17 YEARS AND GOING STRONG
17 YEARS AND GOING STRONG
Starting your own ministry is both exciting, and scary. On the one hand, you put all of your HOPES, DREAMS, and MONEY on the line and you face the possibility that the whole process could fail. On the other hand, there is an adrenaline-pumping, God given energy about starting off on a new adventure with the open ended potential that exists in new ideas. Like skating on a frozen lake, you can’t wait to try it—but you hope the ice holds. In July 2003, I stepped out on the ice and started my own ministry—I left my job as a youth pastor, including the benefits, and consistent paycheck behind on the warm, safe shore in order to start my dream job! My wife and I had a small cash reserve that we were hoping would get us through the first six months while we aggressively enacted our business plan.
Four months went by and our model was starting to work, but both time and money were slipping away. By the sixth month, when our funds ran out, we were able to pay all of our bills from the money we were making on our bookings! We have been in business ever since, and thankfully, business has been good!
One of the key reasons we made it during those early days, rested in the fact that we had a group of people cheering us on. Dan Monteverde set up a meeting at National Youth Workers Convention with 15,000 people in attendance; he believed in me. Another exceptional man and rare friend, Jeff Harris, would brainstorm with me for hours about marketing the business. He cheered me on and challenged me daily. Jeff saw potential in me that I didn’t see in myself. Of course, there was my wife, Kimberly, who always listened to everything—even on the bad days—and cheered me on.
My passion is to empower people to “run a better race” in life. I do this through making people laugh, and blowing their minds with unique illusions. I have had the privilege of captivating millions of people around the world. I would love to come share my talents and passion with your team.
Kimberly and Danny have been married for 25 years and she has walked in this ministry with him for the past seventeen years. She’s the woman behind the scenes and has done it all; booking agent, business manager, ministry partner and wife. Kimberly is currently in graduate school to become a Marriage and Family Therapist and has retired most of her duties, except for wife of course!
Gretchen started working with Danny Ray in 2020. She brings a unique aspect to the company as a former business owner, a youth ministry leader, and homeschooling mom. Gretchen is absolutely invaluable and and is helping to expand the online aspects of this ministry during these crazy times. Gretchen has a huge heart and is eager to help bring Danny Ray to you (live or virtually)!
Nikki joined the team in 2021. She has many years of experience in social media, marketing, sales and administration. Nikki is wildly creative and is always bringing new ideas to the team. She juggles many balls in her life including homeschooling her two kids and a management position with a mortgage company, along with being our social media manager. The fast paced, ever changing climate of social media keeps her on her toes and drives her to constantly look for new ways to engage and communicate with our audience in the digital world as well as providing them with the always entertaining and talented life and times of Danny Ray!
Joe Castañeda met Danny Ray at a youth ministry conference in 2007. Shortly after, Joe invited Danny to perform his magic and share his message with the students in Joe's ministry, and an instant friendship was formed. They have partnered in ministry ever since, and Joe has spent some time on the road with team DR, too. Joe is a speaker and author, and currently serves as the NW-Michigan Ministry Director for Crossroads Farm, an outsourced youth ministry that reaches underserved teenagers in small rural communities. Joe and his wife Traci have been married for 25 years and live in Kalkaska, Michigan.
Olin has been traveling with Danny to be his videographer for the past couple of years. He has recently taken on a larger role with the team. He is now our primary videographer as well as editing some of the social media content. Olin graduated from high school this year and is growing and expanding his video/editing/graphics business.