Speakers

Julie Ball is a Club Coordinator in Lynden, Washington and has served in GEMS for 20 years. After growing up at Calvinette, Julie became a GEMS counselor and later a Club Coordinator, and she continues in that role today. She also has served as Area Coordinator for Area 3. Julie is a teacher and she & her husband Ed have 4 daughters. Presenting: Every Child needs a Smart Advocate

Jessica Benson is the Club Coordinator and worship leader at the Denver First Christian Reformed GEMS Club in Denver, Colorado. She’s been involved with GEMS for 18 years. She has previously served as a Local Conference Committee member and Leadership Trainer. She currently serves as an Ambassador in Area 13. Presenting: Creative Movement in Club

Cindy Bultema is the Executive Director of GEMS Girls’ Clubs. She loves the Lord, loves life, loves her family, and loves to celebrate! With over 20 years of ministry experience, Cindy is also a popular women’s speaker, Bible teacher, and communications coach. Prior to coming to GEMS, Cindy was the Children’s Director for a West Michigan megachurch, wrote children’s curriculum for an international publishing house, served as a Compassion International ambassador, and participated as a Grief Share seminar expert. Cindy lives in West Michigan with her husband and their four children. Cindy is a keynote and featured speaker. Presenting workshops: Communicating with Confidence, SAFE: Where Do You Run?, The Joy of Sharing Jesus: Leading Girls to Christ, 4 Simple Steps to Raising All the Money Your GEMS Club Needs
cindybultema.com

Lenae Bulthuis counts it grace to serve as Training & Club Development Manager for GEMS Girls’ Clubs. For fifteen years her work has given encouragement and hope to counselors and girls across North America through her writing and speaking. In addition to her work for GEMS, Lenae writes for blogs and magazines and speaks to women about the life-changing truth that God didn’t just save us by grace, He invites us to live by grace. She lives with her husband, Mike, on a grain and livestock farm in west-central Minnesota where she reads, writes, and wraps her arms around their grandlittles. Lenae is a keynote and featured speaker. Presenting workshop: Threading the Theme

Natasha Chandler is a Camp and Children’s Pastor at a church in Toronto. She has served as the Get Connected! Camp Director from 2012-2016. Natasha lives missionally in the city with her husband, Jacob, and their two kids. Presenting: Help CITs Stand Firm and Standing Firm in Teen Years—for CITs 

Lynn Cowell is a Proverbs 31 speaker and the author of several books, written for women of all ages. Lynn is a national conference speaker who is passionate about helping women, tweens, and teens feel empowered to understand and boldly live in the power of Christ. Lynn and her husband, Greg, along with their three adult children, live in Charlotte, North Carolina. Lynn is a keynote and featured speaker. Presenting workshops: Confident Enough: Instilling a Christ Confidence that Sticks, When My Confidence is In Doubt
lynncowell.com

Karyn Dekker is a Club Coordinator from southern Florida as well as a GEMS Ambassador in Area 30. She has been involved with GEMS for 11 years. She has previously served as a Discovery level counselor in her club and as a Leadership Trainer in Area 30. Karyn is a wife and a homeschooling mom of two. Presenting: What Not to Wear

Patricia Dorsman is a counselor at the Georgetown GEMS Club in Georgetown, Ontario. She has been teaching Discovery and Advanced Level GEMS for eight years. She loves having conversations with girls about God, life, and faith. Presenting: Theme Crafts for Club

Diane Geerlinks is an NILD Educational Therapist and director GeerLINKS Educational Therapy based in Ontario. Her educational experiences range from homeschooling her own 5 children to teaching children with a wide range of abilities. Presenting: Inclusion in Club

Rebecca Gregoire Lindenbach is a speaker and blogger from Ontario. In February of 2012, Rebecca wrote a blog post for her mom called, “Why I Didn’t Rebel” which has been read over one million times. She has a passion for helping others succeed in life. Presenting: Why I Didn’t Rebel

Katie Gregoire started her YouTube channel when she was 16, and she loves using humor to help point people to Jesus without sounding preachy. She strives to be real, and that makes her authentic and relatable to a wide audience. Presenting: Is God Really Enough? (For CITs only)

Sheila Gregoire is a popular author, speaker, blogger, wife, and mom. She is affiliated with FamilyLife Canada and World Vision’s Girls Night Out Program. Known as a woman with common sense and real world advice, she isn’t afraid to challenge the conventional Christian culture that says Christians need to have it all together. She loves speaking to women and encouraging them in authentic relationships with God, their families, and each other. She and her husband spend a lot of time touring North America bringing her signature “Girl Talk: Straight Talk about Marriage, Sex and Intimacy.” Sheila is a featured speaker. Presenting workshop: Girl Talk: Straight Talk about Marriage, Sex, and Intimacy
sheilawraygregoire.comp

Kim Hofstra serves as the Club Coordinator at the Seymour GEMS Club in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has taught GEMS for 27 years. She has also served as Area Coordinator and Leadership Trainer in Area 23. Presenting: What Every NEW Club Coordinator Should Know

 

Maggie John is a Senior Executive Producer and host of 100 Huntley Street, Canada’s longest running daily television show. Maggie has interviewed a variety of guests in her career. She considers it a privilege to listen and be encouraged by people who continue to make a difference in their community and actively live out their faith. Maggie is a wife, mom, and founder of a ministry called The Baby Depot, which helps families in need in the Hamilton, Ontario area. Maggie is a keynote and featured speaker. Presenting workshop: Who Am I: The Identity Crisis
100Huntley.com

Helen Kuipery is a self made health guru who, at the age of 40, embarked on a quest to cure herself of the dreaded brain fog and fatigue. She considers herself the ultimate foodie and lives with her husband, Nick, in Acton, Ontario. Presenting: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made: Health for Purposeful Living

Chris McKenna is the founder and CEO of protectyoungeyes.com. After a 12-year career in business advertising with Ernst & Young, and six years in full-time student ministry, Chris manages educational content for Covenant Eyes and is the founder and CEO of protectyoungeyes.com. In a world where technology is native to our kids, Chris and the PYE team have done hundreds of hours of research in order to level the playing field for parents and to inform teens of the risks of recklessly using the Internet. Chris is a keynote and featured speaker. Presenting workshop: The Digital Culture of Kids Today
protectyoungeyes.com

Cathie Ostapachuk is a Biblical and leadership writer and teacher who trains, consults, and coaches individually and in non-profit and corporate organizations, across Canada and as far as Africa and Australia. Cathie is Co-Founder and Lead Catalyst at Gather Women – a movement that  exists to connect, equip and champion Canadian women. Cathie lives in Oakville, Ontario. Cathie is a featured speaker. Presenting workshop: Brave Women—Bold Moves
cathieostapchuk.com

Ometa Pope is a GEMS counselor in New Jersey. She has served for several years, leading crafts. She’s passionate about scrapbooking and Bible journaling as a way to reflect on the Bible while creating art and preserving the Truth of God’s Word. Presenting: Bible Journaling 101

Heather Putnam is a GEMS Awareness Level counselor from Florida. She is a wife,homeschooling mom, and has taught GEMS for 8 years. She previously served as the Area Coordinator for Area 30 and is a current GEMS Ambassador in Florida. Presenting: NEW Awareness Level Counselors

Henrietta Reinders is on the 2018 Local Conference Committee and has served in the GEMS ministry for almost 20 years. She has served in a variety of roles in her local club, as a GEMS Executive Board member and president, Area Coordinator, and Leadership Trainer. She’s served on three Local Conference Committees and is a current GEMS Ambassador in Area 26. Presenting: A Taste of Color through Personality Dimensions

Dr. Jane Sinden is a Professor at Redeemer University College. She has a PhD in Education in the area of physical education/sport, health, and emotions. After a difficult upbringing Jane used rowing, academics, and physical appearance to find peace and joy, but today she will profess that her healing and freedom has only come through Jesus Christ. Presenting: Hurting Girl Series: Dealing with Emotions

Jill Smith is an educator and daycare provider from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She has served as a GEMS counselor for 6 years. She is currently an Awareness level counselor and has previously served as a Club Coordinator. As a mom to two young girls she loves the messages of truth that are taught to girls everywhere. Presenting: Keep Calm and Assign Seats

Leneé Struiksma is a teacher from California. She grew up as a Calvinette, became a junior counselor, then a counselor, Club Coordinator, and is now leads the Discovery Level. She has also served as a Leadership Trainer in Area 7. She loves seeing girls delight in God’s promises. Presenting: NEW Discovery Level Counselors

Michael and Jessica Ten Haken have been married for 20 years. Since 2013, Michael has been a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of Pease, MN. Jessica teaches preschool at the Christian school and has been involved with GEMS for 15 years. They have three children ages 18, 16, and 9. Presenting: Rising from the Pit

Amelia Rhodes is an author, speaker, and storyteller with a passion for connecting people to God and each other. As a recovering perfectionist who has been freed, by God’s grace, from the grip of perpetual anxiety, Amelia encourages women to discover who they are in Christ and to deepen their relationships with each other. Her favorite activities include coffee breaks and pizza parties with friends and family. Amelia lives in Lowell, Michigan with her husband and two children. Amelia is a featured speaker. Presenting workshops: Not Everyone Can be Wonder Woman, Listening Prayer for Leaders 
ameliarhodes.com

Megan Vander Haar is a teacher, wife, and mom from Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She also serves as the Club Coordinator at her local club and has been involved in GEMS for 10 years, serving in a variety of roles. She’s a mom to two boys and loves the “girl fix” that GEMS allows her to have! Presenting: Keep Calm and Assign Seats

Lesli van Milligen is a Regional Catalyzer for the Faith Formation Ministries of the CRCNA. She has co-pastored in both Canada and the US with her husband, Tom, for 17 years. Lesli works alongside congregations in their faith formation ministries. One focus of her work is training and raising up the next generation of youth and young adult ministry leaders. Presenting: Finding the Courage to Lead (For CITs only) and The Psalm 1 GEMS Group

Dorothea Vuyk is the worship and large group leader at her club in Ontario and has been involved in GEMS for much of her adult life. She is also on the 2018 Local Conference Committee. Dorothea is profoundly grateful to God for his goodness in her life, having experienced physical and spiritual healing. She is passionate about God’s Word and sharing His love and joy with girls and women. Presenting: Oh the Games We Play!

Carissa Yoder spends most of her time chasing her seven kids and raising them to love Jesus. Her experiences as a missionary have given her a global heart and she loves to travel with her family. She believes kids are powerful enough to change the world. Presenting: The Girl that Changed the World

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