Executive Director, CitizenLink
Tom Minnery, executive director of CitizenLink, has led the Government and Public Policy division since 1988, serving as a steady voice articulating the conservative Christian viewpoint on family, marriage and religious civil liberties issues. His views and influence have helped to shape public policy at both the national and state levels.
Minnery and his team track federal policy in bioethics issues from abortion to euthanasia; abstinence education; pornography and obscenity; education; marriage; religious freedom; homosexuality; and gambling. The expert commentary they provide helps mobilize informed grassroots participation of Christians in the political process. This is accomplished mainly by providing family advocates with trusted news and information on pressing social issues through Focus’ Citizen magazine, CitizenLink Daily Update e-mail, the CitizenLink radio broadcast, as well as a variety of online videos ranging from the humorous Stoplight commentaries to in-depth analysis on the CitizenLink Report.
Minnery also oversees the network of 38 state-level family policy councils (FPCs) that often serve as the front lines for the organization of grassroots participation. These FPCs are increasingly helping to affect the tone of national policy, including playing a major role in passing the 31 marriage amendments that have garnered media attention across the U.S.
Like the team he leads, Minnery is one of the first people journalists call when seeking a voice to articulate the conservative Christian viewpoint. He has been featured on countless media programs and print outlets, including CNN, Fox News, all network news programs, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek.
Minnery also serves as a member of the board of the Alliance Defending Freedom (formerly the Alliance Defense Fund), a national organization devoted to the legal strategy, training and funding of court cases involving pro-life, religious-freedom and family-values issues.
Prior to coming to Focus on the Family, Minnery was senior editor at Christianity Today magazine in the Chicago area. He also worked as a Capitol Hill correspondent and was a manager in the Washington bureau of Gannett Newspapers. Minnery has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Ohio University and Master of Arts in religion from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of the book Why You Can’t Stay Silent, published by Tyndale House (2002).
Senior Director of Media
Stuart Shepard is senior director of media for CitizenLink and co-host of the CitizenLink radio broadcast, which is heard on more than 650 Christian radio stations nationwide. He oversees the team that runs the radio program, the CitizenLink website and daily e-mail update, and Citizen magazine. He’s perhaps best known as host of the Stoplight® video commentaries. Stoplight® has collected millions of views and drawn the attention of CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. Keith Olbermann declared Shepard the “Worst Person in the World,” while Bill O’Reilly called him a “Patriot.”
Earlier, Shepard served as managing editor of the CitizenLink website for a couple years, and before that he was associate producer of Family News in Focus for seven.
Prior to coming to Focus in 1999, he was the award-winning chief meteorologist at WLEX-TV in Lexington, Ky. He held the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association seals of approval. During his 14 years in the Bluegrass state, he created weekly features on children in the Special Needs Adoption Program, co-hosted the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon, and served as weekend pastor for a small country church. He was named a “Kentucky Colonel” by two governors.
He’s a graduate and distinguished alumnus of Kentucky Christian University and has served on its board. He’s also a graduate of Eastern Kentucky University. And he holds a certificate of broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University.
Editor, Citizen magazine
Karla Dial has a long unofficial history with CitizenLink, and a short official one: She was a contributing editor to Citizen magazine for 10 years before joining the staff of Focus on the Family full-time in January 2012.
During her decade spent as a freelance journalist, she served five years as the managing editor of School Reform News, a monthly newspaper published by The Heartland Institute.
After earning her journalism degree from New Mexico State University, she cut her teeth learning how to multitask as a sports and features reporter at The Desert Sun, a daily newspaper in Palm Springs, Calif., run by the Gannett Corp.
In her free time, she can usually be found at the gym or watching movies with her husband. She still contributes freelance pieces to women’s fitness and personal-finance magazines as often as time permits.
Associate Online Editor
Although she’s a California native, Bethany Monk feels right at home in Colorado. She came to CitizenLink in the summer of 2012, and enjoys working with its amazing public policy team.
In California, she worked as an education and features reporter for newspapers including The Benicia Herald, Amador Ledger Dispatch and Calaveras Enterprise. She has also worked as a public and private school teacher in the state.
Bethany served in the U.S. Navy from 1995 to 1998. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Montana, and a Master of Arts degree in English, creative non-fiction, from Northern Arizona University. In 2011, she earned a teaching credential from Brandman University.
When she’s not writing, she enjoys exploring the myriad Colorado hiking trails. She also enjoys acting, painting and traveling.
Technical Radio Producer
Jimmy Peck came to Focus on the Family in 1992. He has worked in the broadcast department and for Family News in Focus. Now he serves as the technical radio producer for CitizenLink.
Peck holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Messiah College in Grantham, Pa., and a master’s degree in theological studies from Golden Gate Seminary. Married with three children, Peck makes his home in Colorado Springs.
Co-host/Co-producer, CitizenLink radio
Kim was practically born with a microphone in hand. She cut her first commercial at age 3, worked her first board shift at age 11 and has been on the air for most of her adult life in radio and television. Being the youngest (and most dramatic) of 5 children helped tremendously!
Kim’s husband introduced her to the world of public policy and she’s been a junkie ever since, honing her skills over six years at Focus on the Family Action and then CitizenLink as well as directing and hosting Family News in Focus for several years.
Just for fun, she’s been married to Gary for more than 20 years and they have two amazing sons and two extremely crazy canines who all keep her hopping on a daily basis.