TDS Online coaches are experienced consultants who have provided development counsel and wisdom to dozens of individuals and organizations. Most of them also have direct personal experience raising support for themselves or larger organizations.
Brad Layland, CEO of The FOCUS Group, has over 25 years of fundraising and consulting experience to draw from as he partners with organizations to fulfill their mission through effective fundraising strategies. Brad’s distinguished career began at Young Life, where he served in various roles including Area Director, Field Development Director, Gift Planning Associate, and ultimately Chief Development Officer. He moved into his role as owner and CEO of The FOCUS Group in 2012, after several years as a Senior Consultant.
Brad’s expertise providing high level fundraising counsel to nonprofit organizations incorporates major donor strategies, training workshops, planned gift marketing, and capital campaign counsel. In 2013, he launched the Taking Donors Seriously® online training program, which equips individuals and organizations to be more effective in raising financial support.
Brad serves on the Board of Directors for numerous organizations including, Veritas Classical Christian school, Young Life St. Augustine, Christian Surfers US, Somebody Cares St. Augustine, and Young Life of Greater New York. He also serves as an elder at Good News Presbyterian church. In addition to running The FOCUS Group, Brad owns the largest real estate brokerage in St. Augustine, Endless Summer Realty.
Brad received his B.A. in Communications from the University of Florida and his M.A. in Theology from Fuller Seminary. He and his wife, singer-songwriter Wendy Curl, love living in St. Augustine, Florida and have 4 children: Max, Dakota, Jack and Sydney. Brad enjoys running marathons, investing in real estate, being an entrepreneur, and traveling with his family.
Steve Godfrey, COO and Senior Consultant, has served in high-trust positions serving wealthy individuals, corporate executives and business owners for over two decades. His experience is diverse but the common thread is his ability to understand the needs of the people he is serving and develop creative solutions to help them succeed. Steve has many years of experience serving on Young Life area committees and assisting in their support-raising efforts using Taking Donors Seriously®.
Steve earned his B.S. in Finance from the University of Florida and his M.B.A. from the Darden Graduate School of Business at the University of Virginia. He lives with his wife and two children in Richmond, Virginia, where he serves on the board of trustees for Veritas School.
Ame Eldredge, Senior Consultant, first discovered a talent for training and development during her fifteen year career with Young Life, serving in several roles including Area Director, Regional Trainer and assisting in National Staff Training events. As a Regional Trainer, she helped field staff in Florida become proficient in fundraising, building support teams, financial management and donor relations. In addition to Young Life she has significant and varied experience in the nonprofit sector. Having served on staff with several organizations serving such populations as youth in crisis, the homeless and the uninsured, she brings an intimate knowledge of management and advancement matters in this arena. She currently serves on the board of Global Teams International.
Ame graduated from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion and has done graduate work through Fuller Seminary. Ame and her husband, Mark reside in Jacksonville, Florida.
Ted Rodgers, Executive Consultant, is a respected expert in fund development and philanthropy. His areas of expertise include major donor strategies, financial management, strategic planning, board development and estate and asset gift planning.
He earned a B.A. in Economics from Wheaton College and an M.A. in Educational Administration from Ball State University. Ted was granted an honorary doctorate from Moscow Theological Seminary in 2009. Widely respected as a presenter at professional meetings, he has been a member of several higher education accreditation teams. His executive leadership experience includes serving as Senior Vice President at Trinity International University, Executive Vice President at Northern Seminary and Executive Director/CEO of Russian Leadership Ministries. He is currently a Trustee and immediate past board chair at Northern Seminary.
Ted and his wife, Debbie, currently live in Wheaton, Illinois.
Dr. Jay Barber, Senior Consultant, joined the FOCUS team as a senior consultant in early 2015 and is a senior fellow with the Murdock Charitable Trust, working with capacity building enrichment initiatives. Jay also currently serves as President Emeritus of Warner Pacific College after serving 12 years as president. Prior to serving as Warner Pacific’s president, he was vice president of development for Oregon Health and Science University where he directed the development of corporate, foundation and major gifts fund raising programs as well as the oversight of estate planning and planned giving.
Dr. Barber received his baccalaureate degree from Warner Pacific College where he later served on the Board of Trustees. He received his master’s degree from the University of San Francisco and a Doctor of Laws Degree (Hon.) from Anderson University. Jay and his wife Jan currently reside in Seaside, Oregon on the Oregon coast where Jay is currently serving as Mayor.
Justin Forbes, Director of TDS Training, has been involved in teaching and training for multiple years, working with nonprofit organizations, churches, and the national Training Department of Young Life. Having spent 10 years in the field with Young Life, Justin is experienced in recruiting, training, and developing teams that engage in volunteer development, fundraising strategies, and donor relations. He is passionate about developing a vision of donor development that engages donors in ministry, helping them participate in God’s work in the world. Justin holds degrees from Flagler College, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary.
He is currently serving on the faculty of Flagler College as the director of the Youth Ministry program, and professor of Youth Ministry. Justin is on the local board for Young Life, loves his local church, and is kept busy by his wonderful four children and (not as wonderful) small dog. He and his wife, Bethany, live in St. Augustine Florida.
Kelly Smith, TDS Administrator, loves the challenge of wearing many hats, and thrives as an administrator! Along with juggling home and work, she has served as a volunteer with Young Life Capernaum for over 11 years, where she is currently a board member, and is also active in her church.
Kelly earned a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina State University. She lives in St. Augustine, where she is an Army wife to Tim, and homeschooling mom to daughters Maddy and Anna. When she is not working, she enjoys kayaking, going to the beach, hunting, and fishing.