2020 left a mark. Like an unexpected earthquake, it shook families, careers, social and even political foundations, but you can emerge with confidence into 2021!
Join the online gathering of Influence Women on January 28th at 5 p.m PT, as Kathleen Cooke, media executive and co-founder of The Influence Lab hosts actress Nancy Stafford and women’s leader Lisa Kai, who have conquered life’s aftershocks to emerge victorious in their personal and professional lives. We will tackle questions like:
How can we think courageously, vanquish fear, and grasp the critical steps to face any challenge in 2021?
What are specific steps we can we take when the tentacles of fear begin to surround us?
Join women from around the world as we explore these questions and bring God’s wisdom and understanding to inspire, mentor and encourage your life and career.
And be a friend – share the event by forwarding the link and information. Let’s unite, and grow in our faith, relationships and careers.
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Speaker Resource Page – Here
Kathleen Cooke, co-founder of The Influence Lab and EVP of Cooke Media Group explores relationships with three top leaders in the Hollywood industry. Kathleen knows the struggles of media and entertainment professionals and has gathered these stellar women for some stimulating and challenging conversation:
Dr. Naima Lett, an award-winning actress and producer, co-pastor of Hope in the Hills, Beverly Hills, and co-founder of the 40/50 Project to heal racial division. Naima holds a master’s degree in media and communication and a doctorate degree in theology and has a passion to help leaders find their purpose and follow their dreams while deepening their faith.
Renee Lawless is a Broadway and TV actress and true southern belle. She plays Katheryn Cryer in Tyler Perry’s, The Have and Have Nots, OWN’s most popular show. Renee is in development for a new web series and a DIY show with the Hallmark Channel, and loves all things inspirational. Grab a copy of her gospel CD, Renee Lawless, A Live Sampler and you will be inspired to rock on.
Linda Blazy is the EVP of Contenting Licensing for PureFlix. She brings a rich knowledge and extensive years of experience in film and TV content, acquisitions and licensing to the conversation. Her wisdom on bridging and building business relationships coupled with her passion to see Biblically based content in the marketplace, has placed PureFlix in the top seat as a trusted family-friendly brand.
Listen in as they explore these questions:
What is a friend in today’s social media and polarizing culture?
How can we be a true friend – a friend of God and one to others?
How can we build trusted business relationships in the collaborative world of media and entertainment?
Influence Women from LA and many from around the United States came together to listen to cultural issues, grow in wisdom, and give of themselves for Influence Evening at the Hollywood Salvation Army Corps on September 23th, 2019.
This Hollywood location basecamp for those who are homeless and suffering brought Hollywood industry women face to face with the endless need and help that the Salvation Army endeavors to meet. IN Women came early to help feed and pray for the over 400 (mostly 15 to 25-year-olds) men and women living on the street in this film and celebrity capitol who show up twice a week for a meal, prayer and encouragement.
Influence Women then continued later that night with conversations and connections in the beautifully renovated theater lobby of the Salvation Army. Lieutenants Fredy and Michelle Miranda graciously assisted in hosting the Influence Lab Women’s Gathering and opened the evenings event with prayer and conversation on the ongoing work the Salvation Army Western Territory does in Hollywood.
We then were blessed with showcasing and discussing Emily Hibard’s documentary film, The Honor Project. Emily is a business leader, writer, producer/director and Founder of Idle Tuesday’s Recording Studio. With the culture’s resurgent of the women’s movement and its attention to the social media movements of #MeToo and #WeToo in recent years, we have forgotten that men aren’t all evil and unjust. As Christians we are called to be instruments of courageous forgiveness and to bring unity whenever possible (Romans 12). Emily’s first ever documentary film encouraged those attending to pay attention to the culture’s conversation, to be peacemakers and not always peacekeepers, but to choose to be a conveyor of God’s love even when hate and distain is central. Her connection and involvement with The Influence Lab helped to spark and complete this project and we were inspired and challenged with how this powerful film has changed lives.
Simon Swart, CEO of Nthibah Pictures, formally EVP and General Manager with Twentieth Centry Fox Home Entertainment, joined Kathleen on stage with publicist, producer and senior advisor to Joel Osteen, Jackelyn Iloff. These two Christian producers and leaders have joined together to form the South Coast Alliance. They presented their recent project, I am All Girls, for its premier LA unveiling. This edgy but powerful film based on true events tells the story of an investigator who forms an unlikely bond with a serial killer to bring down a global child sex trafficking syndicate. After showing the extra long trailer, Kathleen discussed with Simon and Jackelyn their involvement and the ongoing battle to fight the devastation of lives that runs rampant both globally and within the U.S. by the sex trade industry. Hope is being brought through this movie and prayer was offered up to bring God’s army, both on earth and in heaven to continue to battle this evil and destruction.
Kathleen then shared with those attending the story and life changing work of two historic women of influence, Catherine (wife of Salvation Army Founder, William Booth), and Evangeline (daughter, U.S Commander, and 4th General of the global Salvation Army) Booth. Their lives still mentor and inspire all as they courageously chose to walk into the mire of life and bring Hope to others without discrimination. They were women who worked and assisted tirelessly with those who were caught in poverty, challenged with chaotic events and the many destructive and evil issues of our broken world. Their legacy continues to encourage us today to do the same with the talents and skills we have been blessed with, and to do the work God has placed before us as leaders in media and entertainment.
Finally, because IN Women believe that prayer and Bible reading is essential in our lives, the evening ended as IN Women gathered to pray with and for each other in prayer circles.
Don’t miss the next Influence Evening!
Look for the announcement of the next upcoming event and sign up for the bi-monthly journal in the Influence Women’s Journal.
The Influence Lab was thrilled to host an Influence Women’s Gathering at the National Religious Broadcasting Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. Women came united from national and global cities who work in diverse areas of media and entertainment with focused hearts on Jesus and to challenge cultural thinking. With the resurgence of women rights, and growing political and social dilemmas, IN Women want to do more than just use their skills and talents to bring solutions. They want to change the culture. As Christian professional women, they know media’s powerful effect on the world both personally and globally. Media controls ears with ceaseless noise, eyes with indelible images and diverts thoughts to disrupt lives. Knowing this, IN Women are passionate to use media and entertainment to effectively bring positive and spiritual transformation to the world.
IN Women desire to be leaders with grace, clarity and wisdom, to speak the language of our media consumed culture and engage them with God’s redemptive remedy through media.
At the NRB IN Women’s Gathering we were inspired to go forward relentlessly by two presenters and the life of a historic woman of influence. If you missed it, here’s a few highlights:
Through the twists and turns of career journeys, Suzy Sammons, founder and brand and marketing strategist of the Hawkeye.Pro agency, Suzy is editor at large for the Giving Company, and a strategy consultant for 5X5 Productions. Susie’s diverse background with the Dove Foundation, and Family Christian has taught her that wherever God places you He is preparing you for greater things. Her work and obedience brought those attending inspiration. When unexpected changes happen God never abandons us and just keeps directing our paths if we trust Him. He is in control and His ultimate plan for our life never fails to bring joy even when His plan brings challenges. We need to say yes and go.
Ann White, with Courage For Life, next brought her powerful life journey and reminded us to expect the unexpected and be willing to step into the mess of the world. She boldly walks into the lives of hurting women daily and brings the One Hope for our world – Jesus. Initially untrained but willing, Ann said yes to all God placed in front of her. Yes, to not knowing but to trusting. She shared her many roadblocks but how the Word of God was and still is her powerful remedy and guide. When a written Bible wasn’t fully communicating to the at-risk women and prisoners she worked with, Ann fearlessly produced an audio Bible. When a man’s voice was disrupting due to past trauma and injustice, she created an audio Bible voiced by women. An audio Bible that had never been created before. As a result, the CFL audio Bible is now being downloaded onto tens of thousands of devices and into the ears of female (and now male) prisoners and even their families. It is impacting the disruptive culture of poverty and injustice. The light of God’s Word is changing hurting and hopeless lives as never before. As the Bible teaches, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”
Our lives that day at the NRB’s IN Gathering were encouraged and challenged by the obedience and action of both Suzy and Ann.
Finally, Kathleen Cooke, Co-founder of The Influence Lab and Founder of Influence Lab Women, mentored attendees with an historic woman of influence, Elaine Townsend. Elaine was the wife of the founder of Wycliffe Bible Translators, Cameron Townsend. Elaine’s life story resonates personally with Kathleen’s passion to see the culture discover and rediscover the life transforming power of the Bible. Kathleen’s own personal life journey of working side by side with her husband, media producer Phil Cooke, and their company, Cooke Media Group parallels Elaine and Cameron’s lives in many ways. They too work together in the mission fields of Hollywood and media, travel and speak to global communities and try to translate the language of today’s media culture so that God’s message of love can be heard. They, like the Townsend’s know the challenges of working where God’s light is dim and where His message is seldom understood.
Here’s three points that those attending walked away with at the NRB Influence Women’s Gathering.
Elaine recognized her unique childhood. Elaine’s life was full of people and uncertainty as God prepared her for her life’s mission without knowing all the challenges to come. She taught us that God doesn’t always tell us how to do something but expects us to be available or on call and willing to go. She and Cameron were known to be creative, inventive, fearless and willing to walk into the difficult. God is always with us even in the unknown and our job is to trust and obey. It’s never easy, always challenging but the reward is great and often not seen immediately.
Elaine taught us that relationships matter. In our era of social media “friends” and increasing mistrust, media has provided us with the ability to connect but has increasingly caused the opposite. Our world is rapidly growing into a culture of depression, loneliness and isolation. Rapid communication has caused miscommunication and ultimately disconnection. The avalanche of media overwhelms our lives and suffocates us daily resulting in our inability to think with clarity and choose wisdom. It is exactly what our enemy, the deceiver – Satan wants to do because it causes separation and hostility. Trusted relationships are dwindling as the culture escapes into trusting only themselves. God instructs us to be in relationship with Him and with others and that is our ongoing challenge in our media distracted age.
Elaine taught us to be courageous. Her life challenges us to break through the ramparts with the light of God’s Word and the message that God can be trusted and relied on. The final years of her life were razor sharp. She cultivated curiosity and tirelessly continued her lifelong mission to know others and share God’s unconditionally love. She confronted everyone she met with this question, “tell me something that I can remember you by?” God knows the number of hairs on our head and when a sparrow falls to the ground and wants to know us intimately. But we have to choose to boldly serve and know Him and to make it priority in our busy and over scheduled life. “Choose this day whom you will serve” Joshua 24:14-15.
Elaine died at the age of 91, in 2007. Wycliffe Bible Translators completed its first translation in 1951 and has gone on to translate the Bible in over five hundred languages. With two thousand languages yet to be translated, the Museum of the Bible has partnered alongside Wycliffe with the hope of reaching this goal by 2050 or sooner.
Today, I hope you will ponder the richness of wisdom from Suzy Sammons, Ann White and Elaine Townsend as woman of influence. These are just three women who used, and continue to use, their talents and skills in media joined with their faith in God to inspire and change the culture.
Please help us share the Influence Lab with others.
If you know of a woman involved in media or entertainment who would like to join us to grow in faith, shared wisdom and challenge the culture send them a link to the bi-monthly free journal at influencelab.com/women. Encourage them to follow us on social media and engage in the conversation.
We are endlessly honored and blessed with your support and encouragement. Your heart to come along side us with your donations of skills, talents and finances as a community of believers in God is priceless. We are always thrilled to hear from you and know how Influence Lab has been a blessing to you and can serve you more, so send us a note and stay connected.
See you at the next Influence Lab Women’s gathering in LA coming soon this Fall.
We were all blessed at Influence Lab’s Women’s Evening gathering on January 31st, 2020 at Castle Studios in LA. Women gathered to celebrate friendship, their faith in God and to encourage and inspire those who gathered to be instruments of excellence in both their careers and in their lives. Here’s some quick moments in case you miss it:
Shirin Taber shared about the continuing challenges of women globally for freedom and to invite IN Women to enter the new Dare to Overcome Film Competition for 2020. This unique film competition is designed to challenge female filmmakers to create short films that are innovative and focused on religious freedom. The films will be screened before world-class CEO’s and NGO leaders for the Global Business and Peace Awards in Tokyo, Japan. The winner will receive a $5000. prize and a special showing at the Tokyo Global Symposium August 23-15. Entries are due June, 1st 2020. For complete info contact: empowerwomen.media or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathleen shared the life and story of Legacy Woman of Influence – Elaine Townsend. Elaine was the wife to Wycliffe Bible Translator Ministries founder, Cameron Townsend. She was relentless in how she cared for people and the mission God had set before her and her husband which was to translate the Bible into every language. From an early beginning, her passion to serve where needed was evident as God directed her steps. She focused on caring for people and in developing deep friendships that opened doors. She said that God calls us to be “available” and “on call.” Life has uncertainty but we are called to solve problems creatively. She and Cameron were known for their inventiveness. She often greeted people with this question, “tell me something about yourself that I can remember you by?” She was never too busy to step into other’s lives.
Mon Ami a nonprofit led by DeAnna Kane and Leslie Callaway then shared about developing friendships and how to start the conversations. How to initiate conversations and bring hospitality and the message of the love of Jesus to the offices, production sets, and every place we land with acts of extraordinary kindness. To bring friendship to a lonely depressed world. They publish a magazine each month called Heart of Hospitality and for this month only, and to Influence Women followers, you can download the Christmas issues for free at:
The final session of the evening was then focused on developing true and lasting friendships. In the age of social media “friends.” We are losing our ability to be a real friend. Hollywood Reporter last year wrote a revealing article on the loneliness that plagues Hollywood. The Industry is a hollow. It is all glitz and smiles on the outside with no connection on the inside to genuine relationships. The competition within the industry leads to depression and emptiness. Everyone is your friend until your influence is no longer or that deal never happens or that contract ends. It’s not just in Hollywood but loneliness is affecting the entire world. The UK now as a Minster of Loneliness to address the many lonely people in their country, Japan has a epidemic of old people dying alone, and in our country the Surgeon General has said that depression is growing creating health issues equal to smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
We broke up into small groups and began conversations on who are most memorable friend was in our life and threw out ideas on how to bring acts of kindness to others followed by prayer for each other and our global community of women.
For all who attended, we were blessed to have had you there to share this God inspired gathering with other creative and artistic women of faith working in media and entertainment. We hope you met a new friend and that you take the initiative this week to reach out to someone new in friendship yourself. We can’t wait for the next event when we can gather again as a community of friends of God united in using wisdom and lifting up God’s name.
For those who weren’t able to attend we pray that your journey with God continues to grow strong and that His presence is made known in your life as never before. We hope to see you next time.
All for Jesus