Special Guests & Featured Presenters

Musical Guest: David Archuleta

David Archuleta became a star when he was just 16. In 2008 more than 30 million television viewers fell in love with his angelic voice and their 44 million votes made him runner-up in Season 7 of “American Idol.” Read David’s complete bio on his official website at DavidArchuleta.com.

David will be performing at Saturday afternoon’s keynote session. Open to registered conference attendees only.

Your Other Brothers

Thomas Mark Zuniga is the cofounder and editor of YourOtherBrothers.com, a community navigating faith, homosexuality, and masculinity. Together. He also hosts Your Other Brothers Podcast each month. He’s written openly about same-sex attraction since 2013, including two books — Struggle Central: Quarter-Life Confessions of a Messed Up Christian and Running To: In Search of Home on the Open Road. Tom lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and his favorite place is the space where coffee and vulnerability meet.

Elliott Gladwin is the cofounder and designer of YourOtherBrothers.com, a community navigating faith, homosexuality, and masculinity. Together. In addition to telling stories of same-sex attraction in blogs and podcasts, he works as a freelance web and graphic designer. As an artist, designer, and maker, Elliott enjoys creativity in all its forms. His passion lies in finding innovative, beautiful ways to tell vulnerable, engaging stories that inspire.

Dr. Hank Smith, PhD

Dr. Hank Smith grew up in St. George, Utah and has an MBA from Utah State University. He also has a Ph.D. from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he has worked as an instructor. In addition to his work in consulting companies and schools, Hank speaks for school assemblies around the country. Hank has also authored many books and “Audio CDs” with Covenant Communications.

Hank and his wife, Sara, currently live in Mapleton, Utah. Hank says that, “Sara is amazing, she knows everything about me and still loves me.” They have five incredibly adorable children that look exactly like their mother. Hank enjoys running marathons and eating lots of ice cream, which is why he runs marathons. More than anything else, he loves being with his wonderful wife and children.

Dr. Matt Townsend, PhD

For more than a decade, Dr. Matt Townsend has been energizing and involving audiences with his unique approach to building and maintaining successful relationships. Known as one of America’s top presenters in the field of Human Relations and Development, Matt blends humor and storytelling with interactive, real-life solutions that inspire motivation and immediate results in his audiences.

“The Matt Townsend Show” is broadcast weekday mornings on byuradio.org & Sirius XM 143 and Matt is a weekly contributor to KSL TV’s show “Studio 5 with Brooke Walker”. Matt’s book, Starved Stuff: The 7 Basic Needs of Healthy Relationships, is a popular pick among those searching for better relationship skills. 

In addition to his professional work, Matt actively dedicates his time as a volunteer guest speaker and is active in his church and community. He enjoys playing tennis and spending time with his wife of 26 years, Mardi, and their six children (five boys and one girl), one son-in-law, and one granddaughter.

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, PhD, MSW, LCSW

Dr. Hanks is an author, relationship expert, media contributor, blogger, speaker, performing songwriter, and licensed therapist with over 20 year experience counseling women, couples, and families. In addition to owning Wasatch Family Therapy, LLC and serving as executive director, Dr. Hanks is an emotional health and relationship expert and top online mental health influencer with an extensive and engaged social media following. As sought after media personality Dr. Hanks’ advice has been interviewed for numerous publications, and has appeared on-camera on Fox News, Fox Business News, KSL TV’s Studio 5, Discovery Health, TLC, and Reelz Channel. Her latest book The Assertiveness Guide for Women: How to Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships draws from her twenty years of clinical practice helping women to find their authentic voice in their lives, their relationships, and in the world.

As an award-winning performing songwriter, “Julie de Azevedo” has written dozens of songs, contributed to numerous projects, and produced 10 solo CD’s over the past 25 years. Her most recent CD “Masterpiece: The Best of Julie de Azevedo” is a collection of her best-loved songs.

Dr. Hanks’ most valuable experience has been “in the trenches” of family life as a wife to Jeff Hanks and mother of 4 children. She enjoys sunshine, taking long naps, social media, reading, writing, eating a lot of chocolate, and playing roller derby.

Tom Christofferson

Tom Christofferson has spent his career in investment management and asset servicing, living in Los Angeles, New York, Luxembourg, San Francisco, and London. He is currently a senior executive of a New York-based firm providing transaction services to credit and debit card issuing banks. He has served on corporate and non-profit boards, and currently is a director of Encircle, a group providing resources to support LGBTQ individuals and their families in Utah County, and a member of the national advisory council of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. He is an active member of the LDS church, currently serving as a gospel doctrine teacher in his Salt Lake City ward.

Tom’s book, That We May Be One, was published in 2017 by Deseret Book. In it, he shares perspectives gained from his life’s journey as a gay man who left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and then returned to it.

Kristin B. Hodson, MSW, LCSW

Kristin Hodson is an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, Founder and Executive Director of The Healing Group, and Co-Author of the book, Real Intimacy: A Couple’s Guide to Genuine, Healthy Sexuality. She has the unique ability to break down the topics of sexuality into easily digestible pieces to empower people to further develop their sexual identity, hone their sexual values, improve their communication around sexuality, all with the intention to improve people’s relationships with themselves and others.  She’s approachable, relatable, and has a light sense of humor around something that often feels heavy or intimidating.

Kurt Francom

Kurt is the Executive Director of LeadingLDS, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing lay leadership’s ability and capacity in the LDS Church. Kurt hosts the LeadingLDS podcast which is heard by nearly 30,000 listeners a month. He enjoys drawing caricatures, playing basketball, reading, and college football. He has served as a full-time missionary (California Sacramento), an elders quorum president, executive secretary, bishopric counselor, high priest group leader, bishop and in a stake presidency.

He currently lives in Woods Cross, Utah, with is his lovely wife Alanna. They are blessed to have a little girl and boy.

Kim Giles

International human behavior expert, professional speaker and author, Kim is best known for her KSL articles, books, podcasts, and program, and has a unique way of making psychology, mental, emotional, and social health simple and easy. Her methods are helping people around the world eliminate suffering and gain clarity (the ability to see people and situations accurately). She has created a new system to understand one’s thinking and eliminate the fear that causes negative thoughts and bad behavior.

Nicole Cunningham

A Master Life Coach and professional speaker, Nicole’s speciality is empowering people to eliminate anxiety and depression. She believes when you begin to adapt and feel better within yourself you begin to have the capacity to change the way you feel about yourself and your life. Nicole has amazing knowledge and understanding about life and human behavior.

Bennett Borden

Bennett, President-elect of North Star, was raised in a first generation Latter-day Saint family in the rural south. He served an American Sign Language mission in Indiana, North Carolina and Michigan. After his mission, Bennett came out and spent the next 20 years in a same-sex relationship, marrying his partner when it became legal to do so. However, the light of the gospel of Christ always drew Bennett back, and he longed for the peace and joy it brings. Bennett’s journey back to the gospel as a child of God who experiences same sex-attraction has given him a treasured testimony of the power of the Atonement of Christ and the love God has for each of His children, especially those who experience SSA and their loved ones, friends, and leaders. After his divorce from his husband and returning to the Church, Bennett married Rebecca in 2013 and they were sealed in the Washington DC temple in 2014. Together they are striving to share the message of hope and joy the gospel brings and their journey as SSA children of God.

Bennett Borden is a partner at an international law firm, Chair of a litigation practice group and its Chief Data Scientist. In addition to his work as a litigator, Bennett has extensive experience advising companies on corporate and information governance, growth strategies, and effective messaging. Bennett has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from George Mason University, a Masters in Business Analytics from New York University and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School.

Dr. Mark Yarhouse

Dr. Mark Yarhouse is the Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair and Professor of Psychology at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he is a core faculty member in the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. He has spent several years promoting dialogue between people who view the topic of sexual identity differently. In 2000, he chaired a groundbreaking symposium at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention that brought together gay psychologists and Christian psychologists to discuss common ground in treatment options for those who experience sexual and religious identity conflicts.
Dr. Yarhouse is currently the Chair of the task force on LGBT issues for Division 36 (Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and is author or co-author of several books, including Understanding Sexual Identity: A Resource for Youth Ministers. His most recent book is titled Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture.

David Archuleta

David Archuleta became a star when he was just 16. In 2008 more than 30 million television viewers fell in love with his angelic voice and their 44 million votes made him runner-up in Season 7 of “American Idol.” Read David’s complete bio on his official website at DavidArchuleta.com.

David will be performing at Saturday afternoon’s keynote session. Open to registered conference attendees only.

Your Other Brothers

Thomas Mark Zuniga is the cofounder and editor of YourOtherBrothers.com, a community navigating faith, homosexuality, and masculinity. Together. He also hosts Your Other Brothers Podcast each month. He’s written openly about same-sex attraction since 2013, including two books — Struggle Central: Quarter-Life Confessions of a Messed Up Christian and Running To: In Search of Home on the Open Road. Tom lives in Asheville, North Carolina, and his favorite place is the space where coffee and vulnerability meet.

Elliott Gladwin is the cofounder and designer of YourOtherBrothers.com, a community navigating faith, homosexuality, and masculinity. Together. In addition to telling stories of same-sex attraction in blogs and podcasts, he works as a freelance web and graphic designer. As an artist, designer, and maker, Elliott enjoys creativity in all its forms. His passion lies in finding innovative, beautiful ways to tell vulnerable, engaging stories that inspire.

Dr. Hank Smith, PhD

Dr. Hank Smith grew up in St. George, Utah and has an MBA from Utah State University. He also has a Ph.D. from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where he has worked as an instructor. In addition to his work in consulting companies and schools, Hank speaks for school assemblies around the country. Hank has also authored many books and “Audio CDs” with Covenant Communications.

Hank and his wife, Sara, currently live in Mapleton, Utah. Hank says that, “Sara is amazing, she knows everything about me and still loves me.” They have five incredibly adorable children that look exactly like their mother. Hank enjoys running marathons and eating lots of ice cream, which is why he runs marathons. More than anything else, he loves being with his wonderful wife and children.

Dr. Matt Townsend, PhD

For more than a decade, Dr. Matt Townsend has been energizing and involving audiences with his unique approach to building and maintaining successful relationships. Known as one of America’s top presenters in the field of Human Relations and Development, Matt blends humor and storytelling with interactive, real-life solutions that inspire motivation and immediate results in his audiences.

“The Matt Townsend Show” is broadcast weekday mornings on byuradio.org & Sirius XM 143 and Matt is a weekly contributor to KSL TV’s show “Studio 5 with Brooke Walker”. Matt’s book, Starved Stuff: The 7 Basic Needs of Healthy Relationships, is a popular pick among those searching for better relationship skills. 

In addition to his professional work, Matt actively dedicates his time as a volunteer guest speaker and is active in his church and community. He enjoys playing tennis and spending time with his wife of 26 years, Mardi, and their six children (five boys and one girl), one son-in-law, and one granddaughter.

Julie de Azevedo Hanks, PhD, MSW, LCSW

Dr. Hanks is an author, relationship expert, media contributor, blogger, speaker, performing songwriter, and licensed therapist with over 20 year experience counseling women, couples, and families. In addition to owning Wasatch Family Therapy, LLC and serving as executive director, Dr. Hanks is an emotional health and relationship expert and top online mental health influencer with an extensive and engaged social media following. As sought after media personality Dr. Hanks’ advice has been interviewed for numerous publications, and has appeared on-camera on Fox News, Fox Business News, KSL TV’s Studio 5, Discovery Health, TLC, and Reelz Channel. Her latest book The Assertiveness Guide for Women: How to Communicate Your Needs, Set Healthy Boundaries, and Transform Your Relationships draws from her twenty years of clinical practice helping women to find their authentic voice in their lives, their relationships, and in the world.

As an award-winning performing songwriter, “Julie de Azevedo” has written dozens of songs, contributed to numerous projects, and produced 10 solo CD’s over the past 25 years. Her most recent CD “Masterpiece: The Best of Julie de Azevedo” is a collection of her best-loved songs.

Dr. Hanks’ most valuable experience has been “in the trenches” of family life as a wife to Jeff Hanks and mother of 4 children. She enjoys sunshine, taking long naps, social media, reading, writing, eating a lot of chocolate, and playing roller derby.

Dr. Mark Yarhouse

Dr. Mark Yarhouse is the Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair and Professor of Psychology at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he is a core faculty member in the Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology. He has spent several years promoting dialogue between people who view the topic of sexual identity differently. In 2000, he chaired a groundbreaking symposium at the American Psychological Association’s annual convention that brought together gay psychologists and Christian psychologists to discuss common ground in treatment options for those who experience sexual and religious identity conflicts.
Dr. Yarhouse is currently the Chair of the task force on LGBT issues for Division 36 (Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the American Psychological Association. He has published over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and is author or co-author of several books, including Understanding Sexual Identity: A Resource for Youth Ministers. His most recent book is titled Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture.

Kristin B. Hodson, MSW, LCSW

Kristin Hodson is an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist, Founder and Executive Director of The Healing Group, and Co-Author of the book, Real Intimacy: A Couple’s Guide to Genuine, Healthy Sexuality. She has the unique ability to break down the topics of sexuality into easily digestible pieces to empower people to further develop their sexual identity, hone their sexual values, improve their communication around sexuality, all with the intention to improve people’s relationships with themselves and others.  She’s approachable, relatable, and has a light sense of humor around something that often feels heavy or intimidating.

Tom Christofferson

Tom Christofferson has spent his career in investment management and asset servicing, living in Los Angeles, New York, Luxembourg, San Francisco, and London. He is currently a senior executive of a New York-based firm providing transaction services to credit and debit card issuing banks. He has served on corporate and non-profit boards, and currently is a director of Encircle, a group providing resources to support LGBTQ individuals and their families in Utah County, and a member of the national advisory council of the David Eccles School of Business at the University of Utah. He is an active member of the LDS church, currently serving as a gospel doctrine teacher in his Salt Lake City ward.

Tom’s book, That We May Be One, was published in 2017 by Deseret Book. In it, he shares perspectives gained from his life’s journey as a gay man who left The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and then returned to it.

Kim Giles

International human behavior expert, professional speaker and author, Kim is best known for her KSL articles, books, podcasts, and program, and has a unique way of making psychology, mental, emotional, and social health simple and easy. Her methods are helping people around the world eliminate suffering and gain clarity (the ability to see people and situations accurately). She has created a new system to understand one’s thinking and eliminate the fear that causes negative thoughts and bad behavior.

Nicole Cunningham

A Master Life Coach and professional speaker, Nicole’s speciality is empowering people to eliminate anxiety and depression. She believes when you begin to adapt and feel better within yourself you begin to have the capacity to change the way you feel about yourself and your life. Nicole has amazing knowledge and understanding about life and human behavior.

Kurt Francom

Kurt is the Executive Director of LeadingLDS, a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing lay leadership’s ability and capacity in the LDS Church. Kurt hosts the LeadingLDS podcast which is heard by nearly 30,000 listeners a month. He enjoys drawing caricatures, playing basketball, reading, and college football. He has served as a full-time missionary (California Sacramento), an elders quorum president, executive secretary, bishopric counselor, high priest group leader, bishop and in a stake presidency.

He currently lives in Woods Cross, Utah, with is his lovely wife Alanna. They are blessed to have a little girl and boy.

Bennett Borden

Bennett, President-elect of North Star, was raised in a first generation Latter-day Saint family in the rural south. He served an American Sign Language mission in Indiana, North Carolina and Michigan. After his mission, Bennett came out and spent the next 20 years in a same-sex relationship, marrying his partner when it became legal to do so. However, the light of the gospel of Christ always drew Bennett back, and he longed for the peace and joy it brings. Bennett’s journey back to the gospel as a child of God who experiences same sex-attraction has given him a treasured testimony of the power of the Atonement of Christ and the love God has for each of His children, especially those who experience SSA and their loved ones, friends, and leaders. After his divorce from his husband and returning to the Church, Bennett married Rebecca in 2013 and they were sealed in the Washington DC temple in 2014. Together they are striving to share the message of hope and joy the gospel brings and their journey as SSA children of God.

Bennett Borden is a partner at an international law firm, Chair of a litigation practice group and its Chief Data Scientist. In addition to his work as a litigator, Bennett has extensive experience advising companies on corporate and information governance, growth strategies, and effective messaging. Bennett has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science from George Mason University, a Masters in Business Analytics from New York University and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law School.