About Us

Since 1930 CBMC has helped business leaders around the world integrate their faith and work. In 1986 we established our first peer advisory group. In 2014 the CBMC Trusted Advisor Forums were established to update our ministry to senior business leaders. There are many options when it comes to leadership development. However, those who are committed to their Christian values and desire to integrate these into their business have limited choices. Trusted Advisor Forums provides a confidential peer to peer environment where faith and leadership intersect. It is a whole life leadership approach, encompassing the multiple roles and responsibilities leaders maintain with their business, family and greater community.

Business leaders have a tendency to “go it alone,” but this isn’t always the best strategy. Solomon, one of the wisest leaders in history, maintains that two are better than one: “If one falls down, the other can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up.”



  1. Godly Counsel

    Drawing on the wisdom, giftedness, and experience of the peers in your group. Godly counsel is a major theme of the book of Proverbs, because it is one of the best ways to gain wisdom. Many bible verses speak to this, such as Proverbs 10, verse 17: “He is on the path of life who heeds instruction, but he who ignores reproof goes astray.” When a problem or question arises in your company, experienced business leaders in your peer advisory group can recount how they may have reacted to a similar problem and how they applied best of business principles coupled with Christian wisdom. By drawing on the wisdom and experience of other leaders with various gifts, you can honor the Lord with your business.

  2. Mutual Support

    Receiving and giving understanding, empathy, and encouragement when facing both difficulties and opportunities. In CBMC Trusted Advisor Forums offerings, leaders encourage each other in wisdom from the Bible, listening and praying through the hard times. “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad” (Proverbs 12:25 ).

  3. Accountability

    Gaining the courage to follow through on tough decisions and issues as they arise. Since leaders will ultimately be held accountable to God for every action and thought, it would be wise to ask for accountability from fellow Christians now (Romans 14:12, Matthew 12:36). Natural leaders are disciplined people. With healthy accountability, the leaders in your peer group can take up the weapons with “divine power to destroy strongholds” and fight your part of the spiritual battle in this world (2 Corinthians 10:4 ).

  4. Prayer

    Experiencing the power and ministry of prayer both as a group and with individual members. Just as Jesus prayed over all things, we pray over every detail of our lives. We understand that we are not our own person. We are stewards of our lives, our families, and our companies. Through prayer, we submit to God and seek His direction.

  5. Confidentiality

    Gaining the confidence in one another that comes with honesty and transparency in a confidential environment. You need people with whom you can discuss sensitive issues from your personal life and your business. The trustworthy peers in your peer advisory group are just such people, peers who will keep your secrets and pray for God’s richest blessing for you.

Typical Agenda

What does the agenda look like for a Peer Advisory Group?

  • A monthly gathering in a comfortable offsite location giving a sense of sabbatical with time to recharge, reflect, and sharpen one’s focus. The duration of these monthly meetings are 3-4 hours.
  • Devotional – Setting the stage for the day – dedicating my business to God by starting with a devotion focused on a business subject or issue.
  • Discovering the latest in business thinking– An interactive discussion on best in business principles using a variety of resources.
  • Developing my leadership – How does a “Christian workview” fit with the business principle discussed? Using prewritten faith based work responses, engage in an interactive discussion as a direct application of the Bible to the business.
  • Delving into one member’s issue – this is the main event of the time together as we take a key business issue one of the members is facing and build a framework for a path to long-term resolution.
  • Round Table – Prayer items – updates from each attendee, including disciple making – in my sphere of influence and praying for one another.

Why would you want to be part of CBMC Trusted Advisor Forums?

  • Do you call yourself a Christian, yet feel like you fall short when it comes to living out your faith at work?
  • Do you feel alone sometimes as you make important business decisions by not having other Christian leaders to support you?
  • Do you desire to get connected to other business leaders you could count on for reliable Godly counsel for business decisions?
  • Do you recognize the value of making yourself vulnerable to the accountability of others as you act upon your long term goals?
  • Do you do an effective job of sharing your faith within the sphere of influence you operate within?
  • Do you regularly pray about the daily needs and challenges of your business and your role as a leader?
  • Do you see the value of having a confidential place to turn for open dialogue around challenges you face as a business leader?
Want to know more?

Leadership Team

  • Don Hoffert
    Area Director, CBMC Northland & Natl TAF Servant

    Don Hoffert is the CBMC Northland Trusted Advisor Forums Director where by Gods enablement, he has been shepherding growth to 35 facilitators and 315 peer advisory business leaders since 2008. In addition, he strategically advises on the growth, development and training to expand the 850 CEO-Owners network nationally. Don retired from a 30 year corporate career in 2007, last as VP of Business Excellence for Storaenso Paper, a fortune 50 company winning a number of national and state performance excellence awards. He was introduced to CBMC while on international assignment in Helsinki Finland. He is passionate about nurturing teams toward a servant leader, biblical Workview perspective for the glory of God and for leaders joy as they steward their businesses well while focusing on the Great Commission. Don and his wife Cynthia live in Minneapolis, MN and enjoy spending time with their 2 adult children/spouses and 6 grandchildren. Don has also invested time ministering as a church elder the last 4 decades. He has a BS in engineering.

  • Matthew Trayler
    CBMC National Director or Programs

    Matt Trayler, Director of Programs, manages the creation and curation of programs and tools for evangelism and discipleship for CBMC, USA. With over 20 years in non-profit management and full-time ministry, Matt's expertise lies in managing and implementing initiatives that foster spiritual growth and address critical human needs.

  • Marc Ottestad
    Area Director CBMC Southern CA

    Marc Ottestad is the CBMC Area Director in Southern California serving 200 leaders in the southland who share a commitment to follow Jesus in their home life and work life. Marc and the local CBMC leadership have a vision of 1000 leaders impacting the So CA community through Christ centered one to one mentorship and small group wise counsel experiences.

    Marc came to Christ in 1987 in the midst of business and personal challenges and has dedicated the last 3 decades plus walking with marketplace leaders seeking to center Jesus “as they go!” Marc’s work in 1987 was as President of Pro Sound and Stage Lighting, a national leading sound and lighting retailer. In 2002 Marc left Pro Sound to launch a national Christian leadership development organization, Convene.

    Marc is married to Kasey for 42 years and counting and has 3 children and 2 granddaughters.

    Marc attends Richfield Community Church and serves on the board of Promised Land Living.

  • Gary Tenpenny
    Senior Area Director, CBMC Central Midwest

    Gary Tenpenny has more than 25 years of experience in management and nearly 40 years of experience in family wealth advising, estate and business continuity planning, and charitable giving strategies.

    Gary’s passion is to see senior business leaders become the leader God has designed them to become, while building a business of excellence that glorifies God. Gary grew up in Topeka, Kansas and graduated from Emporia State University School of Business with a B. S. in Business Administration. He also received his Master of Science in Financial Services from The American College. He has nearly 40 years in the financial services industry as a representative, managing partner, and senior financial planner for two major financial service companies—New England Financial and MetLife.

    Having retired from his first career in 2015, God was calling him out and into the ministry full time with CBMC USA, Christian Business Men’s Connection. Today, Gary serves as Senior Area Director for CBMC Central Midwest. He is a coach, mentor, disciplemaker and spiritual director working with men in the marketplace. His desire is to see all men of all ages become the man God created them to be, and his focus is on helping them become 2 Timothy 2:2 spiritual reproducers to the third and fourth generations.

    Since 1997, Gary has integrated his work and faith through his involvement with CBMC USA, National Christian Foundation Heartland, Signatry Foundation, Kingdom Advisors, and the Halftime Institute as a coach. He has volunteered at Emporia State University on both the Foundation Board of Trustees and the School of Business Advisory Board, as well as mentoring business students.

    Gary accepted Jesus Christ into his heart in 1980 and has been active in his local church since 1987. He serves the body at Northland Christian Church as an elder, in stewardship areas, discipling and mentoring men. Gary also serves as an AWANA leader for 5th and 6th grade boys. He regularly supports his local church, community, and various other ministries.

    Gary truly began following Christ in 1995 after reading Bob Buford's book: Halftime. From Halftime, “My income was higher than it had ever been, and I had accomplished all the goals I had set twenty years earlier. But for some reason, I was discontent and unhappy.” Reading Bob’s book started Gary on an incredible journey. God showed Gary that for him to move from success to significance, he first needed to surrender. He sold the equity in his firm and relocated to Kansas City in 1997, allowing his family to be closer to grandparents and to follow what God had put on his heart.

    This surrender led to many new things for Gary, one of which was coaching with Halftime. And since 2015, he has been mentoring, coaching, and discipling men, as well as providing spiritual direction, through CBMC Central Midwest. His mission is clear: empower high impact leaders with wisdom for life, helping them discover, develop, and deploy their unique gifts for kingdom purposes.

    Gary and Trudy have been married for nearly 44 years. They have three daughters: Christa, married to Jarred; Amy, married to Odines; and Kara, married to Jordan. Their four beautiful grandchildren, Dyno, Blake, Leila, and RJ, keep them quite busy.

    “At this stage of my life, I feel blessed to have the opportunity to come alongside senior business leaders and grow together as God has designed us to, while becoming men of spiritual maturity as we impact others for Christ in the marketplace.”, Gary Tenpenny