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ELS 12 | Speakers and Sessions

April 30-May 2, 2012

The Stonegate | Chicago

Speakers and Sessions
New Speakers are confirmed daily. Please check back to see the latest additions to the ELS program.

Founder and President, The Table Group

Healthy Organizations Win: How to Harness Your Organization's Maximum Potential

Addressing the model in his brand-new book, The Advantage, Pat makes the overwhelming case that organizational health "will surpass all other disciplines in business as the greatest opportunity for improvement and competitive advantage.”  While too many leaders are still limiting their search for advantage to conventional and largely exhausted areas like marketing, strategy and technology, Pat demonstrates that there is an untapped gold mine sitting right beneath them. Instead of trying to become smarter, he asserts that leaders and organizations need to shift their focus to becoming healthier, allowing them to tap into the more-than-sufficient intelligence and expertise they already have.  He defines a healthy organization as one that has minimal politics and confusion, high degrees of morale and productivity, and very low turnover among good employees. Drawing on his experience consulting to some of the world's leading teams and reaffirming many of the themes cultivated in his other best-selling books, including the Four Obsessions of an Extraordinary Executive, Pat will reveal the four actionable steps to achieving long-term, sustainable success.


Patrick Lencioni
is founder and president of The Table Group, a firm dedicated to providing organizations with ideas, products and services that improve teamwork, clarity and employee engagement.  The wide-spread appeal of Lencioni’s leadership models have yielded a diverse base of speaking and consulting clients, including a mix of Fortune 500 companies, professional sports organizations, the military, non-profits, schools and churches.  Lencioni is the author of nine best-selling books with over three million copies sold. After ten years in print, his book The Five Dysfunctions of a Team continues to be a fixture on national best-seller lists. His forthcoming book, The Advantage: Why Organization Health Trumps Everything Else In Business, is due out in March and has received favorable, early reviews.  Recently named in Fortune magazine as one of the ‘ten new gurus you should know,’ Pat and his work have been featured in USA TODAY, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Harvard Business Review, to name a few.  Prior to founding his firm, he worked as a corporate executive for Sybase, Oracle and Bain & Company. Pat lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and four sons.
Ingram Spring Arbor
Thank you to Ingram | Spring Arbor for providing Pat's book to each attendee.

President, Association of American Publishers

Digital Changes (Almost) Everything
How new technologies are changing advocacy for copyright protection and publisher relationships in the creative ecosystem.

In April 2009, former Congressman Tom Allen joined the Association of American Publishers as its President and Chief Executive Officer. As President of the AAP, Mr. Allen seeks to foster the association's ongoing mission of protecting copyright in the ever-changing landscape of the digital world and help publishers meet 21st-century challenges.  In 1996 Mr. Allen was elected to Congress and served the people of the 1st District of Maine from 1996-2008. As a Member of Congress, Mr. Allen served on the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Budget Committee, the Armed Services Committee, and Government Reform Committee. On the Energy and Commerce Committee Mr. Allen worked on a range of issues, from health care to climate change to telecommunications legislation. He also co-founded the House Oceans Caucus, which was created to raise awareness on the need for a coordinated global oceans resources policy.  From 1974 until 1993, Mr. Allen practiced law at the firm Drummond Woodsum Plimpton and MacMahon, where he was a partner and member of the Board of Directors. During this time he also served on Portland City Council from 1989-1995 and as Mayor of Portland.  Mr. Allen was born and raised in Portland, Maine. After graduating from Deering High School, where he was co-captain of the Deering Football team as well as senior Class President, Mr. Allen studied at Bowdoin College where he received a B.A. in English. After graduating from Bowdoin, he received a Rhodes Scholarship to the University of Oxford, from which he received a B.Phil in Politics in 1970. He worked a year in Washington for U.S. Senator Ed Muskie and then attended Harvard Law School and graduated with a J.D. in 1974.

Executive Director, Book Industry Study Group

The Book Industry Study Group is a national trade association with a mission of creating a more informed, empowered, and efficient book industry. Executive Director Len Vlahos will be on hand to discuss key BISG projects that are of relevance to Christian publishers, including a current study on Metadata, an ongoing survey on Constumer Attitudes Toward E-book Reading, and BookStats, their annual study on the size and scope of the book industry.

Len Vlahos is the executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, a national not-for-profit trade association whose mission is to create a more informed, efficient, and empowered supply chain. Prior to joining BISG, Len spent nearly 20 years at the American Booksellers Association, where served as ABA’s communications director, e-commerce director, education director, and most recently, Chief Operating Officer. Len has worked for Internet marketing pioneer Yoyodyne, and for Kratz & Co. public relations. Prior to joining ABA, he worked in independent, chain, and university bookstores.

Distinguished Professor of History, Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion

New Categories in Religious Geography
Scholars of Christianity have struggled to escape from the traditional obsessions of the Euro-American churches, the world of the rich and powerful, to acquaint themselves with the very different realities of poor world, especially Africa. Now though, so many of the most important developments are taking place in the rising economies outside Europe - what we might call the world of the almost rich, almost powerful, and increasingly Christian.

Philip Jenkins was educated at Cambridge University, where he obtained his doctorate in History. From 1980 through 2011, he taught at Penn State University, where he held the rank of Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of the Humanities. In 2012, he became a Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University, where he also serves in the Institute for Studies of Religion. He has published 24 books, including The Lost History of Christianity (2008) and Jesus Wars (2010). His most recent book is Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can't Ignore the Bible's Violent Verses (HarperOne).

China Director, David C Cook

Growing Around the Globe:  CHINA
God has taught different things to different parts of the worldwide Body of Christ. The Church in Asia needs to learn from the West and the South. The West and the South need to learn from the Church in Asia. We have the privilege and the responsibility as publishers to build highly effective ways to "make public" the Truth that is found worldwide.  However, the needs and the opportunities in China are so different from the West, it is like moving between two different dimensions. It is so important to come first as a "learner" and then ask, "What do we have that will be of value?"

Gary Hopwood is the China Director for David C Cook. During his eight years in China, Gary and his Chinese team members have worked with a number of international ministries to develop and implement publishing and marketing strategies for both print and digital resources. Gary has also been deeply involved in the startup and expansion of Beginning in 2008, Baojiayin launched a "go-to” strategy to make Christian resources widely known through direct mail catalogs, Taobao, email, Weibo, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and other communication channels. Before coming to China, Gary worked for 18 years with United Parcel Service in international expansion, technology, marketing and strategic planning. He graduated from Wheaton College majoring in Biblical Studies and earned his Master’s in business from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.

Chairman and CEO, Mundo Cristão

Growing Around the Globe:  BRAZIL

Mark Carpenter is chairman and CEO of Mundo Cristão, one of Brazil's largest publishers of Christian books. He also serves as chairman of SmartBook/Nexo, a publishing house in Portugal, recently acquired by Mundo Cristão. Formerly an editor at Tyndale House, Mark was founding president of the Brazilian Association of Christian Publishers (ASEC). Mark also served as chairman of Media Associates International (Wheaton, IL), which provides training for publishers in developing countries, and has led workshops and seminars for writers and publishers in many international settings. Mark holds a BA from Bethel College, IN, and an MA from the Universidade de São Paulo. He has written children's books for publishers in the US and Denmark, and a regular column on art and culture for Ultimato magazine. Mark is married with three grown children, and lives in São Paulo.

Founded in 1965, Mundo Cristão has nearly tripled its annual revenue over the past three years, buoyed by Brazil's dynamic economy, the growth of the national Evangelical church, and a strategy to distribute outside of conventional channels for religious books. As part of its mission to reach readers of Portuguese wherever in the world they might be, it has recently acquired SmartBook/Nexo (Lisbon, Portugal), a well-regarded publisher of business and self-help products now introducing a line of books written from a Christian worldview. An ECPA member, Mundo Cristão is an independent, nondenominational publisher, established as a not-for-profit organization under Brazilian law, and publishes Bibles and trade books.

Founder and President, eBook Architects

eBooks in Christian Publishing:  Learning and Leading
The Christian eBook market is uniquely positioned to take a starring role in future developments in the standard trade eBook space. In this session we will look at a brief overview of the eBook market in the US, including the trends in eBook formats, devices, apps, workflows, and other strategic issues. We will also talk about the current state of the Christian eBook market, with an emphasis on the unique opportunities Christian publishers have at their fingertips -- opportunities both to learn and to teach.

Joshua Tallent is a well-known eBook expert and teacher, and is a vocal advocate for beautiful, functional, accessible eBook files. eBook Architects, his eBook design and consulting business, provides services to both publishers and authors, specializing in complex projects and enhanced eBooks. Website:; Twitter: @jtallent.


Founder, WildFire Marketing

What Readers Wish Publishers Knew About Marketing
The process of attracting readers to your books in a crowded marketplace can sometimes feel like herding cats. For decades, publishers have sought to market their books in a world of finicky, price-conscious, and even apathetic readers. However, there is an internal motivation that drives every person during their book purchasing decision. When publishers and authors look deeper into what readers are really looking for, then their marketing efforts can yield much greater results. Rob Eagar, author of the new book, "Sell Your Book Like Wildfire,” explains how readers wish publishers took a different approach to appeal to them.

Rob Eagar is the founder of WildFire Marketing, a consulting practice that helps individuals and organizations apply unique online and offline marketing techniques to spread their message like wildfire. Rob has worked with numerous ECPA publishers and trained over 300 authors at all levels. His client list includes consulting projects for several New York Times bestselling authors, such as Lysa TerKeurst, Wanda Brunstetter, and Dr. Gary Chapman. For more information, call 1-800-267-2045 or visit:

General Manager & Publisher, O'Reilly Media, Inc.

The Evolution of Content and Distribution
The rules are changing rapidly in the digital content world. In five years we'll look back and cringe at how we tried to apply the solutions from the print world to the digital one. In this session we'll talk about how content acquisition and development needs to change, how the agile model can be applied and why a direct sales channel is a must for every publisher who wants to survive.

Joe Wikert is the General Manager & Publisher at O'Reilly Media, Inc., where he manages the sales and editorial groups. He is also the Chair of O'Reilly's Tools of Change for Publishers conference (TOC). O'Reilly spreads the knowledge of innovators through books, online services and conferences. Prior to joining O'Reilly, Joe was Vice President and Executive Publisher at John Wiley & Sons, Inc., in their P/T division.

Founder and CEO,

Digital Discoverability and Platforms:  How Christian Publishers Can Control Their Own Future
As one wise Christian publishing executive noted, "Most retailers don't understand our space.  They don't get our culture, our vision, or our businesses so they can't adequately promote and sell our books."  Fortunately, the digital revolution is poised to change all of that.  New digital sales channels and the ability to build vertical communities around brands and books will allow Christian publishers to control their own future.  For the first time, publishers will be able to build direct relationships to the reader and receive valuable data back on that reader and his/her reading habits.  They will also be able to empower readers to virally share their excitement about great books and structure virtual reading communities.

Jason Illian is the founder and CEO of, a Christian group and social reading platform.  Jason has over 10 years of digital publishing and venture capital experience.  Bookshout! has partnerships with many Christian publishers and recently launched its platform on Apple devices and the web, with Android on the way.  The innovative Bookshout! platform is a new digital sales channel that allows publishers to creatively market and promote their books.

President/CEO, Logos Bible Software

Be the Platform: Own the Process from Content Creation to Consumption
Customers prefer "it just works” over everything else, including open standards. The move to digital content is an opportunity for publishers to offer superior user experience by taking ownership of more steps in the author-to-reader production process. We’ll explore how Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Logos are doing this today.  Logos has been in the e-publishing business for nearly 20 years and is one of the most experienced publishers in the field.  Bob will be able to share what really works and what doesn't in digital publishing.

Bob Pritchett has been programming computers since he was eight years old. As a freshman in high-school he founded a software company and developed and marketed programming tools used world-wide. He left high-school a year early to attend Drexel University in Philadelphia, where he majored in Computer Science. After a second internship at Microsoft Corporation he left Drexel early to accept a position as one of Microsoft's youngest program managers.

In 1992 Bob co-founded Logos Research Systems, Inc. and serves as President/CEO. Bob speaks regularly at industry conferences and to academic groups on entrepreneurship, electronic publishing and digital libraries. He is a 2005 winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, and was included in the Puget Sound Business Journal's 40 Under 40. Bob lives with his wife Audra and two teenage children (Jacob &Kathleen) in Bellingham, Washington.  Bob's first book, Fire Someone Today, And Other Surprising Tactics for Making Your Business a Success, was released in April, 2006. He blogs at the Logos Blog,, and

Senior Account Manager of Publishing Services, Bowker


President/CEO, Evangelical Christian Publishers Association

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know!

Bowker's David Campbell and ECPA President Mark Kuyper will use the multiple Pubtrack data services to answer all your questions about the industry in this session. ECPA will survey attendees prior to the event to find out what publishers most want to know about industry and consumer trends, and then present the findings during this program.

David Campbell serves as Senior Account Manager of Publishing Services at Bowker. In this role he consults with US publishers on implementation and use of a host of Bowker business intelligence and supply chain products including PubTrack, PubEasy, and Pubnet. Prior to joining Bowker, David worked in the corporate merchandising offices of LifeWay Christian Stores. In that role he worked with ECPA and CBA on development and implementation of industry initiatives including research, technology, and supply chain management. David lives in Nashville, TN.

Mark Kuyper is the President and CEO of ECPA. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the Christian resources industry. Previously he served as the VP of Business Development and Marketing for CBA (the trade association for Christian retailers). He also worked for NavPress for over 10 years starting as a Customer Service Supervisor and completing his service as Sales Director. During this time he also served on the Leadership and Publishing teams for the organization. He began his career as a manager for Family Christian Stores. Mark currently serves on the board of the Book Industry Study Group (BISG) and Magazine Training International.   Mark is married to Vicki, an author of more than 50 books, and has two grown children.


RUTH HALEY BARTON, Founder, Transforming Center

Ruth Haley Barton (Doctor of Divinity, Northern Baptist Theological Seminary) is founder of the Transforming Center (, a ministry dedicated to strengthening the souls of clergy, Christian leaders and the congregations and organizations they serve. A sought after speaker, retreat leader and trained spiritual director (Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation), she is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life including Pursuing God's Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups (June, 2012), Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry, Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation, Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God's Transforming Presence, and Longing for More. She is also the author of "The Transforming Center," a column that appears regularly in Conversations: A Forum for Authentic Spiritual Transformation. Educated additionally at Loyola University Chicago Institute for Pastoral Studies, she has served on the pastoral staff of several churches including Willow Creek Community Church and is Professor of Spiritual Transformation at Northern Seminary.

Ruth's book, Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership, will be given to each attendee compliments of InterVarsity Press. 

MARK JOBE, Lead Pastor, New Life Community Church
Mark has been involved in transformational ministry in Chicago for over two decades. Under his leadership New Life has grown from a hand full of people to several thousand that meet at eleven campuses throughout Chicago. He and his wife Dee have three great children and view themselves as a team in ministry. Mark enjoys a strong cup of coffee with Dee (his wife of over 20 years), playing soccer with his boys, listening to his daughter play piano and tackling "God size" visions with his team. He is currently working on his doctorate degree in Transformational Leadership. Mark has been featured in numerous publications including Leadership Journal, PBS, Chicago Tribune and several books; "A Heart for the city”, "Cultural Change & Your Church”, "The Multi-Site Revolution” and "Amazing Faith”. Pastor Mark can be heard on his daily radio program called Straight-Talk.

The Executive Leadership Summit program will include the 2012 ECPA Awards Banquet on Monday evening, where the 2012 Christian Book Awards, Christian Book of the Year, Jordon Lifetime Achievement Award, and Gold | Platinum | Diamond Sales Awards will be announced and presented, with worship artists, All Sons & Daughters -- hailed by Worship Leader magazine as "the most enchanting sound emerging in the worship genre."

In addition, ECPA designated representatives are asked to attend the ECPA Annual Member Meeting to be held Tuesday afternoon.

We thank our sponsors for their support of the industry and of this event

Christianity Today    Market Financial Group

Courier Color House Graphics      

Firebrand Technologies Net GalleyBowker

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