Meet the emPower Team

As a founder of emPower Music & Arts Richard is at the epi-center of the budding “Posi” (Positive) Music industry.

Richard’s experience as speaker, singer and award winning songwriter spans a wide range, from performing with the Florida Symphony Orchestra as a trumpet player, to over 20 years of writing, producing and performing in Nashville Tennessee with artists like Kathy Mattea, Susie Boggus, Patty Loveless, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Nelson, and others. He has produced or co-produced eighteen albums of Posi Music including six projects of his own.

During his 10 years at Unity Worldwide Ministries as Sacred Music Resources Coordinator he produced songbooks, the Sound Connections music conference and newsletter and provided music resources to churches around the world.

He currently serves as Music Director at Unity Renaissance Spiritual Community in Chesapeake, VA where his wife Paula is Senior Minister.

As music director for Unity Church of Clearwater, FL for the past 18 years, Sue sees the power of positive music on a weekly basis.   Sue also serves as the Music Team Leader for Unity Worldwide Ministries' Music Team, and is Vice President of emPower Music and Arts.  A singer/songwriter with 6 CDs of her original music, Sue travels the country as part of the PosiPalooza! concerts. Passionate about the power of music, Sue says: "I know that music has the power to change lives for the better. Together we can do great things!"

Russ is a veteran of the independent music industry and currently serves as the lead audio engineer at Unity Church of Clearwater, FL. Working with emPower M&A, Russ brings with him his experience at marketing bands around the globe and a passionate belief that music and the arts can make a positive impact on our world. "It's time for greater recognition of the vast community of emPowering musicians, writers, & speakers, and emPower Music & Arts is positioned to make that happen."

Carole Tomhave is a 1982 summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, with a bachelor degree in Music Education.

Her conducting and teaching experience is wide and varied, including 33 years of music ministry in Unity, Methodist, and Lutheran churches. She has also taught  choral, general and instrumental music in California, Maryland and Virginia. Additionally, she is a chorister with the Blue Ridge Singers based in Front Royal VA. Singly and with members of New Day, she has led workshops in various aspects of music ministry at regional and national Unity conferences since 2007, and has organized numerous concert series, retreats and festivals.

Carole's performance experience includes 11 years as a professional member of the Paul Hill Chorale and the Washington Singers.

She also has sung choral masterworks with the Washington Ballet, the National Symphony, Harlem Dance Theatre, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap Center for the Performing Arts and Carnegie Hall. She has conducted many great choral works with orchestra, and was music director for productions of "Oliver!", "The Sound of Music," and "Carousel" in California.

A mother of three and a stepmom of two, in her spare time Carole enjoys playing folk and world music, reading, canoeing, skiing and hiking.

Glen Roethel proudly brings his deep musical, energetic and artistic connection with all things emPower to the Board of Directors. He is an award-winning singer-songwriter, a versatile performer in many musical styles (on vocals, bass, percussion, guitar, keyboards and ukulele), and he is also respected as a harmony singer as formerly in his popular folk-rock harmony group, Gathering Time (now re-formed). Thriving on intrigue, he even performed in concert more than once with A Few Good Men – a Jazz ensemble comprised of three ex-felons from Sing-Sing prison with another special guest, the Director of Deutsche Bank on drums.

A friend of emPower since 2005, Glen's intentional songwriting and easy spirit made him an instant musical fit with the movement. Upon becoming a Pro Member he attended multiple songwriting retreats and even surprised himself by co-writing scores of beautiful songs with his new friends. He soon enjoyed three Posi Award nominations, had songs featured in two Unity songbooks, on two emPower CD releases, and in the Hal Leonard Corp. songbook, 101 Inspiring Songs: The Ultimate New Thought Fakebook, among others. PosiFestival and PosiAwards after-parties have never been the same since this talented guitarist/vocalist and devout late-night jammer arrived – soon giving birth to the tireless and amazing Posi After-Party Band – and since 2011 Glen has graced the PosiAwards stage as the house band's guitarist. Glen is also known to gush that he served as the Musical Guide for the Northeast Regional Y.O.U. Summer Retreat: Redefining Reality, in 2013.

In recent years, Glen's talents as graphic designer have lifted up the joyful positive message of emPower in butterflies, bookmarks, CD packaging, banners and more.

Outside of Posi-related events, Glen brings his creative curricula to SummerSongs, entertains at conferences, parties and retreats, and sings his songs at venues and house concerts across the US. ~

Melinda Wood Allen is an award-winning singer, songwriter, speaker, actress & choral clinician who performs in many genres: musical theatre to classical to jazz to gospel to folk. With her amazing four-octave range, she has toured with cowboy bands and symphony orchestras alike, not focusing on a single style of music, but on singing songs that bring universal truth, healing and inspiration to audiences.

Melinda is choral consultant for the UWM Music Team, was a Minister of Music at New Thought churches for over 27 years, and will be an ordained Interfaith/Interspiritual Minister as of June, 2016.  Melinda speaks to churches, community centers, prisons and recovery groups, combining her love of music with her knowledge and experience of spiritual principles to present moving programs that can be life- changing.

Tom is the Station Manager of emPower Positive Radio and the voice of the station.

Tom is a 15-year veteran of radio leaving the business in 1985 because he didn’t like the direction that corporate takeover was moving the industry. But he never stopped loving the work he did there. In 1999 he had a chance to return to his love when he stumbled across an article about Internet radio. Tom decided to try his hand at it. He also wanted to experiment with a format he’d thought about for a few years prior to leaving radio. The question he asked himself was why an adult station couldn’t play music from shows like Beauty and The Beast and Lion King and other “kid” movies since they made you feel so good to listen. Averna began to collect this “positive” music from children’s/family movies and mainstream artists like The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Lee Ann Womack, Sting and many others and started learning how to put an Internet radio station together.

About this same time, he discovered New Thought and began attending services at CSL Seattle and had made friends who attended Mile Hi in Denver. There he found artists who performed incredible music with a positive message and he knew his mission was to start a station playing not only mainstream music that had a positive message, but the music of these New Thought Indie artists. In April of 2000 Radiopositive was broadcasting on Live 365. In 2002 after being approached by a record promoter, he and Scott Johnson founded the Positive Music Association.

A lot has happened since then and there have been many setbacks, but Tom never lost his love of and commitment to Positive Music. Now with his partnership with emPower Music and Arts, he feels he finally has found the team with the desire, vision and talent to make Positive Radio a reality.

James helps the emPower team keep the website running and is the go-to guy for times when something is broken or a new feature needs to be developed. James is originally from South Africa, but now lives in Alaska with his family and is an avid kiteboarder, snow kiter, and fisherman.

James' company is Bear Star Web Design.