A. Gary Shilling (Founder & Chairman) is an expert in his field as an economic consultant and columnist for Forbes Magazine, Bloomberg View, and other publications. Shilling has written eight best-selling books on economic developments and investment strategy. He holds a BA Phi Beta Kappa in physics from Amherst College and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University. He is the president of A. Gary Shilling & Co, Inc., economic consultants.
A cradle Episcopalian who grew up in a small congregation in Ohio, Shilling’s faith and commitment to the mission of the Church are the seeds for his passion to inspire transformation through the craft and ministry of preaching in the Episcopal Church and beyond. The 36 years of mission of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation has given hundreds, if not thousands of preachers, formation experiences that have enabled the gospel to be preached and hearts to be transformed. Shilling’s commitment to this ministry in the Episcopal Church has been recognized by many, including the awarding of honorary degrees from Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley at Yale, Sewanee, and the General Theological Seminary.
Carl T. Anderson (Vice Chairman) is a retired partner of Paul Hastings LLP, a leading international law firm, and secretary of the board of the Preaching Foundation. From October 2012 until June 2014, he was the chief operations officer of The Episcopal School of Los Angeles, a co-educational day school serving students in grades six through twelve. He is a life trustee and chair emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Berkeley Divinity School at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Anderson received his B.A. from Stanford University and his JD from the University of Michigan. He lives in Los Angeles, where he is an active member of All Saints Parish, Beverly Hills.
Whitney Z. Edwards is vicar of Varina Church in Henrico, Virginia. Over her 25-year career, she has led Episcopal parishes and schools on the East and West coasts and has been a missionary to India, Central America, and the Caribbean.
She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her M.Div. as a Carpenter Scholar at Yale Divinity School. She served as a trustee of Berkeley Divinity School as well as president of Berkeley’s Alumni Association.
She is a published poet and photographer, spiritual director, meditation teacher, wife, mother, and gardener.
Katie Ong has worked as a consultant for project management, strategic planning, governance, and organizational systems for 25 years. She started her career as a project manager for employment and training and infrastructure initiatives with non-profit organizations. Her last major project was with the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio, creating Bellwether Farm Camp, Retreat, and Education Center. Born in Akron and raised in Hudson, Ohio, she is a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church.
With a longstanding passion for environmental issues, Ong has incorporated environmental design and sustainability practices in many of her projects. While serving on the diocesan staff in Ohio, she became an antiracism trainer. She has also been an active volunteer for a number of organizations and served in various capacities, including as trustee, board member, committee chair, and project manager. After residing in the Cleveland, Ohio area for many years, Ong now lives in southwestern Pennsylvania on her family’s farm. She has an adult son.
Roger W. Parkhurst (Treasurer) holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from Purdue University, a J.D. from The George Washington University School of Law, and is certified in Mediating Disputes by the Harvard Law School, Program on Negotiations. He has practiced intellectual property law, that is, patent, trade secret, trademark, and trade dress law, for 50 years. He has litigated disputes in many federal and state courts and agencies and often lectured on such topics. He has been president and treasurer of both the 16,000-member American Intellectual Property Law Association and the Phi Gamma Delta Educational Foundation.
While he grew up in a multi-denominational Christian church, he has been an Episcopalian for more than 40 years. His longstanding interest in good preaching and public speaking commenced as early as his high school days, became more focused in a college speech class, and has continued to grow throughout his career.
James F. Turrell, Ph.D., was named the 15th dean of the School of Theology in July 2020. Turrell received B.A. and M.Div. degrees at Yale University and was ordained a priest in 1996, serving parishes in Indiana and Tennessee. He earned a Ph.D. in history at Vanderbilt University, focusing on religion in early modern Britain. He joined the faculty of the School of Theology in 2002, serving as professor of liturgy and associate dean for academic affairs, and he holds the Norma and Olan Mills Professorship in Divinity. Turrell’s publications include Celebrating the Rites of Initiation; articles in Studia Liturgica, Anglican Theological Review, The Seventeenth Century, and Anglican and Episcopal History; and chapters in numerous edited volumes. He has served on the Episcopal Church’s Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music and the House of Bishops’ Theology Committee. He is a canon of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem.
John Van Der Tuin (Secretary) is a practicing grandpa and attorney with the New York office of Smith Gambrell & Russell, LLP. He is a transplanted Midwesterner, growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, and Springfield, Illinois. He received his B.A. from Carleton College in Minnesota and J.D. from New York University. His law practice has focused on real estate litigation and counseling residential and commercial condominium and cooperative organizations. He has been a member of St. Marks Church In-the-Bowery, Grace Church, Brookyn Heights and Christ Church, Short Hills, where he has served on the vestry and various committees. He presently lives in Short Hills, New Jersey, and Sharon, Connecticut, with his wife, Claire.
Peter Wild is the executive director of the Episcopal Preaching Foundation with a previous career as a consumer packaged goods marketing and advertising professional.
In 2000, Wild joined Trinity Church Wall Street to lead the newly launched national magazine Spirituality & Health, which grew to an award-winning, advertiser-supported, bi-monthly thought leader in the field. Through growth, leadership changes, and the 2008 recession, Peter counts the survival of the magazine under the present owners as one of his successes.
A native of the United Kingdom, Wild now lives in Connecticut with his wife, Kay. While humbly learning the ropes as a new grandfather, his spare time activities include writing his memorable moments as an offshore sailor, marathoner, therapy dog owner, and beekeeper.
The Rev. Dr. Stephen Smith serves as coordinator for the Lay Preacher Training Initiative, an 18-month local formation experience designed to prepare effective, confident, and passionate preachers in the lay order of our Church. Smith spent 37 years in parish ministry, serving in small towns, an industrial town, and a large suburban congregation. His publications include Saving Salvation: The Amazing Evolution of Grace (Morehouse: 2005) and numerous articles and sermons for Forward Movement and others. Smith has served the Episcopal Preaching Foundation in many capacities for over 15 years, including teaching and preaching at conferences and chairing the Preaching Excellence Program (PEP). Though his triathlon days are over, Smith remains an avid bike rider and exercise enthusiast. In addition, a couple of weekends each month, he plays guitar in a classic rock and roll band for fun. The name of the band? Revdup.
Meg Ruffing is the executive assistant for the Episcopal Preaching Foundation. She has over 10+ years as an administrator where her strength in organization and creativity grew throughout the years. She is likely the first person you hear from when you are in communication with the Preaching Foundation. She enjoys meeting new people every day and helping others deliver the word of the Lord. She has been known as the “know it all” guru, but if she doesn’t have an answer, she will work hard on finding it!
Ruffing lives in New Jersey with her husband, Mike, and her four rescued feline children, Amber, Otto, Bruce, and Lawrence Taylor, and serves on the board for a local cat rescue. In her “spare” time she enjoys arts and crafts, going to the beach, and is a huge Disney nerd. Her goal is to visit every Disney Park in the world. Right now, she has Tokyo and Florida crossed off the list.
Dr. Spencer Pugh is the national coordinator for The Preaching Congregation, a new program funded by a generous five-year grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. A lay leader from the Diocese of Southern Ohio, Pugh comes to this part-time position with extensive business and church experience. He recently retired as the head of research and development for a chemical company in Cincinnati, Ohio. He now consults and leads workshops on innovation and technology management. In Southern Ohio, Spencer served as the chair of the Commission on Ministry for seven years. He is a licensed lay preacher and Stephen Ministry Leader. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Bexley-Seabury Seminary. Spencer attends St. Anne Episcopal Church in West Chester, Ohio, where he lives with Beverly, his wife of 42 years. They have three children and four grandchildren.
Richelle Thompson is the part-time communications manager for the Preaching Foundation. For more than 20 years, she has served in the Episcopal Church, committed to sharing stories of faith, discipleship, and innovation. She began her career as a secular journalist; her final role at The Cincinnati Enquirer was on the religion and social justice issue beat. She then served as director of communications for the Diocese of Southern Ohio for a decade. Since 2013, Thompson has been managing editor of Forward Movement, where she spearheads content development and production, including Forward Day by Day, books, curriculum, and special projects like the Good Book Club and #AdventWord. She lives with her husband, an Episcopal priest, in a slice of God’s country Northern Kentucky where the deer feast on the acorns (and some of her flowers), the children walk to school, and the neighbors still wave. They have two young adult children.