EMCEE DAWN RAE MAY: Senior Announcer, Solomon and Dawn of Moody Radio
Dawn Rae is well known to many in Middle Tennessee. Dawn Rae is a Christian radio host with Moody Broadcasting Network’s local affiliate station, WFCM, 97.1. Dawn has more than 14 years of radio experience —ten of those years with Moody Radio, part of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. A Kentucky girl, Dawn is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a B.A. degree in Telecommunications. Many know her from her eye-opening, morning program, “Rise and Shine.” She now co-hosts the popular morning drive show, “Solomon & Dawn” with radio guy, Steven Solomon. Together, they are heard all over Middle Tennessee, and 43 radio signals across the nation… with Christ-centered discussions and interviews, packed with Biblical insight, cultural commentary, and candid conversations with callers. Dawn and her husband Ben have three children and live outside Nashville.
CAROL BOLEY: Author, Speaker, Women’s Ministry Leader
Carol, an author and speaker, married a widower with a five-year-old daughter 36 years ago. She knew she needed help in a hurry in her new role as wife and instant mother so she interviewed pastors, counselors, and every stepmother she could find, resulting in her first book, But I’m NOT a Wicked Stepmother! co-authored with Kathi Lipp. It was published by Focus by on the Family and debuted at #1 in its category on Amazon in 2015.
Carol has a Master’s degree from Wheaton College. She is a former newspaper reporter and feature writer and has been published in numerous magazines and book compilations. In addition to leading Women’s Ministry and teaching Bible studies, Carol and her husband Jim have co-chaired the Couples Ministry at their church in Phoenix, providing counseling to both married and engaged couples as well as stepfamilies. They are the parents of three beautiful daughters aged 41, 34, and 30. Website: CarolBoley.com
TAMMY DAUGHTRY, MMFT: Speaker, Author & Founder of CoParenting International, CoProducer of One Heart, Two Homes Digital Resource
Tammy G. Daughtry is a national advocate for kids in complex families. Tammy is honored to be published by Zondervan/HarperCollins and authored Co-parenting Works, Helping Your Children Thrive after Divorce. Tammy speaks up on what kids need when parents are raising them between two homes after a divorce, a remarriage or even for never-married co-parents. Her passion is to see healthier co-parent communication and more positive outcomes for children as well as to help inform leaders across the country about the unique dynamics that are at play for parents and kids.
Tammy is a sought after speaker for conferences and trainings for therapists, educators, addiction professionals, pastors, pregnancy directors and is currently also training military personnel across the country on how to help divorced and remarried parents through training and intentional resources. Together with her husband, Jay, they produced the digital resource, "One Heart, Two Homes" that includes 31 guests and is being used across the country to help organizations and professionals meet the needs of their step family and single parent communities. Tammy's greatest joy is spending time and traveling with Jay, "Mr. Wonderful," their ever-growing blended family, and especially the three amazing grandkids they now get to spoil rotten! Tammy has one bio daughter who is 19 and in college, a 21 year old step son, a 25 year old step daughter and a 30 year old step daughter. She is so thankful for her two “son-in-loves” that are 25 and 30 and married the two older step daughters and is anxiously awaiting MORE grandbabies!!
Tammy was raised with a stepmother in her life and has been a stepmother since 2009; Tammy also has co-parented with her daughter's dad and stepmom for 14 years and is an advocate on working together as a co-parent team. She deeply values the role her daughter's stepmom has played in their shared daughter's upbringing. Though she never claims to have an answer for every challenge she can empathize from many angles the relationships, the emotions, the joys and the pains that come in the journey of being a stepparent. Her only hope is that kids in complicated families will have FREEDOM to enjoy their childhoods and launch into healthy, thriving young adults who enjoy life-long marriages and families of their own one day! Tammy was raised in Denver, lived in Southern California and now a resident of Nashville since 1991.
Websites: CoParentingInternational.com and ModernFamilyDynamics.com
RON L. DEAL: Author, Director, FamilyLife Blended, a ministry of FamilyLife and President, Smart Stepfamilies
Ron is one of the most widely read and viewed experts on blended families in the country. He directs the blended family ministry at FamilyLife® and is the author of more than a dozen books and resources including the bestselling Building Love Together in Blended Families: The 5 Love Languages® and Becoming Stepfamily Smart with Dr. Gary Chapman and The Smart Stepfamily. Ron is a licensed marriage and family therapist, popular conference speaker, host of the podcast FamilyLife Blended with Ron Deal, and his work has been referenced by the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, ABC News.com, Today.com, USA Today, U.S. News and World Report, and newspapers/blogs throughout the world. He and his wife, Nan, have three sons and live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Learn more at FamilyLife.com and RonDeal.org.
DIANE INGRAM FROMME: Grief Author and Peer Mentor / Founder, Stepparenting the Grieving Child
Diane processes the beautiful and difficult things in life through her book, articles and essays about family stories, grief and loss. She birthed her book, Stepparenting the Grieving Child (Merry Dissonance Press, 2017), when she craved but couldn’t find the guidance she needed to help raise two children who lost their mom to cancer. She and her husband Brian agreed that the stories and research Diane collected could help other families learn from the assumptions and presumptions, steps and missteps that can easily transpire in a grieving stepfamily. Through her written work and through peer mentoring connections, Diane is eager to guide stepfamilies through loss and hope. Diane and her husband Brian have been married 25 years and currently reside in Fort Collins, Colorado. Diane is mom to one, age 19, and stepmom to two, ages 31 and 32. Website: DianeFromme.com
GAYLA GRACE: Author and Speaker, FamilyLife Blended, a division of FamilyLife
Gayla Grace serves on staff with the blended family ministry team at FamilyLife®, is the founder of Stepparenting with Grace, and co-founder of Sisterhood of Stepmoms. She is a writer, speaker, and coach on stepfamily life and is passionate about equipping blended families. She holds a master’s degree in Psychology and Counseling and is the author of Stepparenting With Grace: A Devotional for Blended Families, published by Worthy Publishing in 2018, and co-author of Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul and Unwrapping the Gift of Stepfamily Peace. In addition, she has more than 500 published articles across the United States and Canada on parenting, stepparenting, single parenting, marriage, remarriage, and blended families. Gayla and her husband, Randy, have been married 25 years in a “his, hers, and ours” family. She is the mom to three, ages 19-30, and stepmom to two, ages 30 & 35. Gayla and Randy are recent empty nesters and live in Shreveport, Louisiana. Learn more at FamilyLife.com and GaylaGrace.com.
MARY ANNE GUNTER: Marriage & Family Therapist & Counselor, Founder of Sincera Wellness, LLC
Mary Anne Gunter is a marriage & family therapist and counselor, parent coordinator, and doctoral candidate. Her counseling practice Sincera Wellness, LLC specializes in working with blended families, divorce, coparents, premarital and couples counseling. She is also a certified trauma therapist for children and adults. She is currently finishing her workbook, “Blended or Blitzed: Winning at the Blended Family Journey”. A child of three generations of divorce herself, she remembers what it was like to be unable to find any resources for stepfamilies in bookstores, and resolved to learn and work in this area where so many couples and families feel alone and overwhelmed. Mary Anne with her husband Dale has been in a blended family for 31 years, has one daughter, one stepson, and resides on the lake in north-central Arkansas. She and her husband also lead “Re|Engage” marriage groups in their church. Website: www.sincerawellness.net
HEATHER HETCHLER: Speaker, Author, Coach, Co-founder Sisterhood of Stepmoms, Founder Cafe SMom
Heather Hetchler, M.A. is an author, speaker, and positive thinker! She is the mom of four and the full-time stepmom of two living in the trenches with all six at home. She is a life coach for stepmothers and the founder of CafeSmom.com and co-founder of the ministry Sisterhood of Stepmoms. Heather has a passion to help stepmoms define their own positive path to success and focus on a peace filled heart rather than a perfect home. Heather brings faith based resources, encouragement and support to stepmoms while also speaking on divorce recovery, grace, forgiveness, healthy communication and remarriages in crisis. She is the co-author of Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul: Encouragement for the Journey and Unwrapping The Gift of Stepfamily Peace. Heather speaks and leads workshops for stepmothers at churches, conferences and community events. She also speaks with her husband, Andy, on the topic of remarriage and blending families to step couple audiences. Website: CafeSmom.com and Learning2Step.com
EMILY JORDAN: Founder of The Joyful Stepmom
Emily Jordan lives in the Midwest with her husband and little watchdog, Buster. She is incredibly proud of her stepson, who is studying at college. Her love for her family has developed into a passion for stepmoms and blended family ministry. The Joyful Stepmom was founded in 2013 as a Facebook group for prayer and encouragement. Emily served two terms on the Advisory Board for Stepfamily Systems Co-Parenting Center and as a Contributing Writer for Better Than Blended. She served for several years in small group women’s ministry.
The Joyful Stepmom is guided by a Ministry Team dedicated to leading stepmoms to Jesus. The ministry now includes Local Chapters and website with devotional resources. The intentions of this ministry are to serve as a common ground for stepmoms of faith to find hope and a flood of constant prayer. Through social media, local chapters, and the written word, we will seek to encourage stepmoms through our faith in Christ. Website: TheJoyfulStepmom.com
DEANNA KAECH: Speaker, Stepfamily Life Ministry Leader (Saddleback Church), Co-Founder: Merged Family Initiative
Deanna has been leading the Stepfamily Life Ministry at Saddleback Church with her husband, Steve, since 2002. She has co-written and taught curriculum for the ministry that offers practical and biblical solutions for stepfamilies who find themselves struggling with their newly formed relationships. In addition to teaching, she was on staff at Saddleback and remains a mentor to stepmoms. Additionally, Deanna is also the co-founder of Merged Family Initiative. Merged is a non-profit that was established to bring sound training and resources to couples raising stepfamilies who are not affiliated with the Church. It is intended to offer hope to those who feel there is none and help stop potential secondary divorces.
As Deanna was almost finished with her BS Psychology and Minor in Christian Counseling, she realized that there was a huge need for stepfamilies to have access to inexpensive yet sound life coaching. She currently runs Edit Life Coaching where she is able to meet in person or remotely to encourage stepmoms, bio-moms, single moms, couples, and teen girls in their life choices.
Deanna knows firsthand the unique struggles that can arise in being a stepmom. She and Stephen have been married for over 20 years and together have raised four daughters. While there were tough times over the years navigating relationships with three stepdaughters, Deanna will tell you that it was well worth the effort.
LAUREN PALACIOS: Christ-Following, Real-Life, Millennial Stepmom
Lauren is native to Memphis, TN where she lives with her husband (Enrique), her two stepdaughters (Abigail and Naomi), a cat (Kimber) and her German shepherd (Zane). Lauren works full time as an insurance and investment processor and homeschools her two stepdaughters. When she’s not working one of those jobs, Lauren is working to grow the blended family ministry she and her husband started out of their church. Lauren is an avid supporter of building relationships in blended families through the redemptive power of the Gospel.
MICKEY PITTS: Content Strategist and Online Resource Product Manager for Downline Ministries
Mickey serves as the Content Strategist and Online Resource Product Manager for Downline Ministries, a discipleship ministry geared towards equipping Christ-followers with the tools to help them live out the Great Commission. Prior to Downline, Mickey served in ministry at LifeWay Christian Resources in Nashville for nine years working in women's ministry and marriage and family ministry. Mickey is passionate about connecting with other stepmoms who want to use their role for God's glory! Mickey and her husband Reed live in Memphis, TN with her nine year old stepson, Landon, and a crazy Wheaten Terrier named Dexter.
LAUREN REITSEMA: Author, Vice President of Strategy and Communications, The Center For Relationship Education
Lauren’s interest in relationship skills began when her parents divorced after almost 20 years of marriage. Seeking to understand better patterns for her own future legacy, she earned a Bachelor in Communication from TCU. Lauren is the author of In Their Shoes, a book dedicated to helping parents better understand and connect with children of divorce. Her vocational speaking experience spans over 15 years, teaching a variety of relationship skills to youth, adults and corporate teams. Lauren recognizes relationships are one of life’s most important assets and energizes a room to prioritize the people in their lives. She and her husband, Josh, love adventures with their three children. All Colorado natives, they are avid skiers, outdoor enthusiasts and Broncos’ fans.
RACHEL G. SCOTT: Founder, I Can't Come Down
Rachel is a wife, mother, and stepmother. She is an Ohio native and a graduate of Kansas State University and the University of Mary where she obtained her Bachelors of Science in Sociology and Masters in Business Administration (MBA). As an author, speaker, and entrepreneur, she has been featured nationally and internationally on television, podcast, radio, devotionals, and blogs.
She is the Founder of I Can’t Come Down along with several other growing businesses. Rachel has a passion for encouraging women in all walks of life and is deeply devoted to serving God, loving and honoring her husband and raising her children in a Godly home where they experience authenticity and learn to embrace their imperfections.
BRENDA & GIL STUART: Restored & Remarried (Digital Segment)
Gil and Brenda Stuart live in Brush Prairie, Washington. They have seven adult children and six grandchildren. Gil has his Masters in Counseling and Brenda has her Life Coaching Certification. They have been working with couples for over 14 years. The combination of Counselor/Coach is very impactful. The Stuarts also own Seven Trees Consulting, Inc. offering team building trainings and more. Restored & Remarried encourages and equips couples who are thinking about, starting out on or are living the step family adventure with fun, interactive and practical resources. Website: RestoredAndRemarried.com