Vidar (Lee) was born in Chicago but raised in South America as well as his parents’ native Norway. Lee moved to Minnesota in 1982 after graduating from high school in Norway and attended the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, where he achieved his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (1987) and Master of Business Administration (1990). Lee was employed by Life-Science Innovations & Affiliated Companies (LSI) since 1996 through 2014 and served in multiple leadership roles with affiliated companies. LSI is a privately held company headquartered in Wilmar, Minnesota, and employs 1,500 people in Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, Kansas and Missouri. LSI serves in the industries of agriculture, engineering and bio-science. Lee has a variety of experience managing and leading companies. His experience includes being the Senior Economic Internal Consultant for Phillips Petroleum Company (where he was responsible for the economics of a $300 million water injection project) to being the Vice President of Operations of Life-Science Innovations in Wilmar, MN, to being the President of Epitopix (R&D of vaccines for food safety in field of livestock) and CEO of Syntiron (a human R&D company focused on the development of a vaccine against Staphylococcus and other community-acquired infections). Lee has since 2014 served as CEO of Rivendell Education Company, LLC, a company based in Minnesota focused on developing and licensing curriculum and critical thinking software for customers in the field of education.
Pete Lackey, M.A. M.Div., received a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies as well as a master’s degree in Theology and History from Criswell College (Dallas, TX) before receiving a second master’s degree in Philosophy of Religion from Yale Divinity School (New Haven, CT). He has also completed a number of additional studies in the areas of language, culture, and religion from the University of Georgia, the University of Minnesota, and Luther Seminary (to name a few), and is currently pursuing two doctoral degrees in Theology, Art, and Culture and the Great Books respectively. With a heart for the community at large, Pete has filled a number of academic, administrative, and ministry posts with various organizations such as the T.A.Patterson World Mission Center (Dallas, TX), the Overseas Ministries Study Center (New Haven, CT), InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, and the MacLaurin Institute (a Christian study center serving the University of Minnesota). and served as Resident Scholar of the Rivendell 5 Pursuits Honors Program. He has also worked with developmentally disabled inner-city children at a St. Paul charter school. His overseas experience includes humanitarian relief efforts with theological instruction in Sri Lanka, Chad, Brazil, and Chile
Jeff Ingle (M.A.) earned his Bachelor’s degree in Biblical and Theological Studies from Crown College (St. Bonifacius, MN). He did his graduate studies in Systematic Theology at Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), and has completed studies from Moody Bible Institute (Chicago, IL) and the University of Northwestern St. Paul (MN). He and his wife Lauren were married in 2012.
Beyond his academic interests in the intersection of theology and the liberal arts, Jeff has a passion for “traveling on a shoestring.” He values the opportunities it affords for adventuring and especially for seeking new ways to love and learn from people around the world. In addition to broad travel through North America, he has embarked on several hitch-hiking journeys through the British Isles and Eastern Europe. He has also explored central locales of the Old and New Testaments in parts of the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece.
For over 25 years, Jean Norment has been teaching in churches and schools around the world. Her passion is to see Christians released into the joy of experiencing intimacy with God through a fresh revelation of the power and glory of the cross.
Seeing the enormous scope of Christ’s finished work from God’s perspective is one of the main keys to helping people discover their true identity and destiny in Christ. Jean’s call to the ministry came in 1975 when God spoke clearly to her, saying, ‘I will send you to the nations of the world and you will teach My Word.’ She spent many years alone with God in careful preparation for that calling.
At that time, she and her husband, Bobby, lived in Montgomery, Alabama where Bobby was President and CEO of Norment Industries. In 1994, God called Jean and Bobby to Kona, Hawaii, where they joined the staff of the University of the Nations-Kona, which is part of the family of ministries of Youth with a Mission.
Both Jean and Bobby served on the leadership team of the University of the Nations for 10 years. Jean continues to teach in YWAM Discipleship Training Schools and Counseling Schools around the world. In 2009, Bobby and Jean moved to Bloomington, Minnesota where they are helping to pioneer CreatEd.
God has gifted and anointed Jean as a counselor. She enjoys training and equipping other Christians to minister to the broken-hearted through the power of the Holy Spirit, and she loves mentoring young people. Jean and Bobby have two sons and three grandchildren who are the joys of their lives.
Davis Norment received his undergraduate degree in Christian Ministries from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida. He went on to complete additional post-graduate work in Biblical Studies from the University of the Nations where he spent fourteen years as an accomplished teacher and curriculum developer.
At the UofN-Kona, Mr. Norment shared leadership and teaching duties in a 36 credit-hour master’s level Biblical Studies course, and a 20 credit-hour Discipleship Training Course. During this time, Mr. Norment began to identify a core set of unanswered questions that is leaving a void in the lives of many young Christians today. Mr. Norment realized that this void is the result of students being taught “what” to believe without the context for “why” to believe it. Burdened to solve this issue, Mr. Norment developed a 12 credit-hour Biblical Worldview curriculum focused on answering life’s most fundamental questions.
The course quickly became one of the most popular classes at the UofN-Kona. Mr. Norment partly attributes its success to his own personal frustration and struggles in learning. As a student, the institution’s forms, methods and curriculums left him bored and uninspired. Yet, these early struggles and frustrations with learning were the experiences that made Mr. Norment a successful teacher and curriculum writer.
He understands today’s culture and student body and knows how to build curriculums that can inspire this generation to excel. His strength lies in his ability to take the underachiever—young men and women who never excelled academically—and generate within them a passion for God and learning. As a result, Mr. Norment has seen numbers of his students, many of whom gave little thought to continuing their college education, go on to excel in their studies, with a significant number completing their masters or doctorate degrees, including one at Harvard University.
This experience profoundly impacted Mr. Norment’s life and is the springboard to his being one of the founders of the CreatEd Institute.
Before joining the CreatEd Life & Learning team, Charity graduated from the Rivendell Sanctuary Honors Program (CreatEd’s beta program in Minnesota). As a student, she became passionate about pursuing the examined life and discovered the communal potential of sharing that life with others. In addition to her socratic studies, she began learning the arts of administration, marketing, and professional hospitality while she worked as an admissions assistant for the program. Throughout her time at Rivendell, she was also introduced to the joys of art, theatre, fine dining, and etiquette — all of which have been lasting loves.
Having begun the journey of discovering life’s wonders and curiosities, her search for meaning continued as she furthered her pursuits in western Pennsylvania, earning a B.A. in English and Literature at Grove City College. While there, she thrived academically and eventually served as a Resident Assistant, which provided the opportunity for her to grow in discipleship, event planning, and cultivating team flourishing.
After graduating, Charity spent the latter half of 2016 in Sydney, Australia, where she became a personal tutor for families throughout the city. In her free time, she ventured into Sydney’s live theatres and pursued opportunities to see Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, an off-Broadway show of Disney’s Aladdin, Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Othello, as well as multiple trips to the Art Gallery of New South Wales. She also invested her time in feeding her love for literature, exploring methods of discipleship, and engaging in cross-cultural relationships with native Australians and other travelers from a variety of different countries.
Upon returning home to New York, her love for writing and editing led her to accept a project editor position at an ERA Real Estate company while she substitute taught and invested in ministering to inner-city youth. She’s pursued her interests in culture, missions, and education throughout the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, West Africa, Italy, Australia, and Thailand.
Passionate about transforming lives for Christ, she’s come back to serve as a Life & Learning Coach at CreatEd Institute. To supplement her role in the classroom, she has begun pursuing her M.A. in the area of Christian and Classical Studies at Knox Theological Seminary.
Isaiah was a middle child, born and raised in Northeastern Kansas. Isaiah naturally has a very curious mind and as a child could always be found with a number of books at his side, but the traditional school never quite fit him. An extroverted person, Isaiah excelled in high school, finding favor with his teachers and peers socially, but never taking the initiative to challenge himself academically. His natural born leadership ability propelled him to positions in his student body serving as class vice president and captain of the basketball team.
However, it wasn’t until enrolling in the CreatEd C-2 class that he at last found what it means to pursue an education. The CreatEd classroom provided a proper channel for his curiosity and unleashed a drive to discover that he had never before experienced. “Prior to CreatEd my education had consisted of formulas, vocabulary, names, and dates – all helpful information – but what I found in CreatEd was more than information. This was a way to live.” Isaiah graduated from CreatEd in 2018 with Virtus Cum Scientia honors and felt called to begin giving back to the program that had given him so much.
As the Networking Coordinator for the CreatEd institute Isaiah is able to use his natural networking abilities to challenge potential students to take the leap of faith and prayerfully consider CreatEd, just as he did when he was lacking direction. Re-engaging with the community, Isaiah seems to always find himself back in the classroom engaging the current students in dialogue and continuing the conversation that he began in the program.
Isaiah also serves as an R.A., listening to the lives of the students and doing his best to lead by serving them. Isaiah’s other interests include: hiking, swimming, guitar and reading. An outdoors man, a musician, a scholar, but first and foremost a friend, Isaiah couldn’t be more thrilled to be serving at CreatEd.
Danielle grew up in Hastings, Minnesota and has one younger brother. Passionate about the outdoors, activities such as camping, fishing, and exploring have become a tradition in her family. Her eagerness to be more involved in extracurriculars lead to becoming a four season athlete where she competitively engaged in volleyball, gymnastics, track, and ultimate frisbee.
Along with being heavily involved in the athletic community in high school, she invested her time in choir, band, and show choir. While this took up a large portion of her time, serving at Young Life and Overflow gave her the opportunity to take on many different leadership positions. After spending time in the Dominican Republic, Danielle became a sucker for adventure and now loves to immerse herself into new cultures.
When she graduated high school, Danielle moved on to attend CreatEd Institute in Black Mountain, North Carolina where she completed CreatEd’s beta program with the C1 cohort. Along with being a recreational gymnastics coach, she functions as the event coordinator, organizes the re:CreatEd series, and facilitates personal visits for prospective students. She is passionate about bringing people together in community and sharing conversation over a good cup of coffee. In addition to her current vocations, Danielle plans to study medicine and bring healing to impoverished communities by applying her skills, passions, and knowledge. Some of Danielle’s favorite things include spending time with friends, playing cards, listening to music, jet-skiing, jogging, and swing dancing.
Katie Platson grew up in Hastings, Minnesota and is the youngest of eight children. Katie loves the outdoors and being active, and will always seize an opportunity to go hiking, camping, or anything that involves being outside. In highschool, outside of academics, she spent much of her time playing soccer and ultimate frisbee, leading with YoungLife at her high school, and attending multiple bible studies and worship nights through her church. She loves spending time with people and Jesus whenever she gets the chance.
Katie was a part of CreatEd’s first cohort, C1, and continued with the pilot Phase II program. She is now a leader for middle schoolers with YoungLife in Black Mountain and, alongside her role as Lead cultivation Coordinator, serves as a residential assistant with CreatEd.
Vidar (Lee) Byberg was born in Chicago, but raised in South America as well as his parents’ native Norway. Lee moved to Minnesota in 1982 after graduating from high school in Norway and attended the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, where he earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (1987) and Master of Business Administration (1990).
Lee has a variety of experience managing and leading companies, including serving as the senior economic internal consultant for Phillips Petroleum Company, vice president of operations of Life-Science Innovations, general manager of Willmar Poultry Company, president of Epitopix (R&D of vaccines for food safety in field of livestock), and CEO of Syntiron (a human R&D company focused on the development of a vaccine against Staphylococcus and other community-acquired infections).
Lee has served as CEO of Rivendell Education Company, LLC since 2014, a company based in Minnesota focused on developing curriculum and critical thinking software for customers in the field of higher education. He currently serves as the CreatEd Institute president, and is a faculty member.
John Chapin graduated 1965 from Willmar High School in Willmar, Minnesota and graduated from Dunwoody University in Minneapolis. He returned to Willmar to work in a family business started by his grandfather in 1920 and served on many community boards.
In 1985 he was elected president of the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC). In 1990, John served as the national president of ABC. For two years, he also served as head of the National Construction Education Foundation.
John also served two years on Christian Grandparenting Network. After retirement from Willmar Electric Services, he served as the head administrator of Community Christian School in Willmar, Minnesota.
Portia Wade is a native of Washington, D.C., but has resided in Burlington, North Carolina, for over 34 years. She completed her undergraduate studies in Elementary Education at The George Washington University located in Washington, D.C. Her graduate work was completed at Elon College (now Elon University), where she continued to pursue advanced studies in the field of Elementary Education.
Portia currently serves as a full-time faculty member of the School of Education at Elon. In this role, Portia is involved in instructional services to teacher-candidates as they are prepared for licensure through the state of North Carolina. Prior to her employment at Elon, Portia served as a member of the adjunct faculty at Alamance Community College for over 25 years where she provided instructional services to the Early Childhood program.
Portia has been a member of numerous education boards and associations, and currently serves on the Elon University Early Childhood Advisory Board, Alamance Community College Early Childhood Advisory Board, and Next Generation Academy Charter School.
Portia and her husband, Dr. Eugene Wade, have four adult children. Their son Jordan graduated from Rivendell Sanctuary (program now provided through CreatEd Institute) in 2014.
Dr. Bill Brown is the senior fellow for Worldview and Culture at the Colson Center and the national director of the Colson Fellows Program. He has served as the president of Cedarville University and Bryan College, and has spoken in over two dozen countries on topics related to culture and worldview. He consults with international corporations and ministries on employee development, cultural transitions, and strategic planning.
Bill is the executive producer and teacher of the award-winning DVD series ”reView,” a worldview curriculum for high schoolers and adults that continues to influence new generations of Christians. He has written over 100 articles for journals, magazines, newspapers, and encyclopedias, including over 50 articles and notes for “Impact: The Student Leadership Study Bible.” He is the author of “Making Sense of Your Faith,” “Where Have All the Dreamers Gone? Observations from a Biblical Worldview,” and “Making Sense of Your World,” a text used by colleges and universities as an introduction to worldview/philosophical thinking.
Jordan Raynor is a serial entrepreneur and best-selling author who leads a growing community of Christians following God’s call to create. He is the founder of Vocreo, where his team helps entrepreneurs across a wide range of industries launch and grow their businesses. In 2016, Jordan took a leave of absence from Vocreo to take on the role of CEO at one of the firm’s clients, Threshold 360, a venture-backed tech startup. Jordan is also a cofounder of Citizinvestor, the largest crowdfunding platform for government projects in the United States.
In 2011, Jordan’s first company was acquired by Engage, and was deemed a “mega-interactive agency” by Mashable. At Engage, Jordan’s team led digital strategy for some of the most high-profile political and consumer brands in the world, including Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich, Google, Foursquare, and Walmart.
A highly sought-after public speaker on the topic of entrepreneurship, Jordan has spoken at Harvard University, SXSW, TEDx, the World Forum for Democracy, the Guardian’s Activate Summit, and many other events around the world. Twice Jordan has been selected as a Google Fellow.
Robert (Bobby) Norment has a history of successful entrepreneurship and organizational leadership in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. He was the founder, president and CEO of Norment Industries for thirty years. There, Bobby led the company’s growth from a very small company to a multimillion dollar international conglomerate made up of four divisions doing work around the world. Bobby sold Norment Industries in 1990. These businesses still exist all over the world.
Following the sale of Norment Industries, he became the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of the University of the Nations Kona Campus (UofN-Kona). The UofN-Kona is the flagship location for an international university and missions training organization (UofN International) with over 400 locations in 200 countries. The UofN-Kona campus is one of the largest all-volunteer, land-based operations in the world—serving over 1700 students and more than 700 staff and family members annually.
Bobby, working closely with the Chancellor, led this educational facility for ten years. His unique career and history, working in both for-profit and non-profit organizations, has equipped him to provide the broad and strategic expertise necessary for this education venture. Bobby is also the founder of Rivendell Education Company and co-founder of CreatEd Institute.
For over thirty-five years, Bob & Laura have started and pastored Churches in Texas and Virginia. After receiving a Master’s Degree in Theology from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Bob & Laura went to start and pastor their first church in El Paso, Texas. During their first two years in El Paso, Bob was able to earn his Doctorate of Church Ministry. For the next twelve years Bob & Laura started and pastored churches within the Southern Baptist Denomination. In 1985 Bob & Laura started Redeemed Christian Fellowship, a non-denominational church in Austin, Texas, which became their base for a worldwide traveling ministry. In 1995 Bob & Laura left the pastorate for full time traveling & consultation ministry. In 2004, Bob returned to school and earned a Masters & Doctorate in Psychology.
The focus of Bob & Laura’s’ work for the past twelve years has been in local church consultation and pastor’s conferences. They help local churches in crisis situations through “Life Coaching” and “Intensives” (a 6-month program for local pastors dealing with Personal Growth, Ministry Skill Development, & Ministry Strategy Development). Working with a team of other professionals and leaders, they work in developing strategies, problem solving, leadership training, and counseling development. His travels take him to Central and South America, Europe, Canada, Mexico, Africa, and the Caribbean, as well as throughout the United States.
Most recently Bob & Laura have developed a training course for church counselors. These three seminars are being developed on DVDs in five different languages for international distribution. These seminars are entitled “Issues of the Heart.” These manuals were the topic of Bob’s doctoral dissertation in Psychology.
Bob serves in a mentoring capacity for young people who participate in Excel Black Mountain through the various programs and serves also on the Excel Advisory Team.
He and his wife, Laura, have three adult children and many grandchildren and live in Bellingham, Washington.
David Fredriksz was born and raised in The Netherlands and has served as a pastor, church planter, and ministry leader in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America for over thirty years. He was an integral part in building and leading a ministry school in Holland before transitioning to Mijas, Spain, where he was the co-founder and director of G42 Leadership Academy.
While continuing to provide training for youth enrolled in Christian organizations in Europe and South America (including G42), David regularly visits North Carolina to help with mentoring and young adult development for the Excel Collective.
David and his wife Bernadette have a passion and calling to see young people come alive as effective disciples of Jesus Christ not only in the church, but in education and the marketplace. David and his wife live in Holland, but visits Excel Black Mountain to teach and mentor students in the various programs and serves also on the Excel Advisory Team.
Amanda Warden is a Physician Assistant originally from Fayetteville, Tennessee. She received her undergraduate degree in Microbiology with a nutrition minor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and her Masters of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies. She has over 5 years of experience practicing hospital medicine and recently has been focusing on preventative medicine.
In 2018 and 2019 Amanda served with Adventures in Missions on World Race, where she went to 12 countries in 11 months serving various Christian ministries.
Amanda is passionate about helping people live the abundant life Jesus talks about and encouraging people in their relationship with God.
She enjoys equipping the body of Christ specifically in regards to health, fitness, and finances.
Andrew Chambers was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. He graduated with honors from the University of Memphis in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. In Memphis, Andrew spent four years working with both Service Over Self (SOS), a non-profit committed to alleviating poverty in various inner-city neighborhoods, and Memphis Athletic Ministries, an inner-city ministry that pursues discipleship through athletic and educational endeavors.
After leaving Memphis, Andrew spent five years working with Adventures in Missions, a missionary organization based outside of Atlanta, Georgia. During that time, he served as a logistics coordinator and team leader for mission teams traveling on three different continents. In 2014, he became the Regional Director of South America and the Caribbean Islands, where he coordinated hundreds of ministry trips and volunteers until 2017.
Andrew is passionate about helping young people learn to follow Jesus in the context of real life and real time. His focus for the next generation is to help them enter the marketplace and life as healthy, whole individuals. Andrew has since 2017 owned and operated the Story Culture Media and currently serves as Program Director of the 12-month Excel Career & Marketplace program offered by Excel Black Mountain, NC.
He and his wife, Charity, and their young son, Evan, live in Black Mountain, North Carolina.