Cross-Conference Bios

Learn more about the people who are shaping CYWC events for 2019-20.

Brett Ullman

Worlds Apart Brett is the founder and director of the charity, Worlds Apart. Brett was a teacher with the Toronto District School Board for 10 years before moving into speaking full-time back in 2005. Brett has a Master’s degree in Evangelism and Leadership from Wheaton Graduate School in Chicago and is also a graduate of the Arrow Leadership Program. He and his family have attended C4 Church in Ajax, ON since 2004.

Facebook  Instagram  YouTube  Twitter

Walt Mueller

CPYU Dr. Walt Mueller is the founder and President of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. Walt has been working with young people and families for over 40 years. He writes on youth culture and family issues and is the author of nine books, is a regular contributor to a variety of magazines and journals, and is a blogger. Walt’s commentary and analysis on youth culture is heard across North America on CPYU’s daily radio program, Youth Culture Today and is the host of the “Youth Culture Matters” podcast. Walt and his wife Lisa live in Elizabethtown, and they have four grown children and five grandchildren.

CYWC National Team

Sid Koop

Executive Director // CYWC

Sid has been involved in full-time youth ministry for over 20 years. Sid speaks to students, equips youth workers, and informs parents at events across the country. He has a Masters in Youth & Family Ministries and is working on his Doctor of Ministry in Emerging Generations at Gordon-Conwell Seminary. Sid lives with his wife Jen and two boys Cole and Payton at Green Bay Bible Camp in Kelowna, BC, where his wife is currently the Executive Director.


Marv Penner

Executive Director // Coalition for Youth Ministry Excellence

Marv Penner is a veteran youth worker with more than 45 years of working in the field. An author, speaker, professor, and youth ministry consultant to denominations, schools, churches and organizations, he travels North America and the world, equipping, encouraging and empowering leaders. As a registered clinical counsellor he has specialized in helping adolescents and their families through tough times. Marv is also the Executive Director at the Coalition for Youth Ministry Excellence, a two-year experientially integrated vocational education program. Marv Penner is the founder and president of All About Youth, Canada and an associate staff member of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. His greatest joy is equipping, encouraging and empowering front-line youth workers. Marv and his wife Lois live in Lake Country, BC. They have three awesome adult kids … and grandchildren.



Jason Ballard

Host // Alpha Canada 

Jason is one of the hosts of the Alpha Youth Film Series and a pastor at his home church, Christian Life Assembly. Jason lives in Langley, BC with his wife Rachael and his two kids. He loves preaching about Jesus, eating chocolate chip cookies and posting pictures of his kids on Instagram. Jason does a weekly podcast called Hidden City that you can find on iTunes.

Instagram  Alpha

Jeremy MacDonald

Director of Operations // CYWC

 Jeremy has served as a Youth Pastor in a large context reaching hundreds of students, a small context reaching dozens, and most recently at a multisite church running six separate youth groups. Now as part of the Canadian Youth Worker Community staff team, Jeremy oversees the operations of various projects that equip and encourage thousands of youth workers each year. He is married with three children and lives in Moncton, NB.


Rachel Siverns

Executive Administrator // CYWC

Rachel loves helping people plan, get organized, and communicate well. Rachel is married to Dave and they have two children, Clara and Asher. She loves good food around a table with new and old friends, and being outdoors.

Sarah Stanley

Trinity Church Sarah is energized when youth encounter and learn what it means to follow Jesus and loves encouraging and equipping youth workers to invest in the lives of students. Sarah served youth at The Meeting House in Ontario for six years and is currently in Kelowna, BC with her husband Andrew serving as NextGen Pastor of Mobilization at Trinity Church.

Tim Gonsalves

National Youth Director // Alpha Canada

 Tim is passionate about empowering youth workers and students to share the good news of Jesus everywhere they go. Tim lives in Langley, BC with his incredible wife Chanel and their baby. He’s passionate about Jesus, golf, good coffee, and all things Apple. If you want to find out more about him, you can find him on Instagram: @timmmy_g

Andrew Stanley

Trinity Church Andrew is a musical worship leader, energized by seeing the life-changing presence of God at work in and through the Church. Andrew worked at The Meeting House, a multi-site church in Ontario, and now serves as the NextGen Worship Leader for Trinity Church in Kelowna, BC, and as the Production Manager for the world renowned African Children’s Choir

Iona Snair

Resource Coordinator // Lifeteams 

Iona and her husband Rob are the directors of Lifeteams, walking with a team of young adults who spend 8 1/2 months living and learning together while stepping into the lives of vulnerable young people. She works with Greater Vancouver Youth Unlimited and passionately desires to see God’s kingdom experienced in the lives of those around her.

Chandra Styles

Youth Pastor // Forest Grove Community Church & Leadership and Discipleship Director // Camp Kadesh  

Chandra has been the Youth Pastor at Forest Grove for 8 years. She believes in the bridge between para-church and church ministries and spends her summers serving at Camp Kadesh in northern Saskatchewan. She loves coffee, talking, traveling to see friends and family, and hanging out with her rad husband Kirk and their two boys.

Brody Jespersen

Youth and Young Adults Team Lead // Sherwood Park Alliance Church 

Brody committed his life to Jesus when he was 18, and since then he’s served in youth ministry.  He currently serves as Youth Pastor at Sherwood Park Alliance in Edmonton, AB. Brody loves his wife Jodie, and his 3 kids. When he is not doing ministry he serves as a die hard oilers fan, and enjoys the outdoors on the lake.

Melody Loria

The Network (Le Réseau) Melody is a Montreal-raised artist, singer/songwriter and speaker. Born to missionaries, she was exposed to an international and multicultural platform. Melody completed a discipleship program called Master’s Commission in Amsterdam that birthed a desire to invest in training young leaders. She is Director of “The Network” (“Le Réseau”), a Quebec-based discipleship program, and is active in the local Church alongside her husband Nathanael.

Curtis Anderson

Executive Pastor // Lakeview Church 

Curtis has worked as the Executive Director of Camp Kadesh, Youth Pastor with The Meeting House Church in Toronto and the Evangelical Free Church of Lethbridge. Currently, he serving as the Student Ministries Director at Lakeview Church in Saskatoon, SK. He is married to a fantastic lady named Tara, and they have a gnarly son and a beautiful daughter.

AJ Crocker

Briercrest College and Seminary AJ has served at Briercrest since 2007, currently as the Director of Recruitment. AJ also leads Youth Quake, an annual youth conference, and RETHINK, a young adults conference at Briercrest. He and his wife Cheryl have a daughter named Brooklyn. AJ is a sneaker-head, lover of burgers, and a forever-optimistic Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

Karra Overholt

Church on the Rock Karra works as the Youth-Director at Church on the Rock. She’s spoken at youth retreats, camps and training seminars across Ontario, has a passion for youth and seeing them find their identity in Christ, training them to be leaders and helping them fall in love with the local church.

fr_CAFrançais du Canada
en_CAEnglish (Canada) fr_CAFrançais du Canada