Dr. Steve Beck

CEO of Springhill Equity Partners

Steve Beck is co-founder and CEO of SpringHill Equity Partners, an impact investment manager providing venture capital and support to early stage, fast growing businesses serving base-of-the-pyramid consumer market in East Africa. In addition to leading SpringHill, Steve is a part-time senior advisor to the John Templeton Foundation, conceiving and leading a research program on “franchising in frontier markets”. He has been published and quoted on philanthropy, social investing & international development in the Harvard Business Review (September 2007), New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and CBS Evening News.

Prior to SpringHill, Steve served as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of Geneva Global, Inc. from 2002 to 2007. Geneva Global is a philanthropic advisory firm providing independent research, advice, and grant management services to clients focused on international development. Under Steve’s leadership the firm became a recognized leader in international philanthropy, managing more than $80 million of grants in global health, human liberty, economic empowerment, education and conflict recovery. Roughly half of these grants were directed to initiatives in sub-Sahara Africa. Steve joined Geneva Global in an executive capacity in 2002, having consulted to the organization since its inception in 1999.

Steve graduated from Stanford University with Distinction in Economics and International Relations, and holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics. He is married with three daughters, and despite his Californian roots, lived in London from 1984 to 2002.




Paul Nelson

Former CEO of Crowell Trust

Paul is a Michigan native, a U.S. Coast Guard veteran, and a graduate of Taylor University where he received a B.A. in Church History and Missions, and a B. S. in Education. Following graduation, Paul and his wife, Karen, served with Youth For Christ before moving on to work in a suburban Detroit public high school as a teacher and administrator. Shortly after completing a graduate degree in instructional design, they and their two daughters moved to Peru with Wycliffe Bible Translators. The family continued with Wycliffe in Dallas, TX where Paul served as the International Superintendent of Children’s Education. From there he was appointed President/CEO of Missionary Internship, Farmington, MI now Mission Training International located in Palmer Lake, CO. He recently retired after serving eight years as Executive Director/CEO of The H.P. and S. C. Crowell Trust, a foundation established by the founder of the Quaker Oats company.

Paul is currently a leadership and new initiatives consultant to nonprofit ministries and to University Advancement officers in Christian higher education.  He is on the Board of Directors for The Word for the World, Hope and Home, Thrive Communities, Training Ground, and Taylor University’s Board of Visitors. Paul and Karen, his wife of 48 years, are members of First Presbyterian Church Colorado Springs where Paul serves as an Elder.


Howard Dayton

CEO of Compass Ministries

Howard was challenged by his business partner in 1974 to study the Scriptures to discover what God's Word teaches about handling money. What he found profoundly changed his life; and the Lord gave him a passion to share these life-changing principles with others. He wrote Your Money: Frustration or Freedom, and for 10 years he invested about 30 percent of his time doing further research, writing, and conducting financial seminars for churches. He also is the author of Your Money Counts and How to Get Out of Debt.

Howard founded Crown Ministries in 1985 and developed a remarkably effective small group financial study. Howard has served full time as president of Crown and as an unpaid volunteer since its inception.

Crown Ministries merged with Christian Financial Concepts in September 2000 to form Crown Financial Ministries, the world's largest financial ministry.  Through the combined strengths and resources of these two ministries, the merged organization is having a major worldwide impact. The vision of Crown Financial Ministries is to teach God's financial principles to 300 million people by 2015 in order to help fulfill the Great Commission.  Recently in 2010 Howard founded a new financial ministry called Compass.

Howard married Beverly in 1971 and they have two children: Matthew  and Danielle. Howard and Beverly live in Gainesville, Georgia.


Chris Duncan

President of Convene

Prior to leading Convene, Chris was founder and CEO of Regal Technology Partners. His experience there included three successful start-up companies with two partners. In addition, he started, built and sold CentralXchange, an Internet B2B exchange for high-end technology equipment. In 2003, Chris sold majority interest in Regal after being called by God to Convene.

Chris is passionate about helping leaders live the abundant life God has planned for them. His lifework is to help Christian CEOs and business owners become better leaders and hear, “Well done”.

He graduated from USC with a B.S. in Business, emphasis in entrepreneurship. He serves on the Boards of the National Christian Foundation of Southern California, Excellence in Giving, and The Leadership Connection.



Mike Richards

Partner at Bethesda Capital, LLC

Mike is currently a partner at Bethesda Capital, a real estate development firm in Houston, TX. He is also a founding partner of Richards-Odem & Company, a financial services organization. Mike is a former State Senator from Texas. Following his career in the Senate, Mike was a partner in several Houston radio stations and for 12 years hosted a daily radio talk show. During the span of his career, Mike served as chair of several Houston banks and as a board member of other both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. He is currently the board chair of Biblica US (formerly International Bible Society). He is also a board member of Biblica Global and Biblica Ministries Foundation. Mike has been the recipient of many awards, such as Outstanding Young Men of America, and was listed in Who's Who in American Politics during his political career.

Mike is a graduate of Abilene Christian University. He and his wife Cynthia reside in the Houston area of Sugarland and have two children and eight grandchildren.


Dr. Brad Smith

President of Bakke Graduate University

Brad is the president of the Bakke Graduate University, which has graduates and students in 50 nations with graduate programs in theology, urban studies and business. Prior to assuming the presidency of the University, Brad was CEO of Leadership Network, a private operating foundation focused on church health and innovation. In this role, he guided major parachurch organizations and non-profits through leadership transitions and strategic refocusing.

Dr. Brad Smith consults regularly with various Fortune 100 companies and Christian organizations in the areas of team-building and leadership development. While earning his Master of Theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, Brad co-founded the Center for Christian Leadership and served there for seven years developing leadership programs. Brad obtained a BA in business from Texas A&M University and a DMin from BGU.


John Paasonen

John co-founded Excellence in Giving with Al Mueller in 2002 shortly after graduating from Taylor University with a B.A. in International Business. In 2005, John left to pursue his MBA at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. John joined American Express upon earning his degree and moved to London, where he held a number of global partnership and general management roles. While in London, he also founded and oversaw Faith & Finance, an initiative to build stronger ties across the financial services and banking industries in the city.

Most recently, John and his family moved to San Jose, California where he joined PayPal as their Director of Global Corporate Strategy. In this role, John advised the senior executives on the strategic direction of the digital payments company and led cross-functional growth initiatives. John is married to Meghan and they have one son, Andrew.