meet the OurJourney board of directors
Board President 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.
Brent Bailey is the Program Coordinator for the Buncombe County Reentry Council, which provides assistance to anyone returning from prison, giving them the resources they need to overcome the challenges they face, such as housing, transportation, education and employment.
Brent has been working in reentry for over 14 years. His experience as a formerly incarcerated man who served over 5 years offers him a unique perspective when it comes to navigating reentry. His greatest joy comes from helping the returning citizens of Buncombe County down the path to self-sufficiency.
Brent is also the Regional Coordinator for the NC Second Chance Alliance, an advocacy group that seeks to address the causes of criminal records and the barriers they create to successful reentry.
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.
Ben Finholt is the Director of the Just Sentencing Project at the Wilson Center for Science and Justice at Duke Law.
Ben founded the JSP as a staff attorney at North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services, where he spent nine years litigating civil conditions of confinement and criminal post-conviction cases. The project seeks to increase awareness of extreme sentencing, reduce long-term incarceration, and promote fair outcomes through data analysis, collaboration with stakeholders, and strategic litigation.
Ben earned his B.A. from Williams College and his J.D. from the University of Iowa. In a prior life, he was a high school math teacher.
He enjoys disc golf, basketball, and ribeyes.
Board Treasurer 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. He is the recipient of the 2022 Greater Life GO US Missions Influence Award.
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.
Bianca Harris found her passion for helping the incarcerated and formerly incarcerated while working for more than 25 years in the North Carolina prison system. She served as the Warden of the NC Correctional Institution for Women and then as the district manager of the Division of Alcohol and Chemical Dependency unit of the state Department of Public Safety.
After her retirement from state service, Bianca transitioned to the position of Program Director for the MA in Criminal Justice Program at Meredith College, bringing the same passion for a people-centered graduate program. She also serves on the board for NC-CURE (Citizens United for Restorative Effectiveness).
Bianca lives in Raleigh.
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.
Antione Lyles, better known as Lee, served over 15 years in prison for drug trafficking and possession. He was released in 2018. Today Lee is the Program Manager for OIC Wilson in Wilson County, NC.
OIC operates in 22 states and 19 countries, helping economically disadvantaged persons, regardless of race, creed, gender or criminal record, to complete or resume their education and obtain employment. He oversees the SOAR 4 and SOAR 6 reentry programs, which are designed specifically to reduce recidivism.
Lee is an accomplished singer and musician and serves as the Minister of Music at Greater Harvest Ministry in Tarboro, NC. He and his wife of 27 years, Danisha, live in Wilson, where Lee was born and raised. In his free time, Lee enjoys spending time with family and fishing.
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 residency program in Greensboro for men returning from prison.
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.
Board Vice President 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.