Michelle Daniel

President, Board of Directors

Michelle Daniel is a founding member and chair of the board of Constructing Our Future and the 2020 recipient of the Angela Davis Prize for her scholarship and work to end mass incarceration.  She is currently a fourth-year doctoral student in the American Studies program at New York University while living in Indianapolis with her husband.  She is interested in excavating the collateral consequences of criminal convictions for people and families directly impacted by mass incarceration.  Michelle’s advocacy extends beyond the classroom through collaborations and opportunities to speak truth to power. While incarcerated, she presented legislative testimony on a reentry alternative she created that was approved by the Indiana State Interim Committee on the Criminal Code.  As a subject matter expert, she serves in the development and operation of task forces, think tanks and initiatives to reduce harm and end mass incarceration and has joined the boards of Worth Rises and Correctional Association of New York and advisory boards of the Urban Institute and A Touch of Light.

Michelle was a 2017-18 Beyond the Bars fellow, a 2017-18 Research Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, and a 2018-19 Ford Foundation Bearing Witness Fellow with Art for Justice, 2019 SOZE Right of Return Fellow, 2019 Code for America Fellow and 2019-2020 Mural Arts Fellow.  Michelle is currently under contract with The New Press to publish the history of Indiana’s carceral institutions for women with fellow incarcerated and formerly incarcerated scholars.  As an artist, Michelle is interested in finding ways to funnel her research pursuits into theater, dance, and photography.  Her original play, “The Duchess of Stringtown” (co-authored with Anastazia Schmid) was produced in December 2017 in Indianapolis and New York City. Her artist installation about stigma, “Point of Triangulation,” ran September 26, – October 1, 2019, at NYU Gallatin Gallery in New York, March 6-8, 2020 at the Beyond the Bars Conference at Columbia University, and with new November 14, 2020 – January 1, 2021 at the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Karen Wurster

Secretary, Board of Directors

Karen Wurster is a marketing consultant as President, Eagles Shores Consulting which she founded after retiring as a Marketing Executive at Eli Lilly and Co. Karen has a deep belief in the difference that stable housing in a supportive environment can make in a person’s life. In addition to serving COF, Karen is on the board of PACE (Public Advocates in Community re-Entry), and is an active volunteer with Back on My Feet and Habitat for Humanity

Brian Shaw

Treasurer, Board of Directors

Brian Shaw is a career finance professional with a passion for developing leaders and improving conditions for underserved and underrepresented populations. Fostered by the development opportunities provided to him and the inspirational leaders in his life, this passion has served as his compass, allowing him to develop leaders throughout his career and impact the nonprofit organizations he has served in meaningful ways.

Currently, as a Finance Advisor in Eli Lilly’s Corporate Finance & Investment Banking group, Brian leads the financial analysis, external engagement, and internal governance for selected business development projects including in-licensing opportunities, acquisitions, and equity investments. He is actively engaged in recruiting, serving as one of the functional recruiting champs for the finance division. Brian is also the founder and program coordinator of Eli Lilly’s Finance Leadership Development Program (FLDP).

Previously, as the FP&A Director for Eli Lilly’s Japan affiliate in Kobe, Japan, Brian led and developed a group of international MBAs and contractors who drove the strategic planning and management reporting for the affiliate. Brian has also held finance roles in Lilly’s International Business Unit and US Affiliate.  Before joining Eli Lilly, Brian spent several years at General Electric’s Healthcare-IT Division in sales leadership roles.

Brian holds an MBA from Washington University (St. Louis, MO), Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech (Atlanta, GA), and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA).

Lisa Livingston

Board of Directors

Lisa Livingston brings strong experience in helping women find success through supportive housing and services. She is the founder and executive director of the Breakaway recovery house in New Albany, IN. Lisa also brings construction experience she has developed as the co-owner of Lisa’s Roofing and Construction.

“I am in recovery and my passion is helping women with drug and alcohol problems loving them until they can learn to love yourself.”

Chrissy Vasquez

Board of Directors

Chrissy Vasquez is a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) and nonprofit consultant. She specializes in fundraising, board and leadership development, and marketing. Chrissy is passionate about helping others reach their full potential and has a personal mission statement of “empowering others to live their best life.”

Chrissy has her MBA from Indiana University and Bachelor degree from Arizona State University. Chrissy also has a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University.

In addition to Constructing Our Future, she serves on the Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity Board of Directors. Chrissy is a member of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business Dean’s Council, Impact 100, and Association of Fundraising Professionals. Chrissy co-hosts a podcast called The Business Edge.

Chrissy is passionate about triathlon and has completed several 70.3 races and one 140.6 race. She loves music, running, golf, home improvement projects, volunteering and her fur babies Boyd and Maizey (dogs) and Ms. Kitty (cat) – all rescues.

Andrea Ayietta

Board of Directors

Andrea Ayietta Native of Indianapolis, Indiana.  Andrea started as a participant with RecycleForce in 2018 after a 10yr sentence to the Indiana Dept. of Corrections. Andrea is now the Job Developer for RecycleForce. This line of work became evident to her purpose as it has played an intricate part in her own rehabilitation! Helping others who resonate with her own personal experiences has been the most rewarding experience! Andrea believes every Justice involved individual is capable of being rehabilitated if they’re supported with resources. Andrea is currently continuing her studies in Human Services at Indiana Wesleyan University where she’ll most likely continue to serve her community in a philanthropic way, right where she feels she’s most needed!

Jessie Cobb-Denard

Board of Directors

Jessie Cobb-Dennard is an attorney at Sallee Law, LLC in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana with the sole focus of her practice being Family Law. In addition, she is a Guardian ad Litem and a Registered Domestic Relations Mediator. Jessie became a part of Constructing Our Future back in 2017 when her passion for reentry work was sparked by the closing of the IREF facility in Indianapolis. Her disappointment was quoted in an article published by the Indiana Lawyer, and founders of COF reached out to her to channel that affection to furthering their vision. In her personal life, Jessie enjoys spending time with her husband, Jamar, and their daughter, worshipping at Turning Point Family Worship Center, and obsessively watching The Young & The Restless

Rheann Kelly

Board of Directors

Rheann Kelly received her B.A. in Business Management through Oakland City University in 2008. She also received certificates of completion in Culinary Arts and Cosmetology prior to achieving Department of Labor certification as an Animal Trainer. She is currently incarcerated and training service dogs through Indiana Canine Assistant Network while helping to develop Constructing Our Future, a program to allow women in prison to spend part of their sentences renovating abandoned houses in blighted neighborhoods, and working toward certification as a paralegal through Blackstone Career Institute.