As a member of the marketing team, my role focuses on creating remarkable Catalyst and Catalyst OneDay events. I have been given an amazing opportunity to work and meet such encouraging and great people here at GiANT Impact. I graduated from Georgia College and State in 2012 with a degree in Marketing. Before I started my career, I traveled Europe and lived in Spain for a month. It was such an awesome experience! I have a passion to lead others and was a coach at my high school one year. I have a strong love for music…anyone could give me a list of new artists one day and I’d be happier than most people on Christmas morning!! I continuously love to grow in my knowledge on life, work , people and God. Living life in Atlanta and loving every minute. Everyday is something new!
Brian Cole got his first grown-up job with Catalyst in 1999, and is still with us today as the Production Manager. One might call him a gadget guru, as he has always gravitated towards technology. His first “production” job was rewiring all the TVs and speakers at the local Radio Shack, and shortly after that, he changed his major from Math and Science to Audio/Visual Production. Brian is passionate about serving people and being part of a dynamic team, and it’s the dynamic team that he works with each year that he loves most about Catalyst. Brian did not step foot on an airplane until the ripe age of 22, when he went on a 40-day backpacking trip to Europe. Now besides traveling, Brian enjoys reading C.S. Lewis, anything outdoors, and spending time with his friends and his wife, Akemi and their three kiddos, Kalen, Kai, & Amaya.
As a Catalyst Concierge I get to be somewhat of a “first touch” to Catalyst. For those who have never been a part of Catalyst, I get to communicate that we are all about encouraging and equipping them to become skilled leaders. For the Catalyst Alumni, I have the pleasure of bringing them news about what’s next at Catalyst. I love that I get to be a part of an organization with the agenda of making much of God and seeing people reach their full potential. I attended Hillsong International Leadership College in Sydney, Aus. to study Worship and Creative Arts and leadership was a main emphasis in my studies there. I got married in June 2012 to the best woman I’ve ever met. I love old guitars, I own many leather-bound books and my perfect night consists of bonfires and close friends.
I studied Psychology and Sociology at the University of West Georgia, so I guess you could say that I am interested in people. At college, I was able to do many service projects domestically and internationally through opportunities provided on campus. I discovered a deep desire to help others and also a sense of fulfillment from being able to give love to people groups who are sometimes forgotten. I learned the most about leadership during my first job working at Chick-fil-A. It provided me with some great mentors in the form of managers and operators, and showed me how a company can be successful while still holding true to its values. My time at Chick-fil-A inspired the desire in me to work for a company that stands for more than just to make a dollar, but to impact lives for positive change. I love being able to know that I have found a company that does that in GiANT. The people that lead the Fellowship could not have picked a better group to work and do life with over the next year. Each of them brings a unique set of gifts and talents that I know will only improve the way that GiANT works as a whole. I am blessed to be able to be apart of this team. I can usually be found hanging out with friends, going to a movie or a concert, serving with my church, or planning my next trip somewhere. I love to visit new places and try new things. I am currently in the transition of life that comes after college ends and couldn’t be more excited to see where the road ahead leads.
As Operations Coordinator, I lead operations for Catalyst One Day events and provide support for an amazing operations team. I create and coordinate internal processes as well as interface with churches, vendors & talent to ensure a great Catalyst experience. I received my B.S. in Human Environmental Science from the University of Arkansas in May of 2011. While attending college I interned at Tyson Foods, Inc. doing Leader Development and Training in Human Resources. After graduation I moved from Arkansas to Atlanta, GA where I had the great privilege of taking my first job out of college at GiANT Impact. Hands down, my parents have had the biggest influence on my life and my leadership. As a young girl they taught me the importance of having a strong foundation that’s built from faith. My father taught me to seek wisdom, at all costs, and showed me everything I know about work ethic. My mother, by example, taught me about commitment, loyalty, and stewardship. I love being a GiANT because I get to live out these lessons and values every single day. I’m currently (and fortunately) living the “big city dream” in downtown Atlanta where I’m actively involved in church, community, and all things food related. If the sun is shining you can find me at the park; if there’s live music playing you can find me in the front row. It’s who I am; born and raised in Arkansas, loving life in Atlanta, and always dreaming of visiting new places both near and far.
Jason Haynes only recently joined the Catalyst team officially, although he has been hanging around these parts for quite some time. His systematic thinking and penchant for making lists then checking things off said list have led him to be a manger of projects. He currently spends his time on the new Catalyst One Day and West Coast initiatives. Jason is passionate about being an ambassador of Gods reconciliation in the world, so feels blessed to be part of a movement which has multiplying influence in reclaiming communities and cultures for the common good. In his free time Jason enjoys spending time in the Creation (Romans 1:20), reading, and pondering the Gospel storys effect on worldview and culture. When he grows up he either wants to live off the land or be a theologian - he hasnt decided yet. He currently lives in the Morningside neighborhood of Atlanta with his turtle, Turbo.
Michelle joins the Catalyst team straight from the hood of York, Nebraska. She worked for Word Made Flesh for 2 years before coming to Atlanta to serve on the team serving our speakers to the max and the Executive Director. Her last name is pronounced Haaaaft not Hoooooft! She is passionate about seeing an end to human trafficking. Her favorite place in Atlanta is San Francisco Coffee. Her favorite drink there is the Fog Lifter which she drinks thru a straw. She’s been described by friends as a firework on the 4th of July all bottled up in a body. She loves hanging out with kids. And Usher and Justin Bieber. She has swag!
As a Catalyst Concierge, I work with leaders across the country to promote attendance at our multiple One Day events held throughout the year. From aiding in registration to developing partnerships, I value the opportunity to work with those who seek to grow their influence and reach in their organizations, communities, and around the world. Formerly a small town Ohio boy (Go Bucks), I made a steady migration south where I have now planted roots just outside of Atlanta, GA with my wife and two girls. Along the way I attended Lexington Baptist College in Kentucky and have had the privilege to learn under some great leadership at several organizations, all paving the way to becoming a GiANT. I joined John Maxwell’s company, INJOY, in 2003 and have been involved in leadership training and development ever since. Working with the Catalyst brand directly, I am thankful to have been a part of efforts that have seen us grow to selling out all of our main events and have us looking for answers to what is next when it comes to reaching more leaders through our events and experiences. In addition to my work at GiANT, I devote some time to entrepreneurial work in social media and online marketing which are both interests of mine.
My role is simple – I call it “setting the table.” Alongside an amazingly creative team(that knows how to “get-it-done”), I get to help architect program experiences for Catalyst events for leaders to come get their leadership “fix”. I also get to lead an awesome group of young, creative, and inspiring minds through the Catalyst Fellowship Program. Hailing from a school where the mascot is a mockingbird on a train with a sledgehammer, I am a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (Go Mocs!) where I studied Psychology and minored in Business. There a lot of moments and people that have inspired and shaped my life. The first person that comes to mind is my late Aunt, Mary. Through a 6-year battle with breast cancer, she left a lasting mark on me. It wasn’t what life did to her ... it was how she overcame all it had to throw at her. This woman’s courageous battle and will to still give, even in the midst of adversity, was nothing less than game-changing for me. Her legacy continues to refine me to be a “giver” with my life rather than a “consumer”. I am usually laced up in Nike’s around the office and focus my energy into my friends, family, work with Catalyst, music, and the local church. If I am not saving the world with Catalyst or on stage with a mic, I’m probably doing something sports or fitness related, or catching up on an issue of GQ magazine.
Melissa Kruse joined the Catalyst team as an intern shortly after graduating from Stetson University. Just to show how far your dreams can take you in life, she now serves on the team as the Quarterback of All Things Catalyst. She makes a wicked good cake and will absolutely be on some kind of Food Network Cake Challenge one day. Everyone who knows her loves her, and not just because of the cake thing. She also has a slight addiction to coffee. And by “slight,” we mean severe.
Brad serves as an Ambassador for Catalyst on a part time basis while working on his next book and other new ventures. He was once struck by lightning while installing a barbed wire fence in Colorado, and fortunately for us, he survived with supernatural powers that make him supremely attuned to the needs and desires of next generation leaders. Before leading the charge on Catalyst, he helped lead a cool magazine called Life@Work and did consulting with lots of companies. He really enjoys convening and networking with leaders, and for several years after college, he rode horses for a living in Colorado. His favorite road trip snack is diet coke, wheat thins, and original corn-nuts. Brad considers it his personal mission to ensure that everyone everywhere understands the greatness of a Joey burrito from Moe’s. And he hopes maybe someday he can be a professional golfer.
As a recent addition to the Concierge Team at Catalyst as a “Fellow”, I am fortunate enough to work alongside some incredible people to build relationships with leaders around the country. I received by B.S.Ed in Special Education from the University of Georgia in May of 2012. Don’t let the degree fool you… I am a University of Tennessee fan at heart! GO VOLS! After college, I moved to Honduras for a year to teach the best 2nd and 3rd graders on the planet, and to participate in other ministry opportunities. It was after moving back from Honduras that I was humbled by the opportunity to work alongside an awesome team at GiANT Impact. I am so fortunate to have been able to be under such amazing leadership in my life. First and foremost, I have incredible parents that have displayed amazing leadership skills in all aspects of life. In Honduras, I was under the leadership of Pete and Tyanne Jurka, John and Tarah Carrette, and Erika Jewell. It is hard for me to put into words what inspiring leaders these people are as they are leading churches, are moms and dads to 21 kids, and leading many different much needed ministries in Honduras. All of these leaders and my parents have encouraged me to lead humbly and to reverence God in everything that I do. I LOVE being at GiANT, because I am encouraged daily to continue to grow these leadership skills. I have also been given an opportunity to learn a great deal from so many people in my work environment. More specifically, as a part of the Concierge Team, I am able to build relationships with the leaders that attend our conferences. I am constantly encouraged and inspired by the people that I am coming in contact with daily. Outside of work, I am readjusting to life in the wonderful city of Atlanta. I truly love hanging out with my friends and family and drinking as much coffee as possible. My favorite season is college football season and I cannot wait to see what the Tennessee Volunteers are going to do this year.
As Production Fellow, I get to assist in the audio and visual world at GiANT… and it is so cool. I mean, so cool! I graduated from Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota with a degree in Mass Communication: Broadcasting. Throughout college, I was able to work on a variety of video projects and spent three summers with the Great River Shakespeare Festival in Winona, working as the Festival Videographer. I’ve been surrounded by family and friends that have always encouraged me to go out and make something happen, and to do it with a smile on my face. I’m still trying to get used to the fact that I can even put my name in the same sentence as “GiANT Impact.” The people that I get to learn from are the best of the best! I just moved to the Atlanta area from Minnesota, and y’all, I am absolutely loving it. Spending time with friends and family is my top priority, and I’m all about road trips, coffee, Walt Disney World, and the Minnesota Twins.
As Executive Director, I lead the charge for all Catalyst Events. I also serve our team internally, leading the development coaching of our staff. I am a Georgia Bulldog with a Technology Education degree and a M.Div from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. I was blessed to serve for seven years with Browns Bridge Community Church (a campus of North Point) as the Service Programming Director. Prior to joining the GiANT team full-time, I served as Lead Producer for the DRIVE Conference for 5 years, and Catalyst for 2.5 years. I have had amazing people impact me over the years, but especially a high school teacher who mentored me that changed my life. I was discipled in seminary by Dr. Robert Coleman and worked on the programming team at North Point with Andy Stanley for seven years. He has had a huge impact on my leadership. I came to GiANT to help develop leaders who are leading leaders ... the ultimate coaching opportunity. I am married to Carrie and have two hilarious young boys - Nate and Charlie. I spend most of my extra time hanging with the family while eating Moes and laughing… a bunch. I am also an avid golfer and fisherman and cheer for Georgia Bulldogs football and all Atlanta teams.
My role as a Catalyst Concierge is to bridge the gap between Catalyst and those who attend by being readily available to answer questions as well as have simple conversation. Alongside that my goal is to help usher in those who want to be stretched and inspired as a leader and give them the ultimate conference experience. I have the joy of calling our group leaders, alumni, and those with any interest, and communicate to them what Catalyst is all about and the direction we are going. I get to be the voice of Catalyst on a personal level. I love my city of Atlanta and have been here for 20 years. I spent a strong majority of my early 20’s traveling with a couple worship bands as their audio guy, but the Lord quickly started stirring my affections for his people which ultimately lead me to Catalyst. I have a wonderful wife whose name is Emily. We got married in June 2013 and are having a blast. We are a part of Passion City Church and absolutely love it! Our Pastor Louie Giglio has been instrumental in our relationship with each other and even more so with Jesus Christ. Emily is about as crafty as it gets and I am an aspiring builder so with these two skills combined our new home should be pretty awesome. Come on Over!
As part of the marketing team, it is my job to help make sure all communication – whether print, web, or digital – is consistent with our brands, Catalyst and Leadercast. I assist our team by creating graphics that help us build leaders worth following. I have been creating and designing since high school. Since then, I have worked in the t-shirt industry, promotional items world, and many churches in the North Point Strategic Partner network. As a recent graduate of the University of Georgia with degree in advertising, I love the branding process from concept to execution. I have had many leaders influence my life: my mentor from high school, my parents, and countless pastors. But, ever since I attended Catalyst in 2006, my perspective of leadership was changed. Now, I am grateful to learn and be part of the team that leverages influence for the benefit of others. Over the past few years, I have had the privilege to work with many churches in the North Point Strategic Partner network. I have served with them by creating series graphics for various media. Now that I am with GiANT, I am excited to use my gifts to not only continue serving them but the global church as well. Post-college life is still taking time to getting used to. I stay busy managing freelance design work, reading an overly crowded bookshelf, and reigning in my thoughts on my blog. While I may have left Athens, UGA has never left my heart… especially on Saturdays in the fall.
As Audio/Visual Coordinator, my role is to create and supply an adequate source of high-grade content to our audience. I spent two years studying the art of music production at the Art Institute of Atlanta, and I’ve always been passionate about serving the church in the talents God has blessed me with. As cliché as this might sound, my parents played a big part in pushing me toward serving in the church/live event realm. Working with GiANT, I’ve been able to accomplish both things and be a part of something much bigger than me. At GiANT, I’ve seen & heard how our events have impacted the lives of many. So kudos to everyone who works hard at creating an atmosphere where life change can happen. I am an inhabitant to the state of Georgia, residing in Gainesville. It’s been a blessing to serve at 12Stone Church - Flowery Branch, as a sound engineer in both the youth ministry and whenever called upon. In my spare time, I enjoy playing on the grid-iron, the basketball court, and doing life with those I come in contact with.
Sally Ann Sumrall
I joined the team in Spring of 2008 to serve in Creative Marketing. After graduating from the University of Alabama and spending a summer with FCA in Texas, I decided to come back to my hometown of Atlanta to work with a sports marketing agency. Little did I know volunteering at Catalyst 2005 would lead to partnering in the vision just a few years later! It is a privilege to serve on the GiANT Impact team & partner in the vision of creating environments that awaken hearts, leaving lives inspired and forever changed. The greatest honor was helping launch the first West Coast event in April 2009, and seeing Catalyst’s relationship with leaders grow from coast to coast over the years. My greatest love is time with family & friends, and living life’s adventures with my hubs & best friend, Joe Sumrall.
Amberly has been here for…wait for it…13 years! She became a member of the team in 1999 as a result of God’s perfect timing. She loves people, and loves to serve, and couldn’t ask for a better team to do both with! Amberly is operationally minded and brings efficiency and hard work to the team. She actually likes multi-tasking. She was born and raised in Atlanta and loves living in the South. Amberly is a self proclaimed movie buff, owning over 300 movies, and is in regular attendance at the nearest movie theater on the weekends. She also loves music (she’s always humming a song) and is a coffee fanatic! Her favorite verse is Philippians 4:13 (MSG) “Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”
As a Catalyst Fellow on the Concierge team I spend my days getting to interact with the incredible people who make Catalyst happen. CEOs, Pastors, Students, and everyone in between – everyone has a story and it’s my great honor to get to hear it. When my family moved to Georgia from Washington D.C. in 1992 I had no idea what incredible opportunities this state would offer. Of course I was four so let’s cut me a little slack. In the last 5 years alone I have been able to attend and graduate from the University of Georgia, work for several incredible companies and ministries, and become a part of Passion City Church. All of these experiences and more helped shape the person I am today. My family, both biological and Church, continue to astound me day in and day out. My parents, Steven and Hilary, are incredible role models and pictures of Grace and Humility. My younger brother Robert is becoming one of the best men I know, and it’s an honor to get to hear what God is doing in his life. My church family at PCC has inspired, challenged, and pushed me to grow daily to lead a life of excellence and passion. The family God has cast for my life is second-to-none and I am consistently humbled by getting to do life with them. Outside the walls of GiANT I live with 4 other incredible guys who are some of the most talented and creative people you will ever meet. A day in the life generally consists of: reading, writing, running, hanging out, and anything else that comes our way.
Hailing from the “show-me-state” of Missouri, Ashley is passionate about college-age students. She was on staff with the Mizzou BSU at the University of Missouri in Columbia where she loved to disciple young women and develop leaders. She recently started managing web content & social media for Catalyst. Ashley brings organizational and administrative gifts to our team and is bound for success keeping it all together and in check for us! She hopes to continue to have an impact on collegiates through Catalyst and is passionate about adoption!