THE COLOSSIAN FORUM TEAM IS COMMITTED TO SHARING THE HOPE OF UNITY IN THE PRESENCE OF DIVISION
Our staff and board utilize their individual expertise, skills, and passions to further our organizational mission.
Pursuing Missional Impact
Advising Strategic Direction
Exploring New Opportunities
Rev. Michael Gulker: President
Since 2011, Michael has been leading The Colossian Forum in building strategic partnerships and providing organizational direction.
A native of West Michigan, Michael studied philosophy and theology at Calvin College, has a divinity degree from Duke Divinity School, and is an ordained Mennonite pastor. Before joining The Colossian Forum, he served as pastor of Christ Community Church in Des Moines, Iowa. Michael and his wife, Jodie, have two children.
Rev. Dr. Tanner Smith: Chief of Staff
Tanner manages our strategic initiatives and internal processes to help move our transformative mission from theory to reality.
Tanner loves to co-create healthy cultures where team members experience fulfillment, belonging, and accomplishment. Tanner completed his doctorate in Mission and Leadership in 2016 from Luther Seminary and is an ordained minister in The Reformed Church in America. Tanner spends as much time as possible outdoors with his wife and 3 children.
Rev. Jess Shults: Chief Partnerships Officer
Jess leads and executes our program deployment ensuring we understand and exceed our partners’ expectations and needs.
Jess is ordained in the Reformed Church in America and earned her M.Div. from Western Theological Seminary and Bachelor of Arts from Northwestern College. She previously served for 18 years as a pastor at Standale Reformed Church. When not working, you can find Jess and her husband cheering on their two boys at their sporting events.
Dr. Stacey Wieland: Vice President of Programming, Research, and Evaluation
Stacey develops and evaluates the practices underpinning our conflict transformation programs and crafts components of our resource ecosystem.
Stacey earned her PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder. A specialist in organizational communication, her qualitative research focuses on identity, culture, and discourse. Stacey has published in journals such as Communication Monographs, Management Communication Quarterly, Communication Theory, and The Journal of Applied Communication Research.
Rev. Kevin Douglas: Vice President of Relationships
Kevin fosters relationships between The Colossian Forum and churches, Christian schools, and non-profit organizations to help them implement our mission.
Kevin earned his bachelor’s in marketing and business from Central Michigan University 2009 and his Master of Divinity from Moody Theological Seminary in 2016. He has a wide range of ministry and business experience from starting a digital marketing company to being a co-pastor for a growing church plant in the heart of New York City.
Andy Saur: Vice President of Operations
Andy makes everyone’s life easier by providing administrative support to the President and overseeing many of the organization’s systems.
Andy has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Wheaton College and completed a diploma in Entertainment Business Management from Vancouver Film School. In his spare time, he seeks sunshine and a city bench to create art of his own in the form of poetry.
Rev. Matt Postma: Director of Development
Matt invites individuals and organizational partners into deeper connections with The Colossian Forum’s mission and maintains deep connections with our partners.
Previously, Matt worked as a pastor at Calvin University and with InterVarsity at Grand Valley State University. He earned his M.Div. from Calvin Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Arts from Dordt College. When he’s not working, you can find Matt roasting coffee, learning more about fly fishing, or enjoying time with his family.
Monica Risch: Relationships Manager
Monica builds relationships with those interested in our work, especially in The Colossian Way, and coaches participants toward greater impact.
Monica earned her BA in Strategic Communication from Cornerstone University and is currently working on her MA in Character Education from the Jubilee Centre at the University of Birmingham (UK). In her spare time, you’ll catch her playing board games with friends, sipping a Cafe Miel, and exploring city parks.
Ben Bland: Communications and Advancement Manager
Ben ensures compelling and consistent communication of our vision, organizational updates, and formational practices to our friends and partners.
Ben earned his bachelor’s in professional writing from Michigan State University and is currently working on his master’s in strategic communication from Butler University. His writing process regularly includes a refreshing cup of tea and listening to the scores from his favorite Marvel movies.
Gabbie Tiesma: Administrative Assistant
Gabbie contributes to a wide range of functions within the organization, providing administrative support to the programming, sales, and deployment teams.
Gabbie earned her MA in Human Services Counseling – Business from Liberty University and has experiences in human services and elementary education. Outside of work, you can find her enjoying a cup of coffee on her front porch, scouring the local thrift stores for hidden gems, or sharing a meal with family and friends.
Gene Miyamoto: Chair
Gene serves as a principal advisor and CEO of a healthcare service private consultancy and is based in Holland, MI.
Gene has led and served in health system C-Suite and Board roles for 40 years, including (to name a few): Spectrum Health (now Corewell Health), Priority Health, Trinity Health, and Ascension Health. Gene has a B.A. from Calvin University in Philosophy and a M.H.S.A from the University of Michigan.
Juli Morse: Vice Chair
Juli serves as Vice President of Customer Success at Swan Island Networks in Portland, OR.
Juli is a mechanical engineer, entrepreneur, and founder of River Parkway Labs, with 17 years of experience working in the high tech and consumer goods industries. She graduated from George Fox University with a B.S. in Engineering and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.
Kristi Potter: Secretary/Treasurer
Kristi most recently served as director of the January Series at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, MI.
Kristi served as part of the January Series staff at Calvin University (Grand Rapids, MI) from 1996 to 2022, acting as the Series’ Director for 15 years. She is a graduate of Calvin University and has served as an elder at Calvary Christian Reformed Church (Wyoming, MI).
Mycal Brickhouse: Director
Mycal serves as the Senior Pastor of Cary First Christian Church (Cary, NC) and the Managing Director of Grants at Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School (Durham, NC).
Mycal earned a BA in Political Science and a BA in African American Studies from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as well as a MDiv from Duke Divinity School. Mycal is an active volunteer in the community and currently serves as a member of the Cary Coalition of Wake County Habitat for Humanity, and the Chairperson of the Western Regional Community Advisory Committee of Wake County Human Services.
Patricia Duthler: Director
Patricia serves as the Managing Investor and CEO at Duthler Holdings, LLC.
Patricia has served as the Executive Director of GROW (Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women) and as a senior consultant with Greystone Global of Chicago. She graduated with a BA in secondary education from Calvin College and a BS in international business from Aquinas College. She has also earned a Master of Public Administration from Western Michigan University and a Master Certificate in Applied Project Management from Villanova University.
Christine Metzger: Director
Christine is the Head of School at Lexington Christian Academy (Lexington, MA).
Christine earned her B.A. in Education from Calvin College, an M.Ed. in Educational Administration and Supervision from Covenant College and was a fellow in the inaugural cohort of the VanLunen Center for Executive Management. The majority of Christine’s nearly 30-year career centers in senior leadership experience in non-profits, managing organizations of 40–80 people and budgets of $2M to $10M.
Tru Pettigrew: Director
Tru is the founder/owner of Tru Access and is the first Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Tru is a celebrated author, an engaging speaker, a committed community leader, and an award-winning marketing executive with close to 20 years of experience at the nation’s top advertising & marketing agencies. He founded Tru Access to help individuals and organizations bridge gaps across areas that cause division, dysfunction, and separation.
Perrin Rynders: Director
Perrin is a trial attorney and partner at Varnum Law in Grand Rapids, MI.
Perrin has served with Varnum Law since 1985 where he has successfully prosecuted and defended a wide variety of business and commercial disputes, ERISA cases, employment cases, product liability and personal injury cases, health care fraud and tax matters. He earned his J.D. from University of Michigan Law School and his B.A. in History from Calvin University.
EXPLORE OPPORTUNITIES TO JOIN
We are grateful for your interest in the work of our organization and invite you to prayerfully consider applying for an open position that would uniquely fit your skills and passions.
Rooting Ourselves in the Gospel
The Colossian Forum team is made up of dedicated Christians who seek to bring the reconciliation of Christ to a divided society. We orient ourselves through prayerful encounters with God, starting each day with a shared time of Scripture reading as well as liturgical and intercessory prayers.
Embracing Conflict as Opportunity
We don’t just teach others to engage conflict, we implement practices of Christian conflict transformation in our daily organizational rhythms. From staff meetings to one-on-one conversations, we embrace our differences and navigate our disagreements by following our North Star: love of God and love of neighbor.
Maintaining a Culture of Excellence
We believe in working to the best of our ability, whether leaning into conflict or laying the groundwork behind the scenes. We “work with all (our) heart, as working for the Lord, not for people,” because we hold that God has invited us into our tasks, as he seeks to reconcile those within his Church to one another and to himself.
Caring Deeply for One Another
Our staff leans into life together. We share one another’s burdens and celebrate individual achievements. We genuinely care for one another and actively enjoy spending our time together. We structure our work time to leave intentional opportunities to connect as humans, not just colleagues to better understand and grow with one another.