The Vision of Kingdom Initiatives is to activate Christian men and women in the marketplace, encouraging them to engage in their Kingdom assignments, and teaching them to attract the favour of God so that they can multiply their businesses beyond their natural capacities to fund their local churches and influence the transformation of the marketplace into the world’s first Sheep Nation (Matt 25).
The kingdom Initiatives leadership team
Dave grew up in Africa during the turbulent ’60s and ’70s. He was conscripted into the Rhodesian Army and joined the SAS. He fought behind enemy lines against two armies, across three countries, for four years. Thereafter, Dave joined the highly secretive Selous Scouts and fought undercover with that unit and served as a Tracking and Survival Instructor for a further four years. He left the Special Forces and fought as a mercenary for two years. Forced to leave Zimbabwe and stateless, Dave became a commercial saturation diver in the oil fields of South East Asia and Japan.
Eventually he immigrated to Australia, where he came to know the Lord Jesus during an amazing encounter with the Lord at a Reinhart Bonnke crusade.
Dave is the Founder and Managing Director of the Australian based Paladin Group of companies. Paladin has interests in Mining, Energy, Telco Construction, IT, Health and Fitness, and Investment Banking, and has businesses in 9 countries.
In 2007, Dave founded Kingdom Initiatives, a marketplace ministry which has spread around Australia and Overseas. KI is using its vast marketplace experience to teach Christian businesspeople to multiply their incomes and their influence to be part of a strategic vision to create the world’s first “Sheep Nations”, as portrayed by Jesus in Matthew 25.Dave is a sought-after speaker whose lectures are presented at conferences, seminars, business groups, churches, universities, radio, television, and at economic summits all over the world. Dave teaches how he learnt to do, God’s will and God’s way, which resulted in a meteoric rise from having no assets and $76,000 worth of credit card debt, to owning a $100 million business in two years and seven months. In 2020, Dave delivered 144 lectures on 6 continents.
Dave has been married to Merlene for 38 years, they have 5 adult “children”, 11 grandchildren, and 1 great granddaughter. Dave has attended Empower Church on the Sunshine Coast in Australia for over 19 years.
Merlene is the co-founder of Paladin Corporation and Kingdom Initiatives as well as the Managing Director of Fernwood Fitness Woden. She has worked in many different types of businesses throughout her career in hotels, schools, engineering firms, finance, mortgage broking and the health and fitness industry, but Merlene’s passion lies in understanding human behaviour and why we do the things we do.
This has led her to study life and business coaching with The Coaching Institute in Melbourne and to start her own coaching business called “The Life Code”. Merlene has come to realise that to succeed in life and business, we first need to understand ourselves and others and to accept that our outcomes (be those successes or failures), are a result of our own behaviours and choices.
Merlene loves to teach and ultimately she hopes to help people live life on purpose, improve relationships and be their best selves and in so doing, find their own version of success in life, love, family and business, whatever that looks like for them.
David Leslie is a brilliant entrepreneur and senior lecturer at Kingdom Initiatives . He is the Managing Director and Founder of Crestcorp International, which is a multi-million-dollar company with a passion to fund the Kingdom.
David has a diverse background with experience in Information Technology, Merchant Banking, Executive Consulting, Education Services, Childcare, Property and Missions. Additionally, David has been an executive consultant to business professionals, Fortune 500 companies, sporting stars, politicians, pastors, and CEO’s of major corporations in Australia.
David is also the founder of Soul Focus Ministries. The ministry was established after David was trained by Reinhard Bonnke (CFAN) in a “Face to Face” Program in Orlando, 2008. The ministry conducts crusades and teaches KI principles to empower the church to transform their communities, cities and nation. He is passionate about ushering in the kingdom of God and teaches regularly at business conferences, crusades and churches nationally and internationally. David also assists the Kingdom Initiatives Head Office with onboarding new chapter leaders.
David freely admits he is one “ordinary guy” that has the honour of serving an “extraordinary God”. David is married with three children and resides on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
John Dingemanse is a Kingdom entrepreneur who has founded, built up and operated numerous businesses in a range of industry sectors including Property, Professional Services, Construction and Engineering, Telecommunications, Water Management and Resources.
John founded his first business at the age of 25, establishing a building business that within 10 years was the largest construction company in Tasmania, with a turnover in 2016 exceeding $150m and still operating successfully today. He has continued to establish new enterprises, build them up to strong profitability and then on-sell.
John is highly regarded for his creative strength, passion for innovation and focus on true sustainability. As both a business and social entrepreneur he has received national acclaim for his achievements, while his company’s projects have received numerous awards for innovation and sustainability.
John is the Founder and CEO of CBM Sustainability Group, a group of companies involved in project initiation, development and delivery in a number of industry sectors including property, mining, agri-business and renewable energy.
John’s vision is to see leaders in business, community, and government, working together strategically through enterprise development, towards social improvement in Australia as well as in developing nations.
Through his unique expertise and his corporate profile, John has been successful in leading and influencing positive change in business and commerce as well as the Australian church community, thereby seeing many people benefit as a result of well-considered sustainable development.
He is a strong advocate of environmental and social enhancement becoming the norm in business and is passionate to demonstrate this through his own projects. He provides great wisdom and expertise in this area to Kingdom Initiatives.
John and his wife, Aileen, have five children and three grandchildren.
PASTOR SUZETTE TORTI
Pastor Suzette has been involved in ministry for over 20 years whilst additionally being involved in a variety of different marketplace professions.
Suzette was a young single mother with six small children to support, when she came to Christ in a miraculous way. In her time of need, her relationship with Jesus helped her to withstand difficult circumstances. As a result of her encounter with the Lord, she completed Bible College and became a lecturer, and then Dean at the Word of Faith Bible College on the Gold Coast.
God called her back into business, where she worked for a building company and then for a registered training organisation, eventually holding the position of General Manager of three colleges in South East Queensland with a team of over 80 people. During this time, she gained valuable skills in business and management. Her next assignment was at Jerry Savelle’s Bible College on the Gold Coast and from there she was encouraged to plant Open Heaven Ministries.
Suzette is now the Senior Pastor at Open Heaven Ministries, and leads the Intercessory Business Department which prays and intercedes for over 150 businesses. Professional intercession is a commonly discussed topic at Kingdom Initiatives and Suzette plays a pivotal role in raising awareness about the importance and power behind this biblical principle.