Kem Meyer, Author & Communication Strategist
Kem Meyer is a recovering corporate spin doctor who left her Wall Street stock options to lead communications in her local church. She’s seen the high standards of Corporate America, the complex dynamics of ministry and the need for a unique overlap between the two. An outsider who’s pierced the church insider bubble, Kem offers a well-rounded communications perspective rooted in strategic simplicity. She’s done tours of duty on both sides of the for-profit/nonprofit divide and is uniquely equipped to carry best practice communications strategies into any environment.
Kem’s book Less Chaos. Less Noise. is the go-to communications resource for top churches and not-for-profits. It’s a cornerstone for the simple approach and scalable strategies proven to help anyone struggling to make a connection with their audience.
Dr. Terry Johnsson, Executive Director of Mission Integration
Dr. Terry Lyndon Johnsson has a unique story that has inspired thousands over the years. He served as a Presidential Honor Guard for three U.S. Presidents, his story is nothing short of a miracle, considering he was diagnosed with an extreme case of dyslexia a a young man. His full story can be found in his books “For His Honor” & ”Aim High.” He went on to earn a doctoral degree at the prestigious Wesley Theological Seminary of Washington DC. After years of ministering to Young Adults, Dr. Johnsson was asked to be the Senior Chaplain and Operation Manager of WGTS FM in Washington, D.C.; which is the second largest Christian Radio Station in the country. Recently, Dr. Johnsson has joined Adventist Health in Portland, Oregon as Executive Director of Mission Integration.
Andrew Devigal, Chair of Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement
Andrew DeVigal is the inaugural chair in Journalism Innovation and Civic Engagement and the first professor of practice at University of Oregon's (UO) School of Journalism and Communication (SOJC). DeVigal also served as the multimedia editor at The New York Times, where he helped guide the newspaper’s print-driven format into the multimedia era. He integrated new approaches to interactive storytelling with The Times’ long tradition of journalistic excellence to help shape the industry with techniques still in use today.
DeVigal works with the Agora Journalism Center at UO, an organization devoted to transformative advancements for better journalism and stronger democracy. The center energizes research, teaching, and learning to foster a culture of constant innovation and diverse collaboration to serve the public good.
An Emmy Award-winning innovative strategist, DeVigal builds bridges by connecting ideas and people to produce meaningful and interactive stories. With his exceptional knowledge of possibilities and deeply innovative forward thinking, he has consistently demonstrated his ability to lead teams, engage audiences through purposeful user experiences, and invent creative new approaches to interactive storytelling.
With Laura Lo Forti, DeVigal is the co-founder of A Fourth Act, a studio that amplifies the connection between storytellers and the community they wish to invite by designing processes and tools that unleash the full potential of stories to create long-lasting positive impact. We don’t simply help build an audience. We build communities.
Jamie Jean Schneider, Digital Marketing Strategist
Jamie Jean Schneider is an experienced digital marketing professional with a proven record of building results-focused, integrated digital marketing strategies. Schneider joined the North American Division in 2016 as their Social Media project manager. Prior to that, she was the digital marketing specialist for the Smithsonian Associates, the largest museum-based education program in the world. This division of the Smithsonian Institution annually offers more than 800 seminars, performances, lectures, studio art classes, and local and regional study tours. During her five years at the Smithsonian Associates, Jamie was responsible for developing and implementing communications strategies for email and social media that led to explosive growth, contributing significantly to the organization becoming revenue neutral for the first time in fifty years.
Jamie is also the former digital marketing manager of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. During her time managing the BSO’s e-commerce strategy, the symphony received national recognition for its technological achievements. The BSO was voted best orchestra in the metropolitan area by the Washington City Paper, which noted that “This is one tech-happy organization, and it pursues a Web strategy that a newspaper publisher or two could perhaps borrow from.” The BSO also received the Orchestra Website Review Special Recognition Award in 2009 for its marketing innovations.
She has presented on digital marketing all around the country for events such as the International Tessitura Conference, the Montgomery County (Maryland) Arts Council, Capacity Interactive Digital Marketing Boot Camp in NYC, Columbia Union ASI Conference, Adventist Ministries Convention, and the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium.
Jared Anderson, Digital Engagement Operations Analyst
Federal Student Aid is the largest provider of student financial aid in the nation, providing more than $150 billion in federal grants, loans, and work-study funds each year to more than 15 million students paying for college or career school. Jared Anderson currently serves as a senior member of the Digital Engagement group responsible for the development and implementation of Federal Student Aid's digital engagement strategies, policies and procedures that align with FSA goals established by the U.S. Department of Education.
In conjunction with the Digital Engagement advisor, Anderson shares the responsibility and accountability for planning, organizing, and directing core projects and functions by evaluating complex digital engagement needs or situations to convey complex techniques of strategic and tactical communication related to Title IV programs that affect principle internal audiences. Anderson consults senior managers throughout FSA on requirements and enhancements for enterprise-wide digital engagement strategies and implementation, as well as contribute to key project reviews, drafting budget requests and recommendations on readjustments in funding and timelines.
Anderson also represents FSA at interdepartmental and interagency digital engagement related initiatives to maintain collaborative community relationships with internal and external stakeholders, including groups creating policies, procedures and developing best practices.
Previously, he worked as an electronic journalist for the news division of the American broadcast network NBCUniversal; one of the world's leading media and entertainment companies. Anderson worked for editorial and technical managers to assist the local editorial operation for Nightly News, Today Show, Meet The Press, and Redskins Showtime, ensuring that the voice, tone, and mix of content fit with the overall editorial strategy. He interfaced with on-air talent, television newsroom staffers, photographers, TV producers, editors, master control and engineering.
Heidi Baumgartner, Communication Director
Heidi (Martella) Baumgartner is always searching for refreshing ways of communication within the church. Heidi began her religious communication career with student work and internship experiences in higher education, local nonprofit, and healthcare marketing. This career track finally clicked with a two-year internship with Washington Conference. The internship grew into an associate director position, added in additional master’s level training in integrated marketing communication, and expanded into an elected department director position in 2010. She’s served two terms on the Society of Adventist Communicators’ board as vice president for communication. Heidi is looking forward to sharing her new experiences in Social Media & Big Data strategic planning.
Scott Steward, Owner of Creative Wave Marketing Solutions
Scott Steward is the owner of Creative Wave Marketing Solutions. In this role, he helps understaffed and overworked businesses and non-profits maximize the impact of their marketing efforts to increase their customer/donor base and boost profits. Steward provides results-driven marketing solutions through creative/strategic ad campaigns, public relations, graphic design, event planning, fundraising, branding, media production, customer/donor retention, sales training.
Clients include/have included international Christian lifestyle TV network, commercial bank, chamber of commerce, hotel management company, landscape and nursery company, Christian radio/TV program producers, local radio station, non-profit veterans' assistance agency, non-profit arts/entertainment/cultural events agency, private grade school, community health fair, custom homebuilder, chiropractor, dentist, disaster restoration contractor, funeral home, and real estate professionals.
Before launching his own business in the Pacific Northwest, Scott worked as marketing director for Hope Channel television in Silver Spring, Maryland for three years. In that role, he authored articles on the television network for constituent publications; and wrote, edited and designed Hope Channel’s branding/identity guide and quarterly magazine. Scott also created and directed a multifaceted PR and advertising campaign to raise awareness for Hope Channel’s DIRECTV channel 368. Scott hosted/co-hosted/produced segments for internationally-broadcast television programs.
Scott’s background also includes serving as executive director of marketing and communication for Washington Adventist University (then Columbia Union College) for almost five years; and five years as marketing director for Amazing Facts Ministries.
Richard Dark, Director, Brand & Consumer Marketing, Communication, Adventist Health
Richard Dark is a creative leader and problem-solver, offering extensive experience leading high-profile industry leaders. He is an expert in building collaborative relationships, gaining buy-in for new ideas, articulating competitive value, exploiting new business opportunities, and driving strategic programs through complex negotiations. He has had equal success in the launch of marketing initiatives for new product/service introductions and product line revitalization. Richard is recognized as a fair, empowering, and culturally-sensitive team builder who molds diverse groups into high-achieving teams by encouraging participation and input, and he embodies a lead-by-example style to attain important business goals. Robert currently serves in Brand & Consumer Marketing for Adventist Health in Roseville, California.
Tamara A. Fisher, Communication Director
Tamara Fisher considers her days in Public Relations very rewarding. Her positions have taken her across the United States, from Maryland to California, Florida, and now Georgia. Gaining experience in public relations with healthcare, higher education, and now conference employment for the Seventh-day Adventist Church has proved to be fascinating and meaningful.
Tammy enjoyed her time at Southern Adventist University. She changed her major five times and finally ended up with a degree in communication, public relations emphasis. The changes must have worked; Tammy is grateful for many enjoyable years in her field of choice. In 2014 she began a master's in leadership, emphasis in creativity and innovation, at Andrews University, and she hopes to graduate this year.
For fun, Tammy loves exercising and baking; they tend to help equalize one another. Balance is essential; spending time in nature connecting with God brings her great joy. Family is important; her son, Jake, attends Southern Adventist University, and daughter, Olivia, attends Georgia-Cumberland Academy. She also has beloved fur babies.
Seth Pierce, Lead Pastor
Seth Pierce pastors the Puyallup SDA Church and enjoys living in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and three young daughters. He is the author of numerous articles and books. Seth has also won a SAC award for his NPUC Column in the Gleaner and is an internationally known speaker. He is pushing a PhD in Communication with an emphasis on rhetoric and speech communication.
James Bokovoy, Communication Director
James has enjoyed a life-long passion for photography and art. He first learned to love creating images as a young boy, while tagging along with his father, who was an avid photographer. Whenever possible his father would schedule a trip to the zoo, botanical gardens or just load all the camera gear up in the car for a day, road trip.
James’ first professional camera, a Nikon F3T, was given to him as a gift in 1982. He enjoyed shooting for his school yearbooks in both academy and college. Since 2002, James has worked for the Oklahoma Conference as a pastor, associate director for Native Ministries and most recently, Communications Director. He has been blessed to cover many events for the church such as, General Conference sessions, ASI conventions, NAD women’s ministry conventions, NAD & Union ministerial meetings and the most recent International Pathfinder Camporee in Oshkosh, WI.
Story-telling with a camera and capturing those special, fleeting moments is a driving force in his work in communications. He believes that the Seventh-day Adventist church has been gifted a unique, powerful message and mission and that all of our media we produce should be of the highest quality. It is our duty as Adventist Christian communicators to produce the level of content that resonates with and draws seekers to experience the love and grace of Jesus, while deepening the walk of those who already enjoy a relationship with Christ. Jesus has commanded us to share the best story ever with others and we should strive to create best content ever, so they can see, hear, read and experience it.
He often is asked what’s in his gear bag? The answer to that is, whatever it takes to get the job done for the client. Currently, he continues to own and use Nikon gear, but as recently added the Sony mirror-less system for his personal gear. He also uses Canon gear with is job as communications director for the Oklahoma Conference. A couple pieces of advice, always keep a camera with you and the best camera is the one you have with you.
James has had the privilege to be married to an incredibly beautiful and talented teacher, Kimberly Ann, since 1991. They have been blessed for 21 wonderful years with a very creative daughter, Avery Danielle, who is pursing a degree in Nursing. Her younger brother, James Reid, has brought laughter and endless energy the Bokovoy home for 16 exciting years. Their entire family enjoys traveling, photography, being outdoors and experiencing new foods.