Board Spotlight: Meet BDI Board Member Dr. Lorna DeShay

“God can be so funny…”

From Debbie Freeman, BDI Contributing Writer

“God can be so funny,” says BDI’s newest board member, Dr. Lorna DeShay, “in how He positions great things to come your way that you’re really not even pursuing.”

Such was the case with her invitation to join BDI’s board of directors late last fall. An adjunct marketing instructor at Los Angeles Pacific University (LAPU), she was contacted by BDI’s board president, Dr. John Reynolds, also an instructor there. Seeking someone with marketing experience to fill a place on the BDI board, John had asked the assistant dean of marketing for a recommendation…  

It was Lorna, hands down.  

With a doctorate in marketing, Lorna has held positions in several diverse fields including publishing, construction, nonprofit and education – she was the associate director of marketing for Central Michigan University in Atlanta for 15 years. Then she transitioned to teaching classes at the university level: strategic marketing, digital marketing, marketing management and more. She also chairs doctoral students.

Not only was John elated to find Lorna, Lorna was excited to learn about BDI.

“Prior to John’s call, I had never heard of BDI,” Lorna says. “But during our discussion I was immediately intrigued and impressed by what they do and their vision. I have a deep heart for Missions and a calling to help others. So it was a natural fit.”

While some might call the match serendipitous, Lorna understands it’s God’s hand. “He knows everything about us. He knows our desires because He puts those desires in us. So how can this happen without God when I didn’t plan it – it basically fell into my lap!”

Seeking God always

Although delighted with God’s facilitation, Lorna’s certainly not surprised. The Lord has always been influential in her life. “I believe in the Word of God and try to implement and meditate on it and communicate with Him throughout the day,” she says. “It’s not just about going to church on Sundays, but having a true relationship with Him where He knows you and you know Him and you can hear His voice. I believe in putting God first in all my decisions with anything, and having trust and faith in Him.”

She’s also a strong proponent of the power of prayer. “I have a lot of friends who come to me and say, ‘I’m going through this,’ or ‘I’m dealing with that,’ and they know immediately I’m going to pray for them – no question. They don’t even have to ask.”

And she’s grateful that her work with two Christian institutions, LAPU and Liberty University, allows her opportunities to share her faith with students facing challenges in their lives. “I love the fact that I can speak to them in the mindset of Christ and respond to them and guide them with prayer and scripture.”

Staying grounded

Even in environments where she can’t share her faith so freely, her relationship with God and the principles she’s honed throughout her life provide the foundation she needs to stay the course. “You could easily be persuaded or second guess yourself if you’re not grounded in Christ, but I absolutely know the path I’m on is the right one,” she says.

And that includes her new role at BDI. 

“I have this quirky excitement of seeing how God works in the midst of other Christians in fulfilling what He has called us to do,” she says. And she looks forward to developing relationships with BDI board members and staff as they, in turn, help BDI’s client partners fulfill their God-given purpose.

Her vision for BDI is its continued growth in support of cause- and faith-driven organizations – like Rescue Missions – and, in today’s evolving marketplace, preparing proactively for the next area of need. 

Yet even as important, she says, is to help clients recognize, embrace and cultivate the great things God sends their way they might not even be pursuing.

More about Lorna

  • The mother of three sons and one daughter, ages 29, 27, 19 and 13, Lorna teaches, guides and consults from her home in Atlanta, which she shares with her youngest boy and her grand-dog, Ice.
  • A natural bodybuilder, Lorna works out at the gym six times a week and has competed professionally since 2018. 
  • Growing up on Long Island, New York, Lorna loves the water and dreams of retiring on the beach. “Any beach, as long as it’s warm!”

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