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Biographies

R. Brad Martin and Shane Stanford

 

Shane Stanford

                  Shane Stanford is the Senior Pastor of Christ United Methodist Church, a 6,000-member congregation in Memphis, TN. Stanford is the author of numerous books including The Seven Next Words of Christ, The Eight Blessings, Mosaic, You Can’t Do Everything… So Do Something, The CURE for the Chronic Life, and Making Life Matter—all published by Abingdon Press. He also wrote A Positive Life (Zondervan 2010) and When God Disappears (Regal 2008), both detailing his journey as an HIV-positive and HEP C-positive  minister, father and husband.

                  Stanford travels extensively sharing a story of hope and courage grounded in his faith in Jesus Christ. He has spoken a several national venues including the 2006 Saddleback Global AIDS Summit where he shared the agenda with such notables as, then-Senator Barack Obama, Franklin Graham, and John Ortberg.

                  Stanford is also the co-host (with Dr. Maxie Dunnam) of “We Believe in Memphis” and the teacher/host of “You Matter,” two television programs airing in the Memphis metro area. For four years Stanford hosted “The United Methodist Hour,” a radio and television ministry which aired in more than 30 million homes. Stanford is currently the co-host of a national DVD/media Bible study series entitled Covenant.

                  Stanford is an ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church and is a member of the Global AIDS Fund Steering Committee. Shane Stanford is married to his high school sweetheart, Dr. Pokey Stanford, and they are the parents of three daughters, Sarai Grace (16), Juli Anna (13), and Emma Leigh (9).

 

Twitter: @StanfordShane

 

R. Brad Martin

                  R. Brad Martin is Chairman of RBM Venture Company, a private investment company, and Retired Chairman and CEO of Saks Incorporated. He was appointed as the interim President of University of Memphis starting July 1, 2013, serving until a new president is named.

                  Martin retired in 2007 from Saks after serving nearly 20 years as an executive with that firm. He was the principal investor in RBM Acquisition Company, an entity which acquired Saks’ predecessor business, Proffitt’s, Inc., and became the Chief Executive Officer of the company in 1989 when it was comprised of ten stores with annual revenues of approximately $70 million. Over the subsequent decade, Proffitt’s grew to become one of the largest department store businesses in the United States generating revenues in excess of $4 billion. In 1998, Proffitt’s acquired Saks Holdings and merged it into Proffitt’s, renaming the combined enterprise Saks Incorporated. In 2005 and 2006, recognizing the continuing consolidation of the mid-range department store business and the growth prospects of the luxury retail segment, Martin developed and oversaw a strategy to divest the traditional department store assets, returning over $2 billion to shareholders through a series of transactions. During the 18-year period when Martin served as CEO and Chairman of Proffitt’s/Saks, the value of its stock increased more than 12-fold.

   Martin serves on the Board of Directors of three public companies—FedEx Corporation, First Horizon National Corporation, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation. In addition, he serves on the Board of Managers of Pilot/Flying J Travel Centers and as a member of the U.S. Advisory Board of CVC—a global private equity firm. Martin also has previously served on the Board of Directors of Dillard’s, Harrah’s Entertainment (Caesar’s), Gaylord Entertainment, lululemon athletica, and Ruby Tuesday, Inc.

   Martin has also engaged in a number of entrepreneurial and private equity activities In 1987, he co-founded Corporate Child Care, Inc., which subsequently evolved into the largest corporate-affiliated child care company in the United States. Through the current operations of RBM Venture Company, Martin has investments in enterprises including food services, hospitality, real estate, and allied health care services.Brad Martin is a graduate of The University of Memphis where he served as President of the student body, and he earned an MBA from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Martin also served five terms as a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives. He was the youngest person ever elected to the Tennessee General Assembly.

He is involved in a number of civic and philanthropic activities through the R. Brad Martin Family Foundation. In addition, Martin is the author of the children’s book, Myles’ Pesky Friends (RIVR Media Interactive, LLC). Martin lives in Memphis, Tennessee. He is married to Dina and is the father of five sons.