Speaker Bios




Speaker Bios


Penny Brooks Wilson

Penny Wilson resides in Kentucky with her spouse Don. A mother of three and has two grandchildren.  In 2002, Penny earned her Associate Degree in nursing at Eastern Kentucky University, going on to the field of cardiothoracic intensive care and critical care nursing.  In 2011 her practice expanded to patients who were terminally ill and actively dying.  This gave her the opportunity to provide support through often neglected end-of-life transitions.  As each soul passed into the spirit world, she found herself examining her own beliefs about death and what lay beyond. Processing these passages through journaling, though it was not until her own near death experiences, that she decided to leave nursing and pursue writing. August 2014, Penny was struck with idiopathic anaphylaxis resulting in respiratory failure, forcing doctors to medically induce a coma and initiate life-support.  The anaphylactic attacks repeated themselves eighteen times since that first diagnosis.  Her journeys into the afterlife revealed to her the divine nature of our existence, and showed her that through her gifts she can affect profound change in the world around her.  Inspired by her experiences, she is currently working on her first book, “A Life Reclaimed”. She also penned a chapter in the forthcoming book, “The Transformative Power of Near-Death Experiences” by Dr. Penny Sartori and Kelly Walsh.


Tricia Barker

Tricia Barker experienced a profound near-death experience during her senior year of college, and this experience guided her to teach overseas, in public schools, and at the college level. Currently, she teaches English and Creative Writing at a beautiful community college in Fort Worth, Texas. Many of the classrooms at Trinity River Campus overlook the beautiful Trinity River which reminds Tricia of images from her near-death experience. Tricia’s memoir in-progress, Healed, chronicles the moment of her accident, her near-death experience, and her mission of healing for herself and others. Tricia’s poetry has been published in several publications including The Binnacle, The Paterson Literary Review, and The Midwest Quarterly. 

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David Bennett

David Bennett enjoys the life of a public speaker, author, energetic healer, and transformational life coach. He’s had many appearances on radio and television, including on The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, Dr Oz, Angels Among Us, NBC national news and PBS.

David is the past leader of Upstate New York IANDS, where he volunteered for eleven years. He serves on the board for, helping coordinate the Near-Death Experiencer Spiritual Retreats in St. Louis since 2006. David also serves as an advisor to the Board of Directors of the American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiencers (ACISTE) in San Diego. At the moment he has retired to Virginia Beach where he daily devotes his time to writing and spreading his message by writing a column for Huffington Post, Medium, and Om Times.

David works as an energetic healer using a White Light healing technique given to him from Spirit during stage IV lung and bone cancer. He also works as a certified integration/transformational life coach. His book about his Near-Death Experiences is called Voyage of Purpose: Spiritual Wisdom from Near-Death back to Life. You can find more about David on his website:

Recently David has been teaching contemplation meditation from his new book A Voice as Old as Time: Contemplations For Spiritual Transformation. His Podcasts are Contemplative Living on PodBean -


David Bennett was once a brash young commercial diver and Chief Engineer of the Research Vessel Aloha. His harsh personal philosophy was “you cut your swath through life to survive.” But one night he was caught in a violent storm off the California coast where he drowned. While technically “dead,” he met beings of light, relived his life, and peeked into his future, all resulting in a complete paradigm shift for him. Later in life, he discovered he had stage IV lung and bone cancer—so advanced that his spine collapsed. Miraculously, he survived once again. These brushes with death taught him even more about living, loving, and how to find purpose in his life.

David brings listeners right into the heart of the near-death experience, including his path changing life review, being surrounded by the love, the light, and meeting the Soul Family. Part lecture and part guide for achieving spiritual growth, this talk shows how to integrate the most traumatic of incidents into one’s spiritual path in order to live a more meaningful life.













Alan R. Stevenson

On January the 1st 2009, after a twenty year journey, Alan like so many others came to the end of that walk with the mother of his children. In a peaceful way the parting took place, though unsure and somewhat lost as to a direction in such an unfamiliar point from which to stand and perceive life from. Finding some solace within the solitude of photography that summer of 09'. Winter set in once again in the Niagara area of Ontario Canada while Alan struggled to find hope for a meaningful life he once saw through shinny eyes as a young boy. The things of life just didn't seem to make much sense anymore.

On February 26th 2010 Alan made his way six city blocks through a snowstorm not seen since the blizzard of 77' to get to work. With an extreme pain filling his chest he pushed on through knee deep snow and hollowing winds. Just after getting on a city bus Alan suffered what is known as a widow maker heart attack. Dying in a seat just behind the bus driver but not before finally asking for her to call 911.

A ten minute sideways sojourn into the "other-side" and an NDE ensued. After coming back Alan was rushed to a local hospital and then onto a further away hospital for surgery.

Living was restored but not life itself, however Alan was filled with a Loving joy he'd never really known before. A new perception of reality, and a new perspective of life.

Alan R. Stevenson is a son of a son and father to two gems, Founder of OneDay and a best selling author of the book "I Had to Die to Learn How to Live" and now a speaker of understanding, of help and of Love to show people the difference in "What" we all are, as opposed to "Who" we think we are. Alan is a RealLife Coach and a learning Spirit Translator. 



Yvonne Sneeden

In 2008, a life crisis led to Yvonne Sneeden having a near-death experience. During her experience, Yvonne entered a heavenly realm filled with all Loving Light and encountered Jesus and various angelic beings. Yvonne is a member of both IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies) and ACISTE (American Center for the Integration of Spiritually Transformative Experiences).

Deep emotional life crisis lead to Yvonne’s Near Death Experience, in conjunction with strong medicines for heart arrhythmia. This profound and powerful life changing event, during which Yvonne visited a part of the place she calls ‘Heaven’ where she had a magnificent encounter wit Christ. She transcended her faith and heightened her understanding of Love, Compassion, Goodness, Kindness, and Acceptance of all. Since her profound experience, Yvonne is striving to bring the elements of the NDE into her daily life and in her interaction with others. She feels it is important to share what she learned from her NDE experience and bring the All Loving Presence she experienced in heaven to help each and everyone of us to live a better life here in the now. Prior to her NDE, Yvonne’s professional career background includes working in the foreign diplomatic service in Europe. This has enabled her to meet people from around the world with very different backgrounds and through the course of her career, she has realized that regardless of the level of social and public influence people exercise, we are all on a journey towards learning how to love, if we allows the traumas and challenges of lessons learned to bring us in a higher spiritual inner place.

Yvonne is the executive co-producer together with Robert Neal Marshall of “Back From The Light”, a film-documentary focusing on the near death experience survivors and the after effects. This film is apropos because it helps Experiencers realize they are among many, around the world, who had a similar experience and have to live with the remembrance of an event which has no earthly point of comparison. The film is an exciting journey bringing together Near Death Experiencers, family and friends, with the specific focus on the after-effects of such a life transforming experience and how they have readjusted to a ‘normal’ life. It takes us into a journey of exploration of what life is like on a daily basis, following the “return”, on an emotional and physiological level, and how spiritual beliefs and relationship drastically changed.. The film premiered at the Internatinal Association for Near Death Studies' national conference in San Antonio Texas in 2015.

For more information on Yvonne’s experience: watch?v=57jA2Tl2NkU


Robert Tremblay

Robert was born and raised in northern Vermont. He is a decorated Veteran of the US Army where he served as a Combat Medic with the 118th Airborne Corp. He later served with the National Guard as a Helicopter Paramedic. Robert’s career after the military led him into Law Enforcement in New Hampshire. After being hired as the youngest Chief of Police in the country, Robert changed careers the day after arresting the entire board of selectman in his own town. Robert then became an Investigator and trainer in locating missing persons, and later began a career in the finance world. After that, Robert spent the next 18 years in the automotive industry training sales management and finance professionals in the difference of positive thinking and energy and its impact on our success. Robert became an Accredited National Speaker and Trainer and traveled around the country teaching until his illness in February, 2011. Robert spent the next four years battling multiple diseases and surgeries in a fight for his life, including a journey through Hospice. But he never did it alone. That is the most important point in his entire life, he believes. The power of a team collectively has been a compelling aspect of his career in life and his brushes with death. Robert now lives in Arizona enjoying his survival.


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With a majestic nature

words flow from

the heart

Bio 3

With a majestic nature

words flow from

the heart


Mindy Speranza

Mindy for the most part grew up in an institution for abused children. She also later went on to marry an abusive man. Through all that Mindy lost many things in life over and over again. She came to the conclusion that everything she touched turned bad. After a while blaming all of it on God not liking her as she convinced herself she was the perfect victim. After a lifetime of this Mindy came to a point where she simply wanted to dye, "I was done with life." However, Mindy decided to exist as a shell just to stay alive in order to raise her children. "I would no longer have hopes or dreams or feelings." Thinking that was a great idea, at least until God stepped in and took her to the other side. It is here at this point she learned the meaning of life and why we are all here. Mindy experienced Gods incredible love and came back with the information and lessons to teach others. "That's what I intend to do. This has become my calling and my life purpose." With a new understanding she feels herself to no longer being that victim she once was. "I'm back from the other side and I've changed and it's not only for me but also for anyone who wishes to put into practice what I've learned, done and now can teach others!


Sharon Milliman

Sharon Milliman was born in Ohio as the middle daughter of three girls. Currently married, Mrs. Milliman has two adult daughters and lives in West Virginia. Mrs. Milliman worked in the banking industry for over 15 years. After she retired from her job, Mrs Milliman became involved with the foster care program and has volunteered for many years at area hospitals and churches giving back to her community. She had also spent several years as a home health caregiver, caring for her aged parents, specifically her mother who had end stage Alzheimer’s. For two years Mrs. Milliman served on the board of directors for a nonprofit organization called The Wings of The Whispering Wind, a organization dedicated to creating a model for an eco-friendly, self-sustainable community.

Because she has had two near death experiences, she has been a guest on several radio shows as well as working closely with Joseph Varley at Klay AM Talk Radio on a show called "Joseph Varley Presents" where they have presented several shows about Near Death Experiences, life and death and life beyond death. Most prominently, Mrs. Milliman was featured on The National Geographic Channel in a show titled ‘Return from the Dead' about Near Death Experience. The show aired in the April 17, 2016. Mrs. Milliman has presented as a guest speaker at a number of spiritually oriented groups including the IANDS groups in Raleigh NC and Durham NC. Because of having two near death experiences and numerous spiritually transformative experiences, Mrs.Milliman has a deep interest in how God moves through the lives of herself and others, making her a pilgrim and supporter to many within the NDE community as well as her broader community. She does this through listening, giving voice to her experiences and through her inspirational writing. Mrs. Milliman plans to continue her work to promote God’s unconditional love to a hurting world.

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Tom Leach

Ever wonder if there’s more to life than just feeling like you’re trudging through it? Have you pondered the deeper meaning of the challenging, or even painful, relationships and events you’ve experienced? Wanna know what in the world a cosmic 2x4’ is? Then meet Rev. Tom Leach and hear one man’s journey into complete “humanhood”, the challenges along the way, the big Cosmic 2x4’s that changed his direction and the joy of seeing life in a whole new way. And most of all, share in the hope of a better tomorrow and the belief that there is something special on the other side!!!

In early 2008, Tom had his second near death experience (NDE) which significantly and forever, changed how he saw his own life and the world around him.

Rev. Tom Leach has been on a spiritual path for most of his life. Raised Roman Catholic, he was an altar boy when he was young, fully expecting to become a priest. Although the Roman Catholic Church provided foundational principles, he continued to have questions that were not being answered. Somehow, he knew there was more.

For more than two decades, Tom has been studying different religious paths from around the world. He looks for the truth within each path, especially where everyone and everything is honored. From ancient cultures to modern-day contemporaries, Tom has studied current well-known thinkers like Neale Donald Walsh (Conversations with God) and Dan Millman (Peaceful Warrior). Growing his spiritual base over his lifetime has allowed Rev. Tom to be of service to more people with new-found guideposts that instead of limiting him, now allow for the knowing he has had all along. With his spiritual grounding and the “unity” philosophy that he carries, Rev. Tom truly walks the path of a “Peaceful Warrior.”

While he has been doing spiritual counseling much of his life, including serving as a Chaplin for his fire department, Rev. Tom became a Oneness Blessing Giver in 2011 and was ordained in 2013 by Rev. Dan Chesbro of the Sanctuary of the Beloved, under the Order of Melchizedek.

Rev. Tom fits in anywhere, in any crowd, and with the many hats he has worn – entrepreneur, comedian, trainer and customer service leader, administrator, firefighter/EMT/Chaplain and professional photographer, to name a few – his spiritual grounding and philosophy is now his guiding compass. And you’ll feel his powerfully-peaceful presence through his calm and centered disposition.


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Bios 4


Peter Panagore

Rev. Peter Baldwin Panagore is the host of a daily two-minute inspirational Sunday morning TV broadcast on two Tegna/NBC stations throughout Maine on America’s oldest religious broadcast:
First Radio Parish Church of America. Peter is a sailor, a skier, a stilt walker, woods walker, and writer, who earned his BA in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an M. Div. from Yale Divinity School with a focus on systematic theology and Christian mysticism. His educational background, and his 35 year practice of Kundilini yoga and centering meditation along with his work as a community pastor with the dying and grieving has given Peter a unique insight, language and perspective on Heaven, God, death, life, love, beauty, and hope. The retired pastor, who blogs at HuffPost Blogspot, can be found at with links to daily broadcasts on FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter, and by eMail.

Synopsis Heaven Is Beautiful: How Dying Taught Me That Death Was Just The Beginning (Hampton Roads)

In the winter of 1980, college senior Peter Baldwin Panagore went ice climbing on the world-famous Lower Weeping Wall, on Cirrus Mountain, along the Ice Fields Parkway in Banff National Park, Canada. His climbing partner was an experienced ice climber, but Peter was a novice. On their descent, they became trapped on the side of the mountain. As the sunset, Peter was overcome by exhaustion and hypothermia. He died on the side of the mountain in March 1980. In his minutes on the eternal other side, he experienced hell, forgiveness, and unconditional love. Heaven, reports Peter, was beautiful. His Near Death Experience (NDE) changed his life and resulted in an intense spiritual journey that continues.


James K. Newman

James was born in 1965 and raised in Kentucky . Though a southern boy at heart he has taken the opportunity to live abroad for a portion of his adult life.
Life has been quite the journey, from Kentucky to Los Angelesto Brazil, the Hawaiian Islands, now residing in South Florida, having an appetite like so many others for a warmer climate.
Along the path of life, James' journey has also taken him through two amazing NDE's that over time and the allowing, have transformed his life. In 2005 James became very ill due to discontinuing medications, that in turn brought on two NDE's in February and March of that same year. "I am passionate about sharing these experiences in hopes of others taking the opportunity to allow themselves to also move forward in life as I have."


Karen Blance Thomas

Karen Thomas had her near death experience July 7, 1982 when she was 32 years old. At that time, she was married and the mother of a nine year old daughter and a six year old son. The family had moved to Alaska the year before so her husband could work on oil field equipment repair for the Prudhoe Oil pipeline. Karen was a physical therapist and found work at Alaska Hospital and Medical Center in Anchorage. Today Karen and her husband Bruce are retired and live in Mebane, NC, not far from their son’s family who live in Raleigh, NC. Their daughter lives in upstate New York in the same home town that both Karen and her husband Bruce grew up. Their son and daughter in law have two young daughters who are 8 and 7. Their daughter and son in law have a daughter and a son who are 16 and 13. After many years of integrating her near death experience into her life, Karen now works within a spirit filled church where she is a lector, regularly reading scripture during worship services, as well as being a Eucharistic minister to the church’s shut ins. In addition, Karen has become an active part of her local IANDS groups in Raleigh and in Durham where she has shared her story of her near death experience with the groups and participated in a documentary produced by Robert Neal Marshall and Yvonne Sneeden entitled ‘Back From the Light’ which deals with the challenges faced by Near Death Experiencers and their families. Karen looks forward to sharing her story with the goal of bringing hope and healing to all those who care to hear it.





Carmel Bell

I first died when I was four-years-old. In that brief NDE (Near Death Experience), I met Jesus and an Archangel. I had no idea who the Archangel was or was meant to be. I just talked to him because he was there with Jesus. I knew who Jesus was because my parents were Catholic.

At that time I wanted to be a doctor but Archangel told me I would not be. He told me that instead I would do this – Medical Intuition – and use his energy to do it. The Archangel ‘gave’ this energy to me and I returned to life with his energy on my hand. Being four, I did very little with his energy until I died again during an operation when I was 17. During that second NDE I re-met this Archangel and Jesus. They told me that I had made a few wrong turns in my life so far and they redirected me back towards Medical Intuition.

I spent the next few years learning and practicing what I thought was the right thing to do, in between running a successful dress-making business for myself.

Over the years, I found that challenges kept being thrown at me that kept placing me back on this path. At one time it was suggested by a doctor that I may have lung cancer because I was so unwell and I was smoking. I listened to him, thanked him and left his office, never returning. Instead, I sorted out my life and used Metatronic Energy to heal myself. The lung cancer has never returned.

But I did not realize until about 1985 when I was learning clairvoyance, that what I was doing –combining my intuitive skills with the medical knowledge that I had taught myself – was my calling. I was actually doing what I had been told I would do by Metatron, but without realizing it. The moment I made that realization, I started working in this profession consciously. I was excited but I was also afraid. I had never even heard of Edgar Cayce. Caroline Myss was still unknown. I was on my own. But I was driven.

I found myself being a Medical Intuitive on the side, keeping it quiet and yet becoming busier and busier until Medical Intuition took over. I coined the phrase Aura Diagnostician to describe my profession and in 1993 opened up my own clinic.

By 1994 I was busier than ever and then in 1996, Caroline Myss published her signature book ‘Anatomy of Spirit’ and the groundswell started to grow rapidly. It was then that people started to call me a Medical Intuitive.

In 1999, I diagnosed myself with a Pituitary tumor and Cushing’s disease and had it confirmed medically. Despite now having this awful disease, I kept very well and fit.

In 2007, I realized I was going to die but I knew it was not from the brain tumor. My Guides informed me that my heart was going to fail, even though I could not discover anything abnormal with my heart. I informed my medical practitioner of my concerns but all the tests she ran, including a halter monitor, came back as “normal”.

On February 15th 2009, I died.

During my sleep I had a sudden cardiac arrest from unknown causes. Bernie found me and began resuscitation, but it took him and six other paramedics 47 minutes to bring me back, leaving me with severe global brain damage caused by Hypoxic Brain Injury.

However, I was not prepared to accept the diagnosis and expected outcomes, so began my own rehabilitation. Since then I have spent the past seven years using Metatronic Energy and my own skill set successfully rebuilding my brain and body to a level that is unrecognizable as damaged. I am now planning another series of courses in Medical Intuition and Metatronic Energy Healing. I’m also seeing clients and running regular events.


Robert Neal Marshall

Director/Co-Executive Producer - BACK FROM THE LIGHT

Robert is a Near Death Experience Survivor after a 100% blockage on Aug 3, 2013 caused his heart to go into ventricular fibrillation [the “Widow Maker”]. He flatlined and was clinically dead a minute and a half before being resuscitated. While gone, his consciousness was vividly alive transporting him into the light for a powerfully reunion with departed relatives, and a life review that showed him the profound Universal connections and the "ripple" effect we all have on each other. Coping with being back was a stunning challenge, as it is for so many. He met and teamed up with Co-Producer Yvonne Sneeded to produce the documentary BACK FROM THE LIGHT ( which explores the complicated and challenging aftereffects of a Near Death Experience. This film is part of a very personal journey for Robert to help others, their families & friends who have been through the same, and to help educated those in the medical and other industries to better understand what Near Death survivors go through on a regular basis. Robert’s blog Providence of the Heart provides more details on his experience ( and he participated in a live presentation program IGNIGHT Howard County, recorded for YouTube, where he had 5 minutes to deliver a brief account of his NDE (

In addition to working the past eight years as a top rated guest speaker for the award winning Cunard Insights® Enrichment Programme on board the Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, Robert is a graduate of New York University Film. For over a year and a half, Robert was a Casting Associate for Casting Director Pat Moran, C.S.A. (THE WIRE, HAIRSPRAY, HOMICIDE:LIFE ON THE STREET) and was a proud member of the team to win an Emmy® Award for casting GAME CHANGE starring Julianne Moore, directed by Jay Roach and an Emmy® Nomination for casting Season one of VEEP starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, both for HBO.

Some of Robert’s early film credits include Assistant Camera and Production Management on several Industrials for Jack Lieb Productions. Robert was Post Production Manager for the late Shirley Clarke on ORNETTE COLEMAN: MADE IN AMERICA for Caravan of Dreams, and was Script Supervisor with Regina Ziegler Produktions, Berlin, Germany on DIE FAMILIE SCHROFFENSTEIN for ZDF.
Robert’s documentary DVD THREE QUEENS-AN INTERNATIONAL RENDEZVOUS, released in 2008 to coincide with the final journey of the QE2, is available online as well as on board all three Cunard liners. His documentary MR. OCEAN LINER, about the life and times of maritime historian and author Bill Miller, had its World Premiere aboard Queen Mary 2 and made its Lincoln Center and New York City premiere in High Definition as part of “Cinematic Passages: The Ocean Liner on Screen” at the new Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center.

In the early 1980‘s Robert had the opportunity to move into theatrical production in the West End of London as Assistant to late producer Richard Armitage on several hit shows, including ME AND MY GIRL starring Emma Thompson & Robert Lindsay, HIGH SOCIETY starring Natasha Richardson, directed by Richard Eyre, THE ENTERTAINER, and Rowan Atkinson’s one man show A NEW REVUE. While in London Robert produced and directed the successful West End debut of IS THERE LIFE AFTER HIGH SCHOOL? at the Donmar Warehouse.

As a member of the Lincoln Center Theatre Directors’ Lab, Robert met and collaborated with composer Tim Battle from Boys Choir of Harlem. Together they adapted Diane Stanley’s Award winning book RUMPELSTILTSKIN’S DAUGHTER into a children’s musical that has been presented to critical acclaim in the prestigious Assembly Rooms at the Edinburgh Festival, at the National Theatre in DC as part of their Saturday Morning Series, and for Theatre IV, the State Children’s Theatre of Virginia. A 2011 mounting as part of the Earl’s Court Festival in London brought new attention to this joyful adaptation.

Stage productions & tour management include FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES starring Rain Pryor and AFTER ALL starring Tony Award nominated actress Anita Gillette. Robert’s new play 41N 50W based on the 1912 Titanic Senate hearings showcased recently at the new St. James Theatre in London and is currently under development for larger production in both the United Kingdom and the United States.
More recently, Robert was Casting Director and Production Manager on a new Comedy Feature Film THE NIGHT WATCHMEN, and is a Co-Producer with the newly formed On Deck Films, LLC creating new feature films.


Pegi Robinson

Bio details to follow...