Alice D. Ackerman, MD, MBA, ACC
I dedicated the last four-plus decades of my life to studying and practicing medicine, until my recent retirement--which I am working to redefine for myself and others. I am a pediatrician, and a pediatric intensivist, so my professional life was spent caring for children with life-threatening injuries and illnesses. While this was trying and emotionally difficult at times, it gave me many great rewards. Being able to participate in a family’s most vulnerable moments allowed me to find ways to contribute and love people who needed that part of me as much as they needed a physician. I learned the great importance of CARE in healthcare. I always cared for each child as I would have wanted one of my children cared for in life-threatening situations.
Another result of the way I care for people, was my ability to hold a large number of leadership positions. Some were formally recognized by titles; others were developed through influence. I learned about the importance of values in leadership early on. I strongly believe that trust and integrity are two of the most important traits a leader can have. I augmented my knowledge of leadership by obtaining an MBA in 2008, and I spent the following nine years as Chair of Pediatrics at a major medical center, and as Founding Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at a new medical school, where I am now Professor Emerita. In 2016, thinking it was “the thing to do,” I decided to retire and pursue CARE in other ways, primarily as a professional coach, which also feels like a calling to me. Coaching is my "second calling." In retrospect, it may have been my first calling, but I didn't recognize it as such all those years ago.
Rajika Bhandari is the author of the recently released memoir, America Calling: A Foreign Student in a Country of Possibility. A former international student from India to the US and an Indian American immigrant, she is an international higher education expert, a widely published author, and a sought-after speaker on issues of international education, skilled immigrants, and educational and cultural diplomacy.
An author of five academic books and one previous nonfiction book, The Raj on the Move: Story of the Dak Bungalow, Dr. Bhandari is quoted frequently in the global press, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Times of India and Quartz, and her writing has appeared in Ms. Magazine, The Guardian, The Chronicle of Higher Education, HuffPost, University World News, Times Higher Education, National Geographic Traveler and The Diplomatic Courier, among others. She lives outside New York City.
Sally Jameson Bond
Sally Jameson Bond is an Iowa girl, born and bred. The daughter of a World War II and Korean War veteran father and an artistic mother who loved to write, she was always surrounded by her large and caring family and a bevy of close friends. Early on, Sally found music. It was inevitable, as both of her parents were talented musicians and singers.
Sally met her husband Joe at the University of Iowa when they sat next to each other in band. Three years later, they married and moved to Virginia. Joe’s academic endeavors led them back to Iowa, and then to Texas, Oklahoma, and California. What they wanted more than anything, though, was to call Virginia home once again. So, eventually, they made it happen, settling in the Roanoke Valley between the beautiful Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountains. They’re still there, and they still love it.
Sally is the author of soon-to-be-published Young Adult Historical Fiction, My Mother's Friend.
Brook Allen belongs to the Historical Novel Society and attends conferences as often as possible to study craft and meet fellow authors. In 2019, Son of Rome won the Coffee Pot Book Club Book of the Year Award. In 2020, it was honored with a silver medal in the international Reader’s Favorite Book Reviewers Book Awards. In 2021, it won 1st Place in the Chanticleer International Book Awards (Chaucer Divisiton).
Though she graduated from Asbury University with a B.A. in Music Education, Brook has always loved writing. She completed a Masters program at Hollins University with an emphasis in Ancient Roman studies, which helped prepare her for authoring her Antonius Trilogy.
Brook teaches full-time as a Music Educator and works in a rural public-school district near Roanoke, Virginia. Her personal interests include travel, cycling, hiking in the woods, reading, and spending downtime with her husband and two amazing Labrador Retrievers. She lives in the heart of southwest Virginia in the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains.
Dr. John A. Carroll
My life has been full. The Lord blessed me with the world’s greatest wife, Mary, and three lovely daughters.
Mary and I were privileged to serve for 28 years on staff with the Navigators in California, South Carolina, The Philippines, and Argentina. After graduation from Columbia International University (M Div), I was called to pastoral ministry, serving Central Presbyterian Church in Kingstree, SC and Christ Church in Katy, TX. My studies at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte) led to a Doctor of Ministry degree. I am an honorably retired member of the Blue Ridge Presbytery (Presbyterian Church in America).
My two published books are Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 Days and Concealed and Revealed: A Year in the Old and New Testaments. I also publish articles daily on Gleanings from Thistle Dew Farm.
Wherever I am, my heart is on the Maine coast…or off it, aboard a chartered sloop, a Dark Harbor 17. Two fun things about my favorite state. I sold in rural New England. There’s a welcome small town ethic. You come to know your lawyer customers…many of them during years and years.
Also, it’s fun to be paid to eat, my wife (my “companion”) and me. I was the anonymous restaurant critic for Maine’s largest newspaper. I published a review every week for 4.5 years. Yes, we gained weight, but, yes, we had a ball!
Dikkon Eberhart is the author of The Time Mom Met Hitler, Frost Came to Dinner, and I Heard the Greatest Story Ever Told, Paradise, and On the Verge. Dikkon is a Maine native transplanted recently to the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. He is a retired salesman, former actor and food critic, and always a writer.
Tess Flinchum is a freelance photographer from Roanoke, Virginia. She enjoys traveling along the East Coast with her husband Blake and photographing their experiences along the way. Tess’s favorite destination for food and sightseeing is Charleston, South Carolina.
The Virginia based artist loves utilizing photography to tell the stories of people and places. Tess’s passion for photography has led her to start her own small business in photography. She consults with local businesses and individuals to provide personalized photographs that capture the energy and beauty in the fleeting moment.
Tess has a background in Communication Studies and currently works as a Legal Assistant in Southwest Virginia. When she is not working, Tess can be found out and about with her husband on their adventures in local areas. Tess is never too far from her camera.
In 1975, Sandy left her native New England for a summer of adventure in Alaska. That summer has extended for more than four decades, while she has worked as an investigator, researcher, planner, naturalist, writer, and a myriad of other occupations.
As a carrier of the “wanderlust gene," her passions include travel and books that provide new insights and experiences. She is looking forward to becoming a full-time explorer and writer in retirement – soon!
Sandy lives in Juneau, Alaska, with her mate Blueberry (a Common raven), two dogs, and a cat. They spend a lot of time in the woods.
www.sandyharbanuk.com coming soon...
Trish MacEnulty, PhD
Trish MacEnulty has a doctorate from the Creative Writing Program at the Florida State University. She has published two memoirs, several novels, and a short story collection. She taught creative writing and film studies as a full professor at the university level before retiring from full time teaching in 2021.
Trish is also a former addict, who has facilitated writing programs in jails, prison, juvenile facilities, and drug treatment centers. Her two latest books are Writing and Recovery and The Lullaby Motel stories.
Susan Frances Morris
Susan Frances Morris was raised in Springfield, Massachusetts, the second oldest of seven siblings with two sets of twins. She holds a bachelor's degree in nursing and was a practicing nurse from 1989 to 2011, primarily in Women’s Health. The highlight of her career has been the time she spent at Yale New Haven Hospital in New Haven Connecticut working in nursing management alongside international experts in the field of women’s health.
Susan is the author of The Sensitive One, a memoir dealing with childhood trauma, abuse, health, and healing.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, Tammy grew up in a family of steelworkers, coal miners, and Eastern European immigrants. She began her career as an investigator with the National Labor Relations Board and later worked as a paralegal and German teacher. She holds degrees in labor and industrial relations from Penn State University and German language and literature from the University of Delaware.
Tammy currently lives on Maryland's Eastern Shore with her husband, two children, and chocolate Labrador retriever. She is the author of the novel, Beneath the Veil of Smoke and Ash.
A farmer’s daughter born and raised in Illinois, Maggie spent 25 years in ministry in New England with her pastor-husband Mike, where she taught at Daniel Webster University and directed women’s ministries throughout the six New England states. While living in the Chicago area, Maggie served as a public relations professional for Tyndale House as well as a guest communications instructor at Wheaton College. Maggie and Mike now happily reside in western North Carolina, where Maggie writes from Peace Ridge, their home in the Smokies.
Maggie has spoken at hundreds of outreach events, retreats and conferences throughout the U.S. As a dramatist she performs original historical reenactments of the lives of great women of the Christian faith including Mary of Nazareth, Sarah Pierpont Edwards, and Amy Carmichael. Maggie has contributed to over ten books, and her first as a solo author, This Life We Share, released in 2020 from NavPress. She's currently at work on her second book scheduled for publication in early 2022 from Tyndale House.
In 2014 Maggie earned her M.A. in Biblical Studies from Wheaton Graduate School. Her greatest blessings are Mike, her husband of over 40 years, their three adult children and spouses and five grandchildren. She loves hiking, mountain dancing, books and anything chocolate, but mostly she loves people.
April White is an off-road 4×4 Jeep shotgun wife, cheerleader to two teenagers, and a pharmacist. Until six years ago, the only thing missing from April’s idyllic life was a white picket fence and a deer-proof garden. However, in 2015, a rare illness, Hypokalemic Periodic Paralysis, threatened to derail April’s sense of worth, security, and identity.
April holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from James Madison University and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Shenandoah University. April is the columnist for the “Pressing On” column for the quarterly chronic illness magazine, Broken but Priceless and Inspire a Fire. She also writes for Reach Out Columbia and Focus on the Family’s Clubhouse magazine.
April coauthored a book with Marilyn Nutter, Destination Hope: A Travel Companion When Life Falls Apart (Ambassador International Publication).