Operation Christmas Child
Ali grew up in Jonesboro, GA, she graduated from Jonesboro High School 1992.
After high school she played college basketball for 4 years & ran cross country for 1 year at University of Alabama, Huntsville (UAH)
While at UAH she met her husband, Brian, a Canada hockey player at UAH. They Married in 1997 and moved to Birmingham.
Ali Graduated in 2001 from UAB with major in Social Services. She continued her education at UWA (University of West Alabama) and earned
a MAT (Masters of Art in teaching) in History.
Currently she works part-time for First Baptist Kindergarten as a PE teacher. She also teaches history at Jefferson State Community College.
She is also a full time mother to Harbor, 13; Saylor, 11; and River, 9.
Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan’s Purse, is the world’s largest Christmas outreach of its kind.
Since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has delivered gift-filled shoeboxes to over 124 million children affected by war, poverty, natural disasters, and other crises in more than 150 countries and territories.
They partner with local churches to share the Good News of Jesus
Christ with those who receive shoebox gifts and offer a 12-lesson discipleship program,
The Greatest Journey, that helps boys and girls learn what it means to follow the Lord and share their faith with others.
Larry is a long-time Presbyterian minister and Director of Annual Giving for Presbyterian Homes of Georgia, one of the top-rated retirement communities in Georgia, providing care for more than 1,000 individuals and couples. Larry grew up in the wild country of Mississippi, earning a BA at one of the state's historic Presbyterian colleges. Upon completion of the M.Div. and M.C.E. degrees, he served four churches in Mississippi and Georgia. For more than 10 years he followed a dual career, pastoring small churches while he worked in corporate America, eventually becoming president of an Atlanta-based hotel company. During that time he also pursued post-graduate studies at Columbia Theological Seminary. Before joining Presbyterian Homes, he served as Director of Development for Thornwell Children’s Home in Georgia.
Joe is the Senior Vice President of Health Parks Administration and Development, for Wellstar Health System; based in Metro-Atlanta, GA. Joe joined WellStar in April, 2010 and brings more than 35 years of progressive strategic business development experience, including 30 years in healthcare. Much of that time has been focused on the strategic and innovative delivery of community-based ambulatory healthcare services. Joe has led the development of WellStar's Health Park ambulatory strategic plan. Under his leadership, the Acworth Health Park was planned, designed and opened in July, 2012 and the East Cobb Health Park was opened in September, 2014. Two additional Health Park facilities are in development with openings planned for 2017. Prior to joining WellStar, Joe served as President and Chief Executive Officer for Vanguard Imaging Partners, LLC, in Dayton, Ohio where he developed and managed seven outpatient medical imaging centers. Prior to this position, Joe served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning and Business Development for Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio and part of one of the largest health systems in the state of Ohio. In that role, Joe led the planning and development of one of the first, largest and most successful community-based outpatient medical facilities in the country, which opened in 1995. A Certified Public Accountant, Joe earned a bachelor's degree in accounting and a master's degree in business administration from the University of Dayton. Joe resides in Acworth and is a member of the Rotary Club of East
Cobb. Joe is a member of the Chamber of Commerce in Cobb, Cherokee, and Greater North Fulton, and serves on the board of directors for the Cobb and Greater North Fulton Chambers. Joe also serves as a board member for the
McCleskey-East Cobb/Northeast Cobb Family YMCA. Joe and his wife Sharon have two sons, and are the proud grandparents of a 5 ½ year old and 9 month old grandsons.
In her role as CEO of id8, it is Kriston Sellier’s responsibility to cultivate the company culture she has envisioned since she opened the agency’s doors in 2000—one that nurtures new and innovative thinking, a relaxed approach to communicating with clients, and an understanding of the critical role design thinking plays in every business strategy. Kriston’s vision is to create a “new agency”—one that brings more tangible value to the client by going far beyond creating designs that are visually appealing. Her goal with each and every client is to work hand in hand to understand their business goals—from generating leads to improving customer service to positioning for expansion—and deliver
design solutions that will be an integral part of meeting those goals. She also works internally to that same end, continually improving the company’s systems to improve efficiencies and maintain higher standards. She also constantly searches out ways to grow and challenge herself and her team. This tenacity has brought success time and time again to id8, including a spot in the Top 25 Best Small Businesses in Working Mother magazine and numerous awards from Graphia Design, USA and American Graphic Design & Advertising. But Kriston is more than a strategist and entrepreneur; she has been an accomplished designer in her own right since 1996. Her work with high profile and global companies like Strength of Nature, IBM, Kodak, Macy’s, and the New York Times has also won design awards from Graphis and other national publications. Kriston has a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from Illinois State University. Born and raised on a dairy farm in Illinois, she is married and has two children. Her free time—when she has it—is spent painting, making pottery, playing sports, and coaching kids’ sports.
Senior Financial Advisor
Portfolio Manager, PIA Program
3455 PEACHTREE ROAD N.E. Suite 1000 ATLANTA, GA 30326
Phone: (404) 231-8016 Email: email@example.com
Jim’s mission, first and foremost, is to establish a trustworthy and meaningful working-relationship with a client. He believes that fully understanding clients, their families, their lifestyles, and their financial aspirations is essential in keeping their best interest at heart. Jim practices a disciplined, long-term approach to investing based upon each client’s specific financial needs and risk tolerance. He acts as a focal point for all of a client’s financial affairs by leveraging the vast number of specialists and resources available through Merrill Lynch and Bank of America. Jim also teams with client professionals, such as CPAs and attorneys, to coordinate and tailor personal financial solutions. As an essential partner and problem solver for clients, Jim is especially focused on helping those individuals who are looking for guidance concerning asset management to achieve long-term investment goals.
Originally from Colorado, Jim graduated from the University of Denver with Bachelor of Science in Accounting (BSAcc) from DU’s Daniels College of Business. Jim also holds the professional designation of a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC). In his spare time, Jim enjoys traveling, music and exercise.
Our most deeply held principle at Merrill Lynch is that clients come first, and I am proud to be part of that tradition. To help you meet your financial objectives and build your wealth, I first listen to your personal goals, and then offer effective approaches to achieve them. At Merrill Lynch, I have unparalleled resources that include planning expertise, investment strategies and state-of-the-art technology designed to streamline any financial picture. Let me put them to work for you.
I wound up in the concert and live event production world where I stayed for the bulk of my adult life primarily in the field of lighting. In 1995 I decided I wanted to get out of “the business” and become a graphic artist. But I didn’t have the money to go back to school.
I went down to the local CompUSA that had just opened and got a job under the pretext that I would figure out computers and graphic software on the fly despite the fact that the simple process of booting up a computer made me a bit nervous. I learned to find my way around the technology and grabbed time on machines whenever and wherever I could until the day came to hang a shingle as a “professional graphic artist.”
I got some good gigs and did some pretty interesting work but I never quite lost the live production itch. In 2003 I met Carolyn DeMeo, the woman I would eventually marry. In April of 2004 as we were making plans for a November wedding I dropped the bomb that I needed to get back out on the road or I was going to go crazy—knowing full well that this could be the end of our plans. To my undying surprise and gratitude her response was, “What took you so long?”
I bumped into my old friend Larry Boster who was Brooks & Dunn’s lighting designer, and we spent a day snooping around Nashville looking for a touring gig for me. We wandered into the offices of “Tour Guide Magazine” (a trade magazine in the mobile production industry) to say hi and see if they knew of anything going on.
The owner of the magazine is always trolling for salespeople regardless of their qualifications. So he and his partner sat down and sold me on the idea that selling ad space to the industry would at least get me close enough to the road to eventually get back in at some point.
After a couple of months I realized that I couldn’t sell ice water to a Bedouin nomad and even if I could, it wasn’t going to work in this environment because what little writing there was in the publication was coming from a complete lack of understanding of how production actually works.
I convinced the guys that the magazine needed a writer who had actually done the work we're supposed to be critiquing so that the content could be written from within the industry. Hey, it sounded good to me. Apparently it sounded good to them as well because they took me off the sales hook and made me their Chief Writer. I also got them to put a camera in my hand.
I had been writing for a long time but no one had ever read any of it. Additionally, I didn’t have much experience with still photography, but my college training came back pretty fast and now it was just a matter of learning the particulars of the gear. I got the company to buy a Nikon D100 upon the discontinuation of the model and off I went shooting the shows about which I wrote.
My writing was rough as was my photography. But as time went by I was able to scrape the barnacles off my hull and before long I was able to acquire the respect of my peers in the business for my writing and my photography. More importantly, the people in the industry came to trust that I would execute the requisite discretion needed for such a position. Since then I have switched over to Canon and purchased my own gear.
I’m not one who believes in false modesty as long as you always bear in mind that talent and true success is nothing more than a gift on loan from God. The success I have achieved has come from the grace of God, the support of the best wife a man could ever have and access to the subjects of my writing and photography provided by an industry that is normally quite skittish about letting writers and photographers into its inner sanctum. With that kind of wind at your back you have to really try to avoid getting good at your work.
I have since left the magazine and struck out on my own as a photographer. I will always cherish the time spent, friendships made & rekindled, and lessons learned during my time as a writer. While I will always write as a hobby, writing for and about the live entertainment industry was a season of my life and as all seasons do, it has passed. I anxiously look forward to the countless photographic opportunities that lay out ahead of me now that I can spend all of my attention on shooting.
From time to time I am asked what advice I would offer to people who want to become a writer or photographer and my initial impulse is to warn them to find another star to follow, as there are probably only two or three professions on earth that are more difficult to get into. And of the people who are allowed through that door, only about one percent of one percent can actually make a living at it.
However, I was once told to keep my creativity as a hobby and get a real job. To date I can't recall a greater or more disheartening insult. Had I followed that advice I would have missed the incredibly rich (albeit moderately profitable) life that I have had. Indeed, I would have missed my wife who, apart from Jesus Christ, is the most important part of who I am.
So I have three pieces of advice: A) Know that a creative career is a jealous mistress and make absolutely sure that you and anyone else in your life are prepared for that kind of myopic focus. B) Charge at it with all you have. Don't let anything or anyone get in your way (within ethical bounds of course). If you hit the wall make sure that you hit it with enough force to plow through it leaving nothing but a hole the size of your desire to make it. C) Know that you are the only true competition you will ever have. If you pay attention to what others around you are doing, you will fail dismally.
We find that many have referred to our ministry as a “shelter”. Unlike a “Shelter” that addresses short-term needs, our “Recovery Program” strives for long-term solutions centered on a faith-based foundation. We typically have
approximately 110 women & children and 24 men actively involved in our recovery program. Men entering the program make a 1 year commitment while women make a 30 day commitment. Many residents choose to grow in this faith-based community and stay well beyond their commitment requirements. Pastor 7 is the founder of 7 Bridges. As a homeless runaway since age 10, he had built his life around crime, centered on drugs, firearms, money laundering and the organized crime. Eventually captured by the FBI, he was placed in federal prison, While in solitary, God came to 7 and whispered in his ear that He would never leave him or forsake him. At that moment, 7 surrendered his life, but he didn’t know who this God was that he was surrendering to. He went on a quest to find the truth, studying all the religions he could. Not knowing how to read or write, he was given a Bible and God instantly taught him how to read. He came to know who Christ was and was transformed by His love. With no preacher, no evangelist, no literature and never being raised in the church, God Himself came down and forever changed his heart. He was released from prison in 2000 and God told him to go into the streets and under the bridges and love those with this new love he had been given. Eventually, he was given a home and began rescuing men off the streets and bringing them into his house. Then, women and children started showing up wanting help and God eventually provided the Garden, a home for women and children. We have a home for 105 women and children and a program for 25 men that have all been rescued from the streets. These men and women continue to go to the streets multiple times a week reaching out to the lost.
Amy Barrow Project Manager United Way Homelessness department at of Greater Atlanta. Prior to joining United Way, Amy worked as a community social worker at The Agape Community Center. While at Agape she was responsible for planning and executing community events and fundraisers such as, The Great Thanksgiving Basket Giveaway which provided Thanksgiving dinner to more than 500 members of the community.
Amy began her work in social services in 2010 as a Big Sister Mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of Greater Atlanta. Amy received her BSW from Georgia State University and her Master of Social Work degree from Georgia State University. The United Way Worldwide, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is a nonprofit organization that works with more than 1,200 local United Way offices throughout the country in a coalition of charitable organizations to pool efforts in fundraising and support. United Way's focus is to identify and resolve pressing community issues, and to make measurable changes in communities through partnerships with schools, government agencies, businesses, organized labor, financial institutions, community development corporations, voluntary and neighborhood associations, the faith community, and others. The issues United Way offices focus on are determined locally because communities differ. The main areas include education, income, and health. The organization has roots in Denver, Colorado, where in 1887 church leaders began the Charity Organization Society, which coordinated services and fund raising for 22 agencies. Many Community Chest organizations, which were founded in the first half of the twentieth century to jointly collect and allocate money, joined the American Association for Community Organizations in 1918. The first Community Chest was founded in 1913 in Cleveland, Ohio In 1928, a Community Chest organization was established in Cape Town, South Africa — the first United Way outside North America.
Judge Reuben Green presides over the Veterans Accountability and Treatment Court in Cobb Superior Court. Judge Green is a former enlisted United States Marine. While serving as a Marine, Judge Green received the Good Conduct and National Defense Medals, was meritoriously promoted twice, and was Honorably Discharged in 1993 after four years of active duty. After serving in the Marines, Judge Green received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon. He then graduated with Honors from Emory University School of Law. Judge Green began his legal career at King & Spalding where his practice focused on employment discrimination, product liability, and general civil litigation. After September 11, 2001, he felt called to return to public service and became a prosecutor. Judge Green has served at all levels of prosecution including as an Assistant Solicitor, an Assistant District Attorney, and finally as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. In 2010, Judge Green was appointed to the Cobb Superior Court bench by Governor Sonny Perdue and then was elected to a full term in 2012. Drug court helps drug addicts. Mental health court helps people with mental health challenges. We’re very confident that veterans court will help veterans who have some type of issue based on their military service,” Cobb District Attorney Vic Reynolds told the MDJ. “We kept noticing we were running into a number of individuals who had a prior military background who were getting in trouble, so we began to look into the possibility of having a court specifically for veterans.” The bulk of the funding for the Veterans Court will come from the Veterans Administration. Those under the auspices of the Veterans Court will be required to find a job, find housing and support their children, if any. They’ll also have to undergo frequent drug screenings. The conditions associated with the two wars of the past decade have put those involved at risk, even after they are home, Green said. Most of the people in our military now are doing multiple deployments, and doing them more rapidly. And I think that’s having a profound impact. I think we’re going to see in the future a lot more PTSD, a lot more physical injuries.
Out of Darkness is the anti-trafficking ministry of Atlanta Dream Center, Inc Their vision is a world where the ruins are rebuilt, the breach is repaired and the streets are restored. (Isaiah 58:12) They believe that God is love, and we love because He first loved us. We will be known by love because without it, all is in vain. Their core values are: Abiding: Live in God’s Presence Wisdom: Seek divine direction in every decision Compassion: Cultivate a deep commitment to show Christ’s love Honesty: Be truthful, transparent, and trustworthy Unity: Be one in spirit and purpose Stewardship: Faithfully steward all God has entrusted to us Humility: Regard others above self Holiness: Relentlessly pursue holiness Honor: Bestow honor equally to everyone.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them. -Mother Teresa
The Elsbree family moved to Marietta 23 years ago, and have really enjoyed living in the Atlanta area over the years. Ruth graduated as an English major in 1981 and spent her first years out of college in technical writing. She and her husband Jim have raised five children, three of whom are now active duty officers in the military. For several years, all five children were on soccer teams at Tramore Park. During the children's growing up years, Ruth attended Berry College to finish the education courses she needed to teach high school English. She taught English and journalism at Mount Paran Christian School for six years. Ruth has been an active member of Transfiguration Catholic Church for 22 years. She also is a member of Toast of Cobb Toastmasters, and has served as an officer many times for her club. In the past few years, Ruth has been working as a voice talent with her business, Ruth Elsbree Voice Over. Among other projects, she created two audio tours for the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art and currently has 10 audiobooks available on Audible.com with more in the pipelines. Ruth narrated and produced the Seeds of Christianity Series by E. G. Lewis. This historical fiction series spans the years from the birth of Christ through the destruction of Rome under Nero in 64 A.D. A reviewer had this to say about Ruth: Each character was uniquely presented. Her verbal expression was outstanding and the singing of the prayers was wonderful. http://ruthelsbree.com/
- 20 years as a pastor
- Created and launched two not for profit organizations
- Currently the Executive Director of Operation Resolute™
- Serves military chaplains
- Sustains military families
- Strengthens warriors
- Bachelor of Arts degree, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, 1990
- Master of Arts, Marriage and Family Counseling, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX, 1993
- Master of Arts, Religious Education, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, TX 1993
- Family Married to Kimberly Ann Goldsmith, July 29, 1989
Two daughters, Kinsey and Kayla, born June 18, 1996
Dave Pearce has been the pastor at Austell Presbyterian since 2007. Under his leadership the church has continued dynamic ministries like The Living Nativity and begun new ministries like the Backpack Blessing ministry at Hendricks Elementary. The church currently provides ninety backpacks filled with food to help hungry children make it through the weekends. He was on the board at Sweetwater Mission for several years and the chairman for several more. Currently he is on the leadership team for the pastor's group Unite and is helping to build a community collaborative that will bring churches, government, schools, businesses, and civic groups together to deeply impact the Austell community. Dave has been a certified soccer referee for ten years. Most of that time he was a part of GSOA, which handles the soccer officiating for all the schools in the greater Atlanta area. He continues to "ref" mostly handling children and youth games. He is now a soccer "grandpa" with a grandson playing academy soccer. He will be sharing some of his experiences "between the lines" and talk about the soccer boom in the US.
I’m a rock star because I couldn’t be a soccer star. -Roderick David “Rod” Stewart
Life is like a game of soccer. You need goals. If there are no goals in your life then you can’t win.
Eric is the Planning Division Manager for Cobb County Department of Transportation. He is new with the County, having started in July 2013. His division oversees the development of the Comprehensive Transportation Plan, Connect Cobb Environmental Assessment, the Cumberland / Galleria Circulator Implementation Plan, and other planning efforts. Prior to joining Cobb County, Eric spent seven years on the Mississippi coast after Hurricane Katrina. He served as the Director of Planning and Economic Development with the City of Ocean Springs and City of Gautier. Eric Meyer has twenty years of policy, legislative, planning and design work experience including work at the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and the Regional Business Coalition. Eric Meyer grew up in Atlanta and earned his B.S. Industrial Systems Engineering and M.S. Public Policy from the Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”). Most of his weekends are spent watching his son and daughter play soccer. Transportation Planning tracks development and population patterns to project future transportation needs and develop strategies to address those needs. These activities include modeling efforts, sidewalk and pathway system (Trails) development as well as transit planning. The division works closely with the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC), the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority (GRTA), Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT), Cobb’s municipalities and adjacent counties in the planning and programming of projects.
Howard was born in Washington, North Carolina in 1944, he is married to Edie F. Cox. They have two children and three grandchildren. He is a graduate of Atlantic Christian College in Wilson, N.C. Since his retirement in 2009 he has volunteered and worked with MUST Ministries. He is currently Interim VP of Development. For more than 40 years, MUST has established itself as a servant leader caring for those in need in the Marietta, Smyrna and Canton/Cherokee county communities. Founded in 1971 by the Rev. Wayne Williams, MUST Ministries’ initial programs included a grocery bus ministries for the elderly, a youth tutoring program and outreach ministries to "alienated" young people. Since it’s inception, MUST has fulfilled Wayne's vision of connecting people who have a desire to help with those who need help the most. Today, MUST encompasses more than 6,000 volunteers who are continually helping MUST Ministries achieve its goal of being Georgia’s most respected servant-leader.
"Musician, Song-writer and more"
Tom Long, with over thirty years experience as a music business professional, has been referred to as one of the cornerstones of Music Row. This Georgia native co-founded the Atlanta Songwriters Association (now GMIA) and served as Vice-President of the Atlanta NARAS chapter. While employed by the Lowery Music Group in Atlanta, he worked the catalogues of Joe South, Jerry Reed, Mac Davis, Ray Stevens and the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Tom spent 1981 to 1983 with Tree Publishing as a Professional Manager and was responsible for several number one songs including: “Somebody’s Gonna Love You,” Lee Greenwood, “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation,” Ronnie McDowell, “Common Man”, John Conlee and “Ring On Her Finger, Time On Her Hands”, Lee Greenwood. From 1984 – 1994 Tom spent a decade as Nashville’s director of membership for ASCAP, during which ASCAP added over 800 new song writers to their roster. 1994 - 2000 Tom held an Executive position with Anne Murray’s company, Balmur Entertainment, as Vice President of Publishing. Under Tom’s direction, Balmur enjoyed ten number one songs in various charts and over 300 recordings by Major artists, including “Guys Do It All The Time”, Mindy McCready, “Chain Of Love”, Clay Walker and “I Can Still Feel You”, Collin Raye. Tom has served as President and Board Member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) and the Gospel Music Association (GMA). He currently serves on the Gospel Hall of Fame committee and was an original member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame committee started by Gov. Zell Miller. He is also a member of the Country Music Association (CMA). Tom is a graduate of Leadership Music, holds a BBA degree from Georgia State University in Business Management, and Commercial Music for Recording/Publishing, as well as an Associate Degree in Science from Kennesaw University. He has received the Cotton Carrier Award for his contribution to the history of Georgia music, the Georgia State University Distinguished Alumni Award, and was inducted into the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame in November of 2000. From 2001 – 2006, Tom served as a Catalog Manager for SONY/ATV Music Publishing. During this time, Tom was also instrumental in the production of special project albums for Brenda Lee, The Kentucky Head Hunters and Pat Boone. Tom Long has been a cornerstone in the careers of the Kentucky Headhunters, Mark Collie, Doug Supernaw, Sammy Johns, John Berry, Terri Clark, Brad Paisley and many successful songwriters such as: Kim Tribble, Kim Williams and Kerry Kurt Phillips. Additionally, Tom is a Vietnam Veteran. Tom recently released a Gospel album.
Currently: Owner of That-A-Fly Music Publishing and Chairman of the Gospel Hall of Fame Committee in Nashville. Tom resides in Kennesaw, Ga.