Authors & Trainers
Dr. Kent Wilson
Dr. Kent Wilson is an executive coach with Vistage International and president of Nonprofit Leadership Exchange. Previously, he served for 13 years as executive publisher of NavPress in Colorado, where he oversaw the overall operation of the Christian publisher with its three divisions: books, Bibles, and periodicals. Previously, he served as a circulation director for the Discipleship Journal and later associate publisher for the magazine group. A graduate of Stanford University, Kent holds at M.Div. from Denver Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He is chairman of the Board of Directors of Magazine Training International and has taught MTI publishing business courses in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, and the United States.
Dave Wilson, former director of operations for NavPress Periodicals in Colorado, has worked in all aspects of circulation development and advertising sales and management. His responsibilities at NavPress included managing all phases of the production process from prepress to printing for Discipleship Journal and Pray!magazines, developing directly-related spin-off products, and overseeing business relationships with distributors. He was also involved in the Web development and marketing strategy for the NavPress Books and Periodicals divisions. Dave holds a B.A. from John Brown University. He has taught MTI publishing business courses in Hungary, Ukraine, and Slovakia. He is currently working in China with a microenterprise and economic development team.
As president and creative director for Journey Group, Greg Breeding puts his stamp on a body of work that cuts across the world of evangelical publishing. Recent clients have included The Salvation Army, Moody Bible Institute, Campus Crusade for Christ, Family Life Ministry, World Vision, the American Bible Society, and World Relief. Greg has consistently received awards from Print and Folio magazines, the Society of Publication Designers, Florida Magazine Association, and the Evangelical Press Association. He holds a B.A. in fine arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied under some of the nation’s best-known academics in design and typography. Greg has taught design courses with Magazine Training International in Ukraine, Malaysia, and the Czech Republic.
Gary Gnidovic is the founder and creative director of Gx3 Creative, a visual communications firm that specializes in design, photography, and consulting. For the past 14 years he served as design director of Christianity Today magazine. Prior to that he had art directed Books & Culture and Today’s Christian Woman magazines. Gary’s designs have received awards from the Evangelical Press Association, Print, HOW, and Communication Arts magazines. He has a B.A. in photography from Southern Illinois University and an M.A. on fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Gary has taught design and/or photography courses for Magazine Training International in Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Croatia, India, and the Czech Republic.
Adele Mulford is managing art director at McMurry, a marketing communications company where she oversees four other art directors and does lead design on custom publications. Previously, she served as art director for Discipleship Journal, was creative director at M. Media, her own design firm, and art directed several Christian magazines with Journey Communications. Adele has received awards for her work from the Society of Publication Designers, the Evangelical Press Association, and Print magazine. She has a B.A. in journalism/advertising from the University of Oregon. Adele has taught design courses with Magazine Training International in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Malaysia, and India.
Susan Maycinik Nikaido
For over 15 years Susan Maycinik Nikaido served as editor and senior editor of the award-winning Discipleship Journal. A prolific freelance writer, she has published articles in Today’s Christian Woman, Decision, Leadership, Campus Life, New Man, and Christian History, among others. She is also the author of two Bible study guides. She served on the board of the Evangelical Press Association and drafted that organization’s guidelines for working with freelance writers. Susan holds a B.A. in journalism from Indiana University and an M.A. in communications from Wheaton College Graduate School. She taught writing and editing seminars in the United States and internationally, and has written manuals on magazine article writing and magazine editing for Magazine Training International.
Sharon Mumper is founder and president of Magazine Training International, an organization whose purpose is to encourage and strengthen Christian magazine publishing in the Developing World. She began the ministry in Eastern Europe in 1989, expanding to the former Soviet Union in 1994 and to Asia in 2000. She relocated the ministry to the United States in 2007. Sharon has worked in the field of publishing since 1967, serving as a writer, editor, and marketing director with newspaper, magazine, and book publishers. She taught college journalism and taught and served as a consultant to publishers in the U.S.A., Europe, and Asia. Sharon holds a B.J. from the University of Missouri and an M.A. from Wheaton College Graduate School.
Tim Gilmour is executive vice-president and COO of Group Publishing in Colorado and publisher of Group magazine, Children’s Ministry magazine, and Rev magazine. During his more than 30 years in the magazine business he has launched nearly a dozen titles and played key business roles for a score of different publications. His expertise in the magazine business has helped magazines as small as 5,000 and as large as 250,000. Tim brings a broad business perspective and proven ability to increase revenues, identify trends, launch new products, and build strategic partnerships. He majored in business administration at Western Michigan University. Tim has taught MTI publishing business courses in Korea and the United States.
Dr. Michael Ray Smith
An award-winning writer, photojournalist, academic and conference speaker, Dr. Smith is a professor at Lee University. During a decade as a reporter and editor he penned more than 3,000 articles for leading newspapers. Dr. Smith taught at and/or directed journalism programs at colleges in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Virginia. He is the head of the Small Programs Interest Group of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He holds a doctorate in communications from Regent University. Dr. Smith taught a writing course with Magazine Training International in Manila and has served as a Webinar speaker for MTI.
As families champion/department leader for Direct-to-Family Marketplace at Group Publishing/Lifetree Family, Kami Gilmour is responsible for creating and directing online content, handling content marketing, and using social media to engage and build a consumer audience of Christian families. She also serves as consumer brand publisher/executive editor for Lifetree Family print and digital products and president of Imageworks Communications Group. Previous jobs included advertising sales manager and advertising sales executive for two different periodicals. Kami earned a B.A. from Miami University. She speaks nationally on such topics as communication, audience engagement, creating brand experiences, and using marketing to build relationships. She taught a magazine business course for MTI in Croatia.
David Renard is a partner with mediaIDEAS, a global consultancy providing research and advice on the publishing industry’s technology-enabled future. He founded and built Netcirculation, the largest nationwide distribution network for high-end boutique fashion, art, photography, and design titles. And, he co-created Stare, a publishing and advertising agency. He also spearheaded a new European subsidiary that developed research-driven decision support tools, which he grew into a multi-million dollar business. In demand worldwide as a speaker on digital publishing, he also taught a digital publishing seminar for Magazine Training International in India in 2012, and in the U.S. in 2015.
Carla Foote is editor for Disciple!, a quarterly magazine, and One-to-One, a monthly newsletter, for The Navigators ministry. In addition, she does freelance editing and writing through Fine Print Editorial and speaks in writing conferences. Previously, she was the executive editor and publishing manager for MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers), and was responsible for all operations of MomSense magazine and Connections magazine. As a publisher and editor, she has extensive experience in working with small staff to create high quality publications. Carla served on the board of the Evangelical Press Association and periodically serves on the faculty for writing conferences. She has an M.A. from the University of Denver and a B.S. from the University of Puget Sound. She was a trainer in the Advanced Magazine Publishing Institute in India in 2012.
Award-winning designer Anne Elhajoui is art director of Venice magazine, a lifestyle magazine of Venice, Florida, and creative director of Knight Marketing. She is art director and designer of a new publication for the Navigators called Disciple!.She also has her own design business, Aeiou Design, where she designs ads, menus, brochures, and posters. She served as art director of Discipleship Journal for 12 years before moving to Florida to start her own business. Anne earned an M.S. in design from Pratt Institute in New York City and has taught design courses with MTI in Bulgaria, Croatia, and India.
Rusty Wright is an award-winning author, lecturer, journalist and syndicated columnist who has spoken on six continents and has appeared on television talk shows internationally. His material has appeared in mainstream newspapers across the U.S. and has been used in as many as 14 languages in over 1,000 websites. He has appeared on secular TV talk shows in cities around the world. He frequently presents at Evangelical Press Association conventions and his writing credits include many EPA magazines. Rusty trains Christian leaders, broadcasters, print-media specialists, and Internet professionals in effective communication with secular audiences. He holds a B.S. from Duke University and an M.th from Oxford University.
As president of Bates Creative Group, Debbie Bates-Schrott brings deep understanding of leading edge digital publishing strategies and brand initiatives across marketing platforms to clients and partners. Her energy and passion for rallying brands has made her a highly sought after speaker who regularly contributes to media and marketing events around the country. Debbie has successfully led the 11-year-old Bates Creative Group from print to the digital world, contributing to year-over-year growth. Prior to launching Bates Creative, Debbie co-founded a graphic design agency. A graduate of Corcoran School of Art, Debbie has served on numerous boards, including Association Media and Publishing, Florida Magazine Association, International Association of Business Communicators, and Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington.
Lou Ann Sabatier
Lou Ann Sabatier loves publishing, as evidenced by her 35 year career in strategic planning, business development, market research, audience development, management and finance. Lou is principal of Sabatier Consulting, where she has worked with over 100 media clients, giving them the tools they needed to increase profitability. Prior to founding the consulting firm, she worked as a literary agent, as managing director of an international economic magazine, as associate publisher of a national opinion magazine and CEO of a media company. She speaks widely at conferences and workshops throughout the world. Lou is strategic communications director for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, a Christian non-profit advocating for religious freedom. She also served as a trainer with MTI in India and is a member of the Board of Directors.
Jon Hirst is president and CEO of GMI, an international team of evangelical researchers. His background is in mission innovation, publishing and leadership. Before joining GMI, Jon was Executive Director of Communications for HCJB Global, where he developed communications and technology innovation initiatives for many mission organizations. In the early 2000s Jon launched one of the first interactive global evangelistic youth websites while serving with One Hope. Most recently, Jon and his wife Mindy have mentored leaders and authors through their Generous Mind think tank. Jon is co-author of “Through the River: Understanding your assumptions about truth” and co-editor of “Innovation in Mission”.
Mark Galli, editor of Christianity Today, has served as editor of Leadership and Christian History magazines, and has written for a variety of publications. A graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, Mark served churches in Mexico City and Sacramento, California as a Presbyterian pastor before moving into journalism. He is the author of a number of books, including “Jesus Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God”, “Francis of Assisi and His World”, and “Beyond Bells and Smells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy”. His next book (forthcoming) is a popular biography of theologian Karl Barth.
John LaRue worked 32 years in publishing and nonprofit senior management, including market research and new product development at David C. Cook and Christianity Today. He also served five years in senior management at International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Throughout his career John has focused on discipleship, utilizing multimedia development and integration strategies including magazines, books, Internet, radio, TV, audio, video, digital downloads, curriculum, and social media. Today he leads his new firm, Bay Avenue Ventures, in the launch of several franchises. John has traveled extensively, co-founded the Global Christian Internet Alliance, and spoken at numerous conferences in the U.S. and internationally. He has served as a consultant, magazine columnist, adjunct professor, and board member of several ministries. He earned an M.A. in communications from Wheaton College Graduate School.
Clyde Taber is the director and co-founder of Visual Story Network (VSN), a coalition of 240 organizations and 1,900 media leaders in 70 nations working to expand a worldwide movement of media so everyone has the opportunity to encounter Jesus and his kingdom. Since the VSN launch in 2007, more than 100 projects, products and partnerships have been established reaching an estimated 2.3 million people. Prior to this, Clyde developed new media for “The JESUS Film Project” and coordinated the campus work of Campus Crusade for Christ throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Clyde received a B.S. from the University of Maryland in College Park and a M. Div. in missiology from Denver Seminary.
Nate Butler is the president of COMIX35, a Christian comics ministry that has offered international consultation, coaching, and classes on the production and effective use of comics-style literature since 1996. He serves as the main coach and consultant for the ministry and the lead instructor at COMIX35 seminars. Nate worked for more than 20 years as a cartoonist, commercial artist, and writer/illustrator of comics before going into full-time ministry in 1999. His former company, The Nate Butler Studio, Inc., produced artwork for clients such as Jim Henson Productions and DC Comics, as well as script writing for Archie Comics and Marvel Comics. He was also editor/co-publisher/packager of Christian Comics & Games Magazine, and editor/publisher of Christian Comics Catalog.
Marlene Legaspi-Munar has been writing professionally for more than 20 years, at first writing for various national Christian and secular magazines. She writes devotional and curriculum materials, and has authored four Bible-based textbooks for children on Values Education subjects. Her three inspirational books in the Philippines (Add Mo ‘Ko as Friend; Life in the Middle; How to Keep Your Hubby Happy) all sell well. Marlene also translates and edits works of other writers. She welcomes the opportunity to mentor and train other writers. Marlene taught a writing course for Magazine Training International in the Philippines in 2009.
Marshall Shelley edited Leadership Journal for 33 years and as vice president of Christianity Today was also responsible for publications such as Christian History, Marriage Partnership, PreachingToday.com, BuildingChurchLeaders.com, ChurchLawAndTax.com, and others. Marshall is currently working on a new Christianity Today online publication, CTPastors.com. Marshall has authored several books including Well Intentioned Dragons and The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham. He also served as general editor of The Quest Study Bible. Marshall earned a B.A. in journalism from Bethel College in Minnesota, an M. Div. and D.D. from Denver Seminary, and he has studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Wheaton College Graduate School, and Stanford University. He served MTI as a trainer in 2002 in Bulgaria, in the 2011 Magazine Training Institute in Bangalore, and the 2016 Editing the Magazine course in Kochi, India.
Rick Szuecs is a graphic designer from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. With 10 years of design experience, he has worked for many publishers, developing covers for the Brazilian edition of books by well-known authors including C.S. Lewis, John Stott, James Houston, Brian McLaren, Paul Tournier, Frank Viola, and N.T. Wright, among others. Previously, Rick was the chief designer for Cristianismo Hoje (Christianity Today/Brazil) for three years, and he redesigned Ultimato magazine, a highly respected Brazilian Christian publication that has been published for over 40 years. Currently, he is the designer for Man of Integrity, Christianity Today’s devotional publication for men.
A ministry and publishing veteran of near 40 years, Rick Edwards is former associate publisher of Salem Media Group’s publishing division with its eight magazines and seven websites. Previously, he worked for LifeWay Christian Resources, first as editor of youth Sunday School curriculum, eventually serving as director of the Adult Sunday School Department. Today he has his own publishing business, Seven Interactive, specializing in digitally-delivered curriculum. He also operates five websites for publishers, authors, and the church. Before he moved into publishing, Rick served as senior pastor of churches in Oklahoma and later in Tennessee. He earned a B.A. in religion from Oklahoma Baptist University and an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Marcos Simas, publisher and editor of Christianity Today Brazil, is a 20-year veteran of the Brazilian publishing industry. Marcos currently serves as chief editor at Geográfica Editora, and as acquisition editor at Editora Planeta de Brasil, where he acquired the Portuguese rights for over 250 titles for Portico imprint. He is also developing a new magazine business in Brazil and serving as an editorial consultant to Christian and general trade publishers who want to acquire Portuguese rights from the American market. Marcos previously worked as an editor with Editora Mundo Cristão and Juerp/Baptist Publishing House. He earned a B.A. in theology from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, a mini MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, and publishing certificates from the University of Chicago, Yale University, and International Christian Publishing Institute.
Shibu K. Mathew has served as editor of Ethne mission magazine for 13 years. He also serves as trainer and speaker for Frontier Educational Services, which offers Perspectives and Kairos mission courses. Previously, he was with the Union of Evangelical Students of India, where he was responsible for publishing and distributing books and the magazine Our Contact. Shibu also manages a number of blogs and regularly contributes articles to other magazines. He earned an M.A. in sociology and a post-graduate diploma in journalism from Pondicherry University and St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. He served as a trainer in the 2011 Magazine Training Institute in Bangalore, 2012 Advanced Magazine Training Institute in Bangalore, and the 2016 Editing the Magazine Course in Kochi.
Marian V. Liautaud is the director of marketing for Aspen Group,a church architecture firm focused on building space to radically enhance ministry impact. For the previous seven years, she was the editor of Today’s Christian Woman and Church Law & Tax Resources at Christianity Today. She also does freelance writing and editing. Marian earned a B.A. in English from Dominican University.