Rev. Derek McCoy is a transformational executive leader and organizational consultant with years of experience in business and non-profit sectors. As a media commentator, urban-renewal activist, and leader of coalition efforts, he leads efforts to advance and encourage solutions, and partnerships.
Derek is currently leading efforts to launch the Urban Leadership Alliance, which provides a platform for leaders across all age groups to be educated and create solutions in their respective communities and cultures. He has been instrumental in conducting educational summits with pastors, community leaders, and citizens.
Most recently, McCoy has served as the Executive Vice President for The Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE), which works to fight poverty and restore dignity through the message of faith, freedom, and personal responsibility. McCoy has an extensive background in policy, political strategy, and advocacy on vital cultural issues, including race, poverty, life, marriage, and religion.
Rev. McCoy has served as the President of the Maryland Family Alliance, SVP for the High Impact Leadership Coalition, Coalitions Director, and Outreach Director on crucial initiatives and issue campaigns. He has been a consistent voice of championing issues of justice and righteousness in our nation.
Rev. McCoy serves on the board of Directors for the Pregnancy Clinic in Annapolis, Heartbeat International, and Summit Ministries.
He has been featured on NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, NPR, FOX Business, EWTN, Gospel Today, and Family News in Focus, WYPR, KKLA, WAVA, EWTN, KQED, and KJLH, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, New American Media, LA Sentinel, and The Washington Times, and The Wall Street Journal.
Rev. McCoy served our great nation in the United States Army In Reserve. He has also held management positions and has received regional and national awards from Fortune 500 companies.
He has been married for 28 years to his wife, Cathy, and they have three incredible children. Two are Summit graduates.
Drew Ryun is a strategist for multiple organizations and non-profits, and also the founder and CEO of CampaignSidekick, a voter contact management system. One of the Republican National Committee’s preferred vendors, CampaignSidekick currently services over 100 campaigns each election cycle.
Co-founder of American Majority, a non-profit candidate school, Drew has personally trained numerous current state legislators to run for office in multiple states. For years Drew served as Director of Government Affairs for the American Center for Law and Justice in Washington, DC as well as the Main Representative for the European Center for Law and Justice at the United Nations in New York City.
A twice-published author, Drew appeared frequently as host and co-host of Jay Sekulow Live, a nationally syndicated radio show with a daily listenership of 2 million.
A former Deputy Director in the Political Division at the Republican National Committee during the 2004 election cycle, Drew has played a key role in organizing grassroots activities for United States House, Senate and Presidential campaigns.
Currently residing just outside of Fort Worth, TX, Drew and his wife Becca also direct the Jim Ryun Running Camps every summer (www.RyunRunning.com) and are the parents of three daughters, Skye, Lily and Willa, and one son, Miles.
Jeffery J. Ventrella, J.D., Ph.D. serves as senior counsel, senior vice president of academic affairs & training for Alliance Defending Freedom. Since joining ADF in 2000, he has headed the ADF Blackstone Legal Fellowship, a unique legal internship program that has graduated more than 1,900 outstanding law students. Ventrella also leads the design of Alliance Defending Freedom Areté Academy, providing training for exceptional college upperclassmen and recent graduates on a path to future leadership in law, government, and public policy. He regularly engages the culture through formal debates and serves as an approved speaker for The Federalist Society.
Ventrella received his Ph.D. in church and state studies from Whitefield Theological Seminary. He earned his J.D. from the University of California’s Hastings College of the Law and has practiced law since 1985. He is a member of the state bar of Idaho, and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Julie H. Ambler has been the Head of School at The Woodlands Christian Academy since 2006. Under her direction, Woodlands Christian is becoming a leader in Christ-centered college preparatory education serving students in grades Pre-K through 12th grade. Previously, she served on the school’s Executive Board for four years.
Mrs. Ambler is past-president and co-founder of the Montgomery County Coalition of Christian Schools and past-president of the Executive Women’s Alliance. She currently serves on the boards of Leadership Montgomery County, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary Club of The Woodlands, where she has been named a Paul Harris Fellow. A graduate of The Hockaday School in Dallas, Mrs. Ambler holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin. For seventeen years, she worked as a real estate investment banker in Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles, California, where she financed in excess of $1.2 billion of commercial real estate transactions nationwide.
She is married to Price Ambler and is the mother of two children, Julia and J.P., both of whom are graduates of The Woodlands Christian Academy. Mrs. Ambler is a member of The Crossing Church.
Mark Brezina is one of eight children raised by a single mother. As the only family in American football history to have six brothers play for the same major university, Mark and his five brothers were football standouts at the University of Houston. The family was recently honored with a memorial dedicated in the plaza of the new football stadium.
Mark graduated in 1972 from the University of Houston. He received his Masters from the University of Alabama, Birmingham and has advanced studies at the University of Maryland and Harvard University. Prior to entering the public sector, Mr. Brezina was in business for 12 years, played professional football, taught high school and coached high school football.
In 1989 Mark served as Delegation Leader to the (former) USSR for the American-Soviet Youth Exchange and received a Presidential Appointment, serving on the staff of HUD Secretary Jack Kemp. Mark served the Department as Special Assistant to the Regional Administrator and as the Resident Initiatives Coordinator for the Southeast Region in Public Housing. For eighteen years he served as the Tennessee Field Office Director for HUD.
In 2011 he was appointed Deputy Regional Administrator of HUD, Region VI leading 750 employees in eleven offices in Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. His operational oversight in Region VI delivered billions of dollars in multifamily and single-family insurance, hundreds of millions of dollars in grants for low-income housing, community development, and for enforcement of the nation’s fair housing laws.
Mark served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Disasters and implemented FEMA’s first Disaster Recovery Framework. A member of the Secretary’s Tiger Team he served as Chair of National Evaluation of Offices. He has overseen fifteen offices in three regions and served as coach to senior officials throughout the U.S.
During his tenure at HUD Mark authored HUD’s Youth Sports and Cultural Initiative that went nationwide. He was Founding Member of the Hank Aaron Rookie Leagues of Atlanta and served as Chair of the HUD-NFL Task Force. He was a speaker at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Inner City Games in Los Angeles, California. Mark received the Secretary’s Award for Excellence and the Boys and Girls Club National Award.
Mark serves on the National Advisory Board of the Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge University. He has been married 42 years to the former Deborah Lynne Davis of Houston. They have three adult children.
Melissa Neugebauer is a wife, mother, sister, daughter, and friend who has loved the Lord Jesus from the beginning of her memory. She grew up in the small ranching community of Albany, Texas, and credits her two summer semesters at Summit Ministries as the pivotal moments leading to the solidification and development of her Biblical world view. Melissa graduated from Texas A&M University in 1994 with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies and married her college sweetheart, Toby, her husband now of 24 years. After teaching four years, she left the education field to raise her two sons.
Over the past decade, Melissa has lead the Matthews 6:20 Foundation and devoted much of her time to traveling internationally in search of the most impactful Christian organizations in order to better understand the current landscape of the Christian community. Along with her philanthropical projects, Melissa has served as the Chairman of the Regents School of Austin’s Parent Council and led several committees including the all-important Mom’s Prayer Group. Melissa has grown from participating in and hosting a variety of Bible Studies and served as a Children’s Leader through Bible Study Fellowship for five years.
Melissa is known as an avid outdoors-woman and enjoys God’s creation tremendously through various adventurers with family and friends. She is looking forward to serving on the Board of Summit Ministries with the same spirit of Peter in his first letter 4:10; “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
Merida surrendered her life to Christ in 1972 and has never looked back. She graduated from George Peabody College for Teachers in 1973, married her high school sweetheart, Sam, in 1974 and has been happily married 40+ years. They were blessed with five children in six years, thus five teenagers in house at one time which was a marvelous adventure. They have 15 grandchildren. Merida conducts parenting workshops and leads ladies’ retreats, and has served in Christian education for 31 years. Currently she is superintendent at Westminster Christian Academy in Opelousas, Louisiana. She began in the classroom, started a branch campus for WCA in Lafayette, served as principal for 14 years, and offered further instructional supervisor/teacher training for 3 years. She has been superintendent at WCA for 9 years.
“Jesus is my life, my joy and my all. His Word is my passion, along with Christian education and the next generation. I remain grateful for my salvation because I do not deserve it. I am honored to serve in Christian education. It lets me know that Father God has an incredible sense of humor and loves me enough to put me in a position that requires absolute, desperate dependence upon Him moment by moment day by day. Psalm 131 has become one of my favorites. My life is not my own and my deep yearning is to be found faithful in everything to which Father God calls me to put my hand.”
Mikkel Mandt went to Upper Arlington High School in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelors and Masters in Engineering. He served with the U.S. Navy in the Western Pacific, and has 20+ years in the Naval Reserve. He worked 4 years for Kimberly Clark Corporation, 9 years for Houdaille Industries, and started his own company in 1981, Fluidyne, which designs and supplies wastewater treatment systems.
He has served on the Board of Directors of Tentmakers youth ministries, is the President of Fluidyne, and is an inventor with foreign and U.S. patents. He served on committee for Young Life, and his company has supplied treatment systems for five Young Life camps.
Mike is a registered Professional Engineer, and has consulted widely in North America and throughout the world. He has been granted more than 40 patents worldwide in the areas of biological process, aeration, disinfection, and sequencing batch reactors. His technology has been used in Asia, Australia, South America, and Europe as well as North America. He has contributed to the design of over 500 wastewater treatment plants.
He and his wife Jan have 3 children.
Steve Austin was born in 1952, was raised in rural Indiana and later in western North Carolina. He is a graduate of Bob Jones University (salutatorian) and earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. Mr. Austin is a Certified Public Accountant (California and Georgia).
He was an Audit Partner with PriceWaterhouse and McGladrey and Pullen for over 20 years. Currently he serves as the Managing Partner at Swenson Advisors, LLP, and a regional accounting firm in Southern California.
He is a frequent speaker worldwide on contemporary accounting, ethics, and corporate governance topics and is the author of Rise of the New Ethics Class which focuses on business ethics. Steve serves on 20 Boards and related committees such as Brandman University, Santa Fe Christian Schools, Reason Why International, and Summit Ministries.
He and his wife Gail of 35 years have 3 daughters.