meet the OurJourney board of directors
Heidi Coleman earned her BS in Biology from St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, NC, and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Education at UNC-Chapel Hill. Heidi has worked in the local, state, federal, non-profit, and for-profit sectors of education, and traces her interest in the field of prisoner rehabilitation and reentry to her mother, who retired after a long career with the Georgia Department of Corrections. She is also currently on the editorial board of the High School Journal, a peer-reviewed educational research journal housed at the university.
Heidi is a volunteer with several organizations that work with currently incarcerated people and "believes deeply in fighting for social justice and that everyone deserves to live their best life." She has extensive experience in program evaluation, grant writing, and policy analysis.
Heidi lives in Butner, NC. She enjoys quilting, knitting, and doing DIY projects around her house. She loves eating homemade sweets and any meal made with family.
Caleb Badajos is a former missionary that served in Asia for eight years, including outreach to prisoners in Cambodia. He is now a financial advisor and branch manager serving at a financial institution in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Caleb believes that while God has planted him for now in the financial sector, his highest calling is to "invest" in things of eternal value for the Kingdom of God, such as the lives of prisoners throughout this state.
Caleb and his wife Lorraine have four boys, including an infant, and is most happy when he's with his family. They all enjoy making music together, playing basketball, and eating Filipino cuisine. The Badajos family lives in Tega Cay, South Carolina. Caleb enjoys pistachio ice cream.
Josh Gibson served over 26 years in prison, entering at the young age of 15. He was released in 2019. Today Josh works with his uncle installing wallpaper by day, but at night and on the weekends, he is usually either crisscrossing the state of North Carolina helping guys when they're released from prison, or building his own company, 2nd Horseman Logistics.
Josh is also actively involved in mentoring young people, sharing the lessons he's learned in life in hopes that they can avoid the struggles he faced.
Josh lives in Charlotte, NC. He has one son and one granddaughter. He enjoys Tar Heel basketball, Kansas City Chiefs football and playing golf. His favorite food is a rack of ribs, dripped in BBQ sauce, and tacos.
Willie Gupton served over 13 years in prison before being released in 2016. Since then he has rebuilt his life, personally and professionally. He now has the relationship with his children that he always wanted and, after earning his CDL license, drives for a living.
In addition, Willie reaches out to young people at risk for going down the painful path of crime and imprisonment, offering them lessons from his own life. He is active in his local church and community.
Willie lives in Rocky Mount, NC. He considers himself an amateur chef and loves a big plate of ribs.
Michele Houmis is a high school theology teacher at St. Joseph Catholic School in Greenville, SC. She has a BA in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH, and a Masters in Religious Studies from Providence College. Michele volunteers for several campus ministries and frequently speaks about the call to religious life both here in the States and abroad.
Michele first became interested in helping former prisoners after meeting one and realizing that much of what she thought she knew about their humanity and struggles was inaccurate and incomplete. She sees the urgent need to help make the transition from prison to freedom "less harrowing" for men like her friend.
Michele lives in Mauldin, SC. She enjoys reading, gardening and dinner with friends, and if she has her way, the meal will include some type of pasta.
Tim Sauls holds a BS in Political Science and History from Liberty University. While in college he met Valorie, who not only became his wife but encouraged him in his faith, resulting in Tim's call to full-time Christian ministry. Since 1995, he has pastored Calvary Chapel in Battleboro, NC.
In 2008, his father-in-law, a longtime and much beloved volunteer at Nash Correctional Institution (Nashville, NC), asked Tim to join him each Thursday in the prison for the weekly "Sanctuary Bible Class." Tim quickly fell in love with the ministry and the men, and gradually took on more and more responsibility at NCI, including teaching a class called "Living on the Outside," a joint venture between the NCDPS and Nash Community College. The men at Nash joke that Tim spends more time in prison than they do.
Tim enjoys camping with Valorie and watching UNC basketball. He is the father of three and the grandfather of five, ranging in age from 4 to 12. He enjoys cooking on the grill and smoking meat.
Josh Stancil, following an 18-year prison sentence, enrolled at Arizona State University, graduating with a BA in English. He is the founder of Deep River Media, which provides video production, ghostwriting services, and social media management for small businesses.
Josh also serves on the Board of Directors of Dismas Ministry, a national Catholic prison ministry based in Milwaukee, and was recently named Editor of Convivium, a quarterly literary journal. In addition, he is the founder of Living With Convictions, one of OurJourney's Outreach Partners, a nonprofit that assists the formerly incarcerated in transitioning back into society.
Josh lives in Asheboro, NC. He is a self-described "film nut" and a fountain of useless information about movie directors. He loves snacking on sesame sticks.
Ben Votipka is a 30-year military veteran of the United States Air Force. He has a BS in Professional Aeronautics and a Masters in Airport Management and Operations, both from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona, FL. Ben retired from the Air Force in 2012 as a LT. Colonel. After retiring, he still wanted to fly, so now he is a commercial airline pilot and a civilian flight instructor and evaluator.
In addition to his work with OurJourney, Ben is involved with several other nonprofit organizations, including Redemption Place, one of OurJourney's Outreach Partners, the Rocky Mount Pregnancy Care Center and Global Sports Ministries.
Ben grew up in a family of 13 children on a farm in Nebraska and now lives in Nashville, NC. He is the father of three and the grandfather of nine, ranging in age from a newborn to nine years old. Ben's favorite food is pizza.
Louise Winstead is a Registered Nurse who works as a Compliance Specialist in Behavior Health. Her husband Mike worked for almost two decades for Correction Enterprises, the company owned by the NC Department of Public Safety that operates inside many state prisons, employing and training prisoners to produce a wide variety of goods. In addition to her husband's work connection, Louise has had an incarcerated loved one and knows personally the trials and struggles of prisoners and former prisoners.
Louise grew up in Wilson County, NC, and currently lives one county over in Nash County, two miles from Nash Correctional Institution. She is the mother of four and proud grandmother of four, ranging in age from five to seventeen. Her favorite thing to do is relax outside with Mike. Louise loves tacos, but only if they have lots of cilantro.