Leadership

President

Matt Heard

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Matt Heard is a nationally recognized speaker, leader, teacher, writer, and consultant. He has been involved in leadership and pastoral ministry for three decades and became the President/CEO of The Gathering USA in July of 2015.

Matt’s vocational roles have included a variety of leadership roles and senior pastor positions, the most recent being the Senior Pastor of Woodmen Valley Chapel in Colorado Springs where he served for twelve years until 2014. He was also the President of Vantage Point Forum and was the first Executive Director of the Greater Orlando Leadership Foundation (now Lifework Leadership) in Orlando.

He is on the Board of Directors of Reach Beyond, headquartered in Colorado Springs, and the International Arts Movement and Fujimura Institute, headquartered in New York. He is also a member of the faculty and Board of Reference for Summit Ministries in Colorado.

Concerned that so many people in churches find themselves believing the gospel on Sundays but remaining unsure of what difference that gospel should make during their Mondays, Matt recently wrote his first book, Life with a Capital L: Embracing Your God-Given Humanity (LifeWithACapitalL.com). His desire is to see men and women wholly embrace the gospel as they pursue full humanity: not just letting the gospel inform them about what to believe but, in addition, letting it also inspire them about how to live.

Matt yearns to see men intentionally journey through their day-to-day lives while embracing and engaging with their own story — which is a significant part of God’s great Story — in a way that is both fulfilling to them and glorifying to God.

Originally from Monroeville, Alabama, Matt is a graduate of Wheaton College and Reformed Theological Seminary, and has also studied at Wheaton Graduate School in Illinois, L’Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, Fackelbararnas Bible Institute in Sweden, Capernwray Bible School in England, and two years of Pre-Law at Samford University in Birmingam, Alabama.

Matt and his wife, Arlene, are the privileged parents of three amazing adult sons — Andrew, Joel, and Stephen. They also travel extensively and share their home base between Colorado Springs and Orlando.

Matt appreciates great friends and meals, books and art, music and movies. He’s a sports nut, a passion that includes golf, Scuba diving, and being a diehard fan (he loves the Denver Broncos and Auburn Tigers, and is still in counseling due to being a fan of the Chicago Cubs). He enjoys fly-fishing, skiing, camping, and hunting in the Rocky Mountains and also loves to ride — either on a horse or his Harley.

To find out more about Matt: www.mattheard.org
Contact Matt: matt@thegathering.org


Past President

Larry Kreider

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Larry Kreider was the President of The Gathering USA for 27 years — in 2014 he retired and is now serving on the Board of Directors.

Larry is Board of Trustee Emeritus at John Brown University and has served on several ministry and civic board of directors. He is the former President of the Greater Orlando Leadership Foundation and was part of the faculty of “Success That Matters Seminars” sponsored by Man In The Mirror Ministries. He was one of the founding members of the National Coalition of Men’s Ministries.

A gifted teacher, Larry has had a major impact through the BASICS/Foundations Sunday School Class at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando and also teaches a seminary course, “Men’s Ministry in the Church.” He is the author of Bottom Line Faith published by Tyndale House, and the co-author of The Four Priorities, which challenges men and women to mature in their faith.

He is a native of Colorado and has lived in the Orlando area since 1987. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas and has attended Reformed Theological Seminary.

Larry and his wife, Susan, have two grown children, Brett and Erica, and six grandsons. He enjoys golf and video production, along with hiking in the Colorado Mountains.

Contact Larry: larry@thegathering.org


Founder


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Dr. John Tolson

Dr. John Tolson is a nationally renowned teacher, speaker and author who, for more than 30 years, has spiritually mentored hundreds of thousands of adults and students.

John’s deepest desire is to see people become the leaders God created them to be: successful in family, life, and business. John serves as a spiritual life coach for some of the nation’s leading executives, celebrities, and athletes. He started one of the first team chaplain programs in the NBA, and he has served professional sports teams including the Houston Rockets, Houston Astros, Houston Oilers, Orlando Magic and, most recently, the Dallas Cowboys. As an avid basketball player and fan – he holds a personal best record of 127 straight free throws.

John inspires audiences through his global speaking; he’s called upon by major corporations including Walt Disney World and Hyatt to keynote conferences and seminars. He is the author of Take a Knee, a motivational book based on the locker room messages he gave to the Dallas Cowboys, and co-author of The Four Priorities, which challenges men and women to mature in their faith.

Married to Punky Leonard Tolson since 2001, John is the father of two grown children with his late wife Ruth Anne, and has three adorable grandchildren. Dr. Tolson received his Master of Divinity from Columbia and Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary.

To find out more about John: www.johnandpunkytolson.com


City Directors

The affiliate locations of The Gathering in various cities are led by a gifted and passionate group of City Directors who care deeply for men and for their city.


dennisDennis Demarois – Palm Beach, FL

Dennis, a Florida native, has a passion for encouraging and equipping men to become all that God wants them to be as Christ’s disciples through the ministry of The Gathering Palm Beach. His primary focus is to reach men in the marketplace and beyond. Dennis, an alumnus of Palm Beach Atlantic University, has also served as Senior Pastor in 3 churches over the past 13 years. As the Executive Director of Florida Men of Integrity, Dennis has led over 40 church-based conferences for men and their families throughout Florida and remains active in community work through organizations such as Kiwanis International. Dennis is the father of two, husband of one, and has lived throughout the southern United States and Europe as the son in a military family.
Contact Dennis : dennis@gatheringpb.com

bobBob Jamison–Pittsburgh, PA

New to The Gathering, Bob is the president of Adam’s Quest, a ministry committed to growing men in their faith in Christ. He previously served for 24 years as President of Family Guidance, Inc., one of the region’s strongest programs for at-risk youth and families. Before coming to Family Guidance, Bob served in college administration at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh. He has a B.A. degree in communication from Carnegie Mellon and a Master’s Degree in Public Management from the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon. The Gathering Pittsburgh has enjoyed speakers such as Clint Hurdle and, upcoming, Pat Williams and Mark Whitacre.
Contact Bob : adamsquest@mlepc.com
Kevin Flannagan – Auburn, ALKevin Flannagan – Auburn, AL
Kevin has been the city director of The Gathering of Auburn for the past 3 years and has been the Executive Director of East Alabama Area Youth for Christ for the past 33 years. He is also the host of the “Big Screen Movie Review,” in its 20th year, on a number of radio stations throughout Alabama. Kevin is married to Dawn and has 6 children and 5 grandchildren.
Contact Kevin: kevin@insideyfc.com

alanAlan Hartman – San Antonio, TX

Alan, a San Antonio native and proud Texas Aggie, assists City Director T.A. Strader. He was previously a Project Engineer for Campus Crusade for Christ and a Legal Assistant for Christian Assistance Ministry. He’s been married to his wife, Pat, for over 44 years.
Contact Alan : ahart4107@yahoo.com
BrettKreiderBrett Kreider – Orlando, FL
Brett is a native of Houston, Texas and has lived in the Orlando area since 1987. He graduated from John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas and became the City Director for Orlando in April of 2004. Previously he worked in the telecommunications industry in the area of sales and business development. Brett and his wife, Heather, attend First Presbyterian Church in Orlando and have three sons: Ian, David and Gabriel.
Contact Brett : brett@thegathering.org

l2Orv Liesman – The Villages, FL
A native of Illinois, Orv moved to The Villages in 2006 where he has since become involved in the leadership of The Gathering. He and Maureen, his wife of 54 years, have two daughters and two grandchildren. A graduate of Monmouth (IL) College, Orv coached basketball for nine years before entering the financial services industry. He is involved at Northlake Presbyterian Church where he’s the current Clerk of Session and is actively involved in a variety of ministries to men.
Contact Orv Liesman : omliesman@yahoo.com
DaveMossDavid Moss – Houston, TX
In the fall of 2013, David Moss joined the staff of the Houston Gathering. Previously he had been the Assistant Athletic Director for Houston Baptist University for five years. HBU embraced David’s new call and he has an office on campus which gives The Gathering a wider geographical reach within the city and provides an opportunity for local Christian businessmen to be mentors for younger men at HBU. For many years, David was one of Houston’s foremost junior baseball teachers and has also developed HiS PRINT Ministries, a baseball/football ministry that is having an impact throughout Eastern Europe.
Contact David : dmoss@hbu.edu
JeffPinkletonJeff Pinkleton – Miami Valley, OH
Jeff started The Gathering of Miami Valley over seven years ago and has enjoyed seeing the ministry attract increasing interest and expand its influence throughout the region through new opportunities of growth and partnership. Miami Valley has enjoyed hosting speakers such as Clark Kellogg, Michael Franzese, Tom Osborne, Jeff Struecker, Todd Blackledge, and Mark Whitacre. Jeff has been married to Kara for over 14 years and is the father of 4 children: Jaden, Ethan, Alex, Leah. Kara homeschools their children and is a Classical Conversations tutor.
Contact Jeff : gatheringgrspfldoh@yahoo.com
TAStraderT.A. Strader – San Antonio, TX
The Gathering San Antonio began in 1989 when Board Chair Member T.A. Strader volunteered to become the City Director. With a passion for men’s ministry, T.A. uses his giftedness in leadership through planning events, securing speakers, and shepherding men through their Outreach Breakfasts and Leadership Lunches. T.A.’s hope is that The Gathering San Antonio will be a place where discipleship and evangelism happen in a way that deepens and matures men in every aspect of their lives. He and his wife, Darline, have been married for 52 years. They have 2 sons, Steve and Dan, and one delightful granddaughter, Hope.
Contact T.A. : tadarline@sbcglobal.net
founderJohn Tolson – Dallas, TX
The founder of The Gathering, Dr. John Tolson is a nationally renowned teacher, speaker and author who, for more than 30 years, has spiritually mentored hundreds of thousands of adults and students. Married to Punky Leonard Tolson since 2001, John is the father of two grown children with his late wife Ruth Anne, and has three adorable grandchildren. Dr. Tolson received his Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary and Doctorate of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary.
Contact John : drjohntolson@gmail.com
l1Bob Wacker – The Villages, FL
Bob found out about The Gathering through meeting John Tolson over 25 years ago and has been inspired ever since by the ministry of bringing men to Christ. More recently, he worked with Larry Kreider to establish a Gathering in The Villages in the Lady Lake area of Florida and is greatly excited about this next chapter of The Gathering, both locally and nationally. His greatest joy is to see the ‘light go on’ with new men who begin to realize the potential of what can happen as they go deeper with Christ and engage with other men.
Contact Bob : rjwconsultants@me.com
RogerWernetteRoger Wernette – Houston, TX
The City Director in Houston since 1998, Roger grew up in Tyler, Texas and attended Stephen F. Austin University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. In 2004, he graduated from Covenant Seminary in St. Louis. Roger has authored two books, Wholehearted (2010) and Invited (2014). Roger has been a founding board member of The Get Together and The Barnabas Group, both of which are designed to help men and women become involved in ministry. At his home church, Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Roger has taught Sunday school for 23 years and serves as an elder.
Contact Roger : roger@houstongathering.org

rodneyRodney Wood – Baton Rouge, LA

Since 1993, Dr. Rodney Wood has served as City Director for Baton Rouge and President of The Mission Foundation. He holds masters and doctoral degrees from Reformed Theological Seminary and also studied at The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, which was then directed by Dr. John Stott. Rodney and his wife Becky have been involved in ministry for over forty years and have three married adult sons, ten grandchildren, and a daughter and granddaughter who are now with the Lord. The first twenty years of his vocational ministry, Rodney was involved in both pastoral and university ministry. In addition, for more than two decades Rodney has served in ministry to the House of Representatives and the Senate at the Louisiana State Capitol. He has trained pastors in over a half dozen countries, including England and Ethiopia where he also established men’s ministries that continue to impact their communities.
Contact Rodney : rodwoodmission@gmail.com
NATIONAL LEADERSHIP TEAM

Richard Milam, Chief Operations Officer Richard@thegathering.org

Kimbra Fritz, Chief Financial Officer kimbra@trinityadvisoryservices.com

Carrie Williamson, Operations Coordinator Carrie@thegathering.org

Tracee Hampton-Free, National Financial Manager/ Orlando Event Coordinator Tracee@thegathering.org

Suzi Shirley, Lifework Leadership Program Administrator for Orlando suzi.shirley@lifeworkleadership.org