John guides the overarching vision and strategy for the Stephen & Laurel Brown Foundation, which includes Upper House and Dottie’s Ranch. He loves the entrepreneurial nature of his work and relishes the opportunity to build a healthy organizational culture.
Prior to this role, John served as director for the Center for Integrity in Business at the School of Business, Government, and Economics at Seattle Pacific University and before that, worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA as the National Director for Professional Schools Ministries, as well as campus minister at Harvard Business School and National Director for MBA Ministry. Before InterVarsity, John consulted with Hay Group, an international management consulting firm, and served with Bank of America as a real estate lender. John is a graduate of Indiana University (Bloomington), holds an M.B.A. from the Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University), master’s degrees in theology and religion from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. from Seattle Pacific University in industrial and organizational psychology.
John currently serves as a board member for Religion News Service and Religion News Foundation, and he enjoys writing and speaking on issues related to the academy, business, faith, and culture. He and his wife, Vanja, love to travel, read, take long walks, and encourage college students and young professionals in their spiritual journeys. They have one toddler, Elena, who helps John get his recommended 10,000 steps per day.
For Cam, being present at Upper House in this season of life is an opportunity to serve and lead in arenas where his passion burns most bright–art and culture, spiritual formation, and the rich environment of the University of Wisconsin.
Prior to joining our team, Cam completed a ten-year term as the Executive Director of CIVA | Christians in the Visual Arts. Prior to that, he served for thirty years with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship—including an eight-year term as the National Director of InterVarsity’s Graduate & Faculty Ministries. A senior leader, Cam’s many accomplishments include conference director, writer, lecturer, consultant, and visual artist. In 2016, his book, The Faithful Artist: A Vision for Evangelicalism and the Arts, was published by IVP Academic as a volume in their prestigious series Studies in Theology and the Arts. That same year he participated as Senior Scholar in Residence at the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, a six-month appointment.
Cam holds a B.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, an M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, and has completed post-graduate coursework in Art History and Aesthetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He and his wife, Cynthia (C.K.), have two adult children, two grandchildren, and a cocker spaniel named Seamus. They have resided in Madison, Wisconsin since 1986.
Director of Administration
Jean can be found, most often, in her office managing everything from payroll and human resources to making sure that behind-the-scenes organizational nuts and bolts operate smoothly–whatever it takes to welcome and serve our guests. Jean is amazed by God’s leading in her life, especially in this season of closer connections with college students and the University and Madison communities.
She is passionate about helping people grow in their relationship with God, by integrating their faith with all aspects of life, exactly the kinds of opportunities Upper House provides. Jean came to Upper House with many years of experience as a business administrator, first for a private engineering firm and, more recently, for High Point Church.
Jean grew up in Illinois, earned a degree in Environmental Engineering from Northwestern University, then moved to Madison and married Matt, her high school sweetheart and a UW alum. Here in Madison, they have enjoyed a full life, including parenting four (now adult) children. With Matt, Jean enjoys travel, camping and hiking, and every opportunity to spend time outdoors.
Director of Technology and Campus Ministry Engagement
Prior to this role, Daniel served as a Young Life area director in Davenport, Iowa for ten years. And prior to his time in Iowa, he restarted a dormant Young Life ministry in Plano, Texas. Dan has pioneered and led many projects for Young Life across North America and beyond with a focus on communications, social media, and technology needs.
Dan holds a leisure, youth and human services degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and is working toward a graduate degree in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Originally from the Madison area, Dan grown up in Mt. Horeb, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Barbara, have three children–Henry, Lyla, and Eli. He loves all things technological, Wisconsin sports, investing in the lives of young people, and spending time with his family.
Program Curator Team Lead
Prior to this role, Melissa served as the business manager of Inspiring Art by Alex, coordinating art shows, art commissions, product development, and speaking engagements. Previously, Melissa graduated from Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry at Bethel Church in Redding, California, where she assisted with event coordination, project management, and program resource development. While at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, she worked in the Music Department, providing leadership for community development initiatives, choir retreats, and tours for Bethel’s premier collegiate choir.
Melissa received a B.A. in Communication Arts and Literature Education (5-12) from Bethel University along with teaching licenses in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and California. Melissa is originally from Madison. She loves quality time with family and friends, good coffee, singing, international travel, nonfiction, and local eateries. Melissa is passionate for people to know and experience God and to equip them to be kingdom leaders.
Program Curator for Academic Communities
Dan’s longstanding passion for learning causes him to embrace places like the University of Wisccosin-Madison where world class thinking and teaching prevails. Trained as an historian, his scholarly interests find him pursuing his own research and publishing and venturing into the academy more broadly. Upper House offers him the unique opportunity to do both.
Prior to joining Upper House, Dan held fellowships at Harvard University’s Kennedy School, the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was a graduate fellow at the Hebrew University-Jerusalem. He has lectured in U.S. History at the University of Wiscsonsin-Madison and written widely on his areas of interest: religion, politics, and the United States in the twentieth century. His book, Covenant Brothers: Evangelicals, Jews, and U.S.-Israeli Relations, was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2019.
Dan earned a B.A. and M.A. in History from Colorado State University and a Ph.D. in History from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Moving often, Dan calls many places home: Orange County, California; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Fort Collins, Colorado; and, since 2010, Madison. He and his wife, Veronica, enjoy visiting new and old coffee shops in Madison, as well as becoming ever more acclimated to Midwest culture.
Hospitality and Events Coordinator
Rebecca coordinates hospitality and program logistics at Upper House, including anything from giving tours, organizing travel arrangements for speakers, and encouraging volunteers, to curating the perfect hot chocolate bar. She also co-leads the undergraduate intern program and finds great joy in interacting with students. She is best known for walking the most steps around the space to set up for Upper House’s myriad of programs.
Rebecca joined the team at the start of 2018 with excitement to help people pursue truth and integrate faith into each aspect of who they are. Whether addressing race, ethics, or life after college, she is thankful that Upper House gives faith “a seat at the table” in these conversations.
Rebecca received degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in International Studies—Global Security and French, as a Chancellor’s Scholar. Following graduation in 2016, she worked at High Point Church on the administrative team, in the small group ministry, and speaking to various audiences. She continues to serve as High Point’s wedding coordinator.
Cherishing moments of fun and rest, Rebecca enjoys running, Asian food, meaningful conversations, seeing the latest blockbuster, strolling around the Madison Farmers’ Market, and randomly singing wherever she goes.
Upper House Interns
Guest Services Intern
Zach joined the Intern Team in the Fall of 2018 and this year is an Event Intern at Upper House.
Zach considers the UW School of Businee his home as he majors in Marketing and Operations & Technology Management. After college, he plans to enter full-time ministry for at least a year, waiting to see where and how God leads. Whether his work takes him overseas or in the U.S., Zach’s plan is to take life after college one step of faith at a time.
He is active in campus ministry, Cru, and enjoys leading a Bible study for freshman guys.
Zach was born and raised in the booming metropolis of Green Bay, Wisconsin. The way to his heart is a meal at a breakfast diner, hash browns required. He loves getting a cup of coffee with friends—catching up on life and pursuing the Lord together. And, with honorable mention, one of his favorite movies is Remember the Titans.
Arielle’s helps with hospitality and events at Upper House. She already specializes in socializing, so working with people and hosting the space is basically her dream job.
Arielle is a junior at UW Madison. She plans to graduate in May of 2020 with a degree in Community/Nonprofit Leadership as well as certificates in Entrepreneurship, Leadership, and Religious Studies. After college, she hopes to study at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City, Missouri, from which she hopes to enter the ministry through worship leading and pastoral studies. Arielle also wants to start her own nonprofit, open a coffee shop, and do whatever she can to engage others in community by showing the love of the Father.
Upper House is Arielle’s second home. She works with A Just Brew, a nonprofit, student-run coffee shop run out of Upper House that focuses on ending human slavery by raising funds for International Justice Mission through coffee, conversation, and compassion. She is also involved in Force for Freedom, Chi Alpha, and leads worship and Bible studies on campus.
In her free time (if she ever has it), Arielle can be found venturing to new coffee shops, headed out on a long run, experimenting with bizarre healthy recipes, traveling with friends, and thrifting.