawal of Soviet forces. Later he was appointed as a special correspondent to Bangkok for state-run TV, NHK, taking special interest in parent-child relations, international issues such as terrorism and the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Today, Okajima continues his work toward political and social reform both in Japan and internationally.
Lila Rose is a pro-life, student activist at UCLA who has dedicated her life to ending abortion. At fifteen years old, Lila founded Live Action, which is now a growing nonprofit with several chapters in California.
Live Action uses "new media" at both the community and national level to educate and mobilize youth, and to spread a pro-life message to the next generation. Live Action San Jose, for example, has reached thousands of local youth in schools and churches with the multi-media presentaiton, "The Truth About Abortion" and sponsors many youth oriented events. Live Action also conducts student-led investigations and releases the findings through Live Action Films, The Advocate (Live Action's quarterly student magazine), and other independent media.
Lila has launched several successful undercover investigations exposing racism and sexual abuse cover-ups by Planned Parenthood. Her brave work has revealed new evidence to build a strong case against the abortion industry and lobby.
During her freshman year at UCLA, Lila founded the student magazine The Advocate, for which she serves as Editor-in-Chief. The Advocate approaches right-to-life issues from unconventional angles and publishes the results of Live Action Films' evocative student investigations and educational pieces. The most recent issue was the first to expand its reach beyond UCLA, with students disseminating copies on over a dozen college campuses across the nation.
Lila is a frequent guest on radio and television programs, including The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity's America, and The Laura Ingraham show. Numerous newspapers and blogs have also printed articles about her investigations, including the Wall Street Journal, Salon Magazine Online, The Washington Times and National Review. Her efforts have bought attention to human rights issues well beyond the students on the UCLA campus.
In 1987 Lonn Friend began a 7-year run as editor-in-chief of RIP Magazine and built the publication into the most important hard rock magazine of its day. He hosted his own spot, “Friend at Large,” on MTV's Headbanger's Ball as well as the syndicated Westwood One radio program, Pirate Radio Saturday Night. He penned weekly columns for the powerful industry tip sheets, HITS and the Album Network and co authored the Rolling Stone cover story on Slash from Guns N’ Roses (with Jeffrey Ressner).
Mr. Friend served as music supervisor for Adam Sandler’s motion picture debut, Airheads, starring Brendan Fraser and Steve Buscemi, and later became vice president, A&R, West Coast, for Arista Records from 1994 to 1998. He composed the liner notes for Mötley Crüe’s Decade of Decadence, Bon Jovi's One Wild Night and Dio: Stand Up and Shout (The Anthology). He is a frequent contributor to VH1 having appeared in 10 Behind the Music/documentary episodes including Metallica, Bon Jovi, The Year 1987, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Motley Crue, Anthrax, The Top 40 Hair Metal Bands of All Time and When Metal Ruled the World. His memoir, Life On Planet Rock was recently published by Morgan Road. Mr. Friend is a veteran insider and confidant to artists and executives alike.
Lonn has a daughter, Megan, and they have watched School of Rock and Almost Famous together at least a dozen times.
Lou Carlozo, a Chicago Tribune staffer since 1993, was laid off on April 22, 2009 after a 16-year career there—an irony given that his beat was “The Recession Diaries,” a blog giving readers advice and insight on family finances.
Most recently a writer for the Tribune’s Smart and Live sections, Carlozo joined Smart in September 2008 after a successful two-year run as creator of “On the Small Screen,” a DVD column, and winning the 2007 Bob Briner Impact Award from Biola University in Los Angeles. Between 2002 and 2007, he served as assistant editor and writing coach for the Friday/On the Town entertainment section. He also contributes features for many prominent national publications, including the Christian Century (where he is lead music critic), Downbeat and Paste Magazine. In April 2009, he became the faith and popular culture correspondent for True/Slant, a Forbes-backed Web site.
Carlozo started his DVD column in 2005; within weeks it became a weekly staple of Tribune entertainment coverage. That same year, he won a Tribune Innovator Award for work on the Pope John Paul II “Be Not Afraid” Internet news package. His tenure at the Tribune has featured many challenges: He served as a KidNews staff writer from 1998 to 2000, and has worked for Metro via the city desk and the Tribune’s Orland Park and Vernon Hills bureaus. Aside from the above-mentioned sections, his work has appeared in virtually every news section of the paper, from Sports to Perspective.
Carlozo contributed to the Tribune’s “Killing Our Children” series in 1993 and served as a coordinator for the 150th anniversary special section in 1997. He also ran the KidNews Songwriting Contests in 1998 and 1999, choosing three winning entries from hundreds of hopefuls—and setting them to music he wrote. In the summer of 2001, he coordinated a special report on digital music that teamed up nearly a dozen Tribune staffers to record a song in the studio. Their performances were electronically enhanced to demonstrate how studio technology is changing in the digital era. This story was picked up by dailies nationwide, including Tribune papers such as the Baltimore Sun.
In his spare time, Lou is a journalism professor at Loyola University, a mentor to young writers and a record producer at his own Carma Studios in Chicago. A studio musician and award-winning songwriter, he’s placed songs in independent movies, including the 2008 feature “Eden Court,” starring Thomas Lennon (“Reno 911”). He also released a solo album of original music, “Stick Figure Soul,” in December 2007.
Carlozo and his wife Amy, a Presbyterian minister, reside a long foul ball from Wrigley Field with their 7-year-old son Christopher, a racecar driver, and their 4-year-old daughter Genevieve, who wants to save the manatees.
Mark Joseph is a multi-media producer, author and the founder/CEO of MJM Entertainment Group. Mr. Joseph has worked in the development and/or marketing of 19 films including Ray, Holes, I am David, The Chronicles of Narnia, Because of Winn-Dixie, The Ultimate Gift, Saving Sarah Cain and others. In 2004 he co-produced two short films, Cupid and The Bridge with producer Ralph Winter. Mr. Joseph's current productions include Reagan, Sensei and In His Steps. He is also a co-founder and President of the board of the Damah Film Festival.
Mark's career in television began in 1992 when he anchored the Entertainment Report for CNN and he spent the next decade hosting the TV show, The Interview, which featured one on one interviews with guests like Larry King, Charlton Heston, Jay Leno and dozens of others.
In 2004 he produced the award-winning rock soundtrack for The Passion of The Christ featuring Lauryn Hill, P.O.D., Creed, MxPx, Blink 182, Kirk Franklin, and others and in 2008 launched his label Bully! Pulpit Records in partnership with Nettwerk Music Group. Bully! Pulpit's first artist Molly Jenson, will release her first album, Maybe Tomorrow, worldwide on March 3rd, 2009.
Mark is the author/editor of four books including Sarah Barracuda: The Rise of Sarah Palin, The Rock & Roll Rebellion, Faith, God & Rock 'n' Roll, & Pop Goes Religion and blogs regularly for Foxnews.com, The Huffington Post and Bully! Pulpit. He is also the founder and host of Bullypulpit.com. He lives in Southern California with his wife and four children.
Once in a generation, a comedian comes along who speaks to everyone. Today, that comedian is known simply as Michael Jr.
Imagine a line from Bugs Bunny to Bill Cosby and you’ll have an idea of Michael’s influences. Watch him onstage and you’ll see a man at ease…with himself, his audience, and his message. Listen to his voice and you’ll detect a comfortable, conversational style that hides a sly sense of mischief. Hear his words and you’ll laugh at the universal themes that connect us all.
Michael’s entry into comedy was almost preordained. Years ago in a crowded Grand Rapids, Michigan movie theater, the projector malfunctioned. The film snapped, the house lights came on, and acting on a dare, young Michael jumped in front of the restless crowd and took center stage. When the theater manager tried to usher him out, the audience demanded he stay…and Michael Jr. discovered his gift.
Comedian George Wallace offered Michael his first break when he took him to the legendary Comedy & Magic Club in Hermosa Beach, home of Jay Leno and “The Tonight Show” staff. The club’s owner slipped Michael onstage…and a week later Michael was performing at the “Just for Laughs” comedy festival in Montreal, where he became the first comedian to ever appear live via satellite on “The Tonight Show.”
That performance catapulted Michael’s career and has resulted in additional appearances on “The Tonight Show,” Comedy Central, “The Late, Late Show, ” BET, “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” SiTV, “The Byron Allen Show,” and any more. You’ll also find him at the most prestigious comedy clubs across he nation, including The Improv, The Laugh Factory, The Comedy Store, The Punchline, The Comic Strip, and Zany’s. If that weren’t enough, Michael’s versatility takes him from major universities such as Notre Dame, the University of Massachusetts, and the University of Alabama, to church events ranging from the 60,000 member Willow Creek Church in Chicago to the 17,000 member West Angeles Church in L.A. And now, you can see him in “Thou Shalt Laugh,” a comedy DVD released by Warner Bros.
How can one man be equally at home in the heartland and the inner city; churches and prisons; corporate events and youth rallies? Michael calls it comedy accountability.
“If I’m in a club, my material has to be clean enough to work in a church. If I’m in a pulpit, it has to be funny enough to work in a club.”
On the home front, Michael is happily married. He and his wife are the proud parents of four beautiful children.
Michael Levine is the founder of Levine Communications Office, one of the most prominent entertainment public relations firms in the country. Premiering at its Hollywood headquarters in June of 1983, the company has since opened affiliate offices in New York, London and Washington, D.C. and boasts an impressive roster of clients in all areas of the entertainment industry, including film, television, books, and special events. Called by USA Today, "one of Hollywood's brightest and most respected executives," Levine has been responsible for the renowned public relations campaigns for, among others, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand, Charlton Heston, Linda Evans, Jon Voight, Suzanne Somer, John Larroquette and Sidney Sheldon.
His clients have run from movie stars Michael J. Fox, Demi Moore and Mickey Rooney to sports heroes Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Nancy Kerrigan; to television personalities Hal Linden and Mary Hart; to music figures Fleetwood Mac, Janet Jackson, Tom Petty and David Bowie; to comics such as Sandra Bernhard and George Carlin; to producer Robert Evans. Corporate entertainment clients have included: The Improvisation Comedy Clubs (nationally), The Comedy Store, Sandollar Productions, The Hollywood Athletic Club, among many others. Mr. Levine's firm was awarded the Public Relations Firm of the Year by Performance Magazine's annual readers poll.
Michael Ramirez intended to become a doctor, as did his two brothers and two sisters. Instead, he became an editorial cartoonist. Think of him this way: Instead of slicing and dicing you, he slices and dices the public figures and issues of our time, for you. Michael does it well. In his mid-forties, he's already won two Pulitzer Prizez and a Mencken Award and been president of the American Association of Editorial Cartoonists. Michael does it controversially and refers to himself as an "equal opportunity offender." He was with the Los Angeles Times from 1997-2005 before moving to Investor's Business Daily where in addition to editorial cartooning, he serves on the Editorial Board. Michael's father was first generation Mexican-American; his mother Japanese. He is a 1984 graduate in fine arts of the University of California Irvine.
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