Mike Miller, Founder & Executive Director
With over 28 years of student ministry experience, Mike Miller has become a highly sought after motivational speaker. He has spoken throughout the United States and Canada to over 3 million students. Mike’s charismatic and humorous personality lends itself to an extraordinary experience that can only be characterized as juvenile genius. When Mike speaks, students are left grabbing their stomachs and massaging their cheeks, while wiping back tears. His unique ability to captivate the attention of students through humor, affords him an opportunity to speak truth into their lives. Mike’s unyielding commitment to Evangelism/The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been his recipe for ministry effectiveness.
Mike’s honors include: Certificate of Appreciation from the Portland Association of Teachers and from the Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators; Fox Community Achievement Award; Clark County Hall of Fame.
Mike is a national best selling author of the book “Dare To Live” – Teenagers Guide to Understanding Suicide and Depression. Through the book and speaking apperences Mike has a monumental effect on today’s youth culture. Mike’s messages are always focused around students and young adults, helping them to strive to improve themselves.
Jim Liptak, Worship Arts Director
Jim has been involved in ministry and music for over 25 years. He has served as Youth Pastor and Worship pastor at Vancouver Foursquare, Spokane Valley Foursquare and South Hills Church Community in Las Vegas. For the last 8 years Jim has lived in Las Vegas working for the MGM Mirage Corporation where he has been associated with productions such as The Tournament Of Kings Dinner Show, Blue Man Group and Mamma Mia. Jim is now thrilled to be back in the northwest and working with Common Ground Ministries. Jim is creating the music and production design of the upcoming “Fight of Your Life” student outreaches.
Jim lives in Portland with wife, Valerie, where they are the house parents at Good Samaritan Ministries Madison House in Portland. Jim is blessed with 3 wonderful grown children Peter, Vanessa, and Stephanie.
TJ Samuelu, Outreach Ministry Pastor
Jodie Suckling,Assistant to Mike Miller
Jodie came on board a few weeks after the ministry started in 1985. She has become and is a corner stone in the development of this ministry. Her compassion and sincere love of the Lord transfers to the students who are reached by Common Ground ministries. Her organizational skills and ability to keep things on track increases the ability to maximize our efforts in reaching students for Jesus. Jodie has been a faithful and willing partner in reaching thousands of teens with the Gospel. Her great sense of humor and her commitment to doing whatever it takes to create an environment for truth, makes her a tremendous asset to the team.
Jodie lives in Vancouver, WA with husband Tad, who is a very talented gardener. She is blessed with 2 children, 6 beautiful grandchildren, and 1 adorable great-grandchild.
Courtney Samuelu,Marketing Director
Courtney joined the Common Ground team in September 2007 coming cross country from Nashville, TN. She brings a big heart for youth as well as real world business experience. Courtney received her Business Marketing degree in 2003 from Mercyhurst College in Erie, PA. Her previous work experience include: Branch Management Assistant for National City Bank in Pittsburgh, PA, and Sales Assistant & Client Services Analyst for Progeny Marketing Innovations in Franklin, TN. Courtney is a Pennsylvania native, where she grew up with 3 other sisters including her identical twin sister.
In October 2005, Courtney decided to leave the corporate world for 6-months and joined Youth With A Mission (YWAM) to study at the Discipleship Training School in Brisbane, Australia and Vanuatu. During her mission experience she began to understand even more her desire to serve others and see people’s lives changed for Jesus Christ. Soon after returning from Australia she met the man of her dreams, TJ, who lived in Vancouver, WA and they began a long distance relationship that evolved into true love. She and TJ were married in August 2007 and she joined him in ministry at Common Ground as the Marketing Director. She enjoys married life very much, while trying to keep up with her husband in playing sports!