Shawn Akers, associate editor, joined the Charisma team in June 2012, fulfilling a dream to use his talents for the Lord. He started his journalism career at 15 and worked at several small newspapers as a sports writer and editor. He worked in the NASCAR industry for the sanctioning body and its sister company, International Speedway Corporation, for 16 years. He is working on his journalism degree and is scheduled to graduate from Ashford University in 2014. His passions include his family—wife Patty of 15 years and children Rachel (11) and Joshua (9)—St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball and Alabama football.