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

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 Partner Attorney at The Northside Law Firm in Westfield, 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 family and her dog, Abel, worshipping at Calvary Tabernacle, 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.

Montez Day

Board of Directors

Montez Day has an associate degree from Indiana State University in Social behavior and an apprenticeship as a Peer Specialist. He is an Advocate at Youth Advocate Programs, Inc., working with teenagers on probation. He is using this opportunity to be a positive role model and help navigate youth in his community out and away from the justice system. He also works as a Mentor Match Manager for Trusted Mentors which provides volunteer mentors to adults struggling with homelessness, reentry, and those aging out of foster care.

Kacey Rucker Rudolph

Board of Directors

Kacey Rucker Rudolph began her work with COF in 2017 during her last, of 8 incarcerations and her last pregnancy of 4 of those. This is why she now advocates so strongly for women/mothers transitioning from jails and prisons back to their communities.

As a formerly incarcerated mother/woman working daily to stay the course of positive re-entry while caring for her 6 children and herself, she has been dedicated to fighting for change where needed and helping to support and encourage other formerly incarcerated individuals with resources, information, and experience.

Kacey’s passion for housing stems from her own struggle with providing stable and safe housing for herself and her own children after being convicted of a felony(ies), as well as the opportunity she once had to work as a Leasing agent. While employed in this position she was able to see first hand how much it meant to children who were in an uncertain housing situation to feel safe knowing that they now have a place to call home with their mothers! These 2 instances, both, have fueled Kacey to not only work with COF but, she is currently working to build a property management and investment business in order to be able to offer stable and safe housing to those that are wanting and needing a home to safely relearn living life as a mother, daughter, sister, father, son, or brother after incarceration. It is Kacey’s hope to help the reentry process by providing affordable, safe, and stable homes to formerly incarcerated individuals within their communities.

Beth Davis

Board of Directors

Beth Davis I am retired after a 27-year career in Radio Advertising Sales. During my career, I also served on numerous community boards and oversight on community projects. I created and lead the M.A.I.N. (Meth Awareness Is Necessary) Team for several years and served on the board of the Lighthouse Recovery Center for 6 years during which time we purchased a large facility for recovering men and opened a recovery center for women.

My husband Tony and I have been married for 38 years and have raised, 4 children. We currently spend the winters in Florida and the summers in Indiana. We enjoy time with our children and grandchildren camping, boating, fishing and just being together.

I hope to bring my experience in serving on boards and my time with the Lighthouse Recovery Center, to the COF board. I look forward to offering guidance as the project continues to grow.

Senator J.D. Ford

Board of Directors

Elected on his 36th birthday, Senator J.D. Ford represents Hoosiers of Senate District 29 which encompasses parts of Boone, Hamilton and Marion counties. Senator Ford’s interests turned to public service at an early age, largely due to the careers of his grandparents. His maternal grandfather was a city councilman and his paternal grandmother was a city auditor. Senator Ford is a son of truck driver and an assisted care facility administrator for the elderly.

Senator Ford was the first person in his family to go to college. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Criminal Justice from The University of Akron and earned a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis on Human Services from Purdue University. Senator Ford has spent much of his career in higher education, “paying it forward” from his own experience as a first-generation college graduate. He also has held numerous executive-level positions for non-profits located here in Central Indiana.

Senator Ford is the first member of the LGBTQ+ community ever elected to the Indiana General Assembly and is proud to represent millennials across the State of Indiana. In addition to his duties as a legislator, Senator Ford also been appointed to numerous advisory committees and task forces, including but not limited to:

  • The Medicaid Advisory Committee
  • Civics Task Force
  • Redistricting Commission
  • Jail Overcrowding Task Force (2019)
  • Distressed Unit Appeals Board (2019)

Senator Ford enjoys swimming, basketball, reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family. He is also a proud member of Theta Chi Fraternity and resides in Wayne Township with his dog, Stella.

Irene Sherrel Russel

Board of Directors

Irene Sherrel Russell“s goal is to help women nurture their instincts of building not only a career but a healthy living environment in which their home life is comfortable and sustainable. Knowing first-hand the stigmas women face after incarceration when seeking employment, Irene Sherrel has made it one of her primary goals to help prepare women for tough interviews to gain sustainable employment encouraging them to reach for their dreams. She faced many challenges and stared negativity from others in the face when she was told she would not be able to find meaningful employment. 

Irene Sherrel obtained her Bachelor degree from Oakland City University. She has used the skills she learned to become a prominent member of the workforce holding positions from Hotel Manager of a 5-star hotel to a Purchasing Administrator for a multi-million-dollar company. 

“When placed in Work Release after 17 years in prison many thought I had nothing to offer the world and blatantly let me know this. From my case managers to some of the officers in charge of securing this facility. I was told I was aiming too high thinking I would land a position outside of flipping burgers with the amount of time I had served. I was determined to prove them wrong. My DOC number does not define who I am or the skills I have to offer. I want women to know if they can dream it they can do it. The sky is the limit. 

Parker Redelman

Board of Directors

Parker Redelman: Inspired by his mother’s work with the Indiana Women’s Prison and Indiana Canine Assistant Network, Parker has a passion for helping those in his community. In addition to Constructing our Future, he dedicates his time to The Patachou Foundation to help provide food for children around
Indianapolis.

Parker, a graduate of Wabash College (Crawfordsville, IN), currently works as a Sr. Financial Analyst for Eli Lilly’s Corporate Financial Planning team providing financial reporting, forecasting, and analysis to Lilly’s executive leadership. He also spends time leading Lilly’s summer internship for their finance function and mentoring young career professionals.

Outside or work, Parker is a dedicated triathlete and has completed races across a multitude of distances.

Magen Peters

Board of Directors

Magen Peters: Magen has always believed that you can reduce recidivism with stable, safe and supportive housing and brings to COF organization and new ideas for furthering our mission. She joined COF in 2020 helping with the real estate committee and officially joined the board in 2022. Magen is excited to further promote and expand our goal to provide safe and secure housing to females affected by incarceration.

Outside of Constructing Our Future, Magen helps support other local community organizations such as Second Helpings and Indianapolis Animal Care Services (adopt, don’t shop!) and manages a building supply facility on the Northwest side of Indianapolis. She spends weekends outside as much as possible with her teenage daughter and dog.