THE CAST TEAM
Coach Approach Skill Training has been taught in Africa, Scotland, and the United States. We are a primary provider of coach trainings in the United Methodist, Presbyterian and the Episcopal denominations.
The members of our faculty are:
• Associate (ACC) and Professional (PCC) Certified Coaches, credentialed by the ICF
• Ordained or lay ministry leaders in various denominations
• Exceptional instructors of the core competencies of coaching
Dr. Brian K. Brown, PCC
Chris Holmes, PCC
George Howard, PCC
Shannon Weston, PCC
Dr. Barbara Wilson, PCC
Chris Holmes (he/him/his) is a retired United Methodist minister, who served congregations in Maryland for 26 years and then worked as a regional judicatory leader. As a PCC coach he works with congregational leaders, pastors and denominational leaders. Chris leads The Holmes Coaching Group and is a proud “Coach Approach Skills Training” founder and partner. He is the author of The Art of Coaching Clergy: A Handbook for Church Leaders, Clergy and Coaches and a founding member and past-president of the Maryland Chapter of the International Coach Federation. Chris and his wife, Margaret live in Maryland where Chris is an accomplished watercolor artist.
Dr. Brown is an ordained United Methodist minister, who served congregations in Virginia and Ohio for two decades and continues to pastor in the local church. He has served as senior pastor for churches ranging from 50 to over 600 in worship attendance as well as the teaching pastor for a congregation that worshiped over 6000 in worship attendance. Along with being elected as an Episcopal Candidate, Dr. Brown has served as a District Superintendent and Dean of the Cabinet. He has over 800 hours of coaching in conflict resolution, cross-racial, cross-cultural appointments, and coaching moving congregations from good to great. He and his wife, Candace, have four children one in High School, one in college, and two college graduates.
Rev. Dr. Owen Ross is an ACC Coach and is the Director for the Center of Church Development for the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. In this role, Dr. Ross leads the church planting, vitalization, and strategic research and development for the conference. Prior to this, Dr. Ross served fifteen years as the founding pastor of Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Mission “La Fundición de Cristo,” which grew to become the largest Spanish-language congregation in The UMC. Dr. Ross is married to Xóchitl Medina Ross, and they have two rowdy boys, Leland and Larkin, both born in 2014.
Mary Frances has been coaching since 2007 working with pastors, mission developers and redevelopers. She served three congregations in the suburbs of Chicago and then seven years as Associate Director for New Congregations in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This work included planning and leading mission developer training, coaching mission developers and helping new starts prepare for their first building unit. In addition, Mary opened a yoga studio ministry, Divine Power Yoga, in 2010, and is an accomplished yoga teacher. She is a graduate of National Louis University with a BA in Psychology and Human Services, and received her Master of Divinity from Chicago Theological Seminary. Mary and her husband, Kent, have two adult children and four grandchildren. They enjoy hiking, gardening and DIY projects of all kinds.
Rev. Dr. Vicki Johnson, PCC, has been asking questions and listening deeply to leaders for over 35 years. Her years of ordained ministry in the United Methodist Church include serving as small church pastor, co-appointment as clergy couple, executive pastor of a large church, District Superintendent of 90 churches, and 9 years as senior pastor of a multi-staff, community-focused, downtown church. Her D. Min. from Wesley Theological in Washington, D.C. focused on Leadership and Spirituality (Thesis: Cultivating Resilience: Leadership Practice in Crisis and Transition).
In 2015 Vicki began her work as professional coach, and in 2018 as coach trainer. She has over 500 hours of individual and group coaching with pastors, laity, judicatory leaders, and bishops. As a trainer with ICF certified Coach Approach Skills Training, she teaches basic and advanced coaching as well as group and team coaching. A dedicated life-long learner and teacher, Vicki delights in the way the coaching process unleashes deeply creative and authentic transformation for leaders, teams, and faith communities. During the COVID pandemic, and in response to her special interest in holistic wellbeing, she created and launched The Art of WellBeing, a group coaching course designed to invite participants to flourish in leading and in life. (www.coachingtheartofwellbeing.com)
Vicki is also certified as an Interim Ministry Specialist, Spiritual Director, and Yoga Instructor. She enjoys reading historical fiction, practicing restorative yoga, traveling as pilgrimage, walking in the woods with her dog, and hiking or snowshoeing in the Colorado mountains with friends. Together, she and her husband Roger have 7 children and 12 grandchildren.
Youngsook Charlene Kang brings over a decade of experience as a leadership coach and trainer. As a PCC coach she works with laity, pastors and denominational leaders. She coaches district superintendents of the United Methodist Church, general presbyters of the Presbyterian Church, USA and diocese leaders of the Episcopal Church. She is an instructor at the Columbia Theological Seminary coaching program. She is dedicated to intercultural coaching and is a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). She served as Superintendent of Leadership Development, Director of Connectional Ministries and District Superintendent, Mountain Sky Conference, and Deputy General Secretary, General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church. She is married to JinHo and together they have two grown children. She loves operas and musicals.
Dr. Ron Mahurin has more than 35 years in leadership, teaching, strategic planning, research and advancement and executive coaching in higher education. He has served as on senior executive teams as a VP for Professional Development at the Council for Christian Colleges &
Universities (Washington, D.C.), www.cccu.org and VP for Academic Affairs at Houghton College (NY), www.houghton.edu). He also served on the faculty at Gordon College (www.gordon.edu) and Westmont College (www.westmont.edu) where he taught international relations and international political economy.
Dr. Mahurin is a Senior Consultant with Design Group International
(www.designgroupinternational.com), working with presidents, boards, and C-level leaders in strategic planning, board development and governance.
Dr. Mahurin has a Ph.D. in Political Science (International Relations) from Miami University (OH) and a BA from Gordon College (MA).
Lon Swartzentruber has been walking alongside leaders for more than 25 years, IWhether this journey has been to bring clarity to their vision, a road map towards it, or to untangle an organizational knot along the way, I believe that listening is first step in delivering help to others.
As a certified coach and Process Consultant, I’ve been fortunate to work with leaders who guide associational systems, churches, colleges and universities, Christian and Montessori schools, non-profit organizations, and businesses. Our journeying together has shown up as organizational visioning, strategic planning, organizational governance, and relational fundraising. Each of us is on a unique leadership development journey and I look forward to co-creating a path forward with you.
Rev. Dr. Karin Walker serves as lead pastor at a local church in Northern Maryland. She has served 3 pastoral appointments in the local church, each of which has grown under her leadership. She served as a District Superintendent, designing leadership development efforts including large church staffing, the small church initiative, and the use of the Appreciative Inquiry approach to change. She was a founding Director of Just Peace and has served as a mediator in local churches in conflict. She has been coaching pastors since 2008 and has a passion for empowering people to realize the tremendous resources they possess to create a future that is bold, creative, and fulfilling. Coachees have described Karin’s coaching as aggressive and results-oriented, effective, and insightful. Leaders who seek to move forward appreciate her effectiveness as a coach. Karin is married to Mike and they have two children in college. She is a triathlete and enjoys kayaking.
The Rev. Shannon Weston, PCC (she/her) is a preacher, a teacher, and a lover of all things bright and beautiful. In addition to her partnership in CAST, which includes being a Lead Trainer and Director of Education, Shannon works with pastors, church leaders, and nonprofits as a Leadership Coach, Consultant, and Conflict Mediator. Her work is recognized as a valid ministry by the Presbytery of Baltimore. She is an accredited Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coaching Federation. Previous to Coaching, Shannon served two decades as a pastor in Kentucky, New York, and Maryland.
Shannon lives with her husband, Derrick, in a northern suburb of Baltimore. Together they raise their four children, a dog, a cat, and an insurmountable number of plants.
Barbara Ann Wilson journeys with people and organizations in linking intellect, passion and practice. A PCC coach and Owner of Wilson Coaching LLC, Barbara is a leadership consultant and coach trainer. Ordained 24 years as an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC), she has served in the Midwest region as pastor and regional administrator, and elected member of the AMEC General Board. Barbara is Associate Executive Presbyter, Presbytery of Chicago (PCUSA), giving leadership in building internal capacity to strengthen vitality and mission. Barbara has 13 years of experience in the federal criminal justice and child welfare systems. She is a native of Memphis, Tennessee and has called Chicago home for 38 years. This jazz lover endeavors to live with integrity and joy.
Dr. Kina Mallard is the Founder and President of Leading Higher Ed, a leadership development company focusing on developing strong leaders who lead strong institutions. He leadership career has spanned over 30 years at five institutions in positions from Department Chair to President. Kina is a certified facilitator in DISC, Leadership Effectiveness, and Motivators and Values as well as an experienced workshop facilitator in Building Effective Teams and Emotional Intelligence. Dr. Mallard coaches Presidents, CEOs, and Vice Presidents leveraging their strengths to create effective and dynamic leadership, and engaged, future-focused teams. She and her husband, Steve Dietz, have five children and eight grandchildren.
Matt Visser (he/him/his) is a Senior Consultant with Design Group International, who has invested over 20 years in growing nonprofit organizations focused on leadership development, community engagement, fundraising, and innovation. After a long career in college counseling and student development, Matt transitioned to nonprofit leadership, fundraising, and now, process consulting. As an ACC coach, he helps discover creative solutions to address the complex challenges facing leaders today. In his relationships with leaders, Matt seeks to be a genuine and calming presence that walks alongside them as they build pathways toward a vibrant future. He and his wife, Sarah, spend most of their free time as “soccer parents” cheering on their three kids and Michigan football.
Deanna Rolffs (she/they) is a coach, process consultant, strategist, and facilitator working with leaders and teams at the intersection of organizational change, leadership and team development, and justice & anti-oppression. Deanna supports leaders and teams of all sizes, in all sectors, and has been a member of Design Group International’s community of practice as a Senior Consultant since 2018 and a Senior Design Partner since 2021. Find out more and connect with Deanna via her LinkedIn Profile, website, or blog.
Dr. Sherilyn R. Emberton, ACC, currently works in realm of Christian higher education, having served diverse institutions in various roles as college president, provost, dean and professor at five institutions throughout the southern and Midwestern states. Dr. Emberton’s previous background includes private business ownership in real estate, property management, and food enterprises. She continues to work in that space, serving on national boards of directors for advanced manufacturing, agriculture, private equity and family trusts. As a college leader, she sits on the national boards for independent and Christian higher education. Sherilyn pursues relationships that allows her faith in Christ to take the primary role. She enjoys actively engaging with others as they pursue God’s favor and calling on their lives.
George Howard (he/him/his) has engaged in leadership development for over forty years. As a leadership coach and trainer he has worked with leaders in multiple denominations, not for profit organizations and businesses locally, nationally and globally since 2000. He is a Co founder of CAST and founder of Howard Coaching Group LLC. He previously served in leadership within the United Methodist Church as the Director of Global Coaching and Strategic Initiatives, Director of Connectional Ministries in West Ohio, and Director of Leadership and Development with Community Development for All People. He is married to Eileen, a Jazz and Blues vocalist and together they have two children and five grandchildren. George continues to network globally to recognize and value the assets within each local leader and context.