Dr. Neil Nedley during the ASI Spring Fellowship in Tinley Park, Ill. [Photo: Felicia Tonga]     

May 4, 2023

Spring ASI Meetings Spotlight Mental Health

New ASI Lake Union leadership introduced

ASI Lake Union Spring Fellowship was held April 28-29 at Tinley Park Convention Center, Illinois focusing on the theme, "Sharpen the Wedge: Thriving in a Post-Pandemic World, Guilt-free Selfcare, and more."   The keynote speaker was Dr. Neil Nedley, and seminar presenter was Maydis Skeete, among others.

More than $15,000 was raised over the weekend for three major ministries: Advocates for Southeast Asians and the Persecuted (ASAP) ministry obtained $6,000 to help Karen refugees in Wisconsin; FARM STEW, whose mission is to improve the health and well-being of poor families and vulnerable people by equipping them with practical life skills, received $5,000 towards Bible workers in Zambia; and Weimar Institute, founded to impart a knowledge of God to its students, secured $4,000 to replace ten windows in a facility on its campus.

ASI, Adventist-laymen’s Services & Industries, is a membership-based organization of Seventh-day Adventist laypeople who are enthusiastic about actively participating in the church’s worldwide mission: to spread the gospel of Christ to the world. This unique and diverse group of members ranges from business owners to individual professionals to supporting ministries. 


Left to right: Gianluca Bacchiocchi, Tom Morrissy, Lia Isensee, Debbie Young and Michael Clendenning
Left to right: Gianluca Bacchiocchi, Tom Morrissy, Lia Isensee, Debbie Young and Michael Clendenning


This year also marked a turn of leadership. The newly elected officers to serve for the term 2023 – 2025 are: 

Gianluca Bacchiocchi – President 
Gianluca Bacchiocchi is an international finance attorney and a Partner with Latham & Watkins LLP based out of the New York office. Bacchiocchi is passionate about fitness and health. Some of Bacchiocchi's hobbies include participating in marathons and triathlons, which is a critical factor that allows him to uniquely connect and even influence other professionals, allowing him to share his faith. In addition, Bacchiocchi believes that the health message is the number one way to reach people in the workplace. 

Lisa Isensee - General Vice President
Lisa Isensee is a commissioned pastor, who has pastored, and church planted for many years. Isensee currently serves as the Mission Advancement Officer for ASAP Ministries, helping to both support and raise support for the hundreds of national church planters working in persecuted places.    

Debbie Young - Vice President of Communications 
Debbie Young, an oncological nurse navigator based in Ypsilanti, Michigan, has found multiple ways to share Jesus with others, including her patients facing terminal illness and through a media ministry she founded with her husband called Quiet Moment Radio. Young also served as the first African American and female president for ASI International from 2003-2007 

Michael Clendenning - Vice President of Evangelism 
Michael Clendenning is a full-time residential and commercial Real Estate broker and member of the REMAX International Hall of Fame. He serves at the Southwest Church in Orlando Park, Illinois, as First Elder and a Sabbath School facilitator, sharing the "matchless charms of Christ" wherever possible.   

Tom Morrissy - Vice President of Finance 
Tom Morrisy is a long-time financial advisor and railroad trainmen. In addition, Morrisy is an elder and Sabbath school teacher at the Downers Grove, Illinois church. Morrisy shared Christ in the marketplace by placing Nathan Greene's "Business Partner" painting prominently in the office and praying with clients when he sensed the need. 

Trudi Starlin - Vice President of Membership
Trudi Starlin works with 4th generation family electrical contractor business and is an advocate for refugees. Trudi serves on the ASAP Board and the Advisory Board of NAD ARIM (Adventist Refugee Immigrant Ministries) and works with refugees from Burma.

Carmelo Mercado - Executive Secretary
Carmelo Mercado is the General Vice President for the Lake Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Mercado has a zeal for multicultural ministries, evangelism, and more. His position allows him to support numerous ministries and churches, giving them access to resources to help reach more souls for Jesus.  

"It's been an amazing year. I hope everyone leaves here not thinking the same about health. Our goal is to be as attractive as our message. That is the reason for the theme this year," said newly elected ASI Lake Union president Gianluca Bacchiocchi as he thanked guest speaker Dr. Neil Nedley for the health messages shared.  

In addition, ASI Lake Union had a unique initiative to attract young families by setting aside a designated space for children's programming. This segment was organized by newly elected General Vice President Pastor Lisa Isensee, who shared that they had a successful meeting with 16 children who joined the program. In addition, the children shared a spot in the Saturday evening program, where they performed a puppet show that talked about getting involved in missions. When asked what Isensee looks forward to for the future of ASI Lake Union, she enthusiastically replied, "I want to see more young families at ASI Lake Union. I want to see a new generation of young people who love and serve the Lord."  

To see more photos click https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjABQ2M 

Felicia Tonga is the Lake Union Assistant Communication Director.