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Meet the Team

Rock Stars. Behaviorists. Strategists. 

Rock Stars With Business Smarts

Banding People Together is a super group (like the Eagles but we actually like each other) of collaboration experts who enable organizations to amp up productivity to get more done.  Our rock stars (literally) range from successful entrepreneurs to former senior level execs from global organizations that bring their unique perspectives and invaluable experience to every single solution that we co-create with our clients.

Not So Corporate Office Team

Alan SchaeferCEO/Founder

Home Base: Atlanta, GA

First Concert: The Police

Band that makes me feel like a fan: U2

Lyrics I wish I’d written:

“You’re packing a suitcase for a place none of us has been A place that has to be believed to be seen” Bono-U2

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Switch, Leadership and Self Deception

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Played in 17 countries as frontman for the band Five Star Iris
  2. Successfully built and sold my first company by the time I was 30
  3. Entertained US servicemen and women all over the world including Iraq
  4. Won the United Kingdom songwriting competition for the rock category
  5. Consulted for GMR Marketing and Best Buy
  6. Sang the national anthem at a Nascar race on national television
  7. Co-wrote a song that made it to #24 on the Billboard Hot AC chart

Things that might surprise you:

  1. I flew a C-130 over the middle east
  2. Won a countywide essay contest on Brotherhood in 3rd grade
  3. Been to the British Virgin Islands 19 times and counting
  4. I don’t go see very much live music
  5. I never wanted to be a singer or songwriter. Learned how because I needed them
  6. I’m a student of systems and complexity

What I love about Banding: Our people, sharing our world with others and the impact that we make every time we step into a session together.

Brant MenswarClient Solutions/Partner/Facilitator

Home Base: Cocoa, FL

First Concert: Hall & Oates

Band that makes me feel like a fan: Prince

Lyrics I wish I’d written: 

“They raised me on doughnuts and coffee Under fluorescent lights we watched outdated movies It smelled like a hospital but no one was being cured Tell me where to find, tell me where to find the Lord” – David Ramirez

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: Chasing Francis, Switch, Fox in Socks

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Front man for the Americana band Big Kettle Drum
  2. Signed first record deal with the band Fort Pastor at age 35
  3. Songs have been used on dozens of television shows
  4. Had a #1 song for 5 straight weeks (In Iowa!)
  5. Was the VP of Business Development for the world’s largest commercial collection agency
  6. Founded several successful internet marketing dot coms

Things that might surprise you:

  1. Played the school bully on Nickelodeon’s “Welcome Freshman”
  2. Lived in hospital for 263 straight days with son who successfully beat cancer!
  3. Is an ordained pastor
  4. Voted best dancer in high school
  5. Broke several baseball records in the State of NH
  6. Have owned over 50 cars!

What I love about Banding: Working together to enrich our own lives while we are teaching others to do the same.

Kevin SpencerMusic Director/Facilitator

Home Base: Atlanta via Hamilton, Ontario

First Concert: The Who

Band that makes me feel like a fan: U2

Lyrics I wish I’d written: Long you live and high you fly, and smiles you’ll give and tears you’ll cry, and all you touch and all you see Is all your life will ever be’ Pink Floyd

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. I joined the ranks of history when I marched the Royal family through the Brandenburg Gate as a soldier/drummer in 1991, ending the Peace Keeping mission in Berlin.
  2. The first time I was lucky enough to be featured in Rolling Stone was in 1997 as a part of the Lilith Fair tour.
  3. I performed the roll of ‘Roger Davis’ in RENT for 550 performances from Sept 01-May 03 across the US.
  4. I had the pleasure and privilege of working for one of the worlds most important music producers; Daniel Lanois (U2, Peter Gabriel, Dylan…)

Things that might surprise you:

  1. I have never had a formal music education or vocal lesson.
  2. I’m a proud Canadian that married the most beautiful girl in the world.  
  3. I too struggle with self doubt on a daily basis. I accept it in the name of being better tomorrow.  
  4. Dogs complete me.  

What I love about Banding:

It’s my family, it’s my church.  Watching a doubter in the morning harness their potential as a communicator, collaborator and songwriter in the afternoon.   People are the greatest resource on the planet and we’re changing that culture one person at a time.  

Paul DowProduction and Logistics

Home Base: Atlanta, GA

First Concert: Elton John

Band that makes me feel like a fan: M83

Lyrics I wish I’d written: Love can mend your life but love can break your heart – The Police

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: Overworked and Overwhelmed: The Mindfulness Alternative – Scott Eblin

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Toured the country and abroad as a bassist and live sound engineer
  2. Avid self taught student of sound, lighting, and design
  3. Attained the rank of Eagle Scout

Things that might surprise you:

  1. Top ten competitive gymnast as a kid in Georgia
  2. Nearly drowned on first trip as a raft guide in Colorado
  3. Feels confident that his time on flight simulators makes him qualified to land a commercial jet in real life

What I love about Banding: We are a family of creatives and professionals that is ALL IN on our mission that we deliver 100% of the time.

Dr. Brandon Sullivan

Name:Brandon Sullivan

Home Base: Minneapolis, MN

First Concert: They Might be Giants

Band that makes me feel like a fan: The Jayhawks

Lyrics I wish I’d written: If you don’t like the world you’re living in, take a look around you, at least you got friends, Prince

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time, Healthy Work: Stress, Productivity, and the Reconstruction Of Working Life

What my publicist will tell you:
1. Teach graduate and MBA courses on leadership, wellbeing, and organizational behavior at the University of Minnesota
2. Won several awards, including Most Influential Paper Award from the Academy of Management for research on negotiation and the Strategic Priority Award from Target Corporation for a global enterprise leadership competency model.
3. While in graduate school, published a book on the science of cooperation
4. Authored numerous research articles in psychology and management journals
5. Presented employee engagement and organizational effectiveness research at international scientific conferences, including in Cergy, France, Cork, Ireland, and Toronto, Canada.

Things that might surprise you:
1. I have lived in New Zealand, Israel, Boston, and Ithaca, NY, but keep coming back to Minneapolis. My wife, my four kids, and I love spending the summer camping on the north shore of Lake Superior and spending spring break in St. John, USVI
2. After college, I worked as a mental health counselor for children at a residential treatment center in Boston The summer before starting my PhD, I spent several days biking through the Loire Valley in France

What I love about Banding:
The amazing blend of science and creativity that emerges from our team working together and allows us to have a truly meaningful impact on our clients.

Chandler CovertProduction Manager

Home Base: Atlanta, GA

First Concert: The Rolling Stones

Band that makes me feel like a fan: Young the Giant

Lyrics I wish I’d written:

“You may not want me to, I still belong to you.” Golden Youth

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. My first musical performance was in front of 1,000 people at 20
  2. Created my first business at 21
  3. Voted Mr. Congeniality of the student population at the University of South Carolina

Things that might surprise you:

  1. I lived in a camper van for a month, while traveling down the east coast of Australia
  2. I know how to step (The dancing kind)
  3. I lived with a host family in Valencia, Spain at 16

What I love about Banding: Everyone is original, because no one is afraid to be themselves.

Facilitators

Christopher WilliamsFacilitator

Home Base: Nashville, TN

First Concert: U2 ‘Unforgettable Fire’ Tour at Madison Square Garden

Band that makes me feel like a fan: U2

Lyrics I wish I’d written:

Amongst the vending machines and year-old magazines in a place where we only say goodbye It stung like a violent wind that our memories depend on a faulty camera in our minds But I knew that you were a truth I would rather lose than to have never lain beside at all And I looked around at all the eyes on the ground as the TV entertained itself – Death Cab For Cutie –

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: Henri Nouwen – Out Of Solitude

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Christopher has successfully released 10 records on his own independent label, the latest being ‘The City Makes The Man’
  2. Has toured nationally for the last 18 years
  3. Toured with acts Jars of Clay, Arlo Guthrie, David Wilcox and many other songwriters
  4. “Williams is a hard-touring singer-songwriter and a master at spreading his personal energy out into a live audience.” (Madison Isthmus)

Things that might surprise you:

  1. Christopher played djembe at Live 8 in Philly in front of 1 million people
  2. Earned a Bachelor degree in Religious Studies from Bucknell University
  3. Christopher has remodeled his house for the last 8 years and loves it!

What I love about Banding: Watching a room be transformed as creativity and collaboration happen!

Dave PlaceFacilitator

Home Base: Sandwich, MA

First Concert: Switchfoot

Band that makes me feel like a fan: Blink 182

Lyrics I wish I’d written:

  1. I don’t know where the ocean meets the sky
  2. I don’t know why the world keeps spinning by
  3. Don’t know why the hours move so slow
  4. But when I’m with you, I don’t wanna know – augustiana

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: The Power of One

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Lead Singer / Songwriter for the band Phone Calls From Home
  2. Sold 50,000 Records and toured 47 states over a 4-year period
  3. Recently started the Christian rock band Real Hope
  4. Publishing a nonfiction book in 2017 titled College On Sale

Things that might surprise you:

  1. Dave received both a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and an MBA by taking online classes from his van while on tour over a 4-year period
  2. Dave can fluently play the Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano, and Sing. When writing songs, he often plays every instrument in the recording process.
  3. Being a life-long learner, Dave has already fulfilled many job positions in his 20’s that have had an interest to him. In the last 5 years, Dave has been a full time musician, a music teacher, a church worship director, a financial researching associate, a small-town business owner on Cape Cod, a real estate agent, an insurance agent, and (of course) a corporate trainer.
  4. Dave is an avid surfer and soccer player.

What I love about Banding:  The company has a true and adamant purpose that transcends profits, systems, and figures. For me, the working here feels more like a ministry or a calling than a job.

Danny MyrickFacilitator
Danny Myrick is an award winning songwriter and musician based in Nashville, Tn.  His career began as a kid singing and playing bass guitar in his family band for his Baptist preacher Father’s revival services.  He achieved his first #1 gospel song at the age of 17 before moving to Nashville from Pascagoula, Ms.  Over the past 20 years, Danny has fronted 90’s country band Western Flyer, sang background vocals on records for Montgomery Gentry, Blake Shelton and others and has had numerous cuts as a writer for artists as diverse as Craig Morgan, Big and Rich and Joe Cocker. Danny has had several hit songs including International Harvester by Craig Morgan, Truck Yeah by Tim McGraw and 2009’s most played country song, “She’s Country” by Jason Aldean.  He spends his time producing, writing, being an obsessive sports fan and enjoying time with his sons.  Click to hear music from Danny.
Jen LoweFacilitator

Home Base: Simsbury, CT

First Concert: Bryan Adams

Band that makes me feel like a fan: Jason Isbell

Lyrics I wish I’d written: A heart on the run keeps a hand on the gun you can’t trust anyone, I was so sure what I needed was more tried to shoot out the sun In days when we raged we flew off the page such damage was done but I made it through to somebody knew I was meant for someone – Jason Isbell

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: Art of Racing in the Rain-Garth Stein , Rising Strong – Brene Brown,

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Multi-instrumentalist who has toured with musicians such as Jason Mraz, Tristan Prettyman, Zac Brown, Ed Kowalczyk, Ed Roland, Kevin Griffin and Emerson Hart
  2. Has two records out and is working on a third
  3. Is a speaker for NAMM (National Association Music Merchants)
  4. Has invented a product in collaboration with Latin Percussion called Potz
  5. Has an on line store called BoomBoom Percussion
  6. Is the brand manager and communications director for The Blue Devils and System Blue

Things that might surprise you:

  1. I know how to do a tax return
  2. I would rather be on the golf course than anyplace in the world
  3. I am writing a book
  4. My dog’s name is Blanche named after A Streetcar Named Desire

What I love about Banding: Every experience is rewarding. I am learn so much about myself with every collaborative experience. Banding is my family and they are remarkable humans who enrich my life in so many ways.

Jim TrickFacilitator

Home Base: Boston, MA

First Concert: STRYPER

Band that makes me feel like a fan: Crowded House

Lyrics I wish I’d written: “The wild dogs cry out in the night as they grow restless, longing for some solitary company. I know that I must do what’s right as sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti. I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become.” Africa, TOTO

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: The Gospel of John

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Jim was featured alongside American Idol’s Alex Preston, by Berklee College of Music for a performance entitled “An Evening With New England’s top songwriters”.
  2. “One of the brightest songwriters and storytellers coming out of the north east these days is a man named Jim Trick. With the ability to draw an audience into his world, Jim is a brilliant communicator who is definitely worth the effort to go see.” – Grandfather Rock from WCWP 88.1 FM Brooklyn
  3. Knows what it’s like to swim frantically across the alligator riddled Belize river and how it feels to share a stage with Katy Perry. One of those experiences was terrifying. The other one involved alligators
  4. Is a frequent guest lecturer at Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music.
5.“Listening to Jim Trick’s songs and voice are like getting a hug from an old friend. A friend that knows you well. His music lets me take off my armor and feel welcomed into a world where I know I’m understood, not alone, and truly invited into. Wonderful stuff.” – Mary Lou Lord

Things that might surprise you:

  1. Was once 430 lbs, wearing size 66 pants. Yes they make em that big
  2. Works as an ICF certified life and professional coach.
  3. Has witnessed abject poverty, first hand, in a Central American refugee village.
  4. Writes a blog that is followed by thousands of people in over twenty countries.
  5. An avid fly fisherman and fly tyer

What I love about Banding: True Collaboration has powerfully shaped the way I engage others. and interact with the world Getting to teach and live this methodology is a gift.

John Stringer

Home Base: Atlanta, GA

First Concert: Phil Driscoll

Band that makes me feel like a fan: needtobreath

Lyrics I wish I’d written: “If you had a twin, I would still choose you” – Drake (“Work” from Rihanna featuring Drake)

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: The Goal, 4 Disciplines of Execution, Make to Stick, Switch, The Power of Now, A New Earth, Autobiography of a Yogi, The Master Key System, The Science of Getting Rich

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Performed in 9 countries as front-man for independent rock band, State of Man
  2. Wrote and recorded several albums, including a top 10 best selling Billboard chart hit single
  3. Music has been featured on major network television and appeared in national print ads (Rolling Stone, VIBE, SPIN, Vanity Fair, etc.)
  4. Launched indie label, PolyPlat Records, and grew from representing 1 artist to over 400 independent touring artists
  5. Founded indiehitmaker.com and launched the first Soundscan CD sales reporting service for indie artists
  6. Published author in the best selling series, Adventures In Manifesting: Love and Oneness, including thought leaders such as Mariane Williamson, Lisa McCourt and Danielle Laporte.
  7. Tours US speaking and sharing music at spiritual centers, churches, conferences, retreats, youth camps and festivals
  8. Former Director of Marketing for a successful fast growth Marketing/SEO agency in Atlanta

Things that might surprise you:

  1. Attended United States Military Academy out of highschool after receiving nominations to USMA, Naval Academy & Merchant Marine Academy
  2. Left college senior year to pursue music and eventually landed an investor in own indie label (PolyPlat Records) for nearly half a million dollars
  3. Certified energy healer
  4. Ordained minister
  5. Big Anime (Martial arts/Sci-Fi/Fantasy) fan
  6. Managed by wife and tours with family during the summer

What I love about Banding:

We help companies transform relationships through awareness and collaboration skills based on the science of human behavior

J.R. RichardsFacilitator
J.R. Richards made a lasting mark on the landscape of popular music as the singer/songwriter for the enduring alt-rock band Dishwalla. He penned their chart topping single ‘Counting Blue Cars’ which won the Billboard award for ‘Rock Song of the Year. Post Dishwalla J.R. has produced other artists, composed scores for films, guest starred on several popular television shows and lectured at major universities. Most recently he has been spending time in Central America working with the non-profit organization 20,000K, which brings sustainable energy to people who are less fortunate.
Lee SylvestreFacilitator

Home Base: Hartford, CT

First Concert: Screamin’ Cheetah Wheelies

Band that Makes me Feel like Fan : Toad the Wet Sprocket

Lyrics I wish I’d written : There’s a chapel in Minneapolis that holds the bones of a dead saint in it and the stain glass glows from the ceiling there, and reminds me of the feeling when I first looked into your eyes, and saw the most beautiful birds fly straight into the sun, their wings on fire, the deed was done. -Bob Schneider

A Book(s) that’s changed my life : “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Built and grew a hospital-solution start-up into a company with over 6000 worldwide accounts
  2. Business and scheduling consultant for Yale University
  3. Performed as a sideman on various instruments for two national touring acts
  4. Function as tour manager for several national and international touring acts

Things that might surprise you:

  1. I once rode in the trunk of a Bentley to a David Bowie concert in Hong Kong.
  2. I ran the Boston Marathon
  3. I drive a 1966 Chevy C-10 pickup truck
  4. The oboe was my first instrument

What I love about Banding: That our team truly embodies the collaborative spirit that we preach! The camaraderie is something that people feel the moment the step into a room with us. I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

Marty DodsonFacilitator

Home Base: Nashville, TN

First Concert: Alabama

Band that makes me feel like a fan: The Eagles

Lyrics I wish I’d written: “I Can’t Make You Love Me” – Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: What Color Is Your Parachute

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. I’ve co-written 6 #1 songs
  2. I have had over 100 songs recorded
  3. I once knocked Psy out of #1 in South Korea with my song “Bounce”
  4. I wrote Joe Cocker’s last #1 song

Things that might surprise you:

  1. I was a red belt in Taekwondo
  2. I once found a 1st century Roman coin while metal detecting
  3. I climbed the highest mountain in Colorado
  4. I’m a top level Tripadvisor contributor

What I love about Banding: Putting Collaboration into practice. Amazing creative people. Being dropped into someone else’s world and sharing what we do

Rebecca Lynn HowardFacilitator
Rebecca Lynn Howard is a crossover country-pop singer, and two-time Grammy Award Winner. Her compositions have been recorded by singers such as Martina McBride, Trisha Yearwood, Julianne Hough, John Michael Montgomery, and Clay Aiken, to name a few. Howard was a featured vocalist on Jim Brickman’s “Simple Things” and enjoyed the #1 slot on the Adult Contemporary chart, but she is best known for her smash hit “Forgive”, which is still a favorite among fans and critics alike. Recently, she has branched out into the field of record producing, where she has made a splash in the “land down under”, with Australia’s 2009 Female Vocalist of the Year, Dianna Corcoran. She continues to produce and is currently writing for Colton Entertainment in Nashville.
Tim Warren

Home Base: Fairfield, CT

First Concert: Meatloaf

Band that makes me feel like a fan: Coldplay

Lyrics I wish I’d written: “The highway is for gamblers, better use your sense.  Take what you have gathered from coincidence”  – Bob Dylan

A Book(s) that’s changed my life: A New Earth

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Co-wrote the Song Nothing More, the featured Closing song to the Sochi Olympic Games, countless charities, school organizations, and TOMS Shoes
  2. Wrote the independant song of the year in 2004
  3. Wrote the highest rated song in history on the Platinum Blue Hit Screening Software
  4. Co-Founder of The Alternate Routes, Toured with Johnny Lang, Ingrid Michaelson, Live, OAR, Sister Hazel, Josh Ritter, Brandi Carlisle, NEEDTOBREATHE, Collective Soul,
  5. Played just under 2000 shows in a 10 year period from 2003-2013

Things that might surprise you:

  1. Class President 8th-12th grade
  2. Highest Ranked High School Quarterback in 1999 season, only lost the State Championship and state semi final as a starter
  3. Graduated College with a double major in 3 years
  4. I’m a student of the kitchen and cooking is one of my most favorite hobbies
  5. The thing I am most proud of is that I was voted the nicest person in my graduating class of 380 in High School

What I love about Banding:

The most powerful currency in the world is a deeper understanding of how we relate to one another. Understanding the things we talk about in Banding, can improve every relationship in your life. People base their marriages, their friendships, their parenthood and their profit margins on these relationships, why not master your ability to bring out the best in them?

William Hanford Lee Jr.Facilitator

Home Base: Atlanta GA

First Concert: Jackson 5

Band that makes me feel like a fan: Morris Day & The Time

Lyrics I wish I’d written: Moondance

Book that changed my life: The Power Of Now

What my publicist will tell you:

  1. Showbiz veteran with 30 years in entertainment
  2. Prolific songwriter with about 100 songs placed on film/tv
  3. Landed numerous national ad campaigns
  4. Manages a successful stand-up comedian
  5. Does jingles for companies all over the world

Things that might surprise you:

  1. Hooked on The Walking Dead
  2. Grew up working for the family newspaper
  3. Knows how to juggle
  4. Cooks a mean pot of gumbo

What I love about Banding:

I love the team, the energy. I love seeing people come out of the sessions transformed!

Welk Resorts

“A heart felt thanks from us to you for creating an unforgettable teambuilding event for Welk Resorts at our Company Leadership Summit. Each of you is absolutely remarkable in your talent, professionalism, and sheer, zealous fervor. It’s no wonder you are all beloved by your clients.  Banding People Together produced the ultimate collaborating activity for us. I can’t recall ever having worked with another group that so exceeded expectations and delivered a world-class experience to our executives.”

Carianne McLellan, Corporate Relations, Welk Resorts