Innovative Strategy, Practical Tools & Soul Stirring Teaching

Accelerate your Business, Relationships & Faith

Christian Business Fellowship brings you IGNITE, The Business Acceleration Conference created to equip, encourage and energize you to greater success. Attending this one day conference will equip you with wisdom from expert speakers, connect with like-minded professionals, and learn from successful business owners who will IGNITE your passion for building a great business and living a purpose-driven life!


Dr. James MacDonald

James MacDonald (D. Min. Phoenix Seminary) is the founder and Senior Pastor of Harvest Bible Chapel. James also founded Harvest Bible Fellowship, a church planting ministry, and his practical exposition of God’s Word is broadcast around the world on radio and TV through Walk in the Word. James has authored several books and Bible studies, including Act Like Men, Authentic, When Life is Hard, Always True, and Come Home. He and his wife Kathy live in the Chicago area.

Earl Seals
N2 Publishing

Earl is the founder of CBF and co-founder of N2 Publishing, a niche publications company serving over 500 neighborhoods in 48 states. Earl cut his teeth in door-to-door sales, progressing to record-breaking branch and division leadership positions before co-founding N2. N2’s average growth per year has trended around 75% and has been recognized by Inc. 5000 magazines as the 17th fastest growing media company in the U.S. for the past 3 years.

Joe Abraham
BOSI Global

A professional entrepreneur with multiple successful businesses built under his belt, Joe is now operating partner at lifezone360 – a 125,000 sq. ft. talent stewardship facility in NW Chicago. Winner of numerous awards for his impact on global entrepreneurship, Joe is author of Entrepreneurial DNA (McGraw Hill 2011) – picked by entrepreneur magazine as one of the top business books to read in 2014. He has been featured on Fox News, CNN, ABC, CBS and the Wall Street Journal as subject matter expert in small business, entrepreneurship and free enterprise.

LaVon Koerner
Revenue Storm

With over two decades of international consulting in sales and marketing effectiveness, LaVon Koerner is recognized worldwide as a leading expert in diagnosing and transforming sales and marketing organizations. Since co-founding Revenue Storm in 2001, LaVon remains zealous in his pursuit to provide organizations a comprehensive suite of proven tools and techniques that drive profitable revenue growth. As Chief Revenue Officer, LaVon helps organizations like EDS, Sun Microsystems, Ericsson, British Telecom, Ernst and Young, and Microsoft achieve revenue acceleration through demand creation and reap immediate, sustainable gains.


Taste of CBF Teaching

From experienced subject matter experts on a wide range of topics, each teaching topic is relevant to a leader’s responsibilities and usually falls into one of these three categories:


  • Top Line
  • Practical Assessment & Operational Strategies
  • Personal Strategies


Dr. Renee McMurry-Gilman
Founder/Owner, AcuCare Total Health

Founder of AcuCare Total Health, Dr. Renee McMurry Gilman has had over twenty years as a healthcare provider and small business owner. Renee and her husband, Brit, have a strong desire to make Christ known. Pastor Brit and Dr. Renee have served ten years in missions and nine years at Harvest Bible Chapel. Together they teach and train others to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Joe D’Alessandro
Founder/CEO, SHS

A seasoned small business entrepreneur who spent his early career as a Chef and restaurateur, Joseph segued into executive and management recruiting in 2000. 2 years later he founded Strategic Hospitality Search (SHS), a values-driven agency in the hospitality niche. SHS has grown from a one-man operation to a successful nationally-recognized recruiting firm. Along the way, Joseph completed numerous operations consulting assignments, co-founded a private label food manufacturer, and serves as Director of Career Services at an internationally-renown culinary school.

Bruce Strom
President/CEO, Gospel Justice Initiative

Prior to God’s dramatic call on his life to serve the poor and vulnerable, Bruce started and led a successful multi-office law office as a trial lawyer, arguing cases all the way to the U. S. Supreme Court. Author of Gospel Justice published by Moody, an accomplished attorney, a pastor, and founder of Administer Justice (one of the nation’s leading Christian Legal Aid organizations), Bruce now serves as President & CEO of Gospel Justice Initiative, an organization committed to engaging Christ followers to serve the legal and spiritual needs of the poor. He has shared 24 wonderful years of marriage with his wife, Helen, and has 15-year-old twin sons, Joseph and Daniel.

Daniel Tolbert
Registered Agent, DaleyTang LLC

Daniel built his career managing wealth for high net worth families, accountable for over $5 Billion in assets as Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns & Company. He has extensive experience in management, consulting, and business development in multiple verticals with a track record of delivering results. Daniel has counseled, coached, and mentored many executives to peak performance, and has been a guest lecturer on entrepreneurship at Kellogg School of Management in Chicago.

Dr. Garrett Higbee, Psy.D
Executive Director of Biblical Soul Care Ministries, Harvest Bible Chapel

Garrett is the Executive Director of Biblical Soul Care Ministries at Harvest Bible Chapel. He also serves as Executive Director of the Biblical Counseling Coalition of which he is a founding board member. Additionally, Garrett is former president and co-founder of Twelve Stones Ministries located in Brown County, IN.  Dr. Higbee was trained as a clinical psychologist with a specialty in marriage and family counseling, but had a radical conversion in 1992 which led him to trust in Christ and His Word for all things related to life and counseling.  He has over twenty years of experience using the Scriptures to counsel couples, families, and youth and is dedicated to training those who lead and counsel others in Biblical soul care. Garrett is a frequent conference speaker and a contributing author for several biblical counseling books.  Additionally, he has created several Biblical Soul Care® training resources focused on small group discipleship. He and his wife Tammy have three children and live near the Harvest Bible Chapel campus in Elgin, IL.

General Session Topics

How to Build a 100 Million Dollar Company | Earl Seals
Business On Purpose | Dr. Renee McMurry-Gilman interviewed by LaVon Koerner
Exploding Out of the Plateau | Joe Abraham
What is Your Mission? | Dr. James MacDonald

Teaching Topics for Break Out Session I

Expert Sales Fundamentals I | LaVon Koerner
How is selling as a Christian different than selling as non-Christian? What does it take to not be seen as a “slick, manipulative, and fast-talking” sales person of the world, and still be even more effective? As Christians, we are in a unique position to hear things non-Christians have difficulty hearing which gives us an advantage. This session will show you how to set yourself apart from business as usual, and ensure success in sales situations.
Delegation…The Mindset of a Successful Entrepreneur | Earl Seals
Have you ever felt like your growing business is a huge weight on your shoulders and you need to clone yourself several times over? In this session you will learn how to build an organization that is self-sustaining without the ongoing need for your presence in every area.
Help! My Marketing Has Fallen And It Can’t Get Up. | Joe Abraham & Shajan Karottu
A broken brand leads to under-performing customer acquisition. In this session we’ll study the anatomy of great marketing and messaging to see where yours needs a face-lift or total overhaul.
Keeping Faith…Is That Legally Permitted in Business? | Bruce Strom, Esq.
By entering the marketplace are you required to check your faith at the door? This evolving area does not have definitive answers but there is good guidance available. Learn how to best position your business against potential attacks.
Setting Up Your Recruiting System…How to Hire “A” Players | Joseph D’Alessandro
Talent drives your business. In this session you will learn how to set up a system to attract, select, and hire the talent necessary to grow your business.
The Art of the Startup | Dr. Renee McMurry-Gilman
Great companies are built by providing solutions that truly address customer problems, and these solutions are refined/ optimized with an efficient business plan that is actionable, measurable and entrepreneur focused. Learn how to create a one page business plan that will improve the success of your startup or new product launch.

Teaching Topics for Break Out Session II

Expert Sales Fundamentals II | LaVon Koerner
What is the difference Between a “sales pitch” and a “consultative conversation”? How can being a consultant versus a sales guy differentiate you from your competitors and improve your win-rates? How can sales business transactions be accomplished in a manner that sets you apart from all other vendors? How do you create happy buyers who are eager to purchase your offerings? This session picks up where the Fundamentals I session leaves off.
Creating A Winning Culture | Earl Seals
If you want to build a large organization you must have the ability to sustain great people. Learn how to create a high-performance culture with people who are excited to work hard toward a common cause.
Mastering B2B Referrals | Joe Abraham
If your company sells business-to-business, referrals are a huge part of new customer acquisition. Discover a predictable and repeatable way to decode your referral source’s buying behavior to get their “A List” of contacts.
Resolving Conflict – How to Live in Harmony | Garrett Higbee
Do your relationships need more peace and harmony? This session will teach you how to manage and resolve difficult issues in all relationships in your life.
Setting Up Your Recruiting System…How to Hire “A” Players | Joseph D’Alessandro
Talent drives your business. In this session you will learn how to set up a system to attract, select, and hire the talent necessary to grow your business.
What Makes A Leader | Dan Tolbert
IQ and technical skills are important but Emotional Intelligence is essential for effective leadership. In this session you will learn the five components of Emotional Intelligence and ways to learn and express them in your business.

Teaching Topics for Break Out Session III

Creating a Revenue Generation Machine | Joe Abraham & LaVon Koerner
Traffic, leads and new customers are the lifeblood of any business. If you’ve got questions about how to supercharge your sales and marketing, join this roundtable for an open discussion and Q&A with the experts
Staff Training & Development | Earl Seals & Joe D’Alessandro
Hiring great talent is just the beginning. This forum will address the next steps to success: proper on-boarding, training, and development of the most important part of your business…your people.
Navigating the Changing Healthcare Laws | Dr. Renee McMurry-Gilman
There is one constant in healthcare…change. Join industry experts who will address the current trends in healthcare and how they affect your business. This discussion will attempt to answer your questions and provide you with the tools necessary to navigate this ever-changing market.
Relationships in the Moment | Garrett Higbee
This forum will provide tactics for you to use in everyday life to help you maximize your success while maintaining healthy relationships with everyone.
Legal – Avoid the Courthouse! | Bruce Strom
Each year businesses waste time and money in litigation. Perform a legal audit and position yourself to avoid the courthouse.
Optimizing Business Performance, Finance Options, and Tax Strategies | Dan Tolbert & Fred Adams
Learn how to create efficient dashboards to track operating performance, explore different financing options and discuss tax efficiencies.

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