Month: December 2018

Jonathan Cain from Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

Jonathan Cain, the keyboardist and songwriter of the band Journey writes a long-awaited memoir about his personal story of overcoming and faith, his career with one of the most successful musical groups in history, and the stories behind his greatest hits including Don’t Stop Believin’.

About the Book

From One of the Greatest Bands in History Comes a Reminder to Never Give Up Hope. In this long-awaited memoir, complete with color photographs, songwriter and keyboardist Jonathan Cain takes us on an odyssey from center stage with Journey when all America was listening to songs like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Faithfully,” and “Open Arms,” to his hope and faith today. He tells of the thrilling moments when the music came together and offers an inside look at why Steve Perry left and the extraordinary story of their gifted new vocalist, Arnel Pineda.

When Jonathan Cain and the iconic band Journey were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Cain could say he had finally arrived. But Cain’s journey wasn’t always easy – and his true arrival in life had more to do with faith than fame.

As a child, Cain survived a horrific school fire that killed nearly 100 of his classmates. His experience formed a resilience that would carry him through both tragedy and success. Moving from Chicago to Sunset Boulevard, Cain never let go of his dreams, eventually getting his big break with Journey – and writing the songs that would become the soundtrack of a generation.

Don’t Stop Believin’ is an epic story of one man’s dream that takes you from playing old-country songs at an Italian Deli in Chicago and his experiences with a warm, encouraging father who died too soon, to suddenly writing mega-bestselling songs with some of the most talented musicians and performers ever to take the stage of some of the world’s largest arenas. The song “Don’t Stop Believin'” is the most downloaded song of all time, and is one that has been covered by major televisions shows and adopted by a whole new generation.

Through a wonderful retrospective of music that takes us right to the present, Jonathan Cain reminds us of the melodies and lyrics that serve as milestones for our biggest dreams as they call us to never stop believing.

Dr. Jeff Schmidt – A Critical Look At Salaried Professionals

Who are you going to be? That is the question.

Our special guest is Dr. Jeff Schmidt, author of Disciplined Minds: A Critical Look At Salaried Professionals and The Soul-Battering System That Shapes Their Lives.

“This book is stolen. Written in part on stolen time, that is. Because like millions of others who work for a living, I was giving most of my prime time to my employer…” 

So begins Jeff Schmidt in this riveting book about the world of professional work. Schmidt demonstrates that the workplace is a battleground for the very identity of the individual, as is graduate school, where professionals are trained. He shows that professional work is inherently political, and that professionals are hired to maintain strict “ideological discipline.” 

The hidden root of much career dissatisfaction, argues Schmidt, is the professional’s lack of control over the political component of his or her creative work. Many professionals set out to make a contribution to society and add meaning to their lives. Yet our system of professional education and employment abusively inculcates an acceptance of politically subordinate roles in which professionals typically do not make a significant difference, undermining the creative potential of individuals, organizations, and even democracy. 

Schmidt details the battle one must fight to be an independent thinker, showing how an honest reassessment of what it means to be a professional in today’s corporate society can be remarkably liberating. After reading this book, no one who works for a living will ever think the same way about his or her job.

Jeff Schmidt was an editor at Physics Today magazine for 19 years, until he was fired for writing this provocative book. He has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Irvine, and has taught in the United States, Central America, and Africa. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he now lives in Washington, D.C. You may write to him at jeffschmidt@alumni.uci.edu.

Michelle Griep – Once Upon a Dickens Christmas

Our special guest is Michelle Griep, the author of 12 Days at Bleakly Manor and A Tale of Two Hearts. Michelle is a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) and MCWG (Minnesota Christian Writers Guild). Michelle Griep has been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She seeks to glorify God in all that she writes–except for that graffiti phase she went through as a teenager. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. An Anglophile at heart, she runs away to England every chance she gets, under the guise of research. Really, though, she’s eating excessive amounts of scones while rambling around a castle.

Visit her website at www.michellegriep.com to learn more.

Russ Ramsey – Advent of the Lamb of God

Russ Ramsey and his wife and four children make their home in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the author of StruckBehold the Lamb of God, and was awarded the 2016 Christian Book Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association for his book Behold the King of Glory. Russ grew up in the fields of Indiana and studied at Taylor University and Covenant Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM). He is a pastor at Christ Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and his writing has appeared at The Rabbit Room, The Gospel Coalition, The Blazing Center, and To Write Love on Her Arms.

“A page in history was about to turn. Though Israel’s world was in the throes of upheaval, it was only a matter of time before the sun of righteousness would rise. These people needed rescue, but they weren’t waiting for the stars to align or for the political climate to change. They were waiting for God. They were on histimetable. He was sending his Messiah—Immanuel, God with us.”

For centuries God’s people awaited the coming of a Savior. In the midst of a world of trouble, they hoped for one who would deliver them from evil and restore them to true life. Would God be faithful to his promises?

Pastor Russ Ramsey narrates anew the greatest story ever told—the true tale of the coming of the Christ. It’s more than the story of a baby born in Bethlehem; the story encompasses the whole of the Old Testament and all of human history, unveiling God’s longsuffering, loving pursuit of his people. Rediscover how the purposes of God culminated in the coming of Jesus, in twenty-five readings ideal for Christmas or any season of meeting the Savior.

Also including The Passion of the King of Glory and The Mission of the Body of Christ, the Retelling the Story series explores the narrative arc of the Bible from Genesis through Revelation in compelling language that is faithful to the text of Scripture. The stories are told afresh to help readers hide God’s word in their hearts by way of their imaginations.

Voice123 Co-Founder Tania Zapata and CEO Rolf Veldman

Our special guests are Voice123 Co-Founder Tania Zapata and CEO Rolf Veldman. In his spare time he volunteers as a political advisor for Neocratia, where they use technology to shape the future of democracy!

Back in 2002, Alexander Torrenegra and Tania Zapata were recently married and had just moved to New York. He was freelancing as a webmaster and online marketing consultant for several clients; she was a radio hopeful who wanted to break into television, advertisements, as well as video games, and was working as a sales associate at Banana Republic. They often joked that their 35-square-meter studio apartment was so small they had to leave to let the sunlight in.

Tania’s voice acting aspirations got repeatedly mauled in the maze of casting directors, managers, recording studios, paymasters, and agents in the city. In fact, one so-called ‘talent agent’ charged her a thousand dollars for a photo shoot. To be a professional voice actor apparently, being beautiful was also a prerequisite. The agent never delivered—and disappeared with the deposit.

Tania was devastated and her frustration palpable. There seemed to be no way to advance her career in the voice-over business without pandering to the whims and abuses of the middlemen, but she was determined to find one.

Alex decided to help her. Together they started researching the processes involved. They realized that the advent of broadband Internet would allow them to create a website with simple algorithms—algorithms that could automate and replace what middlemen were doing. The idea of a global marketplace that could quickly connect established voice actors with potential buyers while also offering aspiring voice actors the opportunity to grow their professional careers, was such an obvious one. Well, wasn’t it?

They found nothing on the ’Net.

In January 2003, they started working on the idea. While Alex coded, Tania collated and compiled lists of email addresses—actors they would invite to join the marketplace as soon as the website was ready.

Alex diligently hammered his nights and weekends away on a keyboard. Tania worked whenever her crazy shifts at Banana Republic allowed some free time. To speed up the process, they employed a friend in Bogotá, Colombia to help code part-time.

On June 13, 2003—five months into the project—the website launched: Voice123. Because booking a voice actor was going to be as easy as 1-2-3.

Tania had collected over ten thousand email addresses. She started sending them out. They were hoping for a 10% conversion rate. To their surprise, the conversion rate was twice that. Voice actors loved the idea. Before long, they had thousands of voice actors ready to be matched with clients. On June 16th, they started running pay-per-click ads. A few hours later, a client posted the very first job on Voice123. Alex and Tania laughed and hugged and wept. The journey had begun and barely three months later, they had a functional marketplace.

To cover hosting, salaries, and marketing costs, they developed a subscription model and began providing Premium memberships in early September. By the end of the month, they had over $3,000 in revenue. The following month, Tania quit Banana Republic to become full-time CEO of Voice123. The appointment of subsequent team members started in January 2004.

Today, over 200,000 voice actors are registered in Voice123’s database, and millions of auditions have been processed. Thousands of actors now have flourishing careers in over 100 countries. Voice123’s client list includes companies like Pixar, the History Channel, Electronic Arts, and Pandora, to mention only a few.

Tania is the CEO of Akily, a free adaptive child development app for modern parenting that wants to democratize children’s development. She also co-founded Torre, a group of brands that are making work fulfilling for everyone; among them is Voice123 and VoiceBunny.

Besides their own ventures Alex Torrenegra and Tania have invested in other companies like VivaReal, the largest real estate marketplace in Brazil, Cornershop a grocery delivery app in Latam and the Endeavor Catalyst among others.