Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors

  • Chair & CEO – Craig Powell (non-voting)
  • Vice Chair – Roberta “Toni” Meyers Douglas
  • Secretary – Mary Jo Berkhoel
  • Treasurer – Sandra Cowan
  • Chief Behavioral Change Officer – vacant
  • Chief Behavioral Health Officer – Dr. Velmi Galante
  • Chief Criminal Justice Program Officer – Ashley Bauman
  • Chief Criminal Justice Policy Officer – vacant
  • Chief Social Work Officer – Julissa “Juli” Nixon
  • General Member – Alan Chapman
  • General Member – Debra Foster
  • General Member – Dr. Jessica Grosholz
  • General Member – Dr. Jean Kabongo
  • General Member – Charles Williams

Chair – Craig Powell

Craig has taken on, as his personal and professional mission, the challenge of improving the quality of life within urban communities by facilitating the psychosocial and economic reintegration of persons with, and at risk of, criminal records. Upon his 2001 return to Dayton Ohio from New York City (where he provided technical assistance to CBOs on behalf of the NYS Department of Health and operated a residential construction company) he took a lead role in creating a comprehensive, strength-based, countywide ex-offender reentry initiative in Montgomery County, Ohio. In 2002, he founded PowerNet of Dayton which provided pre- and post-release rehabilitation, reentry, and reintegration services; housing and employment services; community organizing, and systemic change advocacy. Mr. Powell is the author of PowerNet’s GEM Leadership Development Program which begins years before an inmate’s release from prison and continues years after their release. As a direct result of these and other local efforts, the recidivism rate and other systemic barriers were reduced in Montgomery County (Dayton) Ohio.

 

Mr. Powell has presented at several state and national reentry conferences and consulted with community-based reentry initiatives from Los Angeles California to New York City including Montgomery County Ohio that eventually led to its first Office of Ex-offender Reentry. Mr. Powell has served two elected terms on the Southwest Priority Board. He was appointed by the Director of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) to serve two three-year terms on the statewide Community Corrections Advisory Board. In 2004, he was also appointed to ODRC’s statewide Citizen Circle Advisory Board. He served on the Advisory Board of National College, Kaplan College, and the Miami Valley Child Development Centers Policy Council in Dayton. Mr. Powell is a current member of the Hillsborough County (HC) Sheriff’s Black Advisory Council, the current Co-chair of the Hillsborough Ex-offender Reentry Network, a former member of the Tampa Hillsborough Homeless Initiative Executive Planning Committee, and a graduate of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Citizen Academy, the convener of the Tampa Bay Regional Reentry Partnership representing six counties in the Tampa Bay region.

 

ODRC presented Mr. Powell with its 2005 Gold Star Award “for exemplary efforts in promoting Quality Corrections in Ohio.” In September 2006, Mr. Powell’s leadership in the field of reentry was recognized by the Annie E. Casey Foundation by inviting him to be among a select team of practitioners to discuss and evaluate the barriers, resources, and strategies related to the role of faith in successful reentry. Mr. Powell also accepted an invitation to be a guest lecturer at the Indiana University AIM Program Adult Reentry Institute held November 6-10, 2006. In 2007, Mr. Powell accepted an invitation from The Council of State Governments to participate in a national advisory group of reentry professionals to develop a policy guide for improving collaborations between state governments and CBOs. Under his leadership, PowerNet received the Dayton Correctional Institution’s 2007 Volunteer Organization of the Year Award as well as the 2008 and 2014 SCLC’s “Martin Luther King Community Service Award”.  Mr. Powell has been trained and certified in the following: Core Correctional Practices (2011) and Women’s Risk Needs Assessment (2013) from the University of Cincinnati Criminal Justice Institute and the Ohio Risk Assessment System (2017) and Thinking for a Change (2017) from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

 

Mr. Powell believes he has been preparing from birth and assigned for life to the awesome task, and the rewarding challenge, of identifying, analyzing, and addressing the root systemic causes of the psychosocial isolation and economic deprivation experienced by so many individuals and families struggling to live in disadvantaged communities all across our country.  Although most refer to his work as ex-offender reentry; it is so much more! His message to all who will listen: “You Don’t Have to Move to Live in A Better Neighborhood!”

Roberta “Toni” Meyers Douglas is a respected thought leader whose expertise includes legislative and public policy analysis; organizational development; nonprofit management; program/project management; grant writing; fundraising; community organizing; coalition building, and public speaking. Toni currently serves as the Vice President of State Strategy & Reentry at the Legal Action Center (LAC) and as the director of the National H.I.R.E. Network, a project of LAC that works to improve employment and other opportunities for people with criminal records.

She has decades of experience bridging research to practice gaps in reentry policy; training workforce development and other reentry practitioners, and corrections staff on employment and housing strategies that best serve job seekers with arrest and conviction records; developing and promoting legislative campaigns; authoring guidebooks and policy briefs on criminal record policies that impact employment, housing, and education opportunities; and testifying before and serving as an advisor to members of Congress, government agencies, and state legislators about effective reentry policies and practices that reduce recidivism.

Toni is also the Principle of JUST-TMD Consulting, LLC where she shares what she has learned over the past 30 years participating in and working to build and advance just transformational movements that disrupt interdependent systems of discrimination, disadvantage, oppression, and genocide. She is an advocate, strategist, communicator, trainer, and convener poised to challenge racial, social, and economic inequity and injustice. She has dedicated her career to building steppingstones that take Black, Latiné, Indigenous, and other marginalized groups closer to achieving their full potential by breaking down barriers used to deny their dignity.

In 2019, Toni was inducted into the Women in Human Services Hall of Fame in New York State by the Strong Nonprofits for a Better New York and in 2020 she was honored with the Excellence in Advocacy Award from the Women in Government Relations. However, her greatest achievements have been serving as a mentor to formerly incarcerated women and providing technical support to Black-led community-based organizations in their quest to build their organizational capacity and infrastructure, lead successful campaigns, and develop and lead strong networks and coalitions.

Toni serves on the Board of Directors of Youth Represent, Alabama Justice Initiative, the Collateral Consequences Resource Center, and LIFEline to Success and is a member of the Council on Criminal Justice and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, Management, and Economics from the State University of New York/Empire State College and a Master of Science degree in Public Safety with specialization in Criminal Justice and Public Administration from Capella University. She resides in Georgia.

Vice Chair – Roberta “Toni” Meyers Douglas

Secretary – Mary Jo Berkhoel

Professional Bio of Mary Jo Berkhoel,

Sr. Manager North America for Securitas Technology, Uniontown, OH

I have been in the Security Monitoring industry for 26 yrs. I manage a team of
employees and I am passionate about helping them grow to their fullest potential. I have received various awards and merits over the years, but my greatest compliment is when my team members tell me “I am the best manager they have ever had.” I pride myself on advocating for my employees and making sure their personal needs are met as well as their professional needs whenever possible. I truly believe emotional intelligence is crucial in this day and age, especially when you are leading a team. I value those that are empathetic to others and can put themselves in someone else’s shoes and are willing to see another perspective, even if they do not agree with them. I believe we need to start working together to see the systems of old reformed and updated so that they work for everyone, not just a few. I enjoy reading, listening to podcasts, attending my small groups at church, and building a community of like-minded individuals that sees the possibility for positive change and are willing to take the steps to help make those changes a reality.

Additionally, I am a 47 yr old mother to an addict son, who has been in and out of the prison system since he was a juvenile. I am passionate about assisting and supporting the changes that are need to make this system work better for families like mine. I have also been a victim of sex trafficking from the age 19 and have seen what trauma and pain can do to a person’s body, mind and spirit. It’s by the Grace of God that I am here and thriving in my professional career and in my personal life. My greatest prayer is to see my son recover from his addiction and live out God’s purpose for his life.

Sandra Cowan is a Financial Manager who partners with financial professionals in all aspects of Finance.
Knowledgeable, detail-oriented, and an intellectual leader in the fast-paced manufacturing industry, Sandra has established herself as a powerhouse and an innovative leader and advisor.

Her area of experience and financial acumen include budgeting, forecasting, financial reporting, project management, risk management, payroll, SOX controls and systems implementations.

Sandra has successfully steered a career track as Manager of Finance, Manager of Logistics and Manager of Payroll. Her leadership has expanded beyond the boundaries of a traditional finance executive benchmarking many strategic initiatives that have had positive impact on multiple business units, driving down cost, increasing revenue, producing exceptional results.

Serving financial organizations in US, Canada, PR, and Germany she has acquired a broad understanding of International Financial Reporting Standards through IFRS certification and Risk Management certification.

Among her portfolio of achievements, you will find the following:

  • Budgeted/Forecasted Sales of $1.8 billion
  • Project Management Texas A & M Lighting project
  • PeopleSoft Implementation to General Ledger for Business Unit.
  • Supply Chain $7.5 million inventory reduction
  • Asset Management/Capital Exp. Appx $47 million
  • Spare parts capitalization globally harmonizing the accounting treatment of spare parts by reflecting items as inventory vs expense. Recapitalized $12million.

As a team leader, Sandra is an influential communicator, speaking the language of both the best analytical minds and the most creative strategists. She has shaped a credible executive presence and is credited with playing an instrumental role in her affiliated organizations.

Sandra is admired by her reports, colleagues, and superiors and is respected by her community. She was born and raised in St. Mary’s Pennsylvania where her family was influential in the development of manufacturing in the area providing employment and economic stability to a vast population of the community.

She currently resides in Tampa Florida along with her two highly educated, successful daughters and three grandchildren. Sandra experiences a healthy and active lifestyle including cycling and enjoys visiting the Florida beaches. The energy powering her personal life is equally evident in her aspirations toward her professional career.

Treasurer – Sandra Cowan

Chief Behavioral Change Officer – vacant

Ashley Bauman is the president of Bauman Consulting Group, a criminal justice and social sector consulting firm offering engaging training workshops, expert technical assistance, supportive coaching services, and innovative products and resources. She has extensive experience working with agencies to redesign their approaches and implement evidence-based practices. Previously, Ashley worked as a research associate at the University of Cincinnati Corrections Institute studying women’s pathways to criminal behavior and correctional rehabilitation. During that time, she co-authored two gender-responsive risk and needs assessment tools: the Women’s Risk Needs Assessment and the Gender-Informed Needs Assessment. She is also the author of Pathways to Change: Individual Casework Interventions and Steps to Success: A Re-Entry Workbook. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with dual master’s degrees in criminal justice and business administration and is a board-certified coach. She has been published in professional journals and written many technical reports for government agencies.

CHIEF CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRAM OFFICER – ASHLEY BAUMAN

CHIEF BEHAVIORAL HEALTH OFFICER – DR. VELMI GALANTE

Dr. Velmi Galante is a scholar, author, advocate, and mental health provider. She has extensive experience providing a wide range of services including individual therapy, group therapy, crisis intervention, personality and violence risk assessments, and comprehensive neuropsychological, forensic, and psychoeducational assessment for English and Spanish-speaking populations.

As part of her doctoral degree, she conducted research that focused on exploring the different factors involved in crisis negotiation including hostage-taker typologies, selection and training of negotiators, and the role of psychologists. With recommendations provided for future training, research, and policy.

She completed her pre-doctoral internship with the Florida Department of Corrections, where she provided assessment and various forms of individual and group treatment to incarcerated individuals. In this setting, she had the opportunity to develop an integrated neurocognitive group therapy curriculum for individuals with schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorders.

Throughout her career, she has focused on helping destigmatize mental health issues by providing psychoeducation, assessment, and treatment to underserved populations. She has worked with individuals and families with a wide range of concerns including, but not limited to mood disorders, personality disorders, substance abuse, neuropsychiatric disorders, complex trauma, psychopathy, and traumatic brain injuries.

Having worked in various settings including inpatient and outpatient psychiatric settings, community mental health settings, and correctional settings she has a deep understanding of the various obstacles, adversities, barriers, and disparities faced by individuals who encounter the
criminal justice system. She is also aware of the importance of not only addressing the needs of offenders and their families as they reintegrate back into society but also addressing the needs of the victims and communities that they return to and the implications for safety, security, and treatment.

Dr. Velmi Galante is passionate about advocating for restorative justice that helps promote healing, repair, and transformation for individuals, families, and communities. Having worked with various multidisciplinary teams of diverse professionals she understands the importance of collaboration among various service sectors to help promote change and transformation of our criminal justice system.

My background in social work gives me a deep understanding of human behavior and a heart and mind for populations generally left out of the AI conversation. As an early adopter of applied AI, I recognize both the potential and the pitfalls of only data-driven insights. I have worked closely with diverse populations, from vulnerable youth to justice-involved adults, to understand their challenges and co-develop solutions.

My strength is in connecting the dots – identifying interdisciplinary linkages and innovative ways to apply best practices across domains. Whether tackling digital inequities in underserved communities or auditing algorithmic bias, I balance nuanced qualitative insights with rigorous data analysis. With superb organizational skills honed over years of operational management, grant writing and project management, I ensure effective, scalable implementation.

My passion is leveraging AI as a force for good, while safeguarding ethics, transparency and human dignity. In an ever-evolving digital landscape, I stand as a bridge between human-centric concerns and data-centric solutions, offering a holistic, actionable, and profoundly informed viewpoint.

With years of experience spanning social work, health, education, law, and technology, I bring a unique blend of domain expertise and operational excellence to every project. My interdisciplinary experience has allowed me to develop holistic solutions that have driven profitability through a lens of social responsibility and on-the-ground operational needs- efforts which have created 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 $9 𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻 in added 𝘃𝗮𝗹𝘂𝗲, 𝗰𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗮𝘃𝗼𝗶𝗱𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲, 𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲 𝘀𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀, and 𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗿𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗶𝘁𝘆 for organizations with which I have worked.

CHIEF SOCIAL WORK OFFICER – Juli Nixon

Alan Chapman embarked on a career in Criminal Justice in 1987 working as a Youth Leader in a Juvenile Detention Center. His journey has taken him from servicing the adolescent offenders to the adult offenders. Alan has served over 30 years in progressive administrative positions in five states. While employed in these five states (Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Mississippi, and New Jersey respectfully), Alan had assumed the following facility roles: Recreation Supervisor, Unit Manager, Unit Management Administrator, Deputy Warden, Warden and Facility Director. Mr. Chapman is well versed in providing transformational leadership and overseeing associated functions to include community relations, policy development, management reporting, office operations, service delivery, employee development, and program management.

Alan had achieved demonstrated success and was recognized for his efforts by receiving several awards including the Leadership Award, Humanitarian Award, MLK Award for Justice and Warden of the Year Award.

Alan is passionate in educating the public on the offender re-entry process and conveying this message to external stakeholders including community and legislative representatives. His diverse background includes areas of probation, human services, operations, special services, administration, recreation, grant writing and Adjunct Instructor in Criminal Justice.

Mr. Chapman holds a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio.

General Member – Alan Chapman

General Member – Dr. Jean Kabongo

Dr. Jean D. Kabongo is an Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Accreditation and Professor of strategic management and entrepreneurship in the University of South Florida Muma College of Business. Prior to joining the faculty at USF in 2020, he taught at Virginia State University and Millersville University of Pennsylvania. Issues related to entrepreneurship education, local entrepreneurial behavior, and small business development in hostile environments, along with strategy and environmental sustainability, are his general research interests. His current research projects focus on the resilience of entrepreneurs in developing economies and the influence of entrepreneurship education in the transformation of incarcerated individuals. His work has been published in academic journals in the fields of management and entrepreneurship. Dr. Kabongo received his B.A. in Philosophy from Saint Augustine Institute, affiliated with Pontifical University Urbaniana, Rome; an M.B.A. from Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City; and a Ph.D. from Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada.

Ms. Debra A. Foster is a retired GS-15 Civil Servant of the United States Air Force serving for 36 years.  She has over 25 years acquisition program management experience.  She was the Director of Enterprise Information Systems Division for the Business and Enterprise Systems Directorate at Maxwell AFB-Gunter Annex, AL where she oversaw the $24B Netcentric Operations-2 contract acquisition, Information Technology Commodity Council, and Oracle and Microsoft Enterprise Software license buys.

She was the Director of the Force Capabilities Directorate at Gunter AFB, AL responsible for a $252M portfolio to include the Deliberate Crisis Action Planning and Execution Segment, Global Force management-Data Initiative, and Logistics Modules.

Ms. Foster served as the Director of Operations in the Operations and sustainment Group at Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, where she was responsible for the Train Organize and Equipment of over 700 personnel.  She was the Division Director for operational programs such as Requirements Management Systems, Air Force Equipment Management Systems, Stock Control Systems and many others during her distinguished career.

Ms. Foster holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Central State University, a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Dayton and completed Air War College.  She was granted many awards and citations throughout her tenure as a civilian with the United States Air Force.

General Member – Debra Foster

GENERAL MEMBER – DR. JESSICA GROSHOLZ

Jessica M. Grosholz, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Criminology at the University of South Florida on the Sarasota-Manatee campus. She received her B.A. in Sociology (2004) from Bucknell University, her M.A. in Sociology (2006) from George Washington University, and her Ph.D. in Sociology (2014) from Emory University. Dr. Grosholz’s research focuses on the challenges associated with reentry, factors that influence institutional misconduct and recidivism risk as well as qualitative research methodologies. Her research has been published in high-impact outlets such as Criminal Justice & Behavior, Health & Justice, Crime & Delinquency, Journal of Criminal Justice, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and Social Science & Medicine. Dr. Grosholz currently serves as an evaluation consultant for Selah Freedom, Inc.’s Office for Victims of Crime federal grant.