Below you will find everything you need to know about your time with us during the 2017 Praxis Academy. If you find information that needs to be updated or have questions, please let us know by replying all to your speaker email. 


Biola University
13800 Biola Ave
La Mirada, CA 90639

We will primarily be in Crowell Auditorium (Plenary Sessions) and Talbot East (Breakouts, Roundtables).
For those who need to park, please use Parking Structure S

When you arrive on campus, please contact Meghan Easley: 724.961.9530 or Dylan Thomas: 717.669.5920

Lodging is proximate to the Biola campus, and we have booked a room for you during the nights you are scheduled to be at Academy. Your room is pre-paid, simply check in using your name at the front desk.

Sheraton Cerritos Hotel
12725 Center Court Drive South
Cerritos, CA 90703

You will find all information on transportation between LAX & the hotel and the hotel & Biola University on the speaker transport page.

Please review this to ensure we have the correct information for your ground transportation needs. If you have changes or questions, please email: lori@praxislabs.org 

We are happy to pay all travel related expenses; we simply need receipts for them in order to comply with strict IRS regulations. Please submit receipts to jon@praxislabs.org by August 16 and include the mailing address you'd like a check sent to.

Jon Hart: jon@praxislabs.org | 612.382.0609 // Contact for: Pre-Event Questions & Speaker Content
Dylan Thomas: dylan@praxislabs.org | 717.669.5920 // Contact for: On-Site Logistics
Meghan Easley: meghan@praxislabs.org | 724.961.9530 // Contact for: On-Site Logistics

We will be filming the event, and request your permission to do so for your talk; if you haven't sent your signed waiver in yet, please send to lori@praxislabs.org.

Given that talks will be filmed, we suggest a nice & smart-casual dress.


We kindly ask for slides and any specific presentation needs by Thursday July 27.

We ask that slides are in 16:9 widescreen format and "saved as" / exported to a PDF file at the highest resolution in order to preserve font and images. Please send decks to Lori: lori@praxislabs.org.

We greatly appreciate your help in reducing the chances of on-site issues by sending any presentation materials or needs by 7/27.

For Plenaries, please meet in Crowell Auditorium 45-minutes prior to the start of the session for rehearsal, sound & slide check. This is critical to ensure there are not technical issues during your stage time.

For Breakouts & Roundtables: plan to arrive 10-minutes ahead of the session starts so we can start on time. There will be host team members around to help you with timing. 

Academy includes 3 types of sessions: Plenary, Breakouts, and Roundtables. We've found delivering content in a variety of settings and formats enhances the student learning experience and gives them exposure to an array of experiences and perspectives. This also means timing for our sessions are tight, thus we appreciate your help in preparing content that is succinct and within the allocated time. We intentionally schedule some sessions for a tight timeframe on the main stage, knowing that the topics are best digested in a smaller format. 

Here's an explanation of the session types:

Plenary sessions are on the main stage with the full audience (~200). There are talks, panels, and interviews. 

Breakouts are a deeper-dive on a topic where 2-3 mentors co-facilitate a conversation and engage the audience for Q&A. Sessions are 40 minutes; consider sharing 15-20 minutes of up front content (between all mentors) then inviting audience Q&A. Expect ~20-45 students per session. 

Roundtables are an an informal time for a smaller group to personally engage with mentors and ask questions about the whole of life — from career, life, or startup advice. These are a unique opportunity to share more personal and off-the-record stories (they will not be recorded), if you are comfortable with that. As you might imagine, students value authentic stories (even if they are incomplete) over prepared or canned answers.


View the full week's event schedule here and meet the mentors here. Please note the below schedule only includes the times we have you down as having specific mentorship/speaking responsibilities. You're more than welcome to attend before or stay after your official mentoring times. 


- Given the varying morning routines for those staying at the Sheraton, we've opted to let you choose your own breakfast options that are available in the hotel lobby (sit-down or quick-serve). Keep your receipts and submit for reimbursement after the event.

For those needing a ride, please meet in the lobby by 8:00AM; Scott Kauffmann, Dave Blanchard, and/or Josh Kwan will be driving speakers to campus.

For those arriving on your own, please arrive on campus by 8:20AM and come to the Crowell Auditorium for rehearsal. 


Crowell Auditorium

Worship, led by The Brilliance

Section I // Theology: Vocation & Motives

Implication & Responsibility // Talk, 15 minutes
Steven Garber

Lessons From an Ambitious Plan to Change the World // Talk, 15 minutes
Jena Lee Nardella

Reflection on Motives & Calling

Section II // Culture: Reading & Responding

Cultural I.Q. // Talk, 15 minutes
David Bailey

Love: The Alpha & Omega of Startups // Talk, 15 minutes
Jessica Kim

A Conversation on Race, Gender, and the Social Fabric of Society // Panel, 15 minutes
Jessica Kim, Christy Vines & Anthony Flynn

Section III // Entrepreneurship: Moving from Insight to Building

Design Thinking: Empathy & Rapid Prototyping // Talk, 15 minutes
Jessica Munro

Co-Founders & Building Your Team // Conversation, 15 minutes
Kurt Keilhacker and Dave Blanchard

Fundraising & Building Relationships // Conversation, 15 minutes
Josh Kwan and Jessica Kim

Private Lunch: Jena Lee Nardella & Jessica Kim with the Emerging Founders
Talbot East, 113


Context is shared below the sessions that you are taking part in. Please use this as a guide to prepare some initial thoughts, frameworks, and stories. We encourage mentors to co-facilitate and plan to share 15-20 minutes of total content before opening it up for 20-25 minutes of student Q&A. 

View the full breakout schedule for each hour here. If you are unscheduled for one of the sessions, feel free to take a break, or attend one of the other sessions. 

2:00 PM - 2:45 PM BREAKOUT I  

Jena Lee Nardella, Steve Garber // TE, 108

In this session, old friends Steve & Jena will have an honest discussion about the challenges of staying committed to the causes God puts on your heart, in the midst of the joys, complexities, and inevitable discouragements that come across your path. They'll answer questions from the room and discuss the concept of continuing to love the world even as you learn more and more about its flaws, brokenness, and deepest injustices. 

Steve Garber has dedicated his life to being a student and teacher of the intersection of faith, vocation, and culture. He’s written two award-winning books sharing experiences and stories of people who have chosen to stay after it, even when their hearts are broken and hands have become weak. 

Jena Lee Nardella co-founded Blood:Water Mission after she met Steve and shared with him her ambitious plan to change the world. Steve introduced Jena to the band Jars of Clay, and they began a journey of starting a grassroots nonprofit to bring access to water to people in remote parts of Africa. Through setback after setback – alongside significant accomplishments – she had to choose whether she would keep after it, even when the work didn’t always love her back. 

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM BREAKOUT II

Jena Lee Nardella, Christy Vines // TE, P07

Many young people have a heart and ambition to go “to the nations” and work internationally. Whether in business or nonprofits, the challenge of starting or joining a venture overseas is filled with well-documented obstacles. So what does an aspiring international founder or professional do? What questions should they be asking, and what are steps they can take to determine the why, what, where, and how of going international? In this session, we’ll have a discussion led by two leaders who have years of experience (and lots of ambition!) with the joys and hardships of international work. 

Jena Lee Nardella – founder of Blood: Water Mission and Nonprofit Accelerator Lead at Praxis – will share her journey of starting and scaling an international NGO from the ripe young age of 22. She has experienced it all: from cultural barriers, to choosing who will do the work and how, to managing teams remotely, to having to make difficult family and life decisions as a result of the rigorous travel schedule. 

Christy Vines has a passion for international work backed by years of experience, working with NGOs and governmental organizations in both the nonprofit and corporate sector. One such experience – especially pertinent to this session – was her previous role as executive director of the Center for Women, Faith & Leadership at the Institute for Global Engagement.

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM BREAKOUT III

Christy Vines, Jena Lee Nardella, Jessica Kim, Jessica Munro // TE, 107

While the past number of years have brought about more opportunities for female entrepreneurs and innovators, we have also seen serious allegations of sexual harassment in prominent technology startups and evidence of gender discrimination related to raising capital, showing us how far we have yet to go. Female leaders continue to face particular challenges – whether founder or employee, single or married, children or not, etc. – as they navigate the challenge of making it all work. This solution-oriented session is led by female entrepreneurs and spiritually wise change-makers who will share lessons and approaches to authentic leadership.

Christy Vines’ expertise lies at the intersection of religion and national security, global gender issues, and foreign policy. She was previously the executive director of the Center for Women, Faith & Leadership at the Institute for Global Engagement. Her experience advocating for women’s issues globally will bring a range and depth to this discussion. 

Jessica Kim is a serial entrepreneur who has held the simultaneous titles of founder, CEO, wife, and mother – including dealing with the pressure to raise series-A financing for her startup while pregnant. Her stories of achievements and setbacks will help contribute to a robust discussion. 

Jessica Munro balances being a founder and mother with the unique compounding challenge of being the wife of an entrepreneur. Additionally, she will bring a perspective from her experience working in prominent organizations (IDEO, Stanford). 

Jena Lee Nardella will help facilitate the conversation and share her own experiences, including founding and scaling Blood:Water Mission to become a multi-million dollar nonprofit, and growing her own family with her husband James (they welcomed their second child just a few months ago). 


5:30 PM
Speakers Dinner (optional - meet in Talbot East after the Breakouts to discuss dinner and transportation needs)

Mr. V's Bar & Grill
14320 Valley View Ave
La Mirada, CA 90638



- Given the varying morning routines for those staying at the Sheraton, we've opted to let you choose your own breakfast options that are available in the hotel lobby (sit-down or quick-serve). Keep your receipts and submit for reimbursement after the event.

For those needing a ride, please meet in the lobby by 8:00AM; Scott Kauffmann, Dave Blanchard, and/or Josh Kwan will be driving speakers to campus.

For those arriving on your own, please arrive on campus by 8:40AM at Talbot East, Andrews Banquet Room. 

Breakfast Available
Cafe Biola

Morning Worship
Talbot East - Plaza Level, Outdoor Courtyard

Talbot East, Andrews Banquet room & Plaza Level Classrooms

ROUNDTABLE 1: 40-minutes
ROUNDTABLE 2: 40-minutes
ROUNDTABLE 3: 40-minutes

For each roundtable session, you will connect with a rotating group of 6-14 students and answer their questions across the whole of life. You do not need to prepare specific content for these sessions, rather just be yourself and be prepared to answer their questions and give advice by sharing your knowledge though stories, anecdotes, and critical decisions you've made as a leader. 

Lunch Available
Cafe Biola



We have your time with us concluding at noon on Thursday after the roundtable sessions. You are welcome to get lunch with us at Cafe Biola or leave via Lyft if needed. Otherwise, a member of the Praxis team will be able to give you a ride to LAX pending your final travel itinerary.