Steve Smith / Morning Announcer | email
A native of the Keystone State, Steve spent his younger years in suburban Philadelphia. Leaving home for the first time, Steve went off to college and graduated with a degree in Communications from Ohio University. His first job out of college was with WCLT in Newark, Ohio, where he worked as an account executive and did play-by-play announcing for high school games.
Steve's radio career has taken him to Connecticut, North Carolina and Oklahoma, where he spent 19 years as a morning show host in Tulsa with former AC station KBEZ 92.9FM, now BOB-FM. Once in Oklahoma, Steve's life changed in many ways. For one, he turned life over to Christ on January 15, 1988—his very first day in Tulsa. That's a pretty important change!
Later on, Steve reconnected with his 8th grade sweetheart, Audrey. Imagine dating your 8th grade sweetheart again in your early thirties. God willing, it worked, and Steve and Audrey married in June of 1989. They have two children—Laura and Will. (yes... Will Smith).
Now back on the East Coast, working for Family Life, Steve is amazed how quickly God works, and when you least expect it. A few of Steve's favorite things would be his family, his Philadelphia sports teams, and most of all—his God.
Steve's life verse is Jeremiah 29:11: "'For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Rachelle Renee Carrillo / Morning Announcer | email
Rachelle Renee Carrillo came to Family Life from Tulsa, OK. Rachelle majored in theatre in college having aspirations for the stage. She was encouraged to consider a part time position at a local radio station in Oklahoma and that was the beginning of her “radio career” landing different positions in Christian radio over the next number of years.
Two years ago Rachelle contacted Family Life in the hopes of doing some voice-tracking work for the ministry. That first conversation led to many more and the Lord began to speak to Rachelle and her husband, Sammy about a possible move to New York. While considering such a move, Rachelle became a weekend announcer with Family Life and visited on two occasions during sharathons. The call of the Lord became stronger and stronger and earlier this year surrendered to that call.
Rachelle’s gifts include singing, acting, and teaching young children. It’s a given that not only will listeners hear Rachelle as part of the morning team but will also see her on stage as part of the Performing Arts department. Rachelle and Sammy have two young boys, Sammy Jr. and Caleb.
Randy Snavely / Morning Announcer | email
Before coming to Family Life, Randy worked in Kansas City with Youth for Christ. He spent six years there - a very exciting and rewarding time since many lives were changed by Christ. Randy was eventually led to Family Life by God's hand in his life. It's an exciting story too long to write out here. So if you see Randy, grab a seat and ask him about it.
Golf is near the top of Randy's fun-things-to-do list. He also plays fantasy baseball, enjoys watching his kids compete in school sports, speaks at churches and other events, and loves spending time with his family. Adam, Drew, Luke and Olivia are all into soccer and swimming. Randy's wife, Krisitina, and the rest of the family live in Bath, NY.
Terese Main / Assistant Program Director, Music Director, Mid-Day Announcer | email
God wastes nothing. So never take any chance meeting as just a coincidence. Terese met Family Life President Rick Snavely backstage at a concert one night and didn’t think very much of it. As time went on, her heart softened to the possibility of joining the ministry. The Lord increased that desire to the point where she could think of nothing she wanted to do more!
You can hear Terese at-work, from 9am to 12noon. She also hosts the Lunch Break, where you get all the news, learning and encouragement you need to make it through the rest of your day. She shares her optimistic perspective on life, through the path the Lord lays before her.
Before joining Family Life, Terese spent nine years on the air at WARM 101.3 in Rochester, NY, where she was Program Director as well. Her voice is also heard on 95.1 Shine FM, a Christian radio station in Baltimore, MD. Having grown up in Dryden, NY, attended Ithaca College and then moved to Rochester, Terese has spent her whole life in the Family Life listening area. She’s come to appreciate the beauty and wonder of this part of the country.
Terese accepted Jesus as her savior during High School, but walked away from Him during her 20’s. During that time, she met and married Scott, never having talked about her faith. A few years later, the topic came up and both shared the stories of their salvation, and started attending church, as they put Christ as the forefront of their lives. How good God is to have saved these two for each other! They are blessed with daughters Emily and Ashley.
Sonny Delfyette / Afternoon Announcer | email
With an encouraging song, an encouraging word, and a chuckle or three ... every afternoon is "Sonny-er" on Family Life's radio network. In addition to hearing him on your drive home, Sonny also mans the Sports Desk alongside Randy Snavely to report the latest national and regional sports news.
Sonny comes to Family Life with over 30 years of radio experience. He has worked in Baltimore, Kansas City, Virginia Beach, Detroit, West Palm Beach and most recently on a nationally syndicated show based out of Los Angeles, California.
Wow - Sonny had finally hit the big time ... or had he?
While living in Los Angeles, two disasters (the Chatsworth fires and the Chatsworth train-wreck) both happened less than three miles from his house. It was as if the Lord was trying to get his attention. Sonny prayed, "Lord, if you don't want me here, take me away." Sonny clearly heard God ask, "Are you sure?" Sonny's eyes quickly filled with tears as he replied, "Yes, as long as I know it's you, Lord." That same week Rick Snavely sent Sonny an email saying he had a job and a home for Sonny at Family Life. Less than a week later, and knowing exactly where he was heading, Sonny's fun-in-the-sun was over. Hello Family Life Network and snowy Bath, NY!
Sonny is a proud husband to Nicole. The couple has a daughter, Simone, and share a happy home with a rescued German Shepherd named Mimi. Sonny's hobbies include rooting on his Pittsburgh Steelers and West Virginia Mountaineers. Oh, and playing an occasional video game or two. Some guys never grow up - that's our Sonny!
Natalie Thomas / Family Hour Host | email
Natalie helps the radio network with copy writing, voice work, production, and hosts the Family Hour. The best part about her job is waking up excited to go to work in morning. Natalie thinks outside the box, and other days, won’t even go near it. As a kid, she dreamed about being a narrator, a cartoon voice, a Muppet, or any fun creation that added to the “theater of the mind.” Perhaps that’s why she’s described as a “real character” - several of them, actually – by those who know her best.
Natalie left mainstream radio after being in the industry for over fourteen years. It was then she began using her talents for Christ. In 2003, God orchestrated a series of events that led her to Tupelo Mississippi where she took a job at American Family Radio Network. That’s where she met her husband, Ed – the man Natalie had been praying for.
Natalie later went in search of other job options with more evangelical opportunities. After many calls and interviews, Family Life hired Natalie – a perfect fit!
Natalie also does outside voice work for radio, television, and the “on-hold” marketing world. ("Your call is important to us. Please remain on the line and one of our service representatives will be right with you. Para instrucciones en español, la marca dos...")
Karmon announces the 9 pm to midnight shift every weekday. The best part of his job is sharing God’s heart with listeners. There’s nothing better than sharing Christ with people, and Karmon loves ministering, whether it’s a Scripture verse, teaching a Christian principle, or offering an encouraging word.
After over 20 years in secular radio, Karmon joined Family Life as a part-time radio employee in 1997. He drove 90 minutes to work each day just to do his radio shift. (Wow, that’s dedication!) In 2000, his family moved closer to the ministry so Karmon could work full-time…and save on gas mileage. Soon after the move, he started hosting afternoons.
In 2002, Karmon’s life changed when a new church sprouted from a Bible study in his hometown. As the church grew, the Lord called Karmon to pastor the flock. Leaving Family Life in 2006, Karmon took a step of faith in obedience to God and began leading Prattsburgh Bible. Later on, Karmon was asked to come back to Family Life to “help out for a month or two around the holidays.” Half a decade later, Karmon's thought is, “Man, it’s been a very long month!”
Karmon and his wife, Vicki, have 3 grown children and 4 grandkids. The family loves their country home located in the small town of Prattsburgh, NY. When Karmon’s not on-air or preparing a message for Sunday, he finds time to relax and catch a Bill’s or Yankee’s game with his family.
Justin Dix / Overnight Announcer | email
Every Sunday morning, Justin seeks to redirect thoughts from crying children, bleary eyes, and what to wear -- to the God of
Creation: His goodness, greatness, and unconditional love. Justin also can be heard every weekday after Midnight. So when the baby makes demands at 3:00 am or when it's time to roll out of bed for a third shift, Justin is there with positive music and programs.
The perfect formula for peace and fulfillment is found in God's Will. For Justin, that led to working in Christian radio and teaching college students how they could do the same. It was a dream situation -- until one day the Lord began loosening the roots he'd put down in the Midwest. Ron Hutchcraft likened it to a mother eagle "stirring the nest" preparing the eaglets to fly. It was clear that God was calling Justin elsewhere to serve. After praying and seeking direction, a phone call came from Family Life. Rick talked of a vision: of not just one station, but of building a network of stations that would minister and encourage.
For fun, Justin reads books, collects old radios, and listens to podcasts. He also dreams of restoring a 1939 Firestone radio and riding a train across the country. However, his greatest treasure apart from following Christ, is growing together with his wonderful wife, Diane... and watching God unwrap the adventure that lies ahead!
Gary is originally from the great state of Oklahoma. His father was a pastor most of Gary's life. Consequently, Gary was in church every time the doors were open. After surrendering his life to Christ at 17, Gary felt the call to ministry. One week before high school graduation, he was hired by a local Christian radio station to man the controls overnight - a dream come true! Over 20 years later, God's faithfulness continues, and working with the Family Life team is part of that faithfulness.
Gary and his wife, Amy, have two girls, one boy, two dogs and a cat. Surprisingly, the animals leave less of a mess than the kids some days! Gary says, "It's a pleasure to be a part of the team at Family Life. The listeners are fantastic and the opportunity to be a part of what God is doing is such an honor."
Kevin VanBuren / Production Director | email
To Kevin, it hardly seems like work to blend creative scripts, sound effects, and music beds into promotional spots and creative dramas for radio. However, the best part of his job is interacting with Christian leaders and business professionals to plan, create, and produce promotional tools for their organizations. He loves helping others use Family Life resources.
Kevin came to know Christ when he was 11 years old after watching a Billy Graham Crusade on television. In the years following, Kevin took a stand for Jesus at public school, a time that really developed his faith as a Christian. After graduating from high school, God took him to Liberty University and gave him a love for radio ministry.
Kevin joined Family Life in May of 1987 shortly after graduating college at Liberty University. It was Kevin's friendship with a college buddy, Randy Snavely, that eventually led him into taking a radio position at Family Life. Decades later, Kevin is still spreading the Gospel through the awesome avenue of radio.
Married to his high school sweetheart, Kim, the family has been blessed with four daughters. (He thanks God daily for owning a home with more than one bathroom.) Kevin enjoys deer hunting and taking his family to the Adirondacks for summer vacation in their old pop-up camper.
Matt works primarily in the radio department as a creative consultant and audio producer. He writes scripts for radio commercials and also writes and produces Kid's Korner. He enjoys using his love for comedy, storytelling, acting, and other forms of art to bring glory to God and to display His truths.
Matt first started writing scripts for a puppet ministry when he was still in high school. He went on to write skits for his church and as he waited on the Lord for guidance in his life, he developed a passion for film making. God opened doors for him to study cinematography in college and while there, he was introduced to the world of audio production. It seems that in order to graduate with a degree in film, a student needs to be fluent in audio design. Hmmm... It was an interesting path, but Matt soon found himself with an internship at Family Life, which soon turned into a job where he could serve God with his talents.
He's really excited about seeing what God is going to do next in his life. With God writing your script, you know you're in for an awesome adventure!
Matt enjoys playing team sports, drawing, camping, biking, swimming, ballroom dancing, acting, singing, strategy games, filming, exploring old buildings, Nerf wars, discussing theology, demo derbies, and of course.... watching movies. (Was that too much?)
Cecil Van Houten / Radio Operations Manager | email
Cecil has been with Family Life since 2006 and has served in a number of capacities -- On-Air Announcer, Music Director, Program Director, and, most recently, Network Administrator. His interest in radio goes back to when he was in his teens and would listen at night to crackly signals from faraway AM stations such as WGN in Chicago and WSM in Nashville.
His focus in high school and college was on English and History, but radio and audio production were always a part of his interests. He also grew up with a strong passion for music. His father was a 8professional pianist and Cecil followed suit. He studied piano, composition and arranging. After college, he combined his love for the arts and media and spent the next 25 years working in secular and Christian radio. He worked as an arranger, pianist and producer for numerous artists, advertising agencies, and production houses. In 1996 he left radio to pursue a career in television.
Since becoming a follower of Jesus Christ in his teens, Cecil has had the desire to use the skills and gifts God gave him to share the hope and wholeness that can be found in Jesus. That desired has played itself out through music and media. After a decade in television and wanting to relocate back home to New York, Cecil joined the Family Life staff. “I have the privilege of working with some wonderful, talented people,” he says. “It’s a joy to have the opportunity to serve with them and bring the message of God’s love through radio, blogging and music.”
Cecil and his wife, Connie, have three grown children, seven grandchildren, and a bouncy black Lab/Greyhound mix named Cricket.
Sammy Carrillo / Program & Promotions Director | email
Sammy describes himself as a very blessed man who grew up in a Hispanic home where God's love and sacrifice was taught to him at a young age. He accepted Jesus as his Savior as a little boy, and although there were times he strayed from God, The Lord has always been there to forgive and redeem him.
Sammy was born in LA and moved to Oklahoma City at age 9. The “radio bug” hit him right after high school, so Sammy went to college for Radio/TV Broadcasting. He started working overnights and weekends at a station in Oklahoma City. After a while, God graciously opened the door for Sammy to host mornings and then afternoons in Tulsa.
Here’s an interesting fact about our PD – he’s also a RN! Sammy worked in radio for 15 years before changing careers in 2006. So what happened? Well, when his lovely wife, Rachelle, from Family Life mornings, had their first baby boy, daddy decided to get out of radio and go back to school for nursing. It was a tough and trying time in their lives, but God was faithful and He helped Sammy graduate with a nursing degree. He started his nursing career in Oklahoma, and still works as a part-time ICU RN here in New York. As time passed, God blessed the Carrillo’s with another precious little boy, Caleb, in addition to their first, Sammy. They also have two awesome Jack Russell Terriers -- Dodger & Chrissy!
Sammy says it’s an honor to be back in radio, and he loves working at Family Life. “God has assembled an amazing on-air, news and production staff here, and it’s such a blast to work with these amazing people every day! Thank you for supporting Family Life. I look forward to meeting more and more of our listeners. If you ever have a question or issue, please don't hesitate to e-mail or call me at the office!”
Trudi Cook / Radio Receptionist | email
Family Life radio staff wouldn’t survive long without Trudi, our Jill-of-all-trades. She takes radio questions from listeners, schedules on-air radio promotions, has plenty of writing responsibilities, and helps organize our Women of Faith trips, as well as our singles' conferences. (Phew - that's quite a load!) But above all, Trudi makes sure Rick, our president, has what he needs. She’s also the lady to visit if you need Tylenol.
Previously, Trudi worked as a secretary for an assortment of small business in the Philadelphia area. While in Philly, changes in Trudi’s personal life coincided with a feeling that she was being called to relocate to Western NY with her family. In the mid 90's, she moved to New York, trusting that God would provide a job, and He did!
She’d been an avid listener to Christian radio for many years, so when the Lord opened the door to work at Family Life, Trudi knew this was part of God’s plan for her life. She marvels at how the experience gleaned through past jobs was just the training she needed to meet the needs of her diverse position at Family Life.
Trudi loves animals and shares her home with her kitty, Muppet. She also enjoys crafting, sewing, and helping to compile gift baskets for Family Life's Craft Bizarre each year.
Darcie Schwarz / Publicity Manager | email
Darcie works with local and national media to get stories in the news about Family Life. Every day she talks with editors and reporters about what’s new with the ministry. Darcie also helps build positive relationships with media and community organizations, working to co-promote mutual causes for Christ. A wordsmith at heart, Darcie likes to write, especially about the Christian faith and her experiences with God.
Darcie came to Family Life in 2007 from Rochester, New York. Caught up in corporate-America, Darcie joined the marketing world after college, doing public relations work for companies like Kodak, Johnson & Johnson, and Citizens Bank. After four years in the business, little job satisfaction and no real happiness, Darcie hit the brakes. Is this it?
One evening a friend invited her to church. The worship there stirred her heart for God for the first time. The experience was life-changing and Darcie went in search of ministries in need of marketing people. As God would have it, Family Life was the place. The ministry decided to hire a Publicity Director the very same day Darcie called about a job – God’s perfect timing. It's mindblowing how God works in our lives, even before you know Him personally.
A true arts fanatic, Darcie got her undergraduate in theatre from Ithaca College. She’s played baseball most of her life, usually first or second base, and enjoys theatre and movies.
Alan Gustafson / Creative Services Director | email
After a summer internship, Alan joined the Family Life news department in the winter of 2008. Alan now spends most of his time in the Creative Services department working on graphic design and editing audio and video. He believes Christians can have a positive influence on the world by becoming involved in media, one of the reasons he joined Family Life.
Alan earned his Associate’s degree from Jamestown Community College, and received his Bachelor’s in Communication Studies from Grove City College. He likes dabbling in technology and enjoys taking walks with his wife and two children.
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