Jennifer Shank - Founder/President
Jennifer Shank founded LIFE Journey Ministries in 2015. After her second miscarriage, she was given a vision for a faith-based women’s ministry designed to help women grow through the various challenges they face. Jennifer’s credentials, experience and qualifications are quite expansive. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary Education from Arizona State University and a Master of Arts in Education from BIOLA University. After serving as an educator for over ten years in the Burbank Unified School District, Jennifer transitioned her focus and became an Event Coordinator at The King’s University in Los Angeles, California. During her time at The King’s she assisted in the successful organization and planning of various fundraisers and auctions. Although she excelled in event planning, Jennifer decided to slow down her pace and became a Personal Assistant to an affluent family in Beverly Hills. It was only after serving this family and managing their personal finances for four years that Jennifer decided to embrace the joy of motherhood. In 2015 she gave birth to her daughter and it was then that she realized she needed to be at home to raise her little girl full time. In addition to her work experience, Jennifer also became heavily involved in volunteering. She has always been a committed member of her church and for four years she and her husband served as Small Group Leaders. For over ten years Jennifer was also an active member and Co-Director of Peace Quest a nonprofit organization that utilized the performing arts to bring together people, especially youth, from affluent and at-risk communities with the vision of increasing acceptance of self and others. Working in the nonprofit sector was an invaluable experience that enhanced Jennifer’s desire to create her own women’s ministry. Her passion for teaching, coupled with her enduring faith and humble compassion for others, opened the doors for this ministry.
Tatum Shank - Secretary/Treasurer
Having moved to L.A. from Iowa immediately after graduating from Graceland University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Communications, Tatum has been actively involved in the entertainment business for over 20 years. Tatum has tackled the wearing of multiple hats including acting, writing, producing, directing and the formation of his own production company – Cross Light Productions in 2001. He and his wife Jennifer have been working together on various projects ever since the two of them met in 1998. While performing plays and volunteering for the non-profit organization, Peace Quest Inc., the two of them recognized their passion for helping others and knew some day their union would bring about hope in a healing world. In 2008 the two of them married and have been a team to be reckoned with. It was no surprise that after having to deal with the pain of their second miscarriage in 2014, that they would choose to turn a tragedy into an opportunity to share the love of Christ. In the infancy stage of this ministry Tatum has agreed to take on the roles of Secretary and Treasurer until they can be filled by equally qualified individuals willing to take on the responsibility of sharing in the vision of LIFE Journey Ministries. Until that day arrives, Tatum will continue to balance the pursuit of his dreams in the entertainment industry and forever be an anchor of support for his wife and daughter through this journey.
Board of Directors
Shaunna Griffith - Director
Shaunna has been working in the entertainment industry for over 20 years. She settled on becoming a Talent Agent in 2010 with the Nancy Chaidez Agency and then became a partner with The Happen Agency in 2014. Having quickly developed many relationships with casting directors, she took over ownership of the agency in 2016. With an entirely female run company, she and her team have grown the roster by 130% focusing on specific types and talent development. With clients regularly booking national commercials, series regulars and guest starring roles, the agency has now grown to a full roster of working actors and developing new talent. Shaunna supports her clientele by making time to show up to plays, improv shows, stand-up and film premieres. By taking pride in personal attention and specific client needs, she has moved The Happen Agency to the forefront of entertainment talent agencies. She supports her community in a variety of ways specifically through her church, examples including Burbank Temporary Aid Center, the Foursquare Church Organization and Media City Church Small Groups. Shaunna is personally passionate about empowering women to be and achieve all that they are meant to be. Through her continued compassion and persistent encouragement Shaunna has been integral in planting the seeds and support for LIFE Journey Ministries.
Julian Rodriguez - Director
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Julian Rodriguez spent the first year of his life on the east coast. In the early 1970’s, the Rodriguez family relocated to Los Angeles. Julian attended primary school in the Los Angeles area and continued his education at Cal State LA where he studied business and English. His studies concluded with a Telephony Degree from Los Angeles Trade Technical College in 1982. Immediately upon graduation, he became a certified technician for the Xerox Corporation for the next two years. Julian’s work experience is diverse, and he has had numerous vocations including that as a baker, a deployment manager for Ryder Trucks, and a manager for Alert Communications in Glendale, California. His entrepreneurial ambitions have been varied as well; he became self-employed as the technical designer for Credit Card Services, Inc. for nearly a decade. His first business, JTech Teleservices, provided service which oversaw product programming and training to merchant accounts for numerous processing companies, including Merchant Services, Cherry Payment Systems, Peachtree Banking, Hartford Processing and other independent credit card processing companies. In 2008, Julian opened the doors to Emerald Knights Comics and Games, a 3,000-square foot retail location in Burbank, California. As the owner of Emerald Knights and an avid table top gamer, Julian also designed, created and patented Combat Tiers, a multi-tiered elevation product used to enhance gaming. Combat Tiers are manufactured and distributed through his company, Tinkered Tactics. In addition to his extensive business resume, Julian has donated a tremendous amount of time to his community of faith. For over ten years he attended Monroe Street Church where he became a deacon and eventually served as a member of their church council. After his years of service to Monroe Street, in 1995, he and his family began attending Media City Church (formerly Burbank Foursquare Church) where he would become actively involved and was asked to serve as one of the church’s Lead Ushers and he also faithfully served as a member of their church council. He and his wife Rosemarie have been married for over thirty years, and along with their children James and Samantha, each of them serves the Lord with humility and grace.
Deirdre Smith - Director
Deirdre is a humanitarian and an artist. She founded the nonprofit organization Peace Quest in 1995 and is the visionary director and producer of its workshops and play productions. Upon graduating from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater, Deirdre moved to Los Angeles to pursue her dreams of becoming a professional performer. Throughout her career she has appeared on numerous television shows and toured as a performer, director and producer of the Peace Quest Traveling Theater Company. For approximately 15 years she served as the Performing Arts Director for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks at the Westwood Recreation Complex. For the past five years she has worked for Amusement Park Incorporated as the Director of Creative and Development. Because of her faith, the challenges that she faced growing up and the gifts she has been blessed with, Deirdre has utilized her life to exemplify the true meaning of providing education, entertainment and restoration in a society that needs reconciliation.