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Patti Fralix

Author - Speaker - Consultant - Coach - Leadership - Managing Differences - Customer Service
“Patti Fralix is founder and president of the Fralix Group, Inc., a leadership development firm specializing in individual, team, and organizational excellence. Patti speaks, consults, and coaches on Leadership, Customer Service, and Managing Differences. Her passion is “Inspiring Positive Change in Work, Life, and Family.” Patti developed a personality tool, “It’s in the Sauce” that is used by many for behavioral insight, development, and team building with individuals and teams. Her weekly blog, Itsinthesauce.com, provides insight on Life, Work, and Family.

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Robert Charles Azar

Internationally recognized expert and commentator on the principles of Asian culture relating to foreign business success in the Far East
Robert Azar is a U.S.-Asia business and cultural expert with thirty-five years of executive level success. As a strategy advisor, he specializes in achieving excellence in global business development, problem resolution, and intercultural management.
At this writing, Mr. Azar is one of only 1,000 consultants in the U.S. to have earned the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation, the management consulting industry’s preeminent recognition for demonstrated achievements and excellence in client satisfaction, professional standards, and ethical business practices.

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Ben Brookhart

An Award-Winning Entrepreneur & Business Leader, Author & Speaker
Ben Brookhart is not only a successful businessman, he’s a children’s book author. As a parent of five children, it has always been important to Ben to share positive messages with his kids. His children’s books give parents and children a good way to start conversations, whether about positive words and thoughts or exploring natural habitats.

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Cherry Laska

Former Army officer and pilot. Reader and writer of thrillers. Has a need for speed.
Cherry Laska obtained her commercial, instrument, single and multi-engine land and rotorcraft pilot’s licenses. She graduated from Florida Tech with a BS in Aviation Management/Flight Technology and from the US Army Officer Basic and Flight school. She was named Distinguished Military Graduate for her class at both FIT and OBC. Cherry served as an Aviation Officer attached to a Military Intelligence Battalion. She is a certified pilot rated in both planes and helicopters. Following her military service, Cherry has held various positions with an asset management company, an educational services company, a productions and consulting company, and youth sports teams.

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Annelies M. Gentile

INTEGRATIVE LIFE & LEADERSHIP COACH | SPEAKER | AUTHOR
Annelies believes it's important to cultivate ripe and meaningful experiences for people to connect and see what's possible. You won't find her in front of a standard PowerPoint slide (very often), but you will find her facilitating catalyzing interactive workshops, restful retreats, and thought-provoking presentations exploring core essentials.

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Leatha Marie

Author and Resilience Consultant
Collector of life, loyalty, and challenge stories
Writing personal journals for years has helped Leatha capture the happiest and most impactful moments of her life and life around her. These journals hold her collected observations of what bonds and what fractures relationships. Over the years she has collected a marvelous assortment of characters, family, and friends who add narrative to her own life. Living in the South, where many things are “not talked about,” has always encouraged Leatha Marie to unearth what might really be happening.

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Cynthia Luckett

Facilitator of Difficult Conversations
Cynthia (Carruthers) Luckett loves making the Bible applicable to our everyday lives. She has a BS degree in Journalism from the University of Kansas, a Master's of Community Counseling from Georgia State University, and a Diploma of Christian Counseling from the Psychological Studies Institute. After College she served nine years on the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU). Who Cares for the Caregiver? is her first book. Cynthia and her husband John have been married 32 years and live in Raleigh, NC. They have two daughters, a son-in-law, and a delightfully wonderful granddaughter!

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Rufus D. Stephens

Living to Encourage - Speaker, Author, Master Encourager.
Rufus is a native of Savannah, GA. He graduated from Savannah State University and pursued graduate degrees at the University of Florida and National Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to his wife, Cynthia, for 22 years, and they have four grown children and four grandchildren.
He is a former business owner, corporate executive, and an ordained minister of twenty years. Rufus has engaged in his passion for public speaking for over twenty-five years. He has won numerous awards for his much loved presentations. In 2015, Rufus formed a motivational speaking business called Raisin’ the Rufe Communications. His empowering presentations are always geared to energize the listener toward personal appreciation and active accomplishment.

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Scott Linney

Author, Educator, Researcher. Inspired to raise curiosity in young minds.
Scott Linney is a native born, life-long resident of North Carolina. Scott previously served the citizens of North Carolina for many years as a duly-sworn law enforcement officer. Upon the completion of graduate school, he now works full-time in academia as an instructor at one of North Carolina's largest community colleges.

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Jody Cleven

Passionate educator. Author of middle grade fiction. Log-cabin dweller.
It’s a bit of a cliche to say that authors write what they know, but I’ve got to agree. I write what I know, and I know kids. After years of teaching kids, instructing adults to teach kids, and raising three kids of my own, I come by it naturally. I know about kids’ drama. I know about kids’ fears. I know about kids’ hopes and dreams. My experiences as a teacher, school administrator, professor, and mother from North Carolina inform, to the very fiber, the stories I write to entertain kids of all ages—and their teachers, professors, and parents as well!

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David Paulus

International Author, Musician. Intriguing children to delight in wonder, laugh in amusement, chase after virtue, experience joy.
David Paulus began writing for children out of his desire they learn, and live out, Godly virtues. Retired from the healthcare industry, he now leads men’s Bible studies for his church in Kingwood, TX.
David earned his degree in Psychology from the University of Mount Union where he was a hurdler in track and field. With a penchant for athletics, his past hobby of recreational tennis has morphed into playing Pickle Ball today.
Traveling and spending time with his lovely wife, two adult children, and their families defines enjoyment for David. Being a drummer and pianist ranks high as well. Bouts of mischief as a child now lend to his amusement of acting goofy with his granddaughters from whom he has learned how to blow real kisses.

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Frank Saraco

A seasoned educator, a quintessential storyteller who loves to excite the imagination of children (and adults too!) with his stories.
Since 1989, Frank Saraco has been in the field of elementary education, from teacher to principal. Over the years, Frank has learned to relate well with students, listening to their hopes and dreams, and offering genuine support along the way. His natural storytelling ability would captivate students, and he dreamed of someday becoming a published author. In 2018, that dream became a reality with the release of The Bald and the Beautiful.
Today, Frank pens stories for children, masterfully connecting words to capture curiosity and ignite the creativity inherent in all children. While he writes in various genres, each book is filled with relatable characters that help children explore the possibilities and lessons hidden within their world.

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Terri Cutshall

Reader, Writer, Author Fiercely drawn to strong, female characters who overcome fears and insecurities and find their superpower!
Terri Cutshall is an extroverted introvert. She loves animals, whole heartedly considers chocolate a food group, watches cheesy rom-coms and writes about happily-ever-after. Terri was born and raised in Pennsylvania where she was surrounded by a family of story-tellers - grandparents, aunts, uncles laughing and sharing their experiences at backyard family picnics. Journaling has always been a way for her to organize her scattered thoughts on paper and writing became a way for her to better express herself. Terri is a Pharmacist who works in Clinical and Commercial Operations. When not working or writing, she enjoys time with her family, her animals or traveling. She currently lives in North Carolina with her wife, a horse, and two dogs.

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Evelyn Smith Booker

Plan your work and work your plan! Faith and family strong.
Evelyn’s upbringing in rural NC as the eighth of 10 children taught her foundational lessons that propelled her up the corporate ladder as an award-winning television executive in advertising. Early on she adopted the mantra “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right,” and she decided she could. Throughout her whole career, Evelyn always made time for mentoring, and now she is delighted to see that being paid forward.

Evelyn celebrates a warm and loving family life growing up, marrying her college sweetheart, and being blessed with two daughters and their families.

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Aaron Velky

CEO, Author, Coach, and Speaker. Aaron is a leader that guides many, and his first published book is for you if you've got a young athlete.
Aaron Velky is an entrepreneur, writer, high-performance coach, speaker and author from Baltimore, Maryland. He's coached several hundred athletes, mostly girls' soccer teams, to a new level of performance and success, which was the gensis of this book. He’s the CEO of Ortus Academy, a financial intelligence company that works to empower businesses with team building and financial wellness workshops, especially those with Millennials and Gen Z teams. He’s also the CEO of FrontRunner, a mastermind and retreat company that brings emotional, vulnerable, and transformational leadership training to inspire heart-led, purposeful business men and women.

And to balance it all out - he’s an athlete, reader, adrenaline junky and comic book nerd!

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Emily Johnson

A mother. A daughter. A story begun by one and finished by another.
Emily was born in Aspen, Colorado. She attended UNC-Chapel Hill and graduated with a degree in Journalism, but creative writing has always been her passion. She resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband and son. Emily enjoys playing golf, running, kickboxing, reading, and spending time with her family.

Marilyn Hughes spent her formative years in the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from UC-Berkeley with an advanced degree in Elementary Education. In 1996, she was diagnosed with breast and advanced ovarian cancer. She began writing The Bird of Paradise as a life gift for her daughter. She passed away in 2012 leaving the novel unfinished – for Emily to complete.

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Perrine Farque

Perrine is a diversity and inclusion author and speaker on a mission to make the workplace more inclusive and diverse.
Perrine Farque is a professional keynote speaker, author and inclusion and diversity expert who empowers leaders to leverage diversity as their competitive advantage. Perrine was nominated in the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Tech in the UK and is also a judge at the Diversity in Tech awards. Perrine drove the strategy at leading companies including Facebook for over a decade. During her career, Perrine managed many teams and worked across multi-cultural groups, and she experienced first-hand what makes teams and organisations succeed: building truly inclusive and diverse teams.

Perrine is the founder of Inspired Human, a London-based diversity and inclusion agency specialised in helping organisations grow their business through diversity.

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Christian Warren Freed

Retired US Army soldier who loves writing, reading, fine cigars, and better bourbon.
I've always known I was destined to be a writer. The road was never easy, and it was filled with bumps, but I never shied away from the challenge. I can comfortably say I've made every mistake possible (fingers crossed) and have come through a stronger, better, and more determined writer. With over 25 science fiction and fantasy novels, my combat memoirs, a children's story, and several shorts in publication, I feel I am finally coming into my own. But I merely create. You the readers are the ones who determine my success or failure.

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Rick Gardner

Crazy dog lover, artist, & philanthropist. Along with Mark Bell created Binky and Bell to help homeless pets through dog art.
Rick Gardner and Mark Bell met in 2013 through a career transition networking group. They discovered they were both passionate about their hobbies, Rick about dogs and Mark about woodworking. Together they collaborate to create original cartoon dog art to support homeless pets through rescue groups, shelters, and other non-profits. For Rick, dogs bring joy, happiness, unconditional love, and a passion to capture these feelings and share them with others. Rick’s influences include James Thurber, Charles Shultz, and numerous modern day graphic artists. Together, Rick and Mark’s collaboration is called Binky and Bell. The Binky and Bell name came from Rick’s first dog, "Binky," and Mark’s last name, "Bell".

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Judith Guertin

Productivity Consultant, Author, and All-Around Nerd Girl. Insatiably curious, constantly learning, training clients how to have more with less.
Judy loves helping clients rid themselves of physical and digital clutter and build their own trusted, personalized productivity systems. Managing space, time, and resources for maximum productivity and growing profitability are Judy’s passion. Remarkable results are possible when people understand more than just the basics of the technology tools they use. Her clients know what they have and how to find it in seconds, so they can be more productive than ever!
She enjoys time in nature with her family and friends, visiting our National Parks and traveling to warm climates. Being outside kindles warm memories and sparks excitement for what lies ahead.

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Anne Arkins

Gifted story-teller, insightful listener, faith and family centered.
Anne’s “call of home” is spending time loving on her family and friends, enjoying shared meals (pizza and beef brisket BBQ are her soul foods), watching old Hollywood movies (if they are not in black and white, they don’t qualify as “old”) while cuddled under her favorite quilt with her husband, Jim, and her two Shih Tzu puppies, Gigi and Baxter, and reading and praying nestled in the same cushioned rocker where she nursed her now-grown children as she enjoys her Father’s world in His creation.

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Robin Hill

Nurturing...Enthusiastic... High Performing Sales Executive.
Robin A. Hill is a positive, multifaceted, sound woman who has had decades of leadership service. Her roles include Christian School Administrator, Staff Pastor, Motivational Coach, Travel Agent/Recruiter, Zolingo’s Spice for Life Manager, Co-creator of Wellness Today Inside/Out, and Sales Executive. She currently is a national awarding-winning Sales Executive in the automotive industry.

Downtime for Robin is spending time with her husband, children, and grandchildren and basking in the beauty and splendor of nature.

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Connie Johnson

Dedicated...Passionate Teacher...Counselor... Mom
Connie Johnson’s love of teaching goes back to childhood when “playing school” was one of her favorite things to do. When she grew up, she taught in the classroom for years, and then she returned to school for a Masters in School Counseling. She’s been an elementary school counselor now for seven years. When she’s not dreaming up ways to impact her students, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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Joan Footman

Former literacy tutor and coach for public schools in Newark.
Joan H. Footman is a former literacy tutor and coach for public schools in Newark, New Jersey. She knows the importance of literacy and reading aloud to children. She is currently serving as a minister at New Bethel Baptist Church in Rolesville, NC.

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Horace McCormick

POET | STORYTELLER | MAN OF CONVICTION
Horace McCormick Jr. lives in Harnett County, NC, and does most of his writing between Oak Island, NC, and Mexico City with his wife, Sara. He studied creative writing at East Carolina University and worked at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. In addition to The Color of Water, Horace is also the author of The Devil’s Courthouse, a collection of short stories that explores African American, Native American, and Latin American experiences in the southern United States.

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Jayna Duckenfield

Exuberant | Dedicated | Faithful
Jayna Duckenfield is a proud graduate of Appalachian State University where she received a BA in English Literature. Having worked with children and young adults of all ages, her favorite stories are ones where kids and teenagers play the main roles. In her spare time, you can find Jayna involved with Campus ministry programs, drinking dark roast coffee, or dancing around her living room in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Jim Damron

Author | Speaker | Listener | Caregiver | Coach
Jim Damron is a speaker, life coach, and the creator of Grapevine Academy, an online discovery platform to help improve the care of caregivers. Jim’s extensive career in pulmonary medicine, education, and advanced degrees in both theology and bioethics are the result of a passion for exploring the depths of weighty, complex subjects. His book Smoke Screening resulted from this passion, taking a weighty subject and applying a new twist to presenting it. Especially considering the plight of the world in recent years and the toll it has taken on caregivers, Jim's lessons offer a ray of light.

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Katherine Boerner

Creative Teacher | Wife & Mother Above All
It is amazing that Katherine loved being a teacher since she was not a fan of elementary school, including lunch and recess. She can't say she enjoyed high school or college all that much either. Despite her attitude toward school, she discovered that she loved being an educator. Life is full of irony. Katherine taught in both the public and private sectors over many years. She was a director of a learning center in North Carolina and two learning centers in Hawai’i. In all her education work, the advancement and successes of the students were paramount. After living in Hawai’i for almost ten years, she and her husband moved back to North Carolina. They now live in a house that Katherine and her father designed, nestled away in the country.

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Maggie Clark

Witty | Fine Artist & Fun Artist | Ready for Adventure
Maggie Clark’s life began in Kenansville, NC, at a time when the population was a booming five hundred people, give or take a few. Her parents owned the Duplin Times weekly newspaper, where she and her dog Happy hung out. After graduating from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, she married and went to work as a secretary. She wrote about funny incidents that happened at work. In Green Lake, Wisconsin, Maggie discovered that she could make people laugh whenever she put pencil to paper. While writing a personal column for a weekly newspaper, she gained a broad audience who looked forward to reading whatever she came up with each week. Even after she left the newspaper, she continued writing stories, illustrating them with the little mouse named Hugh she had created in Wisconsin. Hugh always has something fresh to say and is not averse to creating a little chaos. Some folks think Hugh is Maggie's alter ego. Maggie thinks they might be right. Maggie is also a fine art artist working in pen and ink and various art media.

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Mark Hunziker

Innovator | Careful Thinker | Insightful
Mark Hunziker is an internationally respected teacher, coach, consultant, and author. His innovative work in team building and personal development draws from the profound insights of Jungian Personality Type. Mark is the author of "Depth Typology," co-author of the influential Building Blocks of Personality Type, co-editor of the on-line journal Personality Type in Depth, principal developer of the Integrated Problem-Solving ™ training system, and has served as Health and Wellness Interest Area Consultant to the Association for Psychological Type International. He is a certified personality type Master Practitioner, and has trained fellow type professionals and presented before many business and professional organizations. Mark is quietly passionate about his family and friends, about good music of all kinds, local politics, experiencing the natural world, and the importance of depth typology.

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Mary D'Rozario

Writer | Artist | On-the-Road Traveler
Mary K.D. D'Rozario is a biotechnology professional with more than 20 years of experience in clinical research and product development. Her desk is in a 16-foot Airstream travel trailer located somewhere in America. Besides being able to craft slightly acerbic, on-point, witty turns of phrase, Mary has taken up art, creating warm and engaging water colors.

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Mary Tomlinson

Engaging connector full of faith and a sense of humor
Mary enjoyed an 18-year career with the Walt Disney Company as an executive in marketing and a general manager coaching teams of 8 to 800. Since 2001, she has been President of On-Purpose Partners, LLC, a coaching, facilitation, and consulting firm. She specializes in brand and marketing development, customer service training and consulting, the design and facilitation of planning retreats, workshops, and personal and executive coaching. She is a national speaker and the published author of Wholehearted Purpose and Facilitation Made Easy and has co-authored business articles in Meetings & Conventions, Training Magazine, Successful Meetings, HR Innovator, and Inspired Women Magazine.com.

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Norman E. Wood

Helpful | Reflective Thinker | Seeker of God’s Truth
Norman Wood is an avid environmentalist and nature and animal lover. He enjoys time spent outdoors. His career path was in the corporate world. He’s a speaker, author, and executive and brand consultant. In recent years, he has enjoyed working with folks who need a little help in life. Bible study, meditation, and yoga are important parts of his day.

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Randy Hartwell

A creative storyteller . . .
Randy Hartwell has been creating and sharing stories for many years and has now published his first children's book: THE LITTLE SEED: A PARABLE. In his spare time, Randy enjoys reading, watching college football, and doing jobs around the house.

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Tiffany Alexy

Engaging | Enterprising | Entrepreneurial
Tiffany Alexy started her investing career by purchasing a four-bedroom condo at the age of 21. She lived in one bedroom and rented out the other three. She used that property cash flow as a launchpad for her mini real estate empire. She also started a successful real estate brokerage business—all in her twenties!

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W. Thomas Burns

NINETEEN YEARS OLD AND FIGHTING IN THE MOUNTAINS AND JUNGLES OF VIETNAM
W. Thomas Burns is an avid sports enthusiast, who at the tender age of ten began caddying at the local golf course and thus began his life-long passion for the game of golf. After graduating from high school in 1967, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where after four months of training, he spent the nineteenth year of his life in the mountains and jungles of Vietnam. In 1970, he was medically retired from the Marine Corps, a twenty-year-old sergeant E-5. The author is now retired and living with his wife, Stella, in the beautiful state of North Carolina. He is also the author of A Merry Country Christmas with Family and Friends.

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Carmen S. McLean

Life Coach | Influencer | Praying Woman
Throughout her life, Carmen McLean has had a passion to encourage women and see them grow into their full potential. As a certified Life Coach, her desire is to guide women to claim their role as chosen daughters just as she has. As she continues to overcome life's hurdles and challenges, she grows ever stronger day by day. In the sharing of her experiences, Carmen teaches others to press forward to become whole and influential women in their own lives. Carmen is a daughter of a praying woman and a single mother of a beautiful daughter.

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Dennis Pregent

Former Marine | Born in the Berkshires | Retired HR Executive
Pregent brings to attention more than thirty uncommon citizens from the Berkshire area of Western Massachusetts in this series of brief vignettes. These people have shaped their immediate landscape and even affected the world beyond. Some represent businesses going back a hundred years to the times of the famed Mohawk Trail, some representing elected service to their community or state, and some adding to the colorful flavor of this area. This is a book written with respect and pride, sharing glimpses of Sunday dinners and local sports and above all, relishing the stories of a few of the interesting people who make a community a true community in the Berkshires. Pregent also wrote The Boys of St Joe’s ’65 in the Vietnam War. For over thirty-five years, until his retirement, he worked in the human resources field serving as an international vice-president for the Evenflo/Spalding and ConAgra companies.

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Ken McFeeters

Creative | active | loves traveling/exploring by boat | loyal | involved
Ken McFeeters has been an Independent Insurance Agency owner since 1981. Born in Montreal, Canada, he has resided in Birmingham, Alabama, since 1971. Ken drew inspiration for Hannah and the Cajun Navy after his trip delivering relief supplies for victims of the catastrophic flooding in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area.

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Patricia A. DeWitt

Community Advocate | Volunteer | Encourager | Loves God, Family, and Country
Patricia A. DeWitt, MS, MPH is a native of Tabor City, North Carolina, now living in Connecticut. She grew up in the Iron Hill community of Tabor City and is the fifth child of twelve children. She is a 1966 graduate and salutatorian of Douglass High School and a past president and secretary of the National Tabor City/Douglass High Alumni Association, Inc. In 2007, she was awarded the Yale-New Haven Hospital Dream Builder Award for exemplifying unity, community, and respect for the uniqueness of others. She attributes this accomplishment to following the example instilled by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She attended the famous "I have a Dream" march in Washington, D.C., in 1963 as a high school sophomore.

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Kevin C. Snyder

Professional Speaker | Author | Entrepreneur
Dr. Kevin Snyder is a professional speaker, author and entrepreneur with a passion for teaching others about success and achieving desired goals. Kevin has spoken for over 500,000 people through 1,150+ audiences in all 50 states and several countries. His audiences range from students to corporate groups and associations. He also has formed a coaching company for serious aspiring speakers who desire to start a successful speaking business.

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J. D. Kiff

Writer of fantasy stories | Dabbler in science fiction | Loves travel
J. D. Kiff was born on the very far south side of Chicago, the fifth of ten children in a working-class family. She began life as a student of India and worked as an in-house international investment manager for many years. In more recent years, she lived and worked in China, teaching university classes in English and Economics. Having lived in India and China for extended periods, she knows a lot about living in worlds strange to her. Through it all, she has written stories, always aspiring to be a true writer.

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Elijah Jones

Inquisitive | Fun-loving | Analytical | Empathetic | Adventurous to a point!
Elijah Jones, son of a schoolteacher, discovered his passion for writing early in life. He has two books under his belt, including Hannah and the Cajun Navy. He currently writes a bi-weekly column for his local newspaper, The Pine Belt News, in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. For 2020, he was awarded First Place in Editorial Writing by the Mississippi Press Association.

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Paul Marshall

Driven - Faithful - Family Strong - Healed
Paul was born in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii to Salvation Army Officer parents serving the migrant workers in the sugar cane and pineapple fields. His parents were transferred often, so Paul attended eleven different schools in seven different cities. Later, he attended the U.S. Naval Academy and graduated in 1965. He left the Regular Navy in 1975 after three Aircraft Carrier tours in Vietnam, flying over 100 combat and combat support missions. He remained in the Navy Reserves until his retirement in 1992. As a civilian Paul worked in marketing and business development for major architect, engineering, and construction companies.

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