Arena Coaches

These are the men who moderate the Men in the Arena Facebook group.

AJ Emerick

AJ lives in Tri-Cities, Washington, with his beautiful wife Samantha of over 15 years. Together they have two kids, one boy eight years old and a baby girl of 1.5 years old. Discussing AJ's work history, he jokes that he's always been in the life-saving business. He started by enlisted in the US Coast Guard, where he served seven years working drug interdiction and human trafficking in Central America and went on to U.S. Search and Rescue as a flight mechanic on HH-65C helicopters. After being honorably discharged, AJ eventually became a professional Firefighter/EMT and NWCG Wildland Engine Boss. Another transition and life change would lead AJ to quit his job as a professional firefighter to go into fulltime ministry. AJ is now the Men's Ministry Director for Bethel Church in Richland Washington, where he gets to do all things, men (marriage, fatherhood, family, health, and spiritual). AJ also supports several other non-profits that care for men with different needs like You-Medical/Fatherhood University, Veterans Jail Ministry, Pure-Life Alliance, Trail Life USA, Ministry Liason, and as a Men in the Arena Coach. On AJ's downtime, he loves to hunt and fish but mostly hunt and has been known for years as an outdoor industry promoter/hunter. AJ's favorite wildlife to chase is a close fight between bear hunting and elk hunting.

Joe Myall

Joe Myall is 70 years old (9/1949). Over the years, Joe has been a firefighter and a police officer. After retiring from law enforcement in California in 2006, he moved to Port Orchard, Wa. Then for 3 1/2 years, he worked with the Kitsap County Drug Court, retiring again in 2010. From the first Sunday after his move, he has attended Harper Evangelical Free Church.
In October of 2017, his wife of 27 years died of cancer. Their family was a “blended family”, having both been divorced. Joe has four biological children, her two sons, all adults, and 13 grands. On June 2, 2019, Joe married Melanie, a widow who he had known in high school 52 years earlier. Since 1998, Joe has been involved in both youth and men’s ministries, in California and at Harper Church. From 2011 to 2019, he served his local fire district as a chaplain.

Jesse James

Jesse E James lives in Clinton Indiana, He is 66 and has been married to Judy 39 years. They have 2 kids and 4 grandkids. Jesse Served in the USMC 1973-1977 and earned an Honorable Discharge, Sgt E-5. He is a retired Injection Molding Engineer (aka Molding Guru). Jesse has been a baptized believer for 28 years now and he's still learning. Jesse has only been a member of two churches during that time. He has been a Deacon, Elder, Treasurer, and Board Chairman in the first church. At his current church, he has been a Deacon & now an Elder. Jesse has taught Sunday School for probably 24 of the 28 years. He first met Jim & Dale at Iron Sharpens Iron in Terre Haute IN in 2014 and has been a dedicated supporter since July 2015.

Rob Fowler

Rob is 43 and lives in Saint Charles Mo. with his Wife Becky and their one daughter. He works in the IT Auditing field for the past 11 years and was in retail management before that. In his free time Rob enjoys competitive BBQ, camping, hunting and travel. Rob is active in his local church and has a passion for leading men's ministries. He has led many small groups and larger workshops and also led a group on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

Shaun Strong

Shaun is 45 and lives in McMinnville Oregon, with his wife Emilie of 18 years and 4 children. He is the Lead Pastor and Founder of The Grove Church in McMinnville. In the past he was founder and former Lead Pastor of Carlton Community Church, Founder and Pastor of Firehouse Youth Ministries, and a teacher in McMinnville School District. His education was at Linfield College (Bachelors) and Western Oregon University (Masters). 

Sam Roberts Jr.

Sam is 27 and  lives in Baker City, Oregon, with Bethany his wife of 8 years, his two kids. Sam is the shop Manager at Radford Trucking. The journey to where Sam is now has been a Christ-filled adventure. He married at 20, and moved across the state away from their families shortly after. Sam has worked on a gold mine, started and sold a small business, had their first child, became a host for Safe Families, and are expecting their second child. Sam worked with middle school youth for 11 years before God called them to work with Safe Families and Men in the Arena. He currently serves as a board member at their church and serves on the worship team.

George Sielski

George lives in Jamestown, New York. Presently he is retired and enjoying life with his wife Toni of 54 years. He has served as a US Army Medic 1966-68, construction worker, business owner, GM for Marriott and Sodexo Management Services and a high school Bible and History teacher. He has a BFA from the University at Buffalo. George retired from teaching in the Spring of 2013. He was a member of Gideons International for 20 years and taught Adult Sunday School for 25 years. He presently serves on his Church Board of Deacons and heads up their Property Committee. George and Toni have two daughters, two wonderful son in laws, plus a granddaughter and grandson. The Lord saved George and his wife in 1985.

Dale Collver

Dale lives in McMinnville, Oregon with his wife Heather and their 3 daughters, and one son. Dale works closely with Jim Ramos as the Operations Manager of Men in the Arena. Dale was the middle school pastor at Church on the Hill (Jim Ramos was his boss as the High School Pastor) in McMinnville for 10 years. Dale then did a season of gold mining before joining up with Jim Ramos to help reach men through Men in the Arena. Dale is the podcast producer and oversees the aspects of tech.

Jay Penton

Jay is 52 and lives in Prattville, AL with his beautiful wife Dana of 25 years. They have 2 children. Delaney who is 21, a special needs adult who helps mom at home and Joey who is 19 and attends the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Jay has been in law enforcement most of his adult life. In 1989, he joined the US Army as a Military Police and is a veteran of the US invasion of Panama and the first Gulf War. In 1996 he left active duty and joined the Army National Guard and retired after a total of 22 years in the military. In 1997, Jay began his career as an Alabama State Trooper where he is still employed. Jay became a Christian when he was 8, but like so many men, he turned his back on Jesus as a young adult. With the faithfulness and prayers of his wife and parents God drew Jay back to Him and he recommitted his life to service to the Lord after 18 years of wandering. He and his family have been members of Boones Chapel Baptist Church since 2006. Jay was ordained as a deacon in the church 2009 and answered God’s call to men’s ministry in 2013. He currently serves as Men’s Pastor at Boones Chapel and assists other churches and local men’s ministry organizations as speaker or counselor. In 2020 he was invited to serve as an Arena Coach for Men in the Arena.

Rex Tignor

Rex Tignor is the founder of Man UP Ministries. Rex just recently retired from Henrico County where he served as a construction inspector for 35 plus years. His heart and passion is helping men unlock their God-given potential and helping churches build an effective ministry for men. Rex is the author of Living Out of the Rut, Boot Camp for Men, Just Show Up, Grandfather Tune Up and co-author of Be Intentional: Devotional Conversation Starters for Men. While serving as Eastern Director for People Matter Ministries, he co-authored Why Minister to Men with Dr. Dan Erickson. Rex also served as Men’s Ministry director for Redemption Ministries for the state of Virginia, which assisted more than 70 churches. Rex is currently serving as Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Ministry Training Director for NE area. If you ever need a coach, Rex is available for a cup of coffee by Zoom.