Lynne Ellis-Gray

Dr. Lynne Ellis-Gray

Lynne Ellis-Gray

Dr. Lynne Ellis-Gray MSW, D.Min

Lynne is well entrenched in the story of adoption. She is an adult adoptee that adopted internationally as a single 14 years ago. After marrying, she and her husband are currently in a foster to adopt journey with a sibling set from our foster care system. Having done her master’s thesis and practice on adoption issues, she is passionate about equipping parents for the journey. Lynne serves on staff as the missions pastor at Overlake Christian Church, participating with trauma care and healing for marginalized groups around the world. She loves travel, chocolate and hanging with her family.


Eugene Cho

Eugene Cho

Eugene Cho

Eugene Cho

Rev. Eugene Cho’s many passions involve leadership, justice, the whole Gospel, and the pursuit of God’s Kingdom here on this earth. He travels throughout the world to encourage churches, non-profits, pastors, leaders, missionaries, and justice workers – whether this happens in churches, arenas, conferences, universities, or as a guest in underground churches, villages, or refugee camps.

Eugene Cho is the founder and former Senior Pastor of Quest Church – an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington. After 18 years, Eugene stepped aside at Quest in 2018. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Q Café, an innovative non-profit community café and music venue which closed due to relocation in 2015.

He is also the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages (ODW) – a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty.

The vision of ODW is to create a collaborative movement that promotes awareness, invites simple giving (one day’s wages) and supports sustainable relief through partnerships, especially with smaller organizations in developing regions. Since its launch in October 2009, ODW has raised over $7 million dollars for projects to empower those living in extreme global poverty. ODW has been featured in the New York TimesThe Seattle TimesNPR, Christianity Today and numerous other media outlets. For his entrepreneurial work and spirit, Eugene was recently honored as one of 50 Everyday American Heroes and a recipient of the Frederick Douglass 200 – included in a list of 200 people around the world who best embody the spirit and work of Frederick Douglass, one of the most influential figures in history.  Eugene was also the recipient of the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Eugene recently released his first book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World? He is currently writing his second book which is set to release in February 2020.

Eugene and Minhee have been married for 22 years and have three children. Together, they live in Seattle, Washington.


Kay Warren

Kay Warren

Kay Warren

Kay Warren cofounded Saddleback Church with her husband, Rick Warren, in Lake Forest, California in 1980. After the death of her son, Matthew, who lived with serious mental illness for most of his life, she founded Saddleback’s Hope for Mental Health Initiative as a way to support individuals and family members of loved ones with mental illness and suicidal ideation. The Initiative also trains others in the faith community how to launch or expand existing mental health ministries.

Kay is a board member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and is active in mental health/suicide prevention efforts in Orange County, Ca. Kay is the author of Sacred Privilege: Your Life and Ministry as a Pastor’s Wife, Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn’t Enough, Say Yes to God: A Call to Courageous Surrender, and coauthor of Foundations, a popular systematic theology course used by churches worldwide. Her children are Amy and Josh, and Matthew (who is in heaven), and she has five grandchildren.

Learn at KayWarren.com and follower of Facebook (KayWarrensPage) Twitter (@KayWarren1) and Instagram (@KayWarren75).


Dr. Tina Payne Bryson

Dr. Tina Payne Bryson

Dr. Tina Payne Bryson PhD

Dr. Tina Payne Bryson is the co-author (with Dan Siegel) of THE YES BRAIN (Random House Bantam January 2018) and the upcoming The Power of Showing Up, as well as two New York Times bestsellers: THE WHOLE-BRAIN CHILD (Random House Delacorte 2011) and NO-DRAMA DISCIPLINE (Random House Bantam 2014), each of which has been translated into over thirty languages. She is the Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Connection, a multidisciplinary clinical practice, and of The Play Strong Institute, a center devoted to the study, research, and practice of play therapy through a neurodevelopmental lens.

Dr. Bryson is a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist who makes frequent media appearances and keynotes conferences, and conducts workshops for parents, educators, and clinicians all over the world. She is the Child Development Specialist at Saint Mark’s School in Altadena, CA, and the Director of Child Development for Camp Chippewa in Cass Lake, Minnesota. Tina earned her PhD from the University of Southern California, where her research explored attachment science, childrearing theory, and the emerging field of interpersonal neurobiology.

Tina emphasizes that before she’s a psychotherapist, or author, or anything else, she’s a mom. She limits her clinical practice and speaking engagements so that she can spend time with her family. Alongside her husband of 21 years, parenting her three boys is what makes her happiest: “They’re my heart. Their personalities make life so much fun. They’ve also made my research very personal, helping bring together the different roles I play in my life, where I’m part-time educator/researcher, and full-time Little-League-mom/super-Jedi-spy-with-laser-powers. As I’ve studied attachment and childrearing theory and the science of how brains work, I’ve been able to apply that knowledge and let it help me parent more the way I want: lovingly, intentionally, and effectively.”

Tina’s professional life now focuses on taking research and theory from various fields of science, and offering it in a way that’s clear, realistic, humorous, and immediately helpful. As she puts it, “For parents, clinicians, and teachers, learning about how kids’ (and their own) brains work is surprisingly practical, informing how they approach discipline, how they help kids deal with everyday struggles, and ultimately how they connect with the children they care about.”

You can learn more about Dr. Bryson at TinaBryson.com, where you can subscribe to her blog and read her articles about children and parenting.


Derek Hamer

Derek Hamer

Derek Hamer

Derek Hamer was adopted from Kitale Kenya at the age of 6 after living alone on the streets from the age of 4. He is about to finish his sophomore year in college and looks forward to finishing his degree. He has a heart for justice, for students (intern in student ministries at Overlake Church) and a passion to follow God’s call on his life. He was raised in a multiracial family and feels strongly about helping adoptive parents meet the needs of their children who have been adopted from other countries and cultures.


Ross Hunter

Ross Hunter

Ross Hunter

Ross Hunter is the Secretary of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families for the State of Washington. Ross’ focus is on improving outcomes for all children, and especially on eliminating race and family income as predictors of progress and success for young learners. He is passionate about investing upstream in proven prevention strategies, using strong data and outcomes analysis to administer these programs, and supporting a strong workforce of caregivers and professionals to deliver the services that ensure fewer children experience trauma and more families can build resilience and succeed together.

Ross also served as State Representative from the 48th District of Washington (the greater Eastside) from 2003-2015. Throughout his tenure he focused on improving education opportunities and outcomes for all Washington Children. Through his work as Appropriations chair, Ross was instrumental in the passage of the Early Start Act in 2015, funding the Foster Care to Age 21 expansion, and led the effort to redefine basic education funding.

Ross began his career at a small software company on the Eastside that expanded beyond all expectations. He was at Microsoft for 17 years and holds several patents for database and user interface design.

Ross earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from Yale University in 1983. His wife Tricie is the CFO of a Montessori preschool, and he has two grown children.


Beth Guckenberger

Beth Guckenberger

Beth Guckenberger

Beth and her husband, Todd, live with their family in Cincinnati, Ohio where they serve as Co-Executive Directors of Back2Back Ministries. After graduating from Indiana University, the Guckenbergers moved to Monterrey, Mexico where they lived for 15 years. Between biological, foster, and adopted children, they have raised ten children.

Beth is the author of nine books including adult and children’s titles. She travels and speaks regularly at conferences, youth gatherings and church services. Her style is based in story-telling and she draws from her vast field experience as a missionary, Bible teacher and parent for illustrations of biblical concepts.


Daren Jones

Daren Jones

Daren Jones

Daren Jones LMSW

Daren Jones is a Training Specialist with the Karyn Purvis Institute of Child Development (KP ICD) at TCU. As training specialist, Daren’s main focus is instructing professionals working with children who have experienced trauma, in Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®). Since Daren joined the Purvis Institute in 2014, he has been an integral part of teaching and spreading TBRI® across the U.S. and throughout the world.

Daren earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He began his career as a behavior instructor of a therapeutic day treatment program serving children and youth who could no longer function in a regular academic school setting. After serving as a behavior instructor, Daren decided to obtain his Masters in Social Work from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. Daren spent 12 years serving youth and families within residential and foster care settings as a direct-care worker, residential group home supervisor and trainer, before beginning his work with the KP ICD.

Daren is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling & Counselor Education at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX, where he resides with his wife Katie Jones, daughter Ruby, and son Finn.


Deborah Gray

Deborah Gray

Deborah Gray

Deborah Gray MPA, LICSW

Deborah Gray, MPA, LICSW specializes in children’s attachment, grief, and trauma issues. Her passion is helping families to develop close, satisfying relationships.

She received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the international ATTACh organization. Deborah has authored: Promoting Healthy Attachments, Attaching in Adoption, Attaching through Love, Hugs, and Play, and Nurturing Adoptions. She is a child and family therapist in her practice, Nurturing Attachments. She is core faculty at PSU in the Adoption-Foster Care Therapy Program at PSU. She also teaches in the Attachment/Trauma-Focused Therapy Certificate Program.

NurturingAttachments.com


Dr. David and Jayne Schooler

Dr. David and Jayne Schooler

Dr. David and Jayne are internationally recognized speakers and trainers, working with Back2Back Ministries and partnering with LAMb International and Orphan’s Promise. David has served in pastoral and counseling ministry for over 40 years and currently works with adults impacted by early childhood trauma. Jayne is the author and co-author of eight books, including Wounded Children, Healing Homes and Parenting in Transracial Adoption. They are parents both by birth and adoption, and grandparents to four.

http://back2back.org/2015/02/meet-staff-schoolers/