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Welcome New Monk AJ Fenlason

With great joy I would like to facilitate a very important introduction…
- Meet AJ!
- AJ, meet the MonkDev blog!
This introduction was intentionally made both ways because AJ recently join the Monk team as our Marketing Communications aficionado. Which means he will be the primary voice of the MonkDev blog. AJ will also be serving our clients by creating helpful eBooks, White Papers, and various other resources.

His real name is Andrew Joseph, but everyone, besides his Grandmother, calls him AJ.

AJ graduated with a BS in Management Science from UCSD and received his MBA from Ashford University. In his off time he enjoys taking photographs and traveling with his wife Jennifer.

Before coming to MonkDev he served as a Church Communication Director in San Diego. And, he used Ekklesia 360 in that position for many years. He is passionate about helping ministries connect with people through the use of technology.

I’ve only known AJ for about two weeks, but I can honestly say that he is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. AJ brings years of experience and knowledge about our products, among other skills and talents. We are confident that he will “hit the ground running”, mostly because he already has.


I’ve heard you say you’re from a big family of brothers. What was is like growing up with so many brothers?
Well there’s Nathanael, Jared, Aaron, Jacob, and Samuel. If you’re counting that’s five brothers. As you can imagine, it was very competitive. We all played baseball and soccer. So, most of our time was spent at a field or traveling between games.

Do you have any pets?
I am a dog person, we currently have two rescues. Frankie and Earl are their names. Frankie, my dog, is a bassador (basset and labrador mix). While Earl, a dorgi (Dachshund and the Corgi mix) is my wife’s dog. We call them our low riders because they both have long bodies with short legs.

What do you enjoy taking pictures of the most? Can you show us your favorite photograph?
My favorite type of photography would have to be nature. Last summer, my wife and I drove along the Oregon coast. It was breath-taking. I took so many amazing photographs and it’s hard to pick a favorite. If I had to pick then it would probably be this waterfall near Portland.

Okay, love story time, how did you and your wife Jennifer meet?
We went to middle school together, but I guess I was more focused on school. I can’t remember this, but she reminds me all the time that we had all the same classes in 6th grade. After middle school we went to rival high schools but connected during the summer of our sophomore year. We mostly went to a billiard’s hall, bowling, and movies with friends. I finally asked her out before the summer ended and we’ve been together ever since, almost 13 years now. I guess that makes her my high school sweetheart.

I believe congratulations are in order, tell us about your big news?
My wife and I are expecting our first child. I can’t tell you how excited I am to be a dad! My brother had his first son around a year ago, so it will be awesome to watch them grow up together. Plus, my wife and I have a number of friends who are expecting too.

Are you hoping to continue the line of boys?
I would love a boy and cherish a little girl. For me, I am just excited about being a dad.

You graduated with a BS in Management Science, how did you become a Church Communicator?
To start out I might have to define Management Science. Previously known as Operational Research, the name was changed because graduates were having a hard time explaining what they did. It’s an economic major that deals with constrained optimization through the use of linear and nonlinear programing. Basically it has nothing to do with communications.

During college, my church needed someone to print the bulletins and prepare our monthly newsletter. Not very exciting, but as the ink dried I was able to study. In 2008, when I graduated, most companies were not hiring entry level employees. So I took another job at Blockbuster Video as a customer service representative. Over time, I worked my way up to a Store Assistant Manager. When a communication position opened at the church I threw my hat in the ring. With no experience, I didn’t get the job.

The person they hired was there 3 days before he was let go. They called me and said the position was available, but they wanted to interview me again. The interview went well, and my first day started 30 minutes later. They gave me an old InDesign book and asked that I have the bulletins finished by the next day. From that day on I started learning everything I could about church communication. Which translated to reading an insane amount of books and blogs. I also spent long nights watching webinars and listening to podcasts. I would go anywhere I could to get helpful information.

What's the oddest request you received as a communication director?
I’d have to say it was for a memorial service. One of the members asked me to create a promotional card for their friend’s memorial service. Just so you know that’s not the odd part. He also asked me to create a life size cut-out, the kind you see at movie theatres. The cut-out was going to be a picture of his friend with a speaking bubble that read, “You’re invited to my funeral.” It was going to sit on the church courtyard for a few weeks. You could tell the man truly cared for his friend and wanted to honor him. Needless to say, we found another way to let people know about the memorial service.

Have you gone on any missions trips? Where did you go, what did you do?
In college, we went to build houses in Mexico with Amor Ministries. Right after college, I had an opportunity to go on a mission trip to Ireland. A small church was thinking about putting on a Vacation Bible School. Having helped organize three VBS events, the leaders of this trip asked me to join. With most of my friends going on mission trips to Africa and South America, I sort of felt embarrassed telling them I was heading to Ireland. It was hard to explain that there was mission work to do there, but the church in Ireland had a real need. We did puppet shows, crafts, games, and everything you would expect for a HBS (P.S. they don’t go on vacation they go on holidays so it was a Holiday Bible School). The kids loved it! While we were there I also had a chance to join their Pub Crawl Ministry. It’s not what you think. They minister to people who go from pub to pub all night by offering coffee, tea, soup, and most importantly someone who is willing to listen.

What excites you most about your new position at Monk?
For me it’s getting to work with a great group of people. Having been a customer for four years, I’ve always been impressed by my interaction with the MonkDev Team. Also, the resources they provide helped me immensely when I was starting out. I’m excited to be able to share what I’ve learned and what MonkDev is learning from our ministry partners.

Alright, let’s switch gears a bit and move from serious to silly.

If you had to eat just one thing for every meal of every day for the rest of your life and would receive no health ramifications, what would it be?
Hands down I would choose BBQ Chicken Pizza.

If you had one day to do ANYTHING you wanted in San Diego, money is no object, what would you do?
Wow, I haven’t given this much thought. I would probably spend the day with my beautiful wife. We would start by heading up to Julian to grab an apple pie. Then we would go for a short hike with my dogs. Followed by a long drive to Liberty Station, where we would have lunch at the Corvette Diner. Then dinner at a restaurant in La Jolla. The day would end by watching the sunset on the beach with my wife.

It is truly a blessing to have AJ on our team and are excited for the helpful resources he will be creating for our clients.

Please help us give him a warm welcome by commenting below.

Stay tuned, his first blog as a Monk will be posted Thursday!