My name is Austin and I am a husband to Caitlin and dad to Gus and Ruthie. I was born and raised in the Hoosier state, graduated with a double major in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Indiana University and have called North Carolina home for the last four years. Thus far, my professional career has been spent in various sales and marketing roles for a small beverage company where I currently manage our national sales insights (think “”spreadsheets””…lots of them!).
With all of the time I spend at my computer, you can typically find me out running whenever I get a chance and/or mixing up my own cold brew coffee to keep up with my little ones. I love to talk small business and entrepreneurship and am passionate about helping people find a greater sense of personal freedom through my blogging and public speaking efforts. I have also helped my wife manage her own creative small business out of our home for the last five years, which has provided a ton of learning opportunities for both of us.
While not typically an advocate of bribery, Duck Donuts and/or fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies have been known to influence my decision making…
Dianne Chipps Bailey
Dianne Chipps Bailey leads nonprofit consulting nationally for US Trust, a division of Bank of America. She believes in the power of nonprofits to positively impact our world by advancing education, improving health and elevating our shared humanity. Her one true love among local nonprofits is the Women’s Impact Fund. She is grateful to be one of the original 158 members. Her passion for women’s leadership in philanthropy extends to the Women’s Philanthropy Institute national council, for which she serves as Vice Chair. A recovering lawyer, for nearly twenty years Dianne represented nonprofit organizations in all aspects of their organization and administration. Dianne is a faithful community leader, previously chairing the boards of the Women’s Impact Fund, Discovery Place, Mecklenburg Bar Foundation, Presbyterian Hospital Foundation, Women Executives and First Presbyterian Church Diaconate, where she also served as an Elder. Dianne has mixed feelings about the awards industry but has found great joy in nominating amazing friends for well-deserved honors. She also has been recognized for her civic leadership. In 2018, she received the Leadership Charlotte Schley Circle of Excellence award, which is presented annually to a graduate who has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities. In 2015, Dianne was named The Mecklenburg Times Woman of the Year. Everything you need to know about Dianne is in her Twitter bio (follow her! @Dianne_C_Bailey): Evangelist for nonprofits & philanthropists | @USTrust National Practice Executive | Wife & mom | Civic activist | Yogini | Unapologetic optimist!
Frank Barnes has acted boldly on behalf of children and families for over 25 years as an educator, researcher, and organizer. Currently, Dr. Barnes is the Chief Accountability Officer of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, a former Broad Prize for Urban Education winner and the 17th largest school district in the United States. He is co-author of the district report Breaking the Link.
Dr. Barnes came to Charlotte-Mecklenburg from the Boston Public Schools, another Broad Prize winner, where he also held the position of Chief Accountability Officer. In Boston he led the design and rollout of the district’s school turnaround strategy for its lowest performing schools. That work resulted in more than of half of the district’s “turnaround schools” (6 of 11) exiting low performing status within three years, with two earning the highest school performance level possible in the state, and two schools receiving the School on the Move prize for outstanding school achievement.
Prior to Boston, he was a Senior Associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. While at the Institute he worked with urban school districts across the country helping them to examine and improve the conditions of schools. He authored the technical assistance guide, Inquiry and Action, and wrote multiple articles and reports on school improvement. His research has focused on knowledge management and adult learning in organizations.
Dr. Barnes was born and raised in Chicago on the city’s south side. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Speech & Communications from Macalester College, as well as two Masters Degrees – in Teaching and Curriculum and Education Policy and Management – from Harvard University. He earned a doctorate degree from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He is a proud husband and a father of three.
Hayden Childress is an award-winning magician based out of Charlotte. At the age of 24, he has performed on tv networks such as FOX and CNBC and for organizations such as Bosch, Emory University, and BB&T. His show features unique magic, comedy, and mentalism with an emphasis on interactivity. You’ve seen rabbits pulled out of hats, now see hats pulled out of rabbits!
Jim Anderson is the father of four daughters and 6 (soon to be 7) grandchildren. He and his wife have been together for over 40 years. Originally from Charleston, SC, he moved to Charlotte with his family in 1999 to join First Union National Bank as a programmer. He is now an Application Systems Engineer with Wells Fargo working within Wholesale Document Management.
Jim loves backpacking, gardening, bird watching, and photography, but most of all, he loves playing with his fantastic grandchildren. He has been active in the Charlotte PFLAG organization for 4 years where he is now a member of the Faith Action Committee.
Judy Schindler is a rabbi, wife, mom, professor, activist, and author.
Rabbi Judy is an innovator… leading the creation of three Telly award-winning social justice documentaries addressing diversity in schools, urban education and affordable housing. In recognition for her pushing boundaries, she was named Charlotte Woman of the Year in 2011 along with many other awards.
She is a professor… teaching courses on diversity and identity in the Hebrew Bible, the Holocaust, and on social justice as the Sklut Professor of Jewish Studies at Queens University of Charlotte.
Rabbi Judy is an activist… directing the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens, where she inspires advocacy and enables work for justice both on the Queens campus and in the greater Charlotte community.
She is a faith leader… In 2016, she was named Rabbi Emerita of Temple Beth El in Charlotte (the largest synagogue in the Carolinas) after serving as Senior Rabbi from 2003-2016 and as Associate Rabbi from 1998-2003. For nearly two decades, she has been engaged in interfaith work helping with the leadership of Meck Min and the Charlotte Clergy Coalition for Justice.
She is a writer… having contributed chapters and articles to nearly a dozen books and recently co-authoring a book on recharging congregations through civic engagement and moving the religious community from volunteerism to advocacy. She was a 2017-2018 contributing columnist to the Charlotte Observer.
Rabbi Judy is a student who loves to learn. She is enrolled in the Doctor of Hebrew Letters program at the Hebrew Union College where she received her master’s in 1993 and was ordained in 1995.
Judy is a wife and a mom… who loves watching her two teenage sons play sports and traveling with her husband, Chip, to whom she has been married for almost 20 years.
I am, and will always be, a coach’s kid. Growing up my days were spent analyzing game film, memorizing pass routes, and learning how my dad motivated players. My brother and I would play “NFL training camp” and we thought everyone moved to a new city at the end of a football season. We had stops in New York, Detroit, Cleveland and Kansas City to name a few. As a family we learned to be resilient and adaptable, and love with all we have. I also learned firsthand about the incredible amount of sacrifice needed for success, yet the immeasurable sense of accomplishment from helping others succeed.
I actually grew up thinking I would be the first woman coach in the National Football League. But then life got busy…as in moving 18 times. At college new aspirations came… a career in advertising… fast paced, demanding and competitive. I worked with clients in aviation, pharmaceuticals and financial services. It was rewarding in its own way, and I thought my path was set.
Yet through life’s twists and turns, I came back to my passion of coaching. Now I have one of the most rewarding jobs imaginable. As a CrossFit coach and personal trainer, I have the privilege of helping people achieve their goals. Every day I get to help people conquer fears, sweat a bunch, laugh a little, and walk out of the gym feeling on top of the world.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything, except for a cure for Alzheimer’s. My dad was diagnosed 5 years ago. It changed our family forever. And now my drive is to teach people how to use the power of my dad’s football mentality, called Martyball, to make their Alzheimer’s journey better one day at a time.
A creative spirit who never really fit into a mold, Krystle Baller built her own. She owns Pachyderm Music Lab, a quirky space in Indian Trail, that offers music lessons, classes, arts workshops and the innovative group classes: Lady Rockstars and babyPUNK. She’s also the Director of Music for a rockin’ nonprofit organization, Girls Rock Charlotte. Krystle is a proud mom and enjoys spending time with her family. She likes to spend time in nature, dye her hair funky colors, and snuggle up on the couch with her daughter & a soft blanket!
Anchor. Author. Mom. Molly Grantham is a two-time Emmy-award winning journalist who has been named TV News Reporter of the Year for both Carolinas, one of Charlotte’s “40 under 40” and one of Mecklenburg County’s “50 Most Influential Women”. She anchors WBTV News at 5:30p and 11p and published her first book last November. (It sold out on Amazon the first week!) Besides her public and often nutty job, she juggles motherhood with two young kids, social media madness and the swirling circle of life. She’s a glass-half-full perspective, with self-deprecating humor and an authentic voice that shows not all you see is always real.
Nataki thought she wanted to be a diplomat, studying French and Foreign Affairs as an undergraduate before working as a desk officer for West African nations at the US Agency for International Development. A desire to have a more direct impact on her community led her into the classroom. Over the last 20 years, Nataki has been a teacher, principal, principal coach and manager, and a cabinet officer. She was the founding principal of the Evans Campus of Maya Angelou in Washington, DC, an alternative school that focuses on rigorous instruction, deep student-staff connections, supportive culture, and college preparation for students who have experienced trauma and failure before attending Maya. While principal, she led the school to receive a Silver Gain award for student achievement gains, a first for an alternative school, and sent over 95% of each graduating class off to college.
Nataki now works with CT3, which supports teachers and leaders to transform the quality of education for students. She gets to work with a team of talented educators driving continuous improvement in schools and communities across the nation. As a recent transplant to Charlotte, Nataki enjoys learning about the many exciting opportunities the city has to offer, with her family in tow.
Theo Schaffer currently serves as a speaker, author, while serving as the Program Coordinator of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department’s Chief of Police and Community Service Bureau building bridges and relationships between law enforcement and community.
He is married to Patrice Schaffer, with two wonderful children, Theopelis Alexander IV and Ryleigh Grace. Together they are the Senior and Executive Pastors of Grace Church Charlotte and manage Schaffer Nation, a Marketing consultation company.
Travis is an educator, writer, speaker and consultant with too many interests for his own good. But he mostly focuses on the areas of leadership, organizational culture, cultural competency, diversity and inclusion, racial justice and all the other “isms” that impede human flourishing. His writing has been published in both academic and industry publications. He was well on his way to small views of people and the world but reading and travel changed his life. Experiencing transformations in his own life is what gives him hope that change in the world is possible. He has traveled all over the world, but home will always be Charlotte. He is a proud but bitter Southerner—wrestling with the region that made him and fighting for what it might become. He feels most whole doing fulfilling work, but likes to escape from the world through books, hiking, or a good day-party. He was voted class clown for as long as he can remember but then he went on to finish two Master’s degrees and half a PhD—jokes on you (or still me, if you consider student loans?).