LEAD 2023 Speakers

Check back for new speakers—added every week!
Joseph Cecil - Instructor

President and CEO, Student Statesmanship Institute

Joseph Cecil serves as the President at SSI and is an alumni of the SSI LEAD Summer Program. Previously, he worked in the Michigan House of Representatives as a Legislative Director and Member Advisor. He has also been privileged to work with many local and statewide campaigns. Joseph is passionate about empowering young people and equipping them to be effective leaders in their communities.

Joseph has been married to Charlie Ann since 2015 and together they are raising two dynamic boys. Outside of the office Joseph enjoys spending time with family and is an active member of his church, his community, and Michigan’s political landscape.

Aimee Chauvin - Senate Instructor

Programs Coordinator – Student Statesmanship Institute

Aimee has been working with SSI since 2015 as the Director of Programs.  Before hiring on, she had attended SSI as a student twice and volunteered as an ADC for four years.  Aimee has experience as a tutor, and for five years after graduating high school she worked with homeschool groups and co-ops offering classes in math, English, speech, debate, and American Sign Language.  She loves helping people understand things which is why the environment at LEAD is so perfect for her.  Aimee also enjoys coaching the Lansing area homeschool junior high soccer team (LA Dragons) and playing music in her spare time (especially show tunes). 

Dan Armstrong - Media Speaker

Corporate Communications Specialist – Covenant Eyes

Dan Armstrong is the corporate communications specialist for Covenant Eyes Internet Accountability and Filtering in Owosso, MI. He handles the public relations and promotion of the company. Prior to his current role, Dan directed the marketing and communications department at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy and spent 10 years as a television news anchor and reporter at two NBC stations in Michigan. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Radio and Television Broadcasting from Bob Jones University and master’s degree in Journalism from Regent University. He and his wife Amber have five kids.


The Honorable Richard Bernstein - Legislative Speaker

Justice, Michigan Supreme Court

Justice Richard Bernstein became the first elected blind justice to the Michigan Supreme Court in November 2014. Prior to being elected to Michigan’s highest court, Justice Bernstein was known as a tireless advocate for disabled rights heading the public service division for The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. Blind since birth, Justice Bernstein is a graduate of the University of Michigan and earned his JD from Northwestern University School of Law. In his spare time, Justice Bernstein is an avid runner, completing 25 marathons— including fifteen New York City marathons, a full Ironman triathlon, and a half Ironman.


Gary W. Britten - Business Track Instructor

Associate Professor of Business, Spring Arbor University

Gary W. Britten is a 1973 graduate of the University of Michigan School of Business and a 1976 graduate of the University of Detroit School of Law. He has been on the faculty of the Gainey School of Business at Spring Arbor University for over thirty years, teaching law, economics, argumentation, and business strategy.


Brian Calley - Legislative Speaker

President and CEO – Small Business Association of Michigan

As President and CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan, Brian is able to put his passion for Michigan’s small businesses to work. He serves as a director of a publicly traded community bank and as a Trustee of Oakland University as well as sitting on various boards, including Special Olympics Michigan, Sparrow Health System, Disability Rights Michigan, and the Autism Alliance of Michigan,

Calley had the honor of serving as Michigan’s 63rd Lieutenant Governor from 2011-2018. Prior to that, Calley served in the Michigan House of Representatives, as an Ionia County commissioner, and worked for over a decade in community banking. He holds degrees from Michigan State University (BA), Grand Valley State University (MBA), and Harvard University (MPA).

Calley is an avid runner, having completed more than a dozen full marathons and a capable piano player. He and his wife Julie live in Portland with their three children: Collin, Reagan and Karagan.

Alan Cropsey - Legislative Speaker

Retired. Former Michigan Senator and Representative

Alan Cropsey earned his B.S. in mathematics education with a minor in composite science from Bob Jones University in 1975 and his J.D. from Cooley Law School in 1978. He was partner in the Kallman & Cropsey law firm, was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the Intergovernmental Advisory Council on Education, and served as Chairman of the Advisory Committee on National Juvenile Justice Reform. In 1986, Cropsey wrote the Criminal Justice section of the Source Book of Model Legislation for the American Legislative Exchange Council. He served in the Michigan House of Representatives from 1979-1982 and 1993-1998, in the State Senate from 1983-1990 and 2003-2010, and as Senate Floor Leader from 2007-2010. Cropsey is married with four children and 16 grandchildren.

Kelsie Dame - Debate Panelist

Attorney with Warner Norcross & Judd

Kelsey is from Grandville, Michigan. She has four siblings and two (equally!) wonderful parents. She double majored in Spanish and Psychology at Hope College. During law school (where she and Frankie met), she interned at a county prosecutor’s office and a premier Michigan law firm. She joined that law firm right after graduating and currently practices labor and employment law and criminal defense.  She and Frankie now live just outside Grand Rapids. In her spare time, Kelsey loves to travel internationally (she’s been to over 30 countries!), hang out with friends, and watch and read all the true crime stories she can get her hands on.    

Frankie Dame - Debate Panelist

Majority Legal Counsel for the Michigan House of Representatives

Frankie is from West Branch, Michigan (a tiny town up north). He has seven younger sisters and two wonderful parents and is married to his lovely wife Kelsey. He was homeschooled through high school in a strong Christian home and attended SSI four times: once in the House and three times in the media track. He graduated with a BA in Political Science from Thomas Edison State University and a J.D. from MSU law school. During law school, Frankie was on the law review and moot court and interned for the DOJ in Washington, D.C. the UN in the Netherlands, and a judge and several other political figures in Lansing. After law school he clerked for a few years for a federal judge in Detroit, writing opinions and memos for the judge. He then litigated at law firms for three years and worked as the Majority Legal Counsel for the Michigan House of Representatives through the end of 2022.  Since then, he has worked remotely as a special assistant in the West Virginia Solicitor General’s office handling state and federal appeals and other high-stakes litigation for the State of West Virginia.

Tom Davis - Media Speaker

General Manager – SAU Radio

Tom Davis is an experienced broadcaster and voice-over artist, with over 24 years of broadcasting & marketing experience. He currently holds the position of General Manager for SAU Radio where he oversees radio operations for 106.9 HOME.FM and The Arbor FM. Both radio stations are broadcast ministries of Spring Arbor University and provide positive music and programming that reflects Christ in a relevant way.

Timothy Elliot - Alumni Speaker

Student at Cedarville University

Tim Elliott is a senior at Cedarville University, pursuing a degree in music education.  He was homeschooled kindergarten through 12th grade, and attended LEAD in 2016 and 2017, completing the house and senate tracks.  In his spare time, he enjoys playing drumset in his church’s worship team, arranging music, hiking, and archery.  Tim is passionate about serving and sharing the gospel, specifically through camp ministry.  Over the past few summers, Tim has been a camp counselor and maintenance assistant, and he would like to continue serving in this way in the future.

Thomas Emery - Mock Trial Judge

Attorney – Perry Township in Shiawassee County

Thomas J. Emery is a retired Michigan Assistant Attorney General where he served for 25 years, having achieved the position of Assistant in Charge of the Natural Resources and Environment Division. He conducted extensive water and air pollution litigation in both state and federal courts. He also provided legal counsel to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, Water Resources Commission, and Air Pollution Control Commission. In addition, he is a retired Colonel from the Michigan Army National Guard with 32 years combined active duty service in the U.S. Army and reserve component service. He served as a military lawyer and ultimately as Michigan’s State Judge Advocate. He now serves as the Perry Township Attorney in Shiawassee County.

Sam Fink - Chapel Speaker

Pastor – Heart of the Shepherd Lutheran Church

Pastor Fink and his wife Kelsey have five kids and live in Howell, where he is Pastor of Heart of the Shepherd Lutheran Church. Pastor Fink is a graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, and Lee University in Cleveland, TN. A former SSI student, Pastor Fink is excited to teach about how God uses us to do His work through our many and various vocations (callings).

The Honorable Michael Gadola - Moot Court Judge

Judge of the Michigan 4th District Court of Appeals

Judge Michael F. Gadola was appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals on January 5, 2015.  He is a graduate of Michigan State University’s James Madison College (B.A., 1985) and graduated with honors from the Wayne State University Law School (J.D., 1990), where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Wayne Law Review.  He practiced law with the Dickinson Wright law firm in both Detroit and Lansing.  He served as Deputy Legal Counsel, Counsel for Executive Organization, and Director of the Office of Regulatory Reform for Governor John Engler.  He went on to serve as House Majority Counsel in the Michigan Legislature and as Michigan Supreme Court Counsel.  He then served as Legal Counsel to Governor Rick Snyder.

The Honorable Aaron J. Gauthier – Moot Court Judge

Chief Judge of the 53rd Circuit Court

Hon. Aaron J. Gauthier is Chief Judge of the 53rd Circuit Court, which includes Cheboygan and Presque Isle Counties in northern Michigan.  He presides over civil lawsuits, felony criminal cases, and family law matters, as well as an adult drug treatment court program.  He has served as a faculty member with the Michigan Judicial Institute, which provides training seminars for other judges.  Before taking the bench, Judge Gauthier served as a Commissioner for the Michigan Supreme Court and as an assistant prosecutor in Cheboygan County.  He also worked as an attorney in private practice, focusing on appellate litigation.  He and his wife Christine homeschooled their three children.

Don Jackson - Chapel Speaker

Lead Pastor – Oakwood Community Church

His down to earth and energetic speaking style along with his passion for reaching out to students and challenging them to make wise choices has given him the opportunity to be a return speaker at camps, retreats, graduations, baccalaureates, conferences, and community workshops.
His ministry for twenty years as a youth pastor and five years as Director of Student Missions for Vision For Youth has allowed him to serve the church and travel the world sharing God’s truths.
Don and his wife Julie have three adult children (Caitlin, Emily & Joshua).  In addition to trying to get the city boy in him to enjoy the great outdoors…Don enjoys working on his golf game and riding his Harley.

Steve Jentzen - Mock Trial Judge


Steven M. Jentzen, founder of Steven M. Jentzen, P.C., has been in private practice for over 40 years and provides a broad range of legal services to clients throughout Michigan. He has participated in landmark cases in family law, land development, free speech, and religious liberty. Jentzen graduated from the University of Detroit School of Law in 1978. He received a B.A. in History cum laude from Colorado State University in 1975, where he was a Rhodes Scholar Nominee, recipient of the Merrill-Gheen Award, and captain of the Colorado State University Wrestling Team.

Ryan Kolis - Business Track Instructor

Business Analyst – Doxim

Ryan Kolis is a LEAD alum and attended the Business Track himself when he was a student. Ryan studied Business at Macomb Community College and later at Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration. He currently works as a Business Analyst with Doxim, a company providing both print and electronic communication solutions to financial institutions and municipalities primarily in the US and Canada. In his spare time Ryan enjoys being a member of his church’s choir, playing boardgames, competing in CrossFit, working in the outdoors, and expanding his handyman skill set while he renovates his home in Fraser, MI.

Lennie Mailand - Worldview Instructor


For nearly forty years, Mr. Mailand has worked in the field of education at the college and secondary level as an administrator, teacher, and coach. He has taught classes in a variety of subjects including Bible, apologetics, history, government, and comparative world-views. Along the way, he was able to attend seminars conducted by Dr. David Nobel, founder of Summit Ministries. In his own teaching he has utilized an adaptation of the “Understanding the Times” curriculum. His other contributions have included curriculum development, teacher training, and coaching where his teams have recently won three National Homeschool Soccer Championships.

Phylicia Masonheimer - Chapel Speaker

Founder & CEO, Every Woman a Theologian

Phylicia Masonheimer is a bestselling author, Bible teacher, and host of the Verity podcast. She founded Every Woman a Theologian, an organization teaching Christians how to know what they believe, why they believe it, and how to share their faith authentically. She lives in northern Michigan with her husband, Josh, and three kids: Adeline, Geneva, and Ivan.

The Honorable Aaron Miller - Legislative Speaker

Mortgage Lender for Sturgis Bank and Trust, Former Representative

Aaron Miller was born in raised in Sturgis, Michigan, and still lives there along with his wife, Alexandria, and four daughters, who were all born in raised in Sturgis as well.  He graduated from Western Michigan University in 2010 and taught for four years in math and social studies before running a long-shot campaign for the Michigan House of Representatives in 2014 and winning his then-59th-district seat in the House.  Aaron served in the House for three terms through 2020 and was the chair of the Michigan State Police budget subcommittee, chair of the Committee on Elections and Ethics, and vice-chair of the Appropriations Committee.  Aaron’s proudest accomplishment during his six years is not a law or anything else legislative in nature.  He was proudest of driving home most every day to be with his wife and family and maintaining his relationships intact through his time in office.  Aaron now serves as a trust officer at Sturgis Bank and Trust in downtown Sturgis in addition to serving on the Sturgis city commission since November 2021.  He was elected as vice-mayor by his peers and still serves in that capacity today.

Abby Mitch - Media, Campaign Speaker

Spokesperson for Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey

Abby Mitch has worked in political communications since 2009. Abby came to the Michigan Senate after serving in communications roles for two House Speakers and as communications director for John James’ campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2020. She has also worked for top national political communications firms, America Rising and FP1 Strategies. During the 2016 election, Abby worked as a beat reporter covering news at the Michigan state capitol and has weighed in on the political issues of the day on multiple TV and radio programs. 

Abby is a native of Dearborn and a graduate of Albion College (Go Brits!). She currently resides in Lansing and is an active member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Jackson. A fun fact about Abby is that she has biked from Lansing to the Mackinac Bridge (a nearly 500 mile trip!) multiple times.

Kerry Lee Morgan, Esq - Mock Trial Speaker


Kerry Lee Morgan is an Attorney admitted to practice in Michigan, Virginia, the District of Columbia as well as the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Michigan, U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court. He formerly served as an Attorney-Advisor with the United States Commission on Civil Rights in Washington D.C.  In addition to practicing law, since 1980, Mr. Morgan has also written a number of thought-provoking articles in the areas of natural law and unalienable rights. He completed an extensive legal review of religious liberty principles and Supreme Court cases titled, Unalienable Rights, Equality and The Free Exercise of Religion. In 1997, University Press of America published his book, Real Choice, Real Freedom in American Education, a scholarly work that articulates the legal and Constitutional case for parental rights and against governmental control of American Education. He has been nominated every year since 2017 as a Super Lawyer in Municipal law, an honor reserved for the top 5% of Michigan attorneys.

Adam Motley - Business Track Speaker

CEO – Pearl’s Hope

Adam Motley is a self-described “Jesus-loving backyard athlete, armchair nerd, and child at heart” who holds a B.S. from Miami University (OH) and an MBA from Northwestern University. He has a passion for teaching and for enabling people to flourish; and his academic, professional, and entrepreneurial endeavors are an outlet for that passion. Adam began his career at Deloitte Consulting focused on growth strategy and full-cycle M&A across healthcare, B2B services, retail, and consumer products. He currently serves as CEO of Pearl’s Hope, a company providing senior citizens in Ohio with the skilled and non-skilled care they need to live independently in the comfort of their own homes.

Outside of work, Adam can be found playing guitar poorly, passionately debating the best fast food, dreaming up product ideas (ask him about his ergonomic desk chair or his ill-advised golf card game), or coaching basketball.

Chris Murray - Moot Court Judge

Judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals

Christopher Murray is a judge of the Michigan Court of Appeals. He assumed office in 2002, and his current term ends on January 1, 2027.  He served as the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals from 2018-2021.  While on the Court of Appeals, he also served on the Court of Claims as its Chief Judge.  His term on that court expired on December 31, 2021.  Before joining the Court of Appeals, he was a judge on the Wayne Circuit court.

Cassandra Opper - Business Speaker

Supervisor, Corporate Customer Focus at Auto-Owners Insurance

Cassandra Opper (AINS, API) works for Auto-Owners Insurance, a Fortune 500 company headquartered in Lansing, Michigan. Over the past 9 years, she’s held positions in several divisions including underwriting, Human Resources, and marketing/sales. She is currently managing a team of business analysts and quality analysts who work on the company’s customer and public facing digital assets including the website and mobile app. Cassandra is passionate about the role insurance plays in helping put people’s lives back together and about working each day to develop future leaders within the company.

Cassandra and her husband (Zak Weston) are both SSI LEAD alum and enjoy investing in the next generation’s future leaders.

Jonathan Robe, Esq - Moot Court Track Instructor

Jonathan E. Robe earned a B.S.M.E. degree summa cum laude in Mechanical Engineering from Ohio University and a Juris Doctor degree from Duke University School of Law.  He is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the State of Ohio.  He is also registered to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, where he focuses his practice on electro-mechanical and medical device technologies.  He practiced for a number of years at a large firm in D.C. but now practices under his father, Scott Robe.  He resides in Athens, Ohio with his wife and two young children.  His favorite book is The Development of the Flour-Milling Industry in the United States, With Special Reference to the Industry in Minneapolis by Charles B. Kuhlman.

Justin Robe - Mock Trial Coach, Campaign Instructor

Teacher – Miller High School

Justin Robe works as a high school Mathematics Teacher in a rather small school located somewhere in the foothills of the Appalachians. While not born in Ohio, Justin has practically lived in and worked around Athens, Ohio for the vast majority of his life. Justin was once a student at SSI LEAD and now comes back for two different weeks of camp to work with the Mock Trial and Campaign Tracks. Justin graduated from Ohio University with dual degrees in Mathematics and History and then went through a graduate level program in Mathematics Education. His hobbies include, but not limited to, buying and then reading books, playing soccer, reffing soccer, and chasing his young mini-me around.



Scott Robe, Esq - Mock Trial Track Instructor


Scott M. Robe, Esq., earned an A.B. degree summa cum laude in History at Ohio University in 1984. He received a Master of Public Policy and a Juris Doctor degree from Regent University in 1986 and 1989 respectively. He passed the Virginia Bar Exam in 1989, the District of Columbia exam in 1990, and the Ohio exam in 1991, and is admitted to practice in each of those jurisdictions.

Ryan Russell - Chapel Speaker

Missions Department Pastor – Woodside Bible Church

As a kid from Chicago who grew up in St. Louis and became a man in Detroit where I met my Savior, my wife and raise my family, I have a deep-rooted love for the Midwest. I’ve been in leadership and management since 2006 in for-profit and non-profit sectors, as well as the local church. I’m excited about Jesus, culture dictating strategy, leadership development, debiting social capital to others’ credit, sports, intercession, and compassion. Currently I am serving as a pastor in the Missions Department at Woodside Bible Church in Troy, MI.

The Honorable Michael Schipper - Mock Trial Judge

Judge – Barry County District Court

The Honorable Michael Schipper was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder to the Barry County District Court in July of 2011. He was elected by the people of Barry County in 2012 and served a 6-year term and was re-elected in 2018 for another 6-year term. After earning an economics degree from Hope College in 1985 and going on graduate from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1988, Judge Schipper began his legal career in Grand Rapids at the Clary Nantz law firm. He also acted as the prosecutor for the City of Kentwood and served for 20 years in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Grand Rapids. Judge Schipper’s most cherished accomplishments, however, come from his work with kids. He has coached sports for over 20 years. He currently coaches both football and swimming at Hastings High School. He also is a regular speaker at all of the schools in Barry County and shares about topics such as teen crime, leadership, the proper role of a judge in our system of government, and the Constitution.

Dorie Shelby - Media Coach

Professor of Communication and Media – Spring Arbor University

Prior to coming to SAU, Shelby gained her real-world experience as anchor, producer, and reporter from 1980-89 at WILXTV-10, the NBC affiliate in Lansing, Michigan. From 1989-1995, she was a reporter and Jackson bureau chief for WLNSTV-6, the CBS affiliate in Lansing. After joining the faculty of SAU, she continued working as a freelance reporter for WLAJTV-53, the ABC affiliate in Lansing, and WKHM 970AM radio in Jackson, Michigan.

Blaine Schultz - Business Track Speaker

Chief Operating Officer at Advance Employment

Blaine Schultz grew up in Midland, Michigan in the 1970’s and 1980’s. While he left that small town in 1982 for Michigan State University and he still resides in the Lansing area 40 years later, he never left his small town roots. Blaine and his wife Laura (married 1991) have 3 children, Rachel (married to Zachary), Isaac (married to Taylor), and Derick (still single), 2 dogs, 2 “grand dogs,” and are convinced they will be awesome grandparents if (when) they get the opportunity.

Blaine has been in the staffing industry for 31 years and he and Laura are the majority shareholders of a staffing company called Advance Employment, which was founded in Lansing in 1989. The Advance corporate credo is: Serve first, Serve without exception, Forgive without condition, Trust – but verify, Work matters, Work provides dignity and self-respect; WE PUT PEOPLE TO WORK.

Matt Sowash - Campaign Speaker

Lobbyist, Michigan Legislative Consultants

Matt Sowash is a lobbyist with the multi-client firm Michigan Legislative Consultants with a variety of corporate clients, associations, and non-profits. Prior to joining MLC, Matt served as legislative director and the point person on policy with the House Commerce and Trade Committee. He also held other positions in the State House and was an analyst with the legislative corrections ombudsman.

As an entrepreneur, Matt started Sowash Strategies, a political consulting firm based in Lansing, Michigan. Matt worked with over 15 House and Senate candidates during the 2014 election, winning elections with over 90 percent of the legislators he consulted. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Economics from Calvin College and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Michigan State University.

Outside of work, Matt likes spending time outdoors, hunting, fishing, and golfing. He is also an avid sports fan and enjoys playing hockey. Matt, his wife Megan, daughter Madelyn, and son Henry reside in Delta Township on the west side of Lansing.

The Honorable Brock A. Swartzle - Moot Court Judge


Judge Brock A. Swartzle was appointed to the Court in 2017. Prior to joining the bench, Judge Swartzle was Chief of Staff for the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives, as well as General Counsel for the House, where he worked on numerous legal and policy issues, including the Detroit bankruptcy settlement package. Judge Swartzle was previously a litigation partner with Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP, where he practiced in antitrust, healthcare fraud, white-collar crime, securities, and other areas. Judge Swartzle had extensive experience in federal court prior to joining the Michigan Court of Appeals, clerking for three years in both the Eastern District of Michigan and the Western District of Michigan, as well as four years with the Hon. David W. McKeague on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

Judge Swartzle currently sits on the editorial board of the American Bar Association’s Appellate Practice Journal, a publication for which he was Co-Editor-in-Chief for several years, as well as on the George Mason Law & Economics Center’s Judicial Education Advisory Board. He has authored numerous legal articles as well as co-authored a chapter in the practitioner treatise, Business and Commercial Litigation in Federal Courts (West). Judge Swartzle received his B.S. with distinction from the University of Michigan and his J.D. with honors from George Mason University School of Law, where he served on the George Mason Law Review Board of Editors.

Zeke Talmage - Campaign Debate Panelist


Zeke has been attending the Student Statesmanship Institute since 2006, first as a student and then as an aide-de-camp helping with the Media Track. In 2014 he took on the role of News Director which he kept through 2021. In his youth, he had such jobs as paper boy, fencing instructor, Awana leader, philanthropist, cameraman, video editor, and library page but now finds purpose impacting the future generations by teaching classical fencing and STEAM to 1st-12th graders. In his spare time, you may find him studying Italian martial arts from the 14th-19th centuries, listening to audio books, or debating literary canon.

Alex Telloyan - Media Instructor

Residential Services Manager – PotterVilla Applied Technologies

Alex Telloyan has worked at PotterVilla Applied Technologies in Charlotte, Michigan since his senior year of high school. Over the years, he has grown from being a parttime employee to his current role as Residential Services Manager. He also has past experiences in videography, machining, agriculture, and the electrical field. Alex is now working towards a cyber security specialist degree from Western Governors University. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with cats, playing board games and D&D, reading, and tinkering. He now lives with his wife, Lily, in Charlotte, Michigan.

Lily Telloyan - Media Track Production Coach

Teacher – The Potter’s School and LifeTech Academy

Lily Telloyan earned her Elementary Education and Teaching All Learners Bachelor’s Degree from Grace College in Indiana. Currently, she teaches students of all ages online through The Potter’s School and LifeTech Academy. This summer, she is also working on her masters’ degree in special education at Michigan State University. Her favorite quotation, “The end of all learning is to know God, and out of that knowledge, to love and imitate Him,” (Milton), summarizes why she is excited volunteer at LEAD. In addition to teaching, Lily enjoys making art with paper and all things book/reading related. Lily grew up in Japan until she was eight years old and experienced life in a multigenerational household upon moving to the United States. She now lives with her husband, Alex, in Charlotte, Michigan.

Juan Valdes - Legislative Worldview Speaker

Pastor and Teacher – Debunked

Juan has always had a curious mind and asked lots of questions growing up. Searching for answers is his passion and lifelong journey. He had his first debate in 10th grade Biology class. Juan believes people have good questions and we as Christians need to have good answers. He desires to live out the command in the Bible where we’re told to always be ready to give an answer and to do so with the right attitude (1 Peter 3:15).

Further, Juan feels called to equip young people for the battles they face every day in an increasingly hostile culture. He also desires to equip parents and pastors so that they are able to engage the youth. Juan loves to see people emboldened when they realize that there are excellent arguments in support of the Truth. Most importantly, he enjoys removing the obstacles that keep people from surrendering to Christ.

When Juan’s not traveling, he is engaged in the pastorate of his bilingual congregation in Miami, FL. When he has down time (which isn’t often) you might find him in a quiet place reading a book or fishing. Juan’s educational background includes graduate work at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and master’s degrees from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and Logos Graduate School. He also has a Doctorate of Ministry in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary.


Scott Weaver - Business Track Speaker

President and Co-Owner – The Douglas J Company

Scott Weaver saw his future in marketing or business management, but upon graduating from Northwood Institute with a B.A. in Marketing and Management in 1993, he became the Admissions Director for the Douglas J School for cosmetology. To get a better understanding of the salon industry, Scott graduated from Cosmetology school in 1995. Scott is a role model for the modern salon professional. He possesses a stylist’s technical skill, but he is also able to successfully manage a thriving business. Today, as President, Scott heads up Operations and Development.  Douglas J has 4 salons and 6 Aveda Institutes. As the company continues to grow, Scott’s focus remains constant–expanding Douglas J while maintaining the same level of customer service and professionalism that his father founded the company 53 years ago.  Scott also leads the company in making an impact on the greater good through various community fundraising.




Anthony Weber - Advanced Worldview Instructor

Pastor and Teacher – Northwestern Michigan College

In addition to being a pastor for the past 18 years, Anthony Weber was an English, Logic, and Comparative Worldviews teacher at Traverse City Christian school from 1997 until 2017. He currently teaches a Contemporary Ethical Dilemmas class at Northwestern Michigan College along with his pastoral work.

A lot of Anthony’s life revolves around seeking to engage a wide variety of people in conversation that is bold, honest, and true when it comes to issues of life: God, morality, politics, the church, etc. Anthony blogs on worldview and church issues at empiresandmangers.blogspot.com; he podcasts with two other friends at Breaking the Surface (on Spotify, Pocket Casts, Radio Public, and Google Podcasts).

Hobbies: napping, drinking coffee, writing, reading, and ineffectively trying to avoid arguments on Facebook.

Anthony married up, as everyone in his life will attest. He and wife, Sheila, have been married 32 years and have three boys: AJ (26), Braden (22), and Vincent (16).

Aaron Wentz - Worldview Speaker

Campus Missionary, Every Nation

Aaron Wentz has degrees in evangelism, apologetics, and leadership and has been a full-time evangelist since 1998. Currently, Aaron is the founder of the Michigan School of Apologetics and a campus missionary at Michigan State University with Every Nation at MSU. In his free time, Aaron likes to play drums and read books. Aaron has been married for 27 years and lives with his family in Perry, Michigan.

Kendall Wingrove - Media Track Speaker

Former Communications Manager – Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning

Kendall Wingrove spent eight years with the Michigan State Police handling communications for the Office of Highway Safety Planning.  Before that he was media services manager for Michigan Senate Republicans and a press secretary in the Michigan House. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree from Michigan State University. Kendall is also a free-lance historical writer and mentor.

The Honorable Brian Zahra - Moot Court Judge

Justice, Michigan Supreme Court

Justice Brian K. Zahra was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court on January 14, 2011 by Governor Rick Snyder. Prior to serving on the Supreme Court, he served 12 years on the Michigan Court of Appeals and 4 years on the Wayne County Circuit Court. He is currently a Distinguished Fellow at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, MI and has previously served as a Senior Fellow of Law and Public Policy at the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus. He was appointed chair of the Justice for All Commission in 2021 and currently serves as the Supreme Court’s liaison to Michigan Business Courts, which currently operate within 17 circuit courts. Justice Zahra is also involved with many civic and charitable organizations. He resides in Northville Township with his wife Suzanne and their two children.

LEAD is a week-long, hands-on leadership experience for high school students that empowers them to change their world. Click here to learn more about how you can attend LEAD this summer!

Week 1: June 18-23, 2023

Week 2: July 9-14, 2023

Week 3: July 23-28, 2023

For media inquiries, please contact Isaac Van Loh at 517-321-6233 or isaac@ssionline.org.