Mark Yaconelli is a writer, speaker, spiritual director, retreat leader, community activist, and storyteller. He is the founder and executive director of The Hearth Community, a registered nonprofit that assists cities and charitable agencies in producing personal storytelling projects. Mark has developed, facilitated, and produced community storytelling events for multiple groups within the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom including The Ford Family Foundation, The Church of Wales, The Boys and Girls Club, The Geos Institute, Asante Hospital Hospice, The Oregon Department of Human Services, and many others. Prior to his work with The Hearth, Mark spent five years as the co-founder and program director at The Center for Engaged Compassion at Claremont Lincoln University where he helped to develop a compassion formation program. Mark is the author of numerous books including Contemplative Youth Ministry, Growing Souls, Downtime and Wonder, Fear, and Longing. Profiles of Mark and his work have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, ABC World News Tonight, New York Times Online, Washington Post Online, CBS Radio, and Youthworker Journal. Mark lives in Southern Oregon with his wife, Jill, and their three children.