Conference Leaders

Meet Your 2015 Conference Leaders:

 

Vonda Skelton old mill shot 3 resizedVonda Skelton

In 1998, the Lord took Vonda kicking and screaming into speaking when He called her to give a testimony at her church women’s retreat. It wasn’t a call she wanted to hear. She even reminded the Lord that she “didn’t do women,” to which He most likely laughed and said something similar to, “Is that so? Well, watch this!”

Today Vonda has a vibrant speaking ministry, sharing her messages with audiences around the country an average of 60 times a year for several years before limiting her schedule to do CCC. And she loves teaching others how to go forth in His Great Name!

She is the author of four books, including her women’s book, Seeing through the Lies: Unmasking the Myths Women Believe. This book “takes a hilarious journey through all things female as we search for truth in a counterfeit world.” She is also the author of a children’s mystery series, The Bitsy Burroughs Mysteries. The third book in the series, Bitsy and the Mystery at Hilton Head Island, was a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Award Nominee. Vonda is currently working on her first women’s fiction and an associated screenplay.

Vonda is a former RN and freelance writer, and her articles have appeared in magazines such as HomeLife, ParentLife, Christian Single, and Focus on the Family publications. She’s a sought-after instructor at writer’s conferences and enjoys mentoring and encouraging new writers. She also teaches writing to public, private, and homeschooled students and has spoken to over 22,000 kids across the country. Vonda is a dramatist, playwright and lyricist, and loves to entertain through her messages. She is an occasional actress in film, commercials, and theater, and is currently working on a new novel and accompanying screenplay. Vonda is also the co-director of the Teen Intern program at the Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival (www.GideonFilmFestival.com), helping teens navigate the media arts while maintaining their Christian worldview.

She also speaks corporately, offering motivational, customer service, and team-building programs for businesses, non-profits, and associations. Vonda is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, is a graduate of CLASSeminars and She Speaks, and is a past member of the National Speakers Association. She is represented by Christian Speaker Services (www.ChristianSpeakersServices.com) and Christian Speakers 4 You (www.ChristianSpeakers4You.com). She is founder and, along with Carolyn Knefely, is co-director of Christian Communicators (www.ChristianCommunicators.com). Visit Vonda’s website and writer’s blog, The Christian Writer’s Den, at www.VondaSkelton.com. And check out her free yearly MoGo7000 Challenge, which will challenge you to write your book and will enter you into the drawing for $100!

Vonda and Gary have been married all their lives—and they’re still happy about it! They have two daughters and four grandchildren.

As one who tries—and often fails—to be like Christ, Vonda is thankful God can take her messes and use them for His glory!

 carolynknefelyheadshotCarolyn Knefely

In 2009, Carolyn moved from North Texas to South Carolina. She thought she was retiring to play with her grandsons, sip tea and read best sellers. However, that was not God’s plan! Carolyn keeps praising Him for working His plan and allowing her to continue teaching, speaking, career coaching and lifting others up though her TeaCup Living ministry.

Carolyn’s career path included being the director of women’s activities for a nationwide non-profit organization, a sales and marketing manager for an international airline, corporate relations officer and professional leadership program director for a top university. It was at the university where Carolyn was dubbed a “people polisher” because she took students from backpack to briefcase with polish, poise, and purpose.

Now, she equips people to succeed from the skills she’s gleaned through her diverse business training. Carolyn is a certified consultant by the Protocol School of Washington in fine dining, business etiquette, and international protocol. It’s her delight to teach social and interpersonal skills that lead to building meaningful relationships at home, at church, in business, and in the community. She is a graduate of CLASSeminars. As Carolyn admits it is God who has taught her how to help others shine with confidence because of His uplifting presence in her life. He took her from eating with her hands to teaching fine dining etiquette and sharing the gospel of grace with a teacup.

Serving in God’s plan, Carolyn is presently co-director, along with Vonda Skelton, of Christian Communicators (www.ChristianCommunicators.com), she is the founder of TeaCup Living (www.TeaCupLiving). However, she makes time for play time with grandsons, sipping tea, and is active on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/CarolynKKnefely and (http://ChristianCommunicators Pinterest boards). As a hospitality expert, Carolyn speaks at women’s events and retreats on how to use a TeaCup as an outreach tool though simple hospitality.

Carolyn has been married to Helmut for over 45 years. Their daughter called them to move from TX to SC to be near her and her family. God called Carolyn to continue to serve Him by serving others. She serves on with the joy of Jesus Christ!

Carolyn will be teaching a breakout session on Speaker Marketing on Pinterest. Social media marketing doesn’t have to be an overwhelming headache! Pinterest is a fun and easy marketing tool that draws people to your platform, website or blogs. In this session, you’ll go from starting a Pinterest account (free) to creating three promotional boards. Pin marketing power! I went from pinning for fun to averaging over 24,000 viewers a week. It’s Pin marketing know-how!

Whether you are a seasoned speaker or in the “Really God, me?” phase, this conference has it all. The love, grace, affirmation, friendship, refreshment, and education you will receive from Vonda and Carolyn is worth the trip – not to mention the blessing of sisters in Christ you will walk away with. Linda Thomas, IN  http://www.SomethingBeautiful-ByLinda.blogspot.com

 

CynthiaCCC2014Cynthia Owens, Conference Coordinator

Cynthia Owens has a Masters of Education, a B.A. in English and extensive training in computers and engineering. After spending 15+ years as an organizer, teacher and efficiency expert, Cynthia founded The Efficiency Addict, a company focused on helping clients reduce stress, gain confidence and achieve the goals they truly value. Her simple, practical methods enable people to cut out “to do list” clutter and maximize the time they spend on the critical elements of their businesses, ministries, and personal goals. You can learn more about Cynthia and her services at www.TheEfficiencyAddict.com

Cynthia’s conference breakout session “The Savvy Speaker’s Guide to Organizing Your Business” is taught Thursday.

Added Bonus! Computer Skills Q&A – Two nights during the conference, Cynthia will be holding an optional computer skills Q&A session. CCC attendees are welcome to bring their computers and get help with electronic file organization, Microsoft Office skills, or other computer-related issues.

Julie Dykes headshot

Julie Davis Dykes, Worship Leader

Julie Dykes is Associate Director of Phase 1 Women’s Ministry in Anderson, SC and holds a B.A. Degree in Christian Ministry from Anderson University. She also serves part time as Children’s Minister and Praise Team Member at Harris Baptist Church in Greenwood, SC. A powerful speaker/ singer, and founder of Out of the Ruins Ministry, Julie is a testament to what God can do not only in a thriving life, but a shattered life in ruins. A widow and single mom to Davis, 20 and Madison, 17, she has walked a painful road while experiencing the pleasure of God’s encompassing love and comfort. Julie fervently desires to see God’s glory revealed in the lives of those who need hope and restoration as God leads her through life into His glorious Kingdom. You can find out more about Julie and her ministry at www.JulieDykes.com.

 

 

The Christian Communicators Conference is a MUST for speakers who are looking for like-minded professionals to partner with. Not only were we encouraged, equipped, and inspired by Vonda and Carolyn, but we each came home armed with a deeper sense of PURPOSE and a whole new ‘tribe’ of sisters-in-arms to cheer us on!” Kim Aldrich, TN www.KimAldrich.com

 

Additional Faculty

Edie Melson headshot-MaryEdie Melson, Social Media Instructor

Edie Melson—author, editor, and blogger—is a leading professional within the writing industry, as well as a popular inspirational speaker and mentor. She writes for military families and veterans. Her first book is Fighting Fear: Winning the War at Home When Your Soldier Leaves for Battle. Her second, While My Soldier Serves: Prayers for Those with Loved Ones in the Military debuts on May 12 2015. She’s also the military family blogger for Guideposts at While They Serve.

Her popular blog for writers, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands each month, and she’s the co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. She’s the Social Media Mentor at My Book Therapy, the Social Media Director for Southern Writers Magazine, as well as the Senior Editor for NovelRocket.com. Connect on Twitter and Facebook.

Edie will be teaching a breakout session on Social Media for the Christian Speaker and will also share a social media benefit for CCC grads.

Linda Dindzans headshotLinda Dindzans, MD

Linda Jean Dindzans, M.D. is a retired ENT surgeon with a longstanding fascination with both Bible study and the care of the voice. A Harvard graduate, she is a published author, news correspondent with her local paper, and educator at local, regional and national forums. Linda is grateful for this time to lay down her scalpel and pick up her pen as she seeks to follow God’s call to teach and write Biblical historical fiction and non-fiction.

Linda is married to Vince, a fellow physician, chorister, birdwatcher, and photographer. Mother to three adult children, she is a new grandmother and an experienced hockey mom, stage-mom and chef’s mom.

Linda will be presenting a breakout session, Saving Voice: Protecting Yours to Proclaim His. In this class, you’ll learn about The Wilderness: Lost, stressed or strained voice? Defining voice injury or abnormal voice. When is a vocal injury an emergency? When to seek advice from an ENT, or other voice professional. The Ten Commandments: An ENT physician’s vocal “dos and don’ts.” And The Promised Land: Daily devotions for vocal warriors. Exercises to strengthen and maximize healthy voice. Strategies to overcome injury from past vocal abuse.

 

“Hearing God’s call to speak is one thing, however, knowing how to actually make it happen is another. Christian Communicator Conference is the best. Whether you are just beginning a speaking ministry or trying to take yours to the next level, you will gain practical information that can be implemented at once. The knowledge, encouragement, and friendships I brought home with me have been priceless. I highly recommend this Christ-centered Conference to anyone who wants to serve the Lord by sharing the Words He puts on their hearts. Beth K. Fortune, SC www.bethfortune.org