Staff and the Strengths* We Bring

* From Gallup's StrengthsFinders®

Dr. Michael JohnsonFounder and President

I love, love, love that we labor together in joy and mutual appreciation. This is the kind of team I have always dreamed of - unified, together attacking the problem of 'slacker discipleship.'"

Belief | Connectedness | Focus | Responsibility | Strategic

Katie BestDiscipleOn Community Manager  & Interim Operations Manager (Knoxville, Tennesee)

I feel extremely blessed to be working with the Ascending Leaders and DiscipleOn! team to further the Kingdom of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! What an awesome responsibility to handle the details for the communities. I enjoy using my gifts and skills to encourage people to disciple others for Him!!"

Communication | Positivity | Woo | Individualistic | Strategic

Megan LaFollettCommunications/ Resourcing Lead

The variety of work required by my role on the Ascending Leaders team fits my desire to always be learning. But the best part of my work is finding and telling the stories of what God is doing through earnest leaders helping people grow closer to Him."

Strategic | Achiever | Activator | Maximizer | Learner

Teri WatsonAccounts Assistant

It may sound boring, but I enjoy working behind the scenes. I am thankful to be able to serve the Ascending Leaders community by helping to ensure we are good stewards of the resources entrusted to us."

Achiever | Consistency | Developer | Discipline | Harmony

Ellie TowExecutive Assistant

The best part of my role is knowing that I am contributing to the Kingdom via the mission statement of Ascending Leaders. If my work is done well, it enables the ministry to focus on the process of making disciples via coaching, teaching, and resourcing."

Belief | Empathy | Harmony | Maximizer | Responsibility

Natalie MulvahillMarketing Intern

It's amazing that I get to combine my passion for creating media with my passion for activating Christians toward discipleship at Ascending Leaders. I consider it a privilege to partner with this organization and do my part to help them impact churches."  

Intellection | Restorative | Empathy | Input | Connectedness​

Additional Team Members

Sunny HyunGraphic Designer (Rochester Hills, Michigan)

It is an honor for me to do God's work with my friends who love God. I want the kingdom of God to expand through our efforts."

Achiever | Developer | Empathy | Positivity | Strategic

Tara ThomasGrant Researcher and Writer (Glasgow, Kentucky)

I am happy to be working with Ascending Leaders to locate additional funding for the great programs and services they offer. I look forward to seeing additional growth for the organization."

Learner | Achiever | Input | Consistency | Intellection

Our Coaching Team

Dr. Michael JohnsonSugar Land, TX

I love, love, love that we labor together in joy and mutual appreciation. This is the kind of team I have always dreamed of - unified, together attacking the problem of 'slacker discipleship.'"

Belief | Connectedness | Focus | Responsibility | Strategic

Bob JohnsonHouston, TX

My fulltime ministry is with Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston where I have served for 17 years. I am currently the executive pastor of discipleship. I believe that disciples are the means God has chosen to implement his will in a broken world, a will first revealed in the beginning of Genesis. So disciple formation, and working with Ascending Leaders, for me goes right to the heart of God."

Achiever | Connectedness | Learner | Context | Analytical

Brad MunroeTucson, AZ

Having experienced first-hand the transforming effects of working the REVEAL process in a congregation I led, I am pleased to now be a coach for others. Making disciples is our calling, and Ascending Leaders is a companion along the Way."

The Rev. Dr. Brad Munroe is pastor to the presbytery for the presbyteries of Grand Canyon and de Cristo.

Achiever | Maximizer | Connectedness | Ideation | Strategic

Ken SchripsemaGrand Rapids, MI

As a follower of Jesus and a strategic thinker, I get pretty cranked up about the work of helping the Church thrive and flourish in making disciples. It isn’t just about my specific church. It’s about following Jesus together as the Body of Christ in obeying his great commission. There is not greater cause than that."

Ken currently serves as Executive Director of Ministry at Madison Church - Square Campus in Grand Rapids, MI.

Achiever | Belief | Responsibility | Maximizer | Strategic

Peter CammaranoLake Jackson, TX

My motto is 'Do good things, with good people, to change the world.' Working as an adjunct coach at Ascending Leaders allows me to fulfill all three parts of my motto. What a joy it is to help pastors and churches grow and mature in making disciples.”

Peter is the Lead Pastor at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Lake Jackson, TX.

Activator | Relator | Communication | Connectedness | Futuristic

Board Members

Ms. Jamie Boersma, Chair

Clive, Iowa

Jamie Boersma retired from Girl Scouts of Greater Iowa (GSGI) as the CEO in August 2015. She served in that position for four years. Currently enjoying semi-retirement and being a Senior Consultant/Executive Coach for Career Resource Group.

Early in 2013, Jamie became one of ten individuals in the nation to receive USA Network’s 2013 Characters Unite Award for her extraordinary efforts in helping give girls the chance to become strong and successful leaders, for her anti-bullying efforts, and addressing important issues like gender-parity.

​Jamie has a long standing history of working hard, helping improve the lives of others and giving back to her community. Prior to GSGI, Jamie served as Vice President of Development at Special Olympics Iowa for more than two years. She worked at AT&T for more than thirty years prior to Special Olympics Iowa. During her time there, Jamie had a varied career that ranged from computer programming to sales leadership positions supporting large global businesses.

Jamie has been active in churches she has belonged to throughout her life and takes her strength and inspiration from our Lord and Savior. She and her husband Dale attend Meredith Drive Reformed Church (Bridge campus) in Johnston, Iowa.

She resides in Urbandale, Iowa with her husband, Dale. They have one son, Andrew, who is a Mechanical Engineer working for Musco Lighting in Oskaloosa, Iowa. Jamie also serves as President-Elect of the Rotary Club of Des Moines, President of their homeowners association and a member of NEXUS – executive women’s alliance.

Mr. Bob Terpstra, Vice Chair

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Bob has been a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ for as long as he can remember. Raised in a Christian home along with 6 siblings provided opportunities to develop awareness of others and care for people who are underserved in our society. His faith is rooted in the Reformed perspective which guided his leadership practices in both the classroom as a teacher and administrator in various schools across the country.

His professional life as an educator for 23 years took a sudden turn in 2004 when God moved him into professional fund raising for Calvin College. He has also served as a consultant for non-profits to develop their practices in raising funds.

Bob’s interest in biblical stewardship has guided his latest professional practices as reflected in his blog, Oikonomia: Stewarding God’s Abundance. Bob’s other interests include mentoring, discipleship, reading, bicycling for pleasure, and kayaking.

Bob and his wife, Marjorie, have 4 children who are married, serving the Lord in their home communities, and raising their children. They travel to visit them, as well as for work, satisfying the yearning for adventure and personal growth.

Ms. Mindy Caliguire

Boulder, Colorado

Mindy Caliguire is the founder of Soul Care, a spiritual formation ministry that exists to increase “soul health” in the body of Christ. She previously served as the Director of Transformation Ministry for the Willow Creek Association (WCA) and currently serves on the senior alignment team at Gloo as the Compassion International & Church Initiative Lead (

Mindy also serves as a speaker and leadership consultant, working with local churches and national organizations such as Renovare, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Salvation Army, and her home church, Ascent (

Her books include STIR: Spiritual Transformation in Relationships, Become Like Jesus, Discovering Soul Care, Spiritual Friendship, Soul Searching and Simplicity, as well as Write for Your Soul: The Whys and Hows of Journaling, with her husband, Jeff Caliguire. Mindy and her family live in Boulder, Colorado.

Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr.

Houston, Texas​

Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr., is the president of Houston Baptist University and has served in this capacity since September 1, 2006. Under Dr. Sloan’s visionary leadership, the University is experiencing unprecedented growth as he and his administrative team work to implement the goals, or pillars, in HBU’s twelve-year vision, The Ten Pillars: Faith and Reason in a Great City.

Dr. Sloan serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Symphony, the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston Christian High School, Orphan Outreach, and the Christian Thinkers Society. Other leadership roles include his service on the Community Relations Committee of Memorial Hermann Healthcare System and the Charity Golf Committee of Marketplace Chaplains USA.

Dr. Sloan has published extensively and has pastored churches throughout Texas and beyond. He is the recipient of numerous awards and has also held membership in a number of professional societies, including the Society of Biblical Literature, the Southwest Biblical Seminar, the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion, and Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.

Dr. Sloan previously served as the president and chancellor of Baylor University, where he was a member of the faculty and the founding dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary. He graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Baylor University in 1970; earned the Master of Divinity degree magna cum laude from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1973; conducted post-baccalaureate research at the University of Bristol, England, from 1973 to 1974; and earned the Doktor der Theologie insigni cum laude from the University of Basel, Switzerland, in 1978.

Dr. Sloan was born in Coleman, Texas, and grew up in Abilene. He is married to the former Sue Collier of Cisco, Texas. The Sloans have seven children, three daughters-in-law, and four sons-in-law: Charissa and Derrick; Bryan and Amy; Eraina and Bryan; Michael and Allison; Alathea and Justin; Sophie and Mac; and Paul and Meghan. They also have twenty grandchildren.

Mr. Jim Zwiers, Treasurer & Secretary

Zeeland, Michigan

Jim Zwiers is former Managing Partner at Ferris, Busscher, & Zwiers, P.C. Since joining the firm in 1973, Jim has been responsible for servicing the various accounting, auditing and tax needs of the firm’s commercial clients, non-profit organizations, and governmental entities. Since 1997, he has served as the firm’s managing partner and serves as the Quality Assurance partner for their audit practice.

Jim graduated with a BS in Accounting and earned his MBA with a tax concentration from Grand Valley State University. He earned his public accounting certification in Michigan.

Jim and his wife Suann live in Zeeland, Michigan where they are active members of North Street Christian Reformed Church. They have three adult sons. Jim and Suann have been faithful supporters of Mike and Ascending Leaders since 2009. North Street CRC, also the church of Mike Johnson’s upbringing, has been a longtime advocate and supporter of Ascending Leaders’ work. During his time at North Street, Jim has served on the Finance and Outreach Committees as well as given his time as Deacon, Elder, and Treasurer.

Dr. Michael Johnson

Sugar Land, Texas

Mike believes he is formed by Christ to form others.

He is an ordained Minister of the Word in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. In March of 2004, Mike received his Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California. He specialized in adult lay leadership development.

Prior to that, Mike served as resident pastor at New Life Church in Spring, Texas, planted and pastored Community Life Church in Missouri City, Texas, and also developed and implemented the Texas Leadership Development Network, which was the predecessor to Ascending Leaders. Mike has also helped church leaders refocus and has been involved in the city-reaching efforts in the greater Houston, Texas area.

Mike is the core author of most of Ascending Leaders' material. He sees his calling and gifting as being a faithful tool for creatively forming others. His passion is to help people grow and serve effectively as discipled leaders in God's Kingdom.

Michael, his wife, Gina and their two children and spouses all make Sugar Land, TX, their home and all work in education. He enjoys gardening with his wife and family activities, such as home improvement projects. He also enjoys friends, reading and discipleship ministry.

Rev. David Hsu

Houston, Texas

David Hsu is the Senior Pastor at West Houston Chinese Church (WHCC) and has been serving there for 24 years. He immigrated to the US from Taiwan when he was 14, and grew up in Boston, MA.  He studied engineering at Tufts University and was a computer chip designer before going to Dallas Theological Seminary for his ThM in pastoral leadership. 

David joined WHCC as the English minister, working mostly with youth while WHCC was a new church plant in 1993.  David, fluent in both Mandarin and English, became the Senior Pastor in 2001 and has led the church to plant multiple churches, including three in the Houston area (Katy and the Woodlands) and one in East Asia.

David and his church are actively involved in global missions, and he has a heart for Asian-American issues between the generations, and for spiritual formation of those in the ministry. He is a graduate of the Spiritual Direction Institute with the Cenacle sisters, and have went through personal coaching with Dr. Mike Johnson. His church has been part of Ascending Leaders’ DiscipleOn! cohort as they seek to develop a discipleship culture.

David’s wife Cheryl is a teacher and a graduate from DTS with a MA in Christian Education. David met Cheryl on a short-term missions trip to the Philippines with Campus Crusade, and they have two children: Nathan, a senior at UT Austin, and Hannah, a freshman at Trinity University. For leisure David enjoys reading, running, fishing, and following Boston area sports teams.

Ted Zylstra

Pella, Iowa

Ted Zylstra is Vice President and part owner of Tulip City Agency, Ltd in Pella. Tulip City Agency, Ltd is an independent insurance agency / brokerage. Ted joined the  agency in 1974 to help his father who was having health problems. Ted purchased the agency from his father in 1983. He was sole owner until 2006 when he sold controlling interest to his long time employee Jim 

Gosselink, who is also his brother-in-law. Ted is still active in the agency, now specializing in larger commercial insurance accounts.

Ted is an alumni of Pella Christian High School, graduating with the class of 1967. Post high school education includes U.S. Navy training in Basic Electricity and Electronics and more recently numerous management and professional development courses in the insurance industry. Ted has served on the boards of several state and national insurance organizations. Ted is a veteran of the U S Navy and served a tour of duty aboard ship in the western Pacific (Vietnam) in 1969/1970.

Ted is also active in local politics, currently serving on the Marion County Republican Central Committee. He was an elected member of the Pella City Council for sixteen years and served as Pella’s mayor from 2000 – 2003. He was instrumental in the formation of Pella Area Development Corporation and served on its board from inception in 2000 until 2016. He is also a life member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. He currently serves as Finance/Membership Officer for Van Veen – Van Hemert Post 89 of the American Legion.

Ted and Nancy are long time members of Faith Christian Reformed Church in Pella where they have served on various committees including as Sunday School teachers and Church Council. Ted has attended several Ascending Leaders courses and he and Nancy are faithful supporters of Ascending Leaders. Ted and Nancy have two adult children; son Tedd who lives in San Diego and daughter Rebecca who lives in Pella. Leisure activities include golf, travel including flying their own airplane, gardening and reading.

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