CEO and Senior Consultant
CEO and Senior Consultant
Brad Layland, CEO, first learned the principles and practices of Taking Donors Seriously® 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 2012 as a Senior Consultant and became the owner and CEO in 2015. 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 Intervarsity Christian Fellowship ($81 million), Union Rescue Mission ($83 million), The Bowery Mission ($27 million) and Veritas School ($5.3 million). He serves on the board of the Society for Classical Learning.
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 45 marathons and recently completed an Ironman Triathlon.
Brad is the founder of Endless Summer Realty, the largest residential real estate brokerage in St. Augustine, closing over $170 million in transactions in 2020. He is a founding parent and board member of Veritas Classical School, which has grown to over 110 students in three years, 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.
COO and Senior Consultant
COO and Senior Consultant
Steve Godfrey, Senior Consultant, leverages two decades of experience working with faith-based organizations and major donors to help clients succeed in their fundraising efforts - from crafting a compelling Case for Support to developing cultivation strategies for maximizing results. He also provides leadership to The FOCUS Group as its Chief Operating Officer.
Steve earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Florida and an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. He lives with his wife and two children in Richmond, Virginia, where he serves on the board of trustees for Veritas School and is a member of Redeemer Anglican Church.
Lori Gamboa, CPA
Lori Gamboa, CFO, 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.
Ame Eldredge, 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.
Ted Rodgers, 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. He is currently a Trustee and immediate past board chair at Northern Seminary.
Ted and his wife, Debbie, currently live in Wheaton, Illinois.
Senior Consultant & Chief Strategy Officer
Dr. Scott Rodin
Senior Consultant & Chief Strategy Officer
Dr. Scott Rodin, Senior Consultant & Chief Strategy Officer, 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.
Dr. Jay Barber
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 is currently serving as Mayor.
Zach Gurick, Senior Consultant, developed extensive fundraising and executive coaching expertise through 15 years in his former role as an Executive Director for a large non-profit ministry. He excels in recruiting and establishing strong teams, training and developing staff, engaging high-capacity donors, and leading towards a significant vision. He is passionate about strategic and professional development, and helping people and organizations flourish.
Zach utilized the Taking Donors Seriously® methodology on a daily basis for 15 years, and coached dozens of ministry and non-profit leaders through TDS-Online over the past two years.
Zach earned a B.S. from Coastal Carolina University while studying Biology and Chemistry before pursuing graduate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. He currently lives in Naples, Florida with his wife, Blair, and their 3 young children.
Tom MacAdam, 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 lives with his wife Amy and five children in Colorado Springs, CO.
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 four higher education and community-based Christian institutions as well as thirty 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, reside in the Philadelphia area.
John Ranheim, Senior Consultant, has nearly 20 years of experience working with organizations, leaders, and teams to fulfill their mission through effective fundraising strategies. Most recently, while serving as Vice President of Advancement at Covenant Theological Seminary, John led fundraising for the institution including, annual giving, major gifts, planned giving, and their capital campaigns.
John serves on the board of advisors for multiple organizations and loves finding ways to connect donor passions with the needs of advancing the gospel. He 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 in St. Louis. He and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Chesterfield Missouri and have 4 amazing boys. John serves as an elder at Chesterfield Presbyterian Church.
Vince Burens, Senior Consultant, brings over 23 years of fundraising, strategic planning, and executive leadership experience to draw from in his work with The FOCUS Group. In over two decades with the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO), Vince held various roles including Director of Recruitment, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and ultimately CEO/President. During Vince’s time as CEO, he led a strategic planning process 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 its 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 The Pittsburgh 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. Vince and his wife, Lori, have 2 children: Mia and Tessa. 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.
Jim Eney, 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.
Chad Borgestad, 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 Roseville, California with his wife of 26 years. They have 3 sons and two daughters-in-law. 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.
Askala Harris Calhoun
Askala Harris Calhoun, Consultant, has been a leader in fundraising for nearly a decade and has held leadership positions in major donor development, including for the University of Texas at Austin and the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA. She has a demonstrated history of excellence in fundraising, nonprofit organizational management, and nonprofit consulting including strategic planning, donor development and leadership and board development.
Having served in positions of executive leadership, on boards, and in volunteer roles with various organizations, Askala brings a unique perspective to the nonprofit sector and has used those experiences to help clients enhance their organizational infrastructure and financial sustainability. Residing in Fort Worth, TX, with her husband, Destry, she is a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church, and is active in lay leadership at the local, regional and national levels.
Evangeline Pattison, PMP
Evangeline Pattison, 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.
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, and Princeton Theological Seminary. 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.
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.
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.
Jamie Sellers, Associate Consultant, 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.
Sue Ellen Aucremann
Sue Ellen Aucremann, Associate Consultant, 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.
Amy Chapman, Associate Consultant, 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.
Martha Shinn, Pastoral 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.
Kendy Horsley, Marketing Coordinator, joined The FOCUS Group in 2015 after staying home with her children for several years. Over the past 20 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 almost 15 years.
Kendy and her husband Jeremy live in St. Augustine, Florida with their three boys: Hunter, Chase, and Liam.
Director of Research
Director of Research
Brian Robinson, Director of Research, has served in various ministry roles during the past two decades including youth pastor, church-planter/pastor, and the director of resources for a church-planter training organization. Brian also spent fifteen years in the West Virginia Magistrate Court system in administrative roles and served as the first elected President of the West Virginia Magistrate Court Staff Association. His research experience began while serving as a Magistrate Assistant, researching state code and case law, and he now enjoys using his research skills in his role with The FOCUS Group.
Brian earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Church Ministries from Trinity Baptist College, a Master of Religious Studies from Southern California Seminary, and an Master of Business Administration degree from Grand Canyon University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of APRA-Florida which provides support, resources, and training to professional researchers in development throughout the State of Florida. He and his wife reside in St. Augustine, Florida.
Director - Office of the CEO
Director - Office of the CEO
Jonathan Chapman, Director - Office of the CEO, has 15 years of experience with nonprofit arts and ministry organizations, serving in a multitude of roles from live production design and performance, project development and management, and international ministry coordination. These opportunities gave him the opportunity to work with arts and ministries around the world. He was trained in and executed the Taking Donors Seriously® framework while serving a non-profit youth performing arts program that he co-founded, and that continues to serve the St. Augustine, Florida community.
Jonathan received his Bachelor of Science degree in International Business Administration from Colorado Technical University. He has a passion to see organizations pursue a healthy internal culture and maximize their external impact. He lives in St. Augustine, Florida with his wife and three young children.
Evann Goitia, Marketing Assistant, has served in a variety of marketing and guest relations positions with organizations including the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Daytona International Speedway. He brings a background of social media and marketing experience to his role, including the production of multiple podcasts on Soundcloud and the Apple Podcast app and managing multiple websites across a variety of industries.
He earned a Bachelor of Science from Flagler College and currently lives in St. Augustine, Florida.
Emily Dombrowski, Project Assistant, has been involved with various nonprofits surrounding the Philadelphia and Washington D.C areas. In her current role, she is able to combine her passion for development and fundraising by helping both clients and consultants. In her spare time, she enjoys walks on the beach and catching up with family and friends. She is a graduate of Catholic University and currently resides in St. Augustine, Florida.