Ablaze Ministries is governed by a Board of Directors. Members of the board represent various experts in youth ministry and many other industries, in addition to being passionate members of their communities.
Hometown: College Station, Texas
Ministry Background: I have been working in youth ministry since August of 2001 when I was the Director of Youth Ministry for St. Philip the Apostle Catholic Church in Lewisville, TX.
My most recent experience is here in the Brazos Valley, working at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Bryan. We have served there since 2009, building the ministry from 9 teens to an average of 45+ teens per night. Before coming to St. Joseph’s in Bryan much of my experience was with high school youth- to be honest, middle school youth scared me! After years of ministry in the middle school age group I have come to see how important it is to minister to these youth and help them ignite a fire for Christ and discipleship that will help them on their journey with Christ.
At least once a year I am brought in to the Diocese of Austin by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry office to help train local youth ministers by presenting portions of the Basic Certificate of Youth Ministry. For more details please view my personal site.
Passions and interests: I am the proud father of 5 amazing children, 3 boys and 2 girls. Levi (12), Asher (10), Trinity (6), Eden (4), baby Isaac, and the loving husband of my beautiful bride Weslei. Much of my passions and interests revolve around my family. I am a den leader, t-ball and baseball coach and stay at home dad.
I’m constantly reading books about our faith, the more I learn the more I fall in love with this beautiful Church that Christ founded. I want every Catholic no matter their age to truly realize this amazing gift, and I hope to be able to do everything that God wants me to do in order to realize this.
How did you become involved with Ablaze/why are you involved? As I noticed some unfortunate trends in youth ministry, I began talking with friends in ministry to develop a solution. Ablaze Ministries is the result of many discussions, much prayer and discernment. I truly believe that Ablaze presents a viable model to respond to the needs of every church.
Favorite quote/Bible verse:
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father. What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
– Matthew 18:10-14
Jim has been involved with diocesan and parish ministry, evangelization and leadership development for more than 30 years. A graduate from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 1987, he has served in various roles of leadership for national, regional and local ministry ever since.
Jim Beckman is currently the Executive Director of Evangelization and Catechesis for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. Jim has built solid and thriving ministry programs in numerous parishes and Dioceses over the years. He also serves as the Executive Director of ImpactCenter, a non-profit dedicated to leadership development in the Catholic Church, and as an adjunct professor for the Augustine Institute in Denver, CO. Jim also is an Ambassador for Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Jim served on the Board of Trustees for Bishop Machebeuf High School in Denver for 8 years. He is currently on the Board of Directors for the National Service Committee for Charismatic Renewal and for Casting Nets Ministries in Wichita, KS.
Jim and his wife, Meg, live in Oklahoma City with their five children.
Ann has been an independent sales and marketing consultant since 2010. She previously held positions as Principal’s Secretary at Jesuit College Preparatory School of Dallas, Sales and Marketing representative for Hall Marketing Group, and marketing assistant at Essex Broadway Savings Bank.
Ann is on the board of directors for Elizabeth House Maternity Home in the Brazos Valley, a member of Brazos County Master Gardeners, assists with the Fertility Care Center at St. Mary’s Catholic Center, and is active in parish life. In conjunction with Butterflies in the Brazos and the City of College Station, Ann coordinates with other volunteers to expand, maintain, and sustain the gardens at Bee Creek Park.
Ann received a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology in 1979 from Texas A&M University.
Ann and her husband Rodney have 6 married children, 6 grandchildren and 3 more expected in 2018.
Jodi Jones is a partner in the College Station office of Seidel Schroeder and currently heads up the firm tax department for their three office locations. She has practiced in public accounting for nearly 30 years in her original hometown of Ft. Worth, followed by her home in Bryan/College Station. Jodi enjoys building relationships with clients that transcend tax and encompass business planning and personal & professional success. Her practice includes federal tax planning & preparation for individuals, flow thru entities, and corporations with niche expertise in real estate and physician practices.
Jodi has a strong passion for children and education, and she has focused her volunteer efforts on Bryan ISD host programs, classroom volunteers, and Junior Achievement. She has served her profession with board and committee positions of the Brazos Valley Chapter of CPAs and the Texas Society of CPAs. Additionally, she was a founding board member of Sundance Equine Assisted Therapies – an organization dedicated to improving the health and quality of life for children and adults living with disabilities using therapeutic equestrian activities.
Jodi received a B.B.A. from Texas A&M in 1989 with a major in accounting and her CPA license from the State of Texas in 1992. Jodi and her husband, Walt (a native of the Brazos Valley), have two children currently in college. As empty nesters, they continue to pursue their interests in the outdoors including camping, fishing, hiking, kayaking, and traveling.
Jeff is an accomplished engineer, angel investor, serial entrepreneur, PhD/MBA and avid student of life with an aptitude for strategy and analytical problem solving. Currently, Jeff is serving as CEO and President of Gazoo, a cloud services company based in Texas supporting university and K-12 educational institutions. He is also an active mentor at the tech accelerator SeedSumo and the managing member of
MR POINT Investments.
Prior to Gazoo, Jeff McDougall started five other entities with two successful exits including PivotPoint Solutions and EOS Analytics. As President and Founder of PivotPoint Solutions, Jeff led business development, served as the chief scientist and provide strategic direction and operations oversight. These activities helped PivotPoint provide life-saving E-911 software solutions into the entrenched field of telecommunications which supported Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Metro PCS, Cricket and Alltel – all across national footprints.
During his early career, Jeff split time between academia and research laboratories. He served as a faculty member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Texas A&M for three years before leaving to start PivotPoint Solutions. Prior to this, Jeff worked at both the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University and Southwest Research Institute.
Weslei Rice is a Family Medicine physician with St. Joseph Family Medicine in Bryan. She has been in practice for 10 years and specializes in family care and obstetrics.
Weslei currently serves as the department co-chair for the Department of Family Medicine at St. Joseph Regional Health Center. She was a founding board member of the Elizabeth House Maternity Home.
Dr. Rice has a B.S. in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M, class of 1999. She has an M.D. from University of Texas Southwestern and graduated residency from MacNeal Family Medicine in Chicago.
Weslei and Matt have been married for 17 years and have six children.
Andrew Robison serves as the President of Petrus Development, a consulting firm that helps Catholic nonprofits establish and grow strong development programs. Prior to this role, Andrew worked for 12 years in fund development across many sectors of the nonprofit community, including roles in Catholic campus ministry, higher ed and academic medicine. Additionally, Andrew has co-founded multiple small businesses including Attic Productions in 2006 and My Class Gift, LLC in 2015.
Andrew earned his B.A. in History from Texas A&M University in 2004 and his M.A. in Philanthropy & Development from Saint Mary’s University in Minnesota in 2008.
Andrew married his wife, Cheryl in 2007 and they live with their two daughters Annabel (8) and Nora (3) in College Station, TX.