Our Team

Brad Layland

Chief Executive Officer & Senior Consultant

Brad Layland

Chief Executive Officer & Senior Consultant

Brad Layland, Chief Executive Officer & Senior Consultant, first learned how to raise money as a college student in 1993, while seeking to raise personal support as a part-time staff member for Young Life. Over the course of 20 years at Young Life, he developed his passion for and expertise in relational fundraising, to the point where he was asked to train other area directors around the country, and eventually became the Chief Development Officer for the entire organization. 

Brad joined The FOCUS Group in 2009 as a Senior Consultant and became the owner and CEO in 2010. In 2013, he launched the Taking Donors Seriously® e-learning and coaching program to make the firm’s expertise accessible to individuals and smaller nonprofits. 

Brad’s expertise providing high level fundraising counsel to nonprofit organizations incorporates major donor strategies, training workshops, planned gift marketing, and capital campaign counsel. In recent years he has led capital campaigns for Dallas Theological Seminary ($160M), Intervarsity Christian Fellowship ($89 million), Union Rescue Mission ($83 million), The Bowery Mission ($27 million) and Veritas School ($5.3 million).

Brad received his B.A. in Communications from the University of Florida and his M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Wendy reside in St. Augustine, Florida and have four children. Brad enjoys running marathons, skiing, investing in real estate, entrepreneurship, and traveling with his family. Over the past 20 years, he has completed 50 marathons and recently completed two Ironman Triathlons.

Brad is the founder of Endless Summer Realty, the largest residential real estate brokerage in St. Augustine, closing over $240 million in transactions in 2021. He is a founder and board member of Veritas Classical School, and launched an annual “Giving Day” in St. Augustine, which has become a platform for local nonprofits to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars and establish relationships with new donors. His entrepreneurial success has allowed Brad to experience the joy of generosity, and gain a special understanding of the mindset of a major donor.

Lori Gamboa, CPA

Chief Financial Officer & Director of HR

Lori Gamboa, CPA

Chief Financial Officer & Director of HR

Lori Gamboa, Chief Financial Officer & Director of HR, joined The FOCUS Group as Chief Financial Officer in 2013 after a career in the newspaper industry. She is a graduate of Stetson University in Deland, Florida with a B.S. in Accounting and is certified by the State of Florida as a Public Accountant.

Lori and her husband George live in St. Augustine, Florida.

Ted Rodgers

Chief Consulting Officer & Executive Consultant

Ted Rodgers

Chief Consulting Officer & Executive Consultant

Ted Rodgers, Chief Consulting Officer & Executive Consultant, is a respected expert in fund development and philanthropy. His areas of expertise include major donor strategies, financial management, strategic planning, board development and estate and asset gift planning.

He earned a B.A. in Economics from Wheaton College and an M.A. in Educational Administration from Ball State University. Ted was granted an honorary doctorate from Moscow Theological Seminary in 2009. Widely respected as a presenter at professional meetings, he has been a member of several higher education accreditation teams. His executive leadership experience includes serving as Senior Vice President at Trinity International University, Executive Vice President at Northern Seminary and Executive Director/CEO of Russian Leadership Ministries.

Ted and his wife, Debbie, divide their time between the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin and Bradenton, Florida.

Ame Eldredge

Chief Culture Officer & Senior Consultant

Ame Eldredge

Chief Culture Officer & Senior Consultant

Ame Eldredge, Chief Culture Officer & Senior Consultant, first discovered a talent for training and development during her fifteen year career with Young Life, serving in several roles including Area Director, Regional Trainer and assisting in National Staff Training events. As a Regional Trainer, she helped field staff in Florida become proficient in fundraising, building support teams, financial management and donor relations. In addition to Young Life she has significant and varied experience in the nonprofit sector. Having served on staff with several organizations serving such populations as youth in crisis, the homeless and the uninsured, she brings an intimate knowledge of management and advancement matters in this arena. She currently serves on the board of Global Teams International.

Ame graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion and has done graduate work through Fuller Seminary. Ame and her husband, Mark reside in Jacksonville, Florida.

Dr. Scott Rodin

Chief Strategy Officer & Senior Consultant

Dr. Scott Rodin

Chief Strategy Officer & Senior Consultant

Dr. Scott Rodin, Chief Strategy Officer & Senior Consultant, has helped hundreds of organizations over the past thirty-eight years improve their effectiveness in leadership, fund development, strategic planning and board development. His work has impacted individuals, ministries and churches in the U.S., Canada, Middle East, Great Britain, China, Philippines and Australia.

He currently serves as a Senior Fellow of the Association of Biblical Higher Education and as board chair for ChinaSource. In addition, Dr. Rodin is past president of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Christian Stewardship Association.

Dr. Rodin holds Master of Theology and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Systematic Theology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. He’s written fourteen books on stewardship and generosity, and speaks regularly at conferences, retreats and professional development events.

Wilber Aguilar

Giving Day Coordinator

Wilber Aguilar

Giving Day Coordinator

Wilber Aguilar, Giving Day Coordinator, brings a blend of creativity, drive, and a strategic mindset to his work. He was a part of the founding team of Abily, a college project that evolved into a pre-seed idea aiming to bridge the gap between the internet and individuals with disabilities, securing more than $35K in funding. Through this experience, Wilber developed a deep passion for entrepreneurship, innovation, and customer-centricity.

Wilber holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Entrepreneurship & Innovation from John Brown University in Arkansas. He served in various leadership roles while living abroad, gaining skills in branding, marketing, and user-centric thinking, and collaborated with cross-cultural teams representing over six countries.

Additionally, he is part of the Walton International Scholarship program, founded by Sam and Helen Walton, which provides free college education in the U.S. for students from Central America and Mexico. Wilber lives in Antigua, Guatemala, and enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading personal development books, exploring cultures, and trying new foods.

Sue Ellen Aucremann

Administrative Assistant

Sue Ellen Aucremann

Administrative Assistant

Sue Ellen Aucremann, Administrative Assistant, has worked for The FOCUS Group since 2013. She lives in St. Augustine, Florida with her husband, Dave, who serves at a local church as associate pastor. She and Dave have two college aged children, Madolyn and David. She enjoys cooking, walking on the beach, and doing ministry with her husband.

After receiving her B.A. from UNC-Chapel Hill in Recreation Administration in 1992, she worked for several nonprofits in Charlotte, NC.

Dr. Jay Barber

Executive Consultant

Dr. Jay Barber

Executive Consultant

Dr. Jay Barber, Executive Consultant, joined the FOCUS team as a senior consultant in early 2015 and is a senior fellow with the Murdock Charitable Trust, working with capacity building enrichment initiatives. Jay also currently serves as President Emeritus of Warner Pacific University after serving 12 years as president. Prior to serving as Warner Pacific’s president, he was vice president of development for Oregon Health and Science University where he directed the development of corporate, foundation and major gifts fund raising programs as well as the oversight of estate planning and planned giving.

Dr. Barber received his baccalaureate degree from Warner Pacific College where he later served on the Board of Trustees. He received his master’s degree from the University of San Francisco and a Doctor of Laws Degree (Hon.) from Anderson University. Jay and his wife Jan currently reside in Seaside, Oregon on the Oregon coast where Jay has formerly served as Mayor.

Jorja Blake

Administrative Assistant

Jorja Blake

Administrative Assistant

Jorja Blake, Administrative Assistant, is a curious and thoughtful problem solver. She is passionate about creating relationships and networks, as well as finding ways to increase His Kingdom. No stranger to the firm, Jorja joined it after successfully serving as Capital Campaign Manager for Cedar Tree Classical Christian School Capital, a TFG client. In this role, she learned and utilized TFG’s Taking Donors Seriously® methodology. Jorja was instrumental in developing a strong team to guide the school through its $2 million campaign, the largest in school history.  She earned a B.S. in Psychology from Portland State University. Jorja, husband Bill, and five children live in Vancouver, WA. They enjoy playing soccer, pickleball, and board games, as well as sharing meals with friends and family.

Chad Borgestad

Senior Consultant

Chad Borgestad

Senior Consultant

Chad Borgestad, Senior Consultant, has over 25 years of experience developing leaders and teams, and training individuals to reach their full potential. He has overseen the startup of four nonprofits, raising millions of dollars using the Taking Donors Seriously® framework. Chad has also served as a campus minister at Lutheran Church of Hope, the largest ELCA church in the US. Prior to that, he spent 4 years coaching executives to become principled leaders through individual and team coaching, and spent 20 years with Young Life, serving as an Area Director and Associate Regional Director.

Chad earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota before pursuing studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife of 29 years. They have 3 sons, two daughters-in-law, and 2 grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys working out, running, biking, or reading a good book. You may also find him on the lake fishing with his sons, hiking the trails of the Sierra Nevada mountains or traveling the country.

Dawn Brown

Research Analyst

Dawn Brown

Research Analyst

Dawn Brown, Research Analyst, joined The FOCUS Group in 2022 to provide in-depth research which helps clients better understand and prioritize current and prospective donors; a key Taking Donors Seriously® practice. From her past experience in ministry, volunteer management, home-schooling, and working with financial data, Dawn brings a natural curiosity and understanding about people. She is a member of the Association of Professional Researchers for Advancement (APRA), which focuses on prospect research and management, and development analytics. Dawn and her husband live in Winter Garden, Florida. They enjoy spending time with their three grown children, antiquing, and taking day trips in the area.

Vince Burens

Vice President Eastern Division & Senior Consultant

Vince Burens

Vice President Eastern Division & Senior Consultant

Vince Burens, Vice President Eastern Division & Senior Consultant, brings over 23 years of fundraising, strategic planning, and executive leadership experience to draw from in his work with The FOCUS Group. Previously, he worked for over two decades in collegiate ministry.  He held various roles including Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, President, and ultimately CEO.  During Viince's time as CEO, he led strategic planning processes that catalyzed the organization to move from having a regional footprint to a national presence on over 150 campuses, in partnership with churches.  During this expansion, he also led their first ever successful comprehensive fundraising campaign.

Vince has had the privilege of being one of Praxis Labs first Scale Fellows as well as being the Chairman of the Board of a regional Fellows program. He also serves on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations related to young adult faith and leadership development.  He received his B.A. degree in Urban Development, Political Science, and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh and has done graduate work at Trinity School for Ministry, where he is an adjunct professor. He and his wife, Lori, have 2 children. Vince enjoys coaching soccer, having been a high-level club and high school coach for over twenty years.  He is also a third generation winemaker and appreciates having a good walk spoiled by a round of golf.

Askala Harris Calhoun

Director of Fundraising Training & Consultant

Askala Harris Calhoun

Director of Fundraising Training & Consultant

Askala Harris Calhoun, Director of Fundraising Training & Consultant, is a life-long learner whose passion is applying new and innovative concepts to her wealth of expertise in order to help organizations thrive. With a career in philanthropy spanning more than twelve years, she leads with warmth, humor, vision, and strategy. As a leader in major donor development and nonprofit management, she has held the titles of Executive Director, Executive Director of Development, Senior Director of Major Gifts, and Director of Development in small ministries and large organizations, including for the University of Texas at Austin and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation (USA). She has also planned and executed outstanding corporate social responsibility programs for Fortune 500 companies. Askala has demonstrated excellence in nonprofit consulting, including building fundraising and major gift programs, donor engagement and development, strategic planning, and leadership and board development. Having served in executive leadership positions, on boards of directors, and in volunteer roles with various organizations, Askala brings a unique and holistic perspective to the nonprofit sector and has used those experiences to help clients enhance their financial sustainability and organizational infrastructure. Askala resides in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex with her husband and their two dogs. Askala is a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church and is active in lay leadership at the local, regional, and national levels.

Amy Chapman

Senior Project Manager

Amy Chapman

Senior Project Manager

Amy Chapman, Senior Project Manager, combines her passion for developing people with her skills in organization and management to serve the clients and consultant team at The FOCUS Group. She spent five years as a Director of Children’s Ministries at a local church before spending eight years in Residence Life at Lee University and Flagler College. Her experience includes managing department initiatives, developing and implementing training programs, and mentoring leaders. While at Flagler College, Amy also served on an interdepartmental task force in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amy graduated from Lee University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Development with an emphasis in business and also a Master’s degree in Youth and Family Ministry. She lives in St. Augustine Florida and is involved in ministry to young people through her church. Whenever her schedule allows, she also loves spending time with any of her 10 nieces and nephews.

Casey Dunn

Consultant

Casey Dunn

Consultant

Casey Dunn, Consultant, has served as a volunteer, area director, regional director, and campaign coach for Young Life in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania during his 40-year Christian nonprofit career. Along the way he learned the importance of winsome engagement with investors, community leaders, and interested adults. Casey has led local committees to stabilize funding through effective funding models, including The FOCUS Group's Taking Donors Seriously®. As a Young Life regional director, he built a team that implemented the Liberty Region Strategic Plan during Young Life's Advancing Liberty Campaign from 2016-2021. Most recently, Casey coached other regional directors in creating a compelling vision for growth and to engage major donors in making operations, capital projects, and estate gifts.

Casey earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Communications from Towson University then pursued graduate studies in Theology at Fuller and Reformed Theological Seminaries. Casey and his beautiful wife Barb have been married for 40 years. The Dunns have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and three beautiful granddaughters! They are members of Trinity Presbyterian Church and live in Norfolk, Virginia, close to kids and grandkids in Richmond and Virginia Beach.

Jim Eney

Consultant

Jim Eney

Consultant

Jim Eney, Senior Consultant, has served on the Essentials Training Team at the Murdock Trust for 20 years coaching organizations in development. He also served on Young Life Staff for 30 years ending in his role as Senior Vice President in 2004 where he lead successful Capital Campaigns and implemented Taking Donors Seriously in areas and regions. Jim continues as counselor in development to many non-profits in his role as an Associate with the International Foundation.

Jim received a BA from the University of Washington 1974 History and an MA in Theology from Fuller Seminary 1999. Jim resides in Portland Oregon with his wife Janet.

Reid Estes

Consultant

Reid Estes

Consultant

Reid Estes, Consultant, has 30 years of leadership experience growing start up teams and leading in cross-disciplined environments. Reid’s understanding of relational fundraising (TDS) comes from extensive experience with annual fund execution and multiple campaign projects to build or improve Young Life Camp Properties throughout the US. Additional years serving as VP of Organizational Capability for Young Life helps Reid support our clients in building effective and functionally sound development teams. Reid is a collaborative, solution-focused consultant.

Reid holds a Master of Arts from Miami University in Coaching Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Flagler College. He and his wife now live in St. Augustine Beach, FL. They have three adult children and enjoy any activity that involves the beach, travel, fitness (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual), golf or family.

Jenny Forbes

Project Manager

Jenny Forbes

Project Manager

Jenny Forbes, Project Manager, brings 15 years of experience in the private education sector to her role at The FOCUS Group. From her teaching background, she brings a relational and collaborative spirit to serve clients and accomplish complex tasks. Jenny’s experience includes developing plans tailored for specific situations, tracking plan progress, adjusting plans as needed, and communicating through frequent check-in calls. A graduate of Flagler College, she majored in Elementary Education with a minor in Youth Ministry. Jenny and her beloved goldendoodle Marlow recently relocated to the St. Augustine area to be closer to family and friends.

Dr. Justin Forbes

Consultant

Dr. Justin Forbes, Consultant, has been involved in teaching and training for multiple years, working with nonprofit organizations, churches, and the national training department of Young Life. Having spent 10 years in the field with Young Life, Justin is experienced in recruiting, training, and developing teams that engage in volunteer development, fundraising strategies, and donor relations. He is passionate about developing a vision of donor development that engages donors in ministry, helping them participate in God’s work in the world. Justin holds degrees from Flagler College, Fuller Theological Seminary, an Mdiv from Princeton Theological Seminary and a PhD in Theology from the University of Aberdeen. Justin is on the local board for Young Life, loves his local church, and is kept busy by his wonderful six children and (not as wonderful) small dog. He and his wife, Bethany, live in St. Augustine Florida.

Manola A. Fortuny

Project Assistant

Manola A. Fortuny

Project Assistant

Manola A. Fortuny, Project Assistant, is a professional with a diverse background spanning multiple industries and who brings wide-ranging expertise to any team. Her experience in customer support, production, supply chain, and quality assurance management honed her skills in communication and problem-solving, process improvement, teamwork, and collaboration. Her industry exposure includes hospitality management, as well as different manufacturing sectors. Drawing from her extensive professional journey, Manola seamlessly integrates her knowledge into her current role as a Project Management Assistant. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from San Carlos University in Guatemala and a Master of Food and Science Technology from Del Valle University in Guatemala. Manola has climbed the 37 official volcanoes in Guatemala and the Iztaccíhuatl and Pico de Orizaba in Mexico. Manola lives in Antigua Guatemala, and enjoys spending time with her children, traveling, laughing, and learning new things.

Emily Harkey

Project Manager

Emily Harkey

Project Manager

Emily Harkey, Project Manager, has worked for and served a number of nonprofit organizations. Her corporate experience spans more than ten years, from recruiting for technology firms to donor cultivation with a large Christian non-profit. Emily is passionate about working efficiently, planning effectively, and executing precisely to serve clients with excellence. Her experience includes creating and implementing training programs for her clients and volunteer work as an instructional designer of curriculum for non-profits.

Emily graduated with a degree in Hispanic Studies from Wheaton College, Norton, MA. She lived in Spain twice and on the West Coast before moving to St. Augustine. She and her husband, Ryan, have four children. She enjoys watching sports with her family, playing softball, and reading when not working.

 

Kendy Horsley

Marketing Coordinator

Kendy Horsley

Marketing Coordinator

Kendy Horsley, Marketing Coordinator, joined The FOCUS Group in 2015 after staying home with her children for several years. Over the past 25 years, Kendy has worked as an administrator in a wide range of companies including mega-churches, construction and environmental firms, and large and small animal veterinarian clinics. She’s also been enjoying her time as a volunteer with Young Life Capernaum for 20 years.

Kendy and her husband Jeremy live in Monticello, Georgia with their three boys: Hunter, Chase, and Liam.

Dan Kennedy

Vice President of Marketing & Business Development

Dan Kennedy

Vice President of Marketing & Business Development

Dan Kennedy, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, has taken a journey from brand management at Procter & Gamble to Christian retail and then three years working in China as the marketing leader for an NGO. There, the entrepreneur in him created the vision for Kumveka - a nonprofit firm that provided research, brand, and marketing services to like-minded organizations worldwide. He returned to the US to found and run Kumveka for 13 years. In a desire to focus on audience research, he and a colleague founded Boaz Research to hone in on helping organizations make better-informed decisions by deeply understanding the needs of their audiences.

His role today is The FOCUS Group's first Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. Dan serves on several boards, including Rise Richmond and Imago Dei Neighborhood School. He lives, learns, and enjoys his dark-roasted and black coffee in Richmond, Virginia. He and his wife, Sara, have four adult children.

Tom MacAdam

Vice President Western Division & Senior Consultant

Tom MacAdam

Vice President Western Division & Senior Consultant

Tom MacAdam, Vice President Western Division & Senior Consultant, is an accomplished fundraising professional, with two decades of experience leading development efforts in non-profits focused on missions, higher education and publishing. His past roles include VP of Advancement for Slavic Gospel Association, VP of Stewardship for Moody Bible Institute, Regional Director of Development for Wheaton College, and Executive Director of Russian Leadership Ministries. Tom’s expertise includes providing fundraising counsel to nonprofit organizations, including promotional and marketing messaging, direct response fundraising strategy, major donor and planned gift development, and capital campaign counsel.

A graduate of Purdue University with a B.A. in Psychology, he earned his J.D. from the University of Illinois, College of Law. Tom is a licensed attorney, having practiced 14 years including roles as a senior executive and corporate general counsel for two technology and digital marketing services businesses. Tom and his wife Amy have five children, and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

Mike Manning

Consultant

Mike Manning

Consultant

Mike Manning, Consultant, served as an Area Director and Vice President of Development during his 30-year career with Young Life of Canada. His abilities to build deep and trusting relationships with teens, honed in the first half of his Young Life career, translated well in his transition to working with adult supporters and major donors for the remainder of his time with Young Life. By his motto, “80% of success is just showing up”, Mike successfully built a network of engaged donors across Canada who partnered with the mission in two recent capital campaigns. In addition to his development work, including annual funding, Mike enjoyed training new staff and volunteer committees in their fundraising by teaching The FOCUS Group’s Taking Donors Seriously. Before joining the TFG team, Mike was a client for a feasibility study and campaign counsel.

Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Mike has a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry from UBC, a Diploma in Christian Studies from Regent College, and has taken courses at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Mike and his wife Sheralyn live in Vancouver, BC, and have four children in their university and high school years. When not at his desk or in an airport, Mike can often be found at the ice rink, either coaching his son’s team or playing himself.  In the summertime, Mike enjoys sailing and golfing.

Reginald T. W. Nichols, ED.D

Senior Consultant

Rev. Dr. Reginald T. W. Nichols, Senior Consultant, brings over 40 years of fund development, executive leadership, organizational development, and ministry leadership experience to his work at The FOCUS Group. He recently served as the Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty at Warner Pacific University in Portland, OR. Before his time in Oregon, he served as the fourth President of The Piney Woods School in Piney Woods, Mississippi, the largest and oldest historically African American boarding school in the nation. While there, he led several successful annual and capital fund campaigns. He has also served on the faculty and administration at Patten University in Oakland, CA, and at the University of San Francisco. In addition, he has been a principal and teacher in various K-12 schools in California and Texas. He also served as Director of Development at San Francisco Theological Seminary, responsible for a successful endowed chair campaign and the annual fund.

Dr. Nichols served as a W.K. Kellogg International Leadership Fellow, a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow, and a New Leadership Academy Fellow with the University of Michigan. During these fellowship opportunities, he worked with U.S., Caribbean, Latin American, and South African leaders in fund development, strategic planning, organizational effectiveness, leadership coaching, and diversity.

Born in Belgium and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Nichols received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts. In addition, he holds a Master of Divinity degree in Marriage and Family Counseling from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and a Doctor of Education degree in Organization and Leadership – International and Multicultural Education from the University of San Francisco. He is an ordained minister and has served in Presbyterian and United Methodist churches in New York, California, and Texas.

He is married to Vanessa and is the father of four adult sons, two daughters-in-law, and two grandchildren. As a world traveler, avid car lover, and tech geek, you can find him traveling, attending car shows, and experimenting with the latest gadget in his spare time.

Evangeline Pattison, PMP

Vice President Client Services & Senior Consultant

Evangeline Pattison, PMP

Vice President Client Services & Senior Consultant

Evangeline Pattison, Vice President Client Services & Senior Consultant, brings over 15 years of nonprofit experience and a wealth of fundraising and project management knowledge to her role as Consultant. Her development and operations experience ranges from higher education to world missions, and from local to national organizations. Evangeline has served in a wide range of capacities, from Project Manager to Director of Development and Operations, and her insight and skillsets helps teams remove roadblocks and keeps projects on track.

Evangeline earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organizational Communications from George Fox University and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). She lives in the Portland, Oregon area, and spends her time investing in friends and family, crewing for hot air balloons, and volunteering with the Don’t Give Up Movement.

Mark Paulson

Consultant

Mark Paulson

Consultant

Mark Paulson, Consultant, is an accomplished professional with over 30 years of experience in fund development, organizational leadership and entrepreneurship. He is passionate about providing creative leadership to ministries and nonprofits, serving them in ways that result in increased partnership and an abundance of resources to accomplish strategic vision. Mark’s areas of expertise include training campaign managers, establishing executive & presidential campaign committees, and developing major donor strategies with gift officers. He has earned a BA in Communications from the University of Minnesota. Mark and his wife Kerry reside in San Diego, California and have two boys.

Tracy Prall

Consultant

Tracy Prall

Consultant

Tracy Prall, Consultant, brings 20 years of nonprofit experience serving local, national, and international organizations. Most recently, she was Senior Regional Director, Major Gifts for Samaritan's Purse, stewarding major donors and leading a team of major gift officers. Tracy's nonprofit experience includes serving as a foundation area director and a development director. She began her career in corporate sector event planning and global business development. Tracy earned a Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. She lives in Northern California where she enjoys hiking Sonoma County trails, walking her dog to visit neighbors, and packing her bags to explore other countries.

John Ranheim

Vice President Central Division & Senior Consultant

John Ranheim

Vice President Central Division & Senior Consultant

John Ranheim, Vice President Central Division & Senior Consultant, has over 20 years of experience working with organizations, leaders, and teams to fulfill their missions through developing effective fundraising strategies. He has successfully developed and led programs for annual giving, major gifts, and planned giving during his career. Most recently, John served as the Chief Development Officer and Vice President of Advancement at Covenant Theological Seminary, where he oversaw the institution’s fundraising, communications, alumni, enrollment teams, and the Covenant Seminary Foundation. In this role, John led the school through three successful capital campaigns for new buildings, student scholarships, operations, and the seminary’s endowment.

John regularly advises organizations and schools with their strategy, planning, and fundraising programs. He has served as an executive coach for development professionals and senior leaders who desire to grow in their capacity and effectiveness in fundraising. John is a frequent speaker on stewardship and fundraising and is the past chair of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) national conference, serving development professionals in theological higher education.

John earned a B.A. in Communications from Whitworth University and an M.Div. in Theology from Covenant Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Chesterfield Missouri, have 4 amazing boys, and enjoy skiing, running, and hiking whenever they can. John serves on the board of Westminster Christian Academy in St. Louis and is an elder at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church.

Lilian Reanda

Research Analyst

Lilian Reanda

Research Analyst

Lilian Reanda, Research Analyst, is a detail-oriented, strategic professional who received her Bachelor of Computer Science from John Brown University in Arkansas. Later, she was accepted into the Aspire Leadership Institute, a leadership development program designed and delivered by Harvard University Business School faculty. She joined The FOCUS Group as a Research Analyst in 2024.

For the past two years, Lilian has mentored beginner-level Girls in Tech San Francisco contestants in their annual hackathons by helping with their technical knowledge to choose the right tech stack to build applications and collect data. Previously, she worked as a Research Data Analyst contractor for The Institute of Humane Studies and Just Cause Consulting Chicago.

In her spare time, she enjoys attending gatherings to grow her Christian faith, reading about personal finance, networking, working out, interior design decoration, and watching movies with friends and family. Her top 3 CliftonStrengths are Focus, Restorative and Significance.

Dr. Tom Ridington

Senior Consultant

Dr. Tom Ridington

Senior Consultant

Dr. Tom Ridington, Senior Consultant, excels at responding to challenges with solutions that align with the mission, are attuned to the market, and advance the organization. Recognized for his ability to see through uncertainty and garner support for strategic action, he has served as an advancement executive with four higher education and community-based Christian institutions as well as forty consulting clients. In addition, Tom is also a coach and mentor who is genuinely concerned for people and their development.

Tom earned his BA from Eastern University, an MAR from Palmer Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He and his wife, Meridith, divide their time between Philadelphia and the Chesapeake Bay where they enjoy golf, gardening and their grandchildren.

Brenda Sandoval

Project Assistant

Brenda Sandoval

Project Assistant

Brenda Sandoval, Project Assistant, is dedicated to serving at The FOCUS Group, fueled by her passion for creating positive change. Throughout her career, she has honed her abilities to streamline processes, anticipate challenges, and drive team performance, which was key in her role as both Team Lead and Interim Operations Manager with her previous employer, Prialto. With a focus on building meaningful relationships and fostering collaboration, Brenda thrives on working closely with teams to achieve shared goals.

Brenda earned her Bachelor’s in International Business and Bachelor’s in History from the University of the Ozarks in Arkansas. Committed to continuous growth, she earned a Master’s in International Business and Strategic Management from a business school in Spain. She loves traveling and learning about the cultures of the places she visits. Currently residing in Guatemala, Brenda actively engages with various faith-based organizations dedicated to serving children in rural communities across the country.

Jamie Sellers

Chief of Staff & Project Manager

Jamie Sellers

Chief of Staff & Project Manager

Jamie Sellers, Chief of Staff & Project Manager, began his work with The FOCUS Group in 2010 and has served primarily in the area of client support services. Jamie is passionate about helping others carry out their goals which positions him well in his current role where he supports both consultants and clients in carrying out their mission. Jamie has a broad background in computers and technology spanning 11 years and has served in pastoral ministry for 15 years.

Jamie is a graduate of the University of North Florida, where he earned a B.S. degree in Computer Science. He completed his M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri. Jamie and Julie, his wife, live just steps from the beach in St. Augustine, Florida.

Martha Shinn

Director of Client Care

Martha Shinn

Director of Client Care

Martha Shinn, Director of Client Care, leverages her experience and wisdom to support her colleagues and our clients, helping them fulfill their missions. She retired from Flagler College after over 30 years of teaching and directing the college's Youth Ministry Program. Prior to that, Martha served as the Area Director for Young Life in St. Augustine. She actively serves her community as a member of the local Young Life Board in St Augustine, as a volunteer leader with Young Life Capernaum, and by volunteering with the homeless lunch program at her church. Martha and her husband Walt live in St Augustine and visit Virginia frequently to be with their son, daughter-in-law and 2 grandchildren.

Robin Smalley

Project Manager

Robin Smalley

Project Manager

Robin Smalley, Project Manager, is passionate about facilitating and empowering others to succeed and thrive. She considers it a privilege to serve clients and consultants at The FOCUS Group in their strategic planning, fundraising, and campaign endeavors.

Her previous work experience includes serving as a kindergarten and first grade lead teacher. This foundational role, combined with numerous leadership roles in various ministries, has equipped her with strong organization and management skills.

Robin holds a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Millersville University, and a Master's degree in Educational Leadership from Immaculata University. Though a native of the Philadelphia area, Robin has also lived in Austin, Texas, and is thrilled to now call St. Augustine, Florida her home where she enjoys living the "salt life" with her husband and three school-age children.

Jason Smith

Consultant

Jason Smith

Consultant

Jason Smith, Consultant, believes that fundraising can be a natural, life-giving process that helps organizations scale their impact. He is passionate about helping clients utilize effective strategies to build relationships with enthusiastic partners to fund a mission and change the world. He brings 25 years of experience in nonprofit leadership and leading teams to be more fruitful in their fundraising efforts. Most recently, he served as Partnerships Director for Water Mission in New York City.

Jason graduated with a B.S. in communications from Miami University and an MDiv. from Trinity School for Ministry. When Jason isn’t helping organizations fund their vision, you might find him in the woods, on a mountain or in the kitchen, delighted to make a meal for friends. Jason and his wife Kristin live in the New York City Metro area and have three children and one amazing granddaughter.

Dan Tymann

Consultant

Dan Tymann

Consultant

Dan Tymann, Consultant, brings over 35 years of experience in non-profit and for-profit executive leadership, non-profit fundraising, process engineering, strategic planning, operations management, and quality principles to his engagements with The FOCUS Group.  Dan had a successful 25-year career in manufacturing leadership at AT&T, Lucent Technologies, and Cisco Systems, and in 2005, he felt called to be part of the mission of Gordon College.

During his 18-year career at Gordon College, Dan provided leadership in nearly every department at Gordon. In addition to Advancement and Enrollment, Dan led in Marketing, Student Life, Global Education, Career and Connection Institute, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, Human Resources, Technology and Operations, and served as Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff. While at Gordon, he was a key leader in the Heart of Discovery capital campaign for the Ken Olsen Science Center, where TFG was campaign counsel.

Dan has been serving on the Board of Directors at Portsmouth Christian Academy for seven years (4 as Chair) and 12 years on the Miss Pink organization board.  Dan is a graduate of Tufts University with a BSEE.  Dan and his wife of 40 years, Andrea, their daughter, Sarah, her husband, Chris, and his two grandchildren, Samuel and Elizabeth Welch, live together in Newbury, MA.

Janet Stump, CFRE

Consultant

Janet Stump, Consultant, brings over 35 years’ fundraising and nonprofit leadership experience, guiding organizations and teams to fulfil their missions through strategic thinking and relational fundraising success. Her experience ranges from local Christian/charter schools, international associations and foundations, to world missions. Most recently, Jan was Executive Director -  ACSI Education Foundation, and Executive Director for Global Resources - The Evangelical Alliance Mission (TEAM).

Jan holds an MA in literature from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Since 2001 she has continuously held the Certified Fund-Raising Executive (CFRE) designation. Jan and her husband, Don, reside in Colorado Springs, CO and enjoy tent camping, hiking, and their six amazing grandchildren. She always welcomes conversation on theology, philosophy, or a current novel.

Jodi Thorp

Consultant

Jodi Thorp

Consultant

Jodi Thorp, Consultant, brings nearly 10 years of experience coaching nonprofit executives in the areas of management, major gift fundraising, marketing, and communications. She has worked with foundations, corporations, and high net worth families to realize their philanthropic goals. A native of Baton Rouge, Jodi received her undergraduate degree and Masters in Public Administration from Louisiana State University. She and her family live in Orlando, Florida where she enjoys providing hospitality and serving the disadvantaged as a community volunteer, gardening, and running.

Ralph Veerman

Senior Consultant

Ralph Veerman

Senior Consultant

Ralph Veerman, Senior Consultant, joined The FOCUS Group in 2023. He is President and CEO of Veerman & Associates (V&A), a coaching firm serving nonprofit executives, which he founded in 1988. V&A serves as a philanthropic advisor for high-net-worth families. Ralph was a Senior Advisor to Jim Seneff, Chairman of CNL and Seneff Family Foundation, and Bill Heavener of the Heavener Company.  He also served as Director of Heart of the City Foundation Orlando, Demetree Family Foundation and David Segel CEO of SGL. He assisted Roberta and Howard Ahmanson at Fieldstead & Company with a variety of global charitable projects. Earlier in his career Ralph was Senior VP of Prison Fellowship and President of Ligonier Ministries.

Organizations Ralph helped launch include: Lifework Leadership Orlando, a Christian leadership development initiative; Generosity: NY, and BioLogos, a Templeton Foundation funded mission, founded by Dr. Francis Collins. He serves on the Boards of Excelsis, Orlando and the Orlando Health Foundation.  Ralph has served as Trustee of the Riverside Foundation, United Arts of Central Florida, Trinity Forum Europe, Friends of Wycliffe Hall Oxford USA and the Advisory Board of the John Templeton Foundation. At First Presbyterian Church Orlando, Ralph serves on the College of Elders.

Ralph earned a bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College, IL, and a M.S.W in Social Work and M.A in Criminal  Justice from University of Illinois, Chicago. A loyal Chicago Cubs fan, Ralph and his wife, Lynne, reside in Orlando and have four children and ten grandchildren. They enjoy skiing, mountain biking, and high-alpine hiking in Crested Butte, Colorado, where they spend their summers.

Shannon Watlington

Senior Coach, Taking Donors Seriously®

Shannon Watlington

Senior Coach, Taking Donors Seriously®

Shannon Watlington, Senior Coach, Taking Donors Seriously®, brings 20 years of fundraising, strategic planning and leadership development experience to her work with The FOCUS Group. She has worked with Young Life for 9 years, during which she has recruited, trained and developed teams of people around a common goal. She has a passion for casting a vision to help individuals see how they can strategically use their gifts and resources to engage in a mission that aligns with their God-given passion and creates a ripple effect for God’s Kingdom in the world.

Shannon holds a Bachelor of Science in Advertising, Public Relations and Political Science from Ball State University in Indiana. She lives in Greenville, NC with her husband and their twin teenage sons. Her family enjoys playing games, traveling across the country watching baseball games and checking different MLB stadiums off their bucket list, beach days, and reading a good book.

 
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The FOCUS Group is proud to be recognized as a "Flourishing Workplace" by the Best Christian Workplace Institute. BCWI evaluated our company culture based on eight factors: Fantastic Teams, Life-Giving Work, Outstanding Talent, Uplifting Growth, Rewarding Compensation, Inspirational Leadership, Sustainable Strategy, and Healthy Communication.