Meet the Institute for Cultural Communicators
The vision of Institute for Cultural Communicators is to enlarge a global community
empowering next generation Christians to influence today’s culture.
The mission of Institute for Cultural Communicators is
to help students get ready to speak.
MEET THE 2023 FACULTY
student programming faculty
Having grown up in Singapore, Julia moved to North Carolina where she has been continuing her communication and leadership journey with the Institute! As part of the 2023 Student Ambassador Team, she hopes to be an example to students who are starting their own journeys in public speaking – just as past Student Leaders were role models to her. In her free time, she enjoys dance, martial arts, and creating media. If you need a refreshment, just ask her to whip up one of her matcha lemonades or creative iced teas! Julia looks forward to giving back to the Institute’s wonderfully supportive community.
Garrett served in many roles in the Institute prior to joining the Student Ambassadors, including working with our Global Student Leader Media Team. He also works with elementary students at his church and enjoys participating in high school debate. Garrett loves stories of all kinds. After his internship with ICC, he plans to pursue a career in the health field. Garrett lives with his parents and two brothers in Modesto, California where their three cats always keep them on their toes. As he travels with the Ambassador Team, he hopes to encourage students in developing their communication and leadership skills to empower them to communicate for Christ to all nations.
Currently studying English at Louisiana State University, Hope Lukachick is serving as a Team Liaison. She previously served as a 2022 Fall Ambassador and on ICC’s Global Student Leader Team (GSLT). She is from Geismar, Louisiana and is the ninth child in a family of ten kids – most of whom have been in the Institute! Hope loves philosophical discussions, classical literature, and spending time with her eight nieces and one nephew. You are likely to find her weeding her garden or writing. She strives to have an impact on students who struggle with communicating their ideas, just as she did before joining ICC. She wants to make lasting relationships and help spread life-giving community.
Caroline McPherson joins our 2023 Fall Ambassador team from Bristow, Virginia! She joined the Institute for Cultural Communicators as a YCC student at just 6 years old and has been developing her communication and leadership skills with us ever since. Whether serving with the Global Student Leader Team or at home with her family of six (plus two cats and a turtle), you’ll often find her enjoying sports or listening to her favorite music. Caroline hopes her time as an Ambassador allows her to connect with others from many different cultures, helping people find joy and belonging.
We’re so glad Daniella is joining our 2023 Ambassador Team from Singapore! After serving on the Global Student Leader Team, she is excited to be stepping into her internship with the Institute where she hopes to gain experience working in new kinds of team environments and empowering others to feel comfortable with who they are and to lead others with confidence. Not only did Daniella grow up with two brothers and a sister, but she’s also had some strange pets: mice, ants, and even some quail! When she’s not serving in a student leadership role at the Institute, you can find her wakeboarding, crocheting, or practicing photography.
Louise Ruff is an ICC graduate who served on our 2022 Fall Ambassador Team, now serving as a Team Liasion. She’s from Ridgeway, South Carolina and loves taking in the beauty of the outdoors with her 90-pound dog named Beau. Louise has a passion for music (whether teaching herself piano, listening to records, or leading worship at her church) and for old things (movies, books, buildings, etc.). ICC has always been a safe place for her to share her ideas and use her voice, and she’s excited to mentor others to understand that their voice matters.
Student Ambassador Kelsea Whitehead is thrilled with the opportunity to share Christ’s love with others as a part of the 2023 team. She can’t wait to help students find their voice and the confidence to share their stories. Kelsea’s experiences serving on the Institute’s media team have empowered her to volunteer for her church managing slide decks, running livestreams, manning the soundboard, and creating missions videos. Kelsea hails from Fenton, Michigan, where she is the third of 8 siblings who have all been a part of ICC. She loves working with media and graphic design, playing piano, and baking – especially cinnamon rolls.
Director, Volunteer Empowerment | CFC Parent-Teacher Curriculum Designer
Eunice is an avid reader and loves learning. Since 2012, she has been motivated to create interactive, online learning experiences both in the US and internationally. She has served in the Institute as the Director of the ICC Academy since its inception. Most recently, with her husband Au, she relocated to Singapore to serve with OMF, a global fellowship of Christians with a heart for East Asia. She is now enjoying gardening year-round, buying fresh produce in open-air wet markets, and connecting with her three daughters in the US via WhatsApp. She loves to empower others to serve with excellence and integrity, to follow Christ with confidence, and to labor with faithfulness for the advance of God’s heavenly kingdom.
Global Student Leader Team Coordinator
Michelle Solar Becker, serving as our Global Student Leader Team Coordinator, brings so much wisdom and experience to our students as she helps them connect the competencies they are gaining to their applications in the workplace and beyond. From her degree in Broadcast Journalism and Communications to her multicultural communications work coordinating training events for a global tech company, she has plenty to share. Michelle also served as an Account Executive and Project Manager at a marketing communications agency, working in print, web, and video production – and as the Manager of Donor Communications for Moody Bible Institute. She loves applying her experience to help students engage more deeply with their personal growth in safe, supportive environments. Michelle lives in Columbia, Maryland with her husband Christopher, her four homeschooled children who have all benefited from ICC’s training, a fat cat named Silvie, and two goofy labs.
Area Coordinator, Great Lakes US Area
In 2011, Antoinette Bloomer attended her first CFC Conference and knew she had found a like-minded community where she could help her students grow. She started a local chapter, serving as Chapter Sponsor for 7 years, and now serves as our Great Lakes Area Coordinator in the U.S. Antoinette has a Bachelor’s in Music Education with a minor in Interpersonal Communication. She is the music director at her homeschool co-op where she enjoys combining music, speaking, humor, and the timeless message of the Gospel into inspiring programs. Antoinette loves lists, true stories, and temperaments, and lives with her husband Brad and their five children in Delta, Ohio, where they own a rental business and sell Italian Ice at local events. Her passion comes from Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
ICC Department of People Care
Anna and her family first became involved with ICC in New Jersey in 2010. After moving to Ohio, she started the first chapter in Columbus with her two sons. She has served as the Great Lakes Area Coordinator for three years. Anna earned a BS in Industrial Management Engineering at De La Salle University. Growing up in the Philippines, a culture with a strong focus on family, Anna taught computer software to business and bank professionals. She and her husband Anton moved to the United States in 1994 where she discovered her love of ballroom dancing. Anna has two grown sons who have served with ICC as touring ambassadors.
Volunteer Empowerment Team
Daphne and her three boys (ages 20, 18, and 14) live in Singapore. The Chai family has been integrating ICC as a part of their core homeschool curriculum for over a decade. Daphne was a Chapter Sponsor for the “Lions for the Lord” chapter for 5 years before joining the Southeast Asia Area Leadership Team, and then served as the Student Leader Liaison. Both her older sons are ICC alumni with her youngest is a Student Leader in his chapter. Daphne is treasuring this season of redemption of her own education. When she’s not slogging through Latin, equipping students with communication skills, getting educated in post-millennial memes by her boys, or unleashing her inner grammar Nazi, she can usually be found in the kitchen – baking to bless.
Student Leader Liaison, Southeast US
Phyllis Chan, our Student Leader Liaison for the U.S. Southeast area, joined a Singapore chapter of the Institute in 2011 with her family. They moved to North Carolina in 2019, and when the pandemic occurred, she was thrilled to be able to help start and lead a new online chapter with families in several different countries! In addition to being a consultant and business developer in the actuarial field, Phylis has also served as a Sunday school teacher, youth group leader, and homeschool mom of three kids who have all served in advanced Student Leader roles in the Institute. She loves to encourage young people to read good literature, work on sewing and paper crafts, and travel with her husband Christian.
Area Coordinator, Southeast Asia/Global Online
Amanda caught the vision of ICC when she attended her first Communicators for Christ conference in 2019. She is convinced that the vital soft skills ICC is providing for the next generation will prepare them well for the real world. Amanda graduated with a degree in Business Administration and Finance. Prior to staying home with her children, she worked for an MNC IT corporation supporting the sales and management team at the regional level. She has served as an ICC Chapter Sponsor and Area Leader before stepping up to her new role as Southeast Asia/Global Online Area Coordinator. She believes that everyone can be trained and equipped to be ready to speak as Christ’s Ambassadors.
Area Coordinator, Northeast US
Cindy’s oldest daughter first attended a Communicators for Christ conference in 1998, and she was so transformed by the experience that the whole family has been enthusiastically involved with ICC ever since! Cindy and her husband John have brought all nine of their kids to conferences over the years, and Cindy helped launch Rhode Island’s HOPE chapter in 2013. A lover of people and God’s word, she has cherished growing alongside other coaches and leaders in the Institute while studying resources like Emotionally Healthy Spirituality, helping one another grow in Christ to empower students. In addition to serving as our U.S. Northeast Area Coordinator, Cindy is a photographer and calligrapher.
Area Coordinator, Western US
Brian Eliason, veteran homeschool dad and Area Coordinator for the Institute for Cultural Communicators, equips next-generation Christian leaders with the skills they need for success. His work in Physics and Applied Optics (McDonnell Douglas) combined with his experience coaching speech and leadership brings unique expertise to supporting home educators. Brian served as a Bible Study Fellowship teaching leader for 17 years, encouraging dads walking out their faith at home and work. He and his wife live in the Central Valley of California with their daughter Rachel, who has recently toured the globe with ICC as a student Ambassador.
ICC Chief Influence Officer
Mary Gunther knows what it means to operate in a rapidly changing environment. And she likes it that way! A graduate in the 2nd class of women from the United States Naval Academy in 1981 and mother of nine, she has been involved in leadership education for the past 30+ years. After attending her first ICC conference in 2005, she brought ICC conferences to Maryland and started the first ICC Chapter. Mary’s interests are varied and diverse: from graphic design, organizational health, latest tech trends, and visual storytelling. Along with her experience and training in leadership development, Mary holds certificates in Art Integration across Curriculum from the Kennedy Center in Washington DC as well as in Christian Nonprofit Leadership from Christian Leadership Alliance. She is currently pursuing her graduate certification in Spiritual Direction from Richmont University. Mary lives in Annapolis MD with her husband and a rapidly-changing-at-any-time number of children and guests.
Student Leader Liaison, Great Lakes US Area
Stephanie joined ICC in 2014 and is thankful for its community and intentionality. She has served as a Chapter Sponsor for her local chapter in Michigan and is now the area’s Student Leader Liaison. Stephanie enjoys making things for others and helping them with just about anything. She collects fabric and animals. Willing to experiment with most activities, she is more interested in spending time with others than the actual activity. Moreover, if the activity involves a costume or an element of game play, you’ll make her day. Her family says she can make just about anything fun, and she doesn’t take anything too seriously.
Student Leader Liaison, Western US Area
With over ten years of experience working with teenagers and college students in small groups, Melanie Heatwole brings plenty of insight and encouragement to her role as Student Leader Liaison. Her family is based in Ripon, CA – Melanie, her husband Seth, and her three children who are active in ICC. Melanie achieved a BSN from Biola University, and she loves to get outdoors to explore and be active. She hopes to walk alongside students and their parents, encouraging them to take new leadership opportunities and supporting them in taking the necessary steps to become eligible for new roles.
Student Leader Liasion, Central US Area
Michelle, her husband, and two daughters live in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Michelle always knew that she wanted her daughters to be communicators for Christ, but how does this happen? Thankfully, her family was led to a group of wonderful, like-minded friends that introduced them to ICC. Being part of a local chapter of ICC has given them love and support, a place to grow, to learn, and to make mistakes. What truly amazed Michelle is that she experienced the same training and mentoring, in a supportive environment, as her children did—a win win! As she takes on the role of Central Area Leader, she’s excited about the new challenges, growing into a competent communicator and serving her area families with love.
Student Leader Liaison Coordinator
When Jane attended her first Communicators for Christ conference in 2007, she was sold and helped start a chapter with a friend in Prairieville, La. Two years later, she became Chapter Sponsor and served that way for several years, then as Area Leader, and then as Area Coordinator for the South Central Area. Now she’s stepped into a new role: Coordinator for the Area Student Leader Teams. She and her husband, Mark, have 10 children and 8 grandchildren. One of her favorite “hobbies” is traveling with Mark around the country, visiting all of them.
Great Lakes Area Coordinator
Joan is magnetically interested in Peacemaking and anything relational – a gift she brings to our CFC conference faculty roster! As a bit of an eclectic, she enjoys water sports, the pets on her hobby farm, volleyball, and mostly non-fictional reading. On weekends away, she assists her hubby in their entrepreneurial business of equine photography or spends weeknights watching her kids play sports on various homeschool teams. Joan is a unique introverted Edelman Red, a lover of cappuccino and homemade desserts, and an ever-growing member of the ICC community.
Dr. John McLean
Physician, Entrepreneur, and ICC Board Member
Dr. John McLean sees a better future — he’s a visionary and an entrepreneur. His latest project is the building and running of a new kind of hospital: the neighborhood hospital. All of his six children received years of ICC training, and he’s convinced that his two grandchildren, who participate in an ICC chapter currently, will be prepared for their futures because of it. Southeast Asia is special to him; three of his children are of from this area, and he has done years of work with a Philippine orphanage. He believes in the benefit of the ICC training and has frequently backed that up with donations to make it possible for students to experience the transformation of the ICC community.
People Care Team
With a degree in education and twenty years’ experience in home education, Lisa McLean shares her extraordinary gift of “problem-solving in relationship” in her work on ICC’s People Care Team. She uses her role to equip people in parenting, mentoring, and loving well. Lisa and her husband have raised their six children with a heart for genuine cultural communication. All of their children—and two of their grandchildren— spent years training with ICC into adulthood. Having traveled internationally with ICC several times, working with a global community challenges her to develop new skills and ways of thinking, to learn from other cultures, and to appreciate the immensity and diversity of the Church. Her passion: to disciple Christ-followers in wisdom, respect, and holiness.
Area Coordinator, Mid-Atlantic US Area
Terri McPherson serves the Mid-Atlantic area of the United States as one of the Institute’s Area Coordinators! Terri is a great resource to our chapters, with a degree in Business from American University and the experience of four children and a daughter-in-law having served as Student Leaders in the Institute (including three internships!). She loves empowering other adults to see more clearly that which they are capable of, supporting them in their God-given gifts. In her spare time, Terri enjoys knitting, sewing, hiking, and strength training. She and her husband, Jay, have been married over 30 years and live in Bristow, Virginia with two cats and a turtle.
Dr. Teresa Moon
As a university student, public speaking made Teresa Moon physically ill. Now she is an internationally recognized seminar speaker, education consultant, author, and leadership coach. She designs state-of-the-art digital immersive learning environments and in-person experiences that provide training for students, teachers, and parents across the globe to become “cultural communicators” who can impact culture through relevant communication and extraordinary leadership. Her Tennessee home doubles as the Institute’s training center, accommodating dozens of high school and college students at a time in leadership residencies. Teresa’s students have been invited to speak on tens of thousands of platforms—digital and physical—to influence audiences for Christ—including the White House, Congress, the G8 Summit, the United Nations, and churches, schools, and heads of state in more than twenty nations.
Student Leader Liaison, Mid-Atlantic US Area
Director, Global Engagement | Cultural Intelligence Educator
Area Coordinator, Central US Area
Keri is a Nebraska girl living in a Louisiana world. Her family moved to Louisiana in 2015: husband John and two awesome kiddos, Kaleigh and Jesse. Keri loves to read, homeschool, work puzzles, and she absolutely treasures any time spent with family. Keri and John had a desire for their children to be effective communicators, as they believe that words have power, so later in 2015, the family joined the Institute for Cultural Communicators, jumping in with both feet. ICC has been essential in helping them to achieve that goal. Moreover, ICC has empowered Keri to step out of her comfort zone and work on her own communication skills. Serving in adult leadership roles available to her, beginning with Chapter Sponsor and Student Leader Liaison, she is currently the Area Coordinator for the U.S. Central states. She loves working with both students and adults, building relationships and hearing their stories.
Southeast US Area Coordinator
Julie Rambo is an artist, gardener, lover of Jesus, and a homeschool graduate. Julie believes teens should be challenged to step out of their comfort zone. At 17, she became the director of a children’s ministry running 12-week Bible camps with teams from across the Eastern United States. She attended Pratt Institute, in Brooklyn, NY to study Communication Design, with an emphasis in Illustration. Her dream is to create art that shares a story. Julie lives in South Carolina with her husband and their four children. As a Chapter Sponsor and Student Leader Liaison for ICC, Julie wants to influence today’s culture by discipling the next Christian generation. Julie has been a successful leader – fundraising for her chapter; helping grow leaders and resources; and building influence in her community.
Director | Student Leadership
Nicole Ricks loves young people and her life reflects that call. For over 9 years, she has served and mentored both students and adults. As Director of Student Leadership, Nicole is an innovator who is intentionally challenging and supporting Area and Global Student Leadership Teams as well as the adult liaisons around the globe. She has launched new online curriculum and created tools to support the growth and development of her teams. Currently finishing her degree in Nursing and mentoring her five children, she is a natural nurturer, a lover of fun and friendship, and a pursuer of excellence.
Director, ICC Forensics Society
Dede Ruff enjoys the challenge of intentionally innovating. As Director of ICC’s Forensics Society, she’s helped to innovate a new online tournament experience that has brought together intergenerational teams from four countries and expanded opportunities for real-world training. Dede loves learning new things, especially if they’re challenging. Dede earned her BA in Economics from Washington and Lee University as part of the second co-ed class at the all-male school. She has served as an ICC Chapter Sponsor and then as Southeast Area Coordinator for 3 years. She works with ICC’s online chapters, developing community in new ways. Her love of community comes from living in a small town where everyone knows your name. She and her husband operate a 6th-generation family business and live in a house built by his family in 1904.
Christina Gomez Waguespack
Global Student Leader Media Team Coordinator
Christina has a passion for coaching others to become extraordinary leaders. With degrees in Engineering and Psychology, she uses her attention to detail, digital technology, individualization, nurturing, and peacemaking skills to challenge and support the leaders she mentors. She has served in a variety of roles and as a member of the Student Leader Development Team where she develops and publishes leadership training for students, and as our Global Student Leader Media Team Coordinator. Christina and her husband have raised three children and homeschooled them through high school. They attended their first Communicators for Christ Conference in New Jersey in 2009 and joined the local chapter immediately. She was a Systems and Network Engineer for fourteen years as well as BSA Troop Committee Chair and Eagle Scout Advisor, farm co-op host, and high school math and history teacher for a co-op. She spends her summers swimming at a community pool and going with family and friends to the beach.
Student Leader Care
Jenae and her husband Mike have 8 children and first joined a chapter in Louisiana in 2007 when her oldest daughter was 6. Her children have literally grown up in the Institute! She moved to Michigan in 2016 and has served in the roles of Chapter Sponsor, Student Leader Liaison, and now Student Leader Care on the Student Leadership Development Team. She enjoys increasing her learning through online classes and reading books. She has learned that slow is fast in the development of her children as well as in her own personal growth.
Director, International Relations
Amy is one of the pioneers who started the first ICC international chapter in Singapore in 2010 and who helped organize the first CFC Conference in East Asia in 2014. She was an ICC Chapter Sponsor before starting the first UK chapter in Leeds. She saw the need for ICC in Europe and went on to organize and host the first CFC Europe in Nov 2019.
Before homeschooling her children full time, Amy was a lecturer in the local polytechnic, training students in intercultural communication and life skill subjects. Her passion for intercultural studies has led her to Indonesia, Australia, and Vietnam as well as finding a home in both Singapore and the UK. Amy is also active in her local church ministries like the English class for migrant ladies, and café ministry for the homeless and needy.