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And Joy

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Be the strategic, courageous, authentic leader you were designed to be

After years of corporate leadership, I took the leap to  cofound, grow, and ultimately sell a professional services firm,  including a visit for a few years on the Inc 500 “Fastest Growing Company” list.

Now I’m here to coach YOU to grow your business and your leadership.

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I want you to be the strategic, courageous, authentic leader you were designed to be. Let’s connect!

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After successfully scaling and selling my professional services company, now I coach others on to grow their business and their leadership.


From setting the foundation to creating systems and strategies, I’ll partner with you to propel your business forward.


Conversations with Faith Driven Leaders to inspire, embolden, and equip us to lead with bold faith and abiding trust


Ever wonder why you keep getting stuck in the same places? The Primal Question framework explains why you do what you do. It reveals both the origin of your triggers and your supernatural gifts. Skillfully crafted from decades of research and over 6000 hours of interviews, The Seven Primal Questions is a revolutionary model that simplifies human psychology, and can unlock your potential as a leader.

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Join the conversation on The Faith Driven Leader Podcast. You’ll be inspired, equipped, and emboldened to lead with unwavering faith and abiding trust.


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  • David Spickard | The Just Leader
    David is a new friend of mine, and the author of the newly published book “The Just Leader: Thriving in a Fractured World." David is the founder and CEO of 11 Ten Leadership, a leadership development company that works with executive leaders and their teams to strengthen their leadership, culture, and impact.   Prior to starting 11 Ten Leadership, David served as the CEO of Jobs for Life, a global non-profit organization which provides pathways for men and women to experience the dignity of work.  Along the way, David mobilized thousands of leaders to provide practical solutions for poverty and joblessness in the U.S. and across the world.    David is a UNC Tarheel through and through and loves everything Carolina blue.  There are very few sports he does not like, and he is widely known for his (soon to be award winning) chocolate chip cookies.  He and his wife, Alice, live in Raleigh, NC, and have four adult children. More from David: https://11tenleadership.com/ Buy David's Book : The Just Leader https://www.amazon.sg/Just-Leader-David-Spickard/dp/B0CPTJYLFH?source=ps-sl-shoppingads-lpcontext&ref_=fplfs&psc=1&smid=ACT6OAM3OSC9S Follow Ann @AnnEileenThompson on Instagram
  • John Handelsman | Inviting the Lord into Every Situation
    Our guest today is John Handelsman.  John is the Cofounder and CEO of Fieron Growth Partners. Fieron sponsors, manages and raises growth capital for late stage venture and early stage private equity backed businesses. In partnership with world class entrepreneurs, transactions are evaluated, underwritten and structured to deliver market returns, measurable social impact and glory to God. John has over 40 years of experience in specialty finance, CRE, private equity, strategic leadership, and consulting, Most recently, he was CEO of Commonwealth Ventures, where he led the successful and over-subscribed $29M growth capital seed round for CRDV, the national development arm of COhatch. Prior to Commonwealth, John was the Chairman and CEO of The Garage Group, which is the boutique innovation consultancy to the F500 in the CPG, Food & Beverage and Financial Services industries where John and I worked together for several years, first with him as a key board member, and then later as he joined the team as our CEO.  John has extensive experience in the world of Private Equity,where he not only led funds, but also served on the boards of several companies. He was also an Operating Partner for a family office based in Cincinnati, as they started to build their specialty finance portfolio. John won EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 1999 during his time as Founder, President, and CEO of The Vaughn Group, Inc., a Cincinnati-based commercial equipment finance company for which he raised multiple rounds of private and institutional capital and that he successfully exited to a public bank in 2003. For over 20 years, John has and continues to serve on many for-profit and faith-based nonprofit governing and advisory boards. John and his wife Jeannie have 6 adult children, and a gaggle of grandchildren – with countless more likely on the way in the
  • Denis Beausejour | The Biggest Idea Ever
    Our Guest today is Denis Beausejour. Denis is the Author of "The Biggest Idea Ever", a business and spirituality memoir for marketplace leaders seeking next-level growth.  He is a Former VP Advertising at Procter & Gamble, where he built a successful career, and found Jesus while on assignment in Japan. As He grew in His faith, he made a tremendous impact at P&G on not only the business, but on countless individuals. Then, at the pinnacle of his career, Denis was called to ministry in 2000.  He completed Masters of Arts at Trinity Seminary in Chicago in 2001. Served at Cru for three years leading the ministry of Henry Cloud from 2001-2004. Called to lead Mariemont Church in 2004. Retired from Mariemont Church in 2022 while remaining part of the congregation.  Mentoring young leaders, giving leadership to the Greater Cincinnati Prayer Canopy, and making disciples of Jesus locally and internationally. Serving on the Board of New Generations.  Happily married to Marianne for 42 years, and enjoy investing in his family of 4 awesome grown kids and 10 energetic grandkids. This conversation was such a blessing. Denis’s book is a blessing – and is packed with insight, wisdom, and practical truth for us to consider in our businesses, our families, our lives, and in how we see the Lord and His plans.  Let’s dive in. More from Denis: https://denisbeausejour.com/ Buy Denis’ Book, The Biggest Idea Ever! https://www.amazon.com/Biggest-Idea-Ever-anxiety-significance/dp/B0CSF1157X/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1705502608&sr=8-2
  • Suzy Deering | Learning the Big Lessons
    Our guest today is Suzy Deering.  Suzy Deering is an accomplished non-traditional marketer with experience across multiple industries, brands and disciplines. Most recently, Suzy was the Global Chief Marketing Officer for the Ford Motor Company. Prior to Ford, Deering was the Global Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer of eBay Prior to eBay and was the CEO of Moxie (renamed to Formerly Known As), a technology-led marketing agency with 5 offices across the country. She also spent 13 years at Verizon Wireless, where she was Executive Director of Media, Engagements, Brand and Integrations. Her marketing career kicked off at one of the most respected brands/companies, The Walt Disney Company. Suzy’s been recognized as an AdAge “40 Under 40”, as one of Business Insider’s “Top 50 Most Innovative CMOs”, as “Working Mother of the Year”, and in AdWeek’s “Top 50”. She sits on the boards for PODs Moving and Storage, as well as The Western Union. She also serves as an advisor in early-stage technology companies, Pollen Technologies and ChaChing, and a senior advisor for McKinsey. She is actively involved with The University of Georgia, where she holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences, with an advertising and marketing focus. Suzy leads from a Faith-based approach, and personally guides her life with the following priorities: God, Family, and Work. She lives in Bluffton, SC with her husband, Ron, and has two adult children, Maddison and Mitchell (current UGA student), along with her two fur babies, Stokes and Zeus.  Challenge Consider what stress you are feeling right now; journal it out; get to the root of it; if it’s fear, confess it and find a scripture verse or two to meditate on – to repeat to yourself (there are plenty, fear is mentioned 365 times in the Bible!) My fave: don’t be anxious
  • David Kinnaman | Optimizing Intergenerational Work
    David Kinnaman is the CEO of Barna Group, a leading research and communications company that works with churches, nonprofits, and businesses ranging from film studios to financial services. Since 1995, David has directed interviews with more than two million individuals and overseen thousands of U.S. and global research studies. He’s author of the bestselling books Faith For Exiles, Good Faith, You Lost Me and unChristian. I first met David many years ago when I had a crazy idea to do a longitudinal study (that is, a research study that would compare results year after year) about the spiritual pulse of Cincinnati. I reached out to David and he graciously talked with me about my idea…sadly, it never came to fruition, but I was so impressed with David back then, and was truly honored to reconnect with him after hearing him speak at the C12 conference last spring.  David’s passion for the next generation of entrepreneurs so deeply resonates with me. And of course, our shared background in market research is fun for me, too. I promise, this conversation is anything but a few research nerds sharing statistical jokes…you are in for some deep insight that will make you think differently about this next generation, and about our role as Faith Driven Leaders. Challenge: Get a mentor from the “other” generation – if you are older, get a younger mentor; if you are younger, get an older mentor. Learn from each other. Don’t judge, just learn. Ask questions. Share you own stories. Be curious about each other. And let it influence the way you live and lead Other Resources: https://www.barna.com/ Follow Ann @AnnEileenThompson on Instagram Book mentioned: From Strength to Strength by Arthur Brooks


Years of observation and practice, success and failure; collected now into wisdom worth sharing.

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  • On Joy
  • On Faith
  • On Rest

On Joy

Do you know what brings you joy? I’m not talking about happiness, nor circumstantial satisfaction. Not affirmation or validation. I’m talking about Joy. As in: deep contentment, gratitude, delight, peace – regardless of circumstances, setbacks, or seasons. Most folks I know can’t really answer that question, and neither could I.

After selling the company I’d co-conceived, birthed, and scaled,I was ready for the Lord to show me what was next. Instead, He asked me “What Brings You Joy?” and I was stumped.

Eighteen months of unplanned sabbatical led me down forgotten paths, through difficult memories, and past a Kodak roll of images from childhood antics and pastimes.

I learned to recognize and change thought patterns that were keeping me from Joy. Turns out, once noble ideas like “responsibility” and “empathy for others” had become strongholds that had overtaken my ability to even know what I wanted or needed or felt or thought. Fears, insecurities, and codependence had crept in and were keeping me from being able to feel joy.

Let’s learn to recognize the negative thought patterns that keep most of us from understanding and experiencing the true, abundant Joy that our Good, Good Father has for us. We’ll identify them, understand why they aren’t serving us anymore, repent, and then begin to learn Jesus’ truth, that can lead us to a new level of trust and Joy under His covering.

On Faith

We all have Faith. We have faith that the sun will come up tomorrow, That when we drop something, it will fall to the ground. That bad things will occasionally happen. That the magnolia tree we walk by on the sidewalk will smell delicious.

The book of Hebrews in the Bible defines Faith as confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see. Assurance. Some translations even say “evidence” of what we don’t see.

By that definition, it’s easy to see how we develop faith in gravity, the sun coming up, or relationships that disappoint us. We count on these things being absolutes, predictable, unchanging. But, how many of us operate with full Faith that we have a good, good Father? That God is who He says He is? That it’s His nature to be good? That He has a plan to prosper and provide for us? That we are who He says we are? That He gives us good gifts. That He is present with us in our trials.

Let’s explore together the ways that God has been good, faithful, trustworthy, kind, merciful, just, and loving in our own lives. We’ll look together for the evidence that produces Faith, and leads us to the lives He designed us to lead.

On Rest

“How are you?” Said any random acquaintance you run into in the grocery store or the airport or at the soccer field.

“I’m good. Pretty good. Busy, but good.” We answer, nearly every time.

It’s like we know that “busy” subtracts from the good we are experiencing. And yet, even so, we wear “busy” like the ID badge needed for meaningful life.

We boast about how little sleep we got. How much we’ve been traveling. How late we worked. How many balls we are juggling. It seems, no matter the amount of time we have in a day, it’s never enough. Our to-do list expands to fill the time.

This is not how we were designed to live. We were designed to live in peace, love, joy, goodness, kindness, patience, meekness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22). We were designed to lie down by a green pasture and let the Good Shepherd care for us (Psalm 23). Those characteristics certainly aren’t correlated with busy-ness. So many of us can quote these truths from scripture, but most of us don’t live as if we believe they are meant for us, at least not in whatever “season of life” we are in.

So, what gives?

Let’s explore the things that are keeping us from rest. The fears, the responsibility we feel for everyone and everything, the strain and striving, and the affirmation and validation of others that hits us like dopamine. We’ll identify the thoughts that are keeping us from rest, and begin to discover that the time we needed to rest was there all along.

Lead with Faith and

Deep Trust

Let’s work together to grow your business and your leadership

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