CONFERENCE SPEAKERS

Fiona Givens

"The Divine Among Us"

Saturday: 9:30-10:30
Saturday: 10:45-10:45

Fiona Givens was born in Nairobi, educated in British convent schools, and converted to the LDS church in Frankfurt-am-Main. She earned degrees in French, German, and in European History while co-raising six children. Fiona has worked as a lobbyist, a translator, and as chair of a French language program. She is a frequent speaker on podcasts and at conferences. She now works as an independent scholar, having published with Kofford Books, Exponent II, LDS Living, The Journal of Mormon History, Dialogue and other venues. In addition to co-writing The God Who Weeps (Ensign Peak, 2012), she is the joint author of The Crucible of Doubt: Reflections on the Quest for Faith (Deseret 2014) and The Christ who Heals: How God Restored the Truth that Saves Us (Deseret, 2017. She currently resides with her husband and Andrew’s dog, Zoe, in Montpelier, Virginia.

Dr. Erin Holmes

"Accidental Trailblazing:
A Disciple's Expedition"

Saturday: 9:30-10:30
Saturday: 10:45-10:45

Dr. Erin Kramer Holmes is an associate professor and associate director of the Brigham Young University School of Family Life. She earned her BS at BYU with university honors, her MS at the University of Delaware, and her PhD at The University of Texas at Austin. All three degrees were in human development and family sciences fields. Dr. Holmes’ research focuses on fathering and mothering, including the effects of co-parenting, mental health, and employment on parents and children. For her research in these areas, Dr. Holmes won the National Council on Family Relations Award for Best Research Article on Men in Families by a New Professional, and was also a finalist for the international Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award for Excellence in Work-Family Research (placing her article in the top seven of 2,500 articles published on work and family in 2012). She has received teaching awards from the School of Family Life Student Association, and from the School of Family Life. Dr. Holmes has served as co-chair of the Men in Families Focus Group at the National Council on Family Relations, served as Guest Editor of a special issue of the journal “Fathering” focused on community services for fathers, and served as co-chair of the Theory Construction and Research Methods Workshop at the National Council on Family Relations. Dr. Holmes has been married for 20 years this August to her opera-singing husband and together they have 3 children.

Brad and Dana Smith

"Embrace Every Experience"

Friday: 2:05-3:05

Brad and Dana Smith live in the Manila 12th Ward, Pleasant Grove Manila Stake, where they currently serve as the Stake Self Reliance Specialists. Two years ago they returned from serving for three years as Mission President and wife in the Florida Tallahassee Mission. Previous to serving in Florida, the Smith’s served as Mission President and wife in the Marshall Islands, Majuro Mission, and several years at the Provo Missionary Training Center. They have five children, and eleven grandchildren, and a bucket list of things to do with all of them since returning home. Through mission experience, family trials, and individual faith promoting experiences, the Smith’s have learned that time is precious and must be utilized each day in the best possible way to bless and strengthen others, and to sanctify ourselves for the blessings of heaven.

Drew Wilson

"What Will Ye That I Should Do For You? ... You Mean I Have to Do Something?"

Saturday: 1:45-2:45
Saturday: 3:00-4:00

Drew Wilson lives in Lehi, Utah with his wife and two children. He served his mission in Philadelphia, and works in sales for a flooring manufacture. He has served as the Young Men’s President, Elders Quorum President, and is currently a Bishop. Drew is a home-grown comedian with an amazing sense of humor. His powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and fun filled stories will delight those far and near. He is on the Board of Directors for the Lehi Civic Improvement Association. His hobbies include riding horses, snowmobiling, camping, and everything else outdoors.

Becky Edwards

"Heaven Journaling: Combining Prayer, Scriptures and Writing to Open the Door of Heaven's Revelation"

Saturday: 1:45-2:45
Saturday: 3:00-4:00

Becky Edwards is a faith-based life coach, speaker (including BYU Women’s Conference), and a blogger at Purpose Driven Motherhood. She has years of experience speaking in firesides, conferences, summits, podcasts, and events. She has retreats and trainings to help people discover and achieve their divine life purpose. She has taught LDS institute and seminary, and has created systems of tools for scripture feasting, power praying, and heaven journaling. In fact, she has taught thousands of people the simple process of heaven journaling just in the past year. Becky has a strong conviction of how “small and simple” holy habits bring “great things to pass.” Becky loves helping people connect with and receive God’s guidance, to become and do what He put them on earth to become and do. Having overcome many challenges herself, she loves helping people break through barriers and improve their mindset, emotions, relationships, habits, to reach their goals and live their life purpose. She loves helping people access God’s power to do things that before looked impossible. Becky and Mike have been married 26 years. They have five children and three grandchildren. Becky graduated from BYU studying parenting, marriage, and counseling. You can check out her blog at purposedrivenmotherhood.blogspot.com.

Travis Deming

"My Good Friend Fear: The Turbulent Relationship of Progression"

Saturday: 1:45-2:45

Saturday: 3:00-4:00

Travis Deming is an animator working for the LDS Church, creating a wide range of animated media for the members around the world. Known for his initial work “The Coat” a story from the childhood of Heber J. Grant, he has created countless other animations for various departments within the church including LDS Youth, Family Search, Mormon Messages, LDS Social media and Mormon.org. Considered the Walt Disney of the LDS church by the accredited voices in his head, he wields an imagination that borders delusional. Though diagnosed with optimistic imaginative disorder, also known as “daydreaming”, he has managed to use his weakness as a means to forge a path of strength in a territory most dare not travel. Travis spends his free time in a constant pursuit to navigate Ikea without getting lost, and leaving freelance projects to the last minute while he lectures his children while helping them with their projects that they had left to the very last minute. Currently, Travis is working to pursue his dream of interactive and immersive storytelling with a fantasy book series, as well as building his own small scale animation studio.

Ann Washburn

"Body Language and How Others Perceive You"

Friday: 3:15-4:15

Ann is a dynamic, inspiring speaker, a mentor, and a body language expert. She has given over 3,200 presentations throughout the country, including a TEDx talk on the effects of body language, and has appeared on television and radio 22 times. She has trained thousands to be trainers with her detailed understanding of the messages people send through their body language, and to use nonverbal communications to go from messy to mastery in their lives. She is an effective, successful mentor and trainer. The techniques she shares are simple and down to earth, and her success comes because they work.

Buck Mendenhall

"Move Forward With Faith"

Friday: 1:00-2:00

Born in Salt Lake City in 1963 to Bob and Phyllis Mendenhall. Move to Alpine Utah when he was eleven. Loved being in the country breaking and training cow cutting horses, hauling hay, irrigating and driving trucks and tractors at an early age. Graduated from American Fork High School 1982. Dated Carol Lynn Avina from Alpine for six months before his mission where he served in the Quetzaltenango, Guatemala mission where he spoke Spanish and Quiche. Married the love of his life, Carol Lynn in the Salt Lake City temple. Graduated from BYU in 1989 and then did a masters in Physical Therapy in 1991. Worked in provo for one year, then went to Douglas Arizona for four years as director of rehabilitation. His fourth son Zeth was born in Arizona and had Downs syndrome and Hiershsprungs disease. The family came back to Utah where they had more family and support. Zeth has gone through 22 surgeries. Owner of Mendenhall and Orrock physical therapy and sports medicine for the last 20 years. He has five boys, five grandchildren and one on the way. He has coached for the last 30 years all sports but mostly baseball, football, wrestling, basketball, soccer. Loves working with the youth/young men. Still enjoys training cow horses, cow dogs, salsa gardening, and a new hobby – making homemade ice cream.