Annual Meeting 2011

San Francisco, CA

November 18 & 19, 2011

Our first annual meeting was held in San Francisco in conjunction with the Evangelical Theological Society, Society of Biblical Literature, and American Academy of Religion. It was an invaluable opportunity to meet people involved with the Study Center movement from around the country. There was ample time for conversation, as well as two sessions addressing legal issues and fundraising. The meeting included an afternoon session on the 18th and a morning session on the 19th at the Hilton Union Square, centrally located in downtown San Francisco and close to the sites occupied by the other conferences. Our sessions followed this schedule:

Friday 1:30pm – 4:30pm – Yosemite C, Hilton Union Square
Introduction of Consortium and attendees by Executive Director Drew Trotter followed by a panel discussion by several Study Center leaders including Drew Trotter, Karl Johnson and David Mahan.

Saturday 8:30am – 11:30am – Yosemite C, Hilton Union Square
Continuation of the previous evening’s panel discussion, a presentation on legal issues that affect Study Center operations by noted attorney, Craig Wood, and finally a presentation on effective fundraising by consultant Ken Leonard.

Biographies of Annual Meeting Presenters

Drew Trotter is the Executive Director of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers. For 22 years he was the Executive Director and President of the Center for Christian Study in Charlottesville, VA, where he and his wife and Marie still reside. Drew is the author of Interpreting the Epistle to the Hebrews and lectures widely on topics ranging from Spiritual Formation to American Film.

Karl Johnson helped found Chesterton House, a Center for Christian Studies at Cornell University, in 2000 and became its Executive Director in 2005. He previously served on the staff of Cornell, an provided leadership development programs for corporations such as JP Morgan Chase. Karl recently completed a Ph.D. at Cornell in history and philosophy of recreation and leisure. Karl and his wife Julie have 5 children and attend New Life Presbyterian Church, where Karl is a ruling elder.

David Mahan is the Executive Director of the Rivendell Institute, located at Yale University, where he has served as a campus minister since 1987. He completed his Ph.D. in Divinity at Cambridge University, and in addition to his work with Revendell does adjunct teaching in both the College and the Divinity School at Yale. He and his wife Karen live with their three children in Hamden, CT.

Craig Wood is an experienced trial lawyer who has taken more than 100 cases to trial in the areas of management side employment, education, commercial and professional liability law. He served from 2000 to 2009 as the Office Managing Partner in McGuireWoods’ Charlottesville office. His peer reviews include an AV rating in Martindale Hubbell and inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America” since 1993. In addition to regularly defending colleges and school boards in a variety of employment and regulatory compliance matters, Mr. Wood is a highly regarded lecturer and author. He regularly speaks at the annual meeting of the National School Boards Association and the Education Law Association and teaches Higher Education Law at Washington and Lee Law School. Among many other state and national leadership positions he has been chairman of the Council of School Attorneys of the Virginia School Boards Association and president of the Education Law Association.

Kenneth Leonard has over twenty years of management experience in the Pacific Northwest. This experience includes leading the efforts of a community-based educational organization, serving as a faculty member and vice president at Seattle Pacific University, partnering in a film production company and serving in a consultant role to both established and start-up businesses and  non-profits in the Pacific Northwest.

Leonard served for ten years as executive director of the Washington Council for Economic Education, a community-based organization that provided teacher training and curriculum materials to educators throughout the state.  Leonard is nationally recognized for materials development in the area of economic education.

Leonard’s experience in higher education includes eighteen years at Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, Washington, as associate professor and administrator in the School of Business.  Leonard served for nine years as vice president for university advancement.  In this position, he provided leadership to all areas of public relations and fundraising, setting and managing all major donor strategy.  During his tenure as vice president, the university raised over $50 million dollars and carried out a successful four-year, $25 million comprehensive campaign.

For the past thirteen years, Leonard has been working as a consultant and trainer in the areas of fundraising, management and educational programming.  Clients have included community organizations, Christian organizations, schools and colleges.