Reverend Dr. Alexander Gee, President & Founder, is the visionary of Nehemiah. He is a loving husband and father and also a pastor, writer, community activist, life coach, international lecturer, relief worker and social entrepreneur. His interests include: understanding the impact of fatherlessness on the African American community, cross-cultural leadership empowerment, spiritual life coaching, motivational speaking, mentoring, and transformational leadership development.
Dr. Gee studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Fuller Seminary’s Distance Learning Program and Bakke Graduate University, where he earned his doctorate. The author of two books and a local radio host, his relief work and motivational lectures have lately taken him to Cambodia, Korea and South Africa.
Anthony Cooper, Sr. (“Coop”), Director of Reentry Services, uses his life experiences to help men in the Madison community. A devoted husband and father of two sons, he dedicates his time to ensure that men leaving prison are re-acclimated to society. Anthony brings over 10 years of job development and mentoring experience to this role. He has served as a placement specialist, corporate recruiter, Fatherhood Program facilitator at the Urban League of Greater Madison and as Owner/Director of Opportunity Tree, Inc.
As the Director of Reentry Services, Anthony is responsible for networking with employers, partnering with community organizations and the Dept. of Corrections, mentoring and establishing mentor relationships, and operating the Nehemiah House and Dignity House. Anthony has a strong passion for changing the view of incarcerated individuals in society so they no longer feel imprisoned when released.
Anthony Ward, Director of BROTHER, has been working with youth ages kindergarten to High school since 1997. Anthony has an associates in Criminal Justice from Madison College and is currently finishing his bachelors at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, majoring in Community & Non-profit leadership. Anthony is dedicated to inspiring and enabling young people through building relationships and creating positive hip hop music under the name, A.N.T. Da Hope Boy. Anthony also is a dynamic motivational speaker and minister who has spoken at several regional youth conferences, school assemblies, and community centers.
Barry Sherbeck, is a visual artist, photographer, writer, digital media specialist, and teacher, working with video, photography, websites, interactive media, social media, and marketing for almost 30 years on behalf of businesses and nonprofit organizations. He creates and exhibits fine art photographs, and curates art exhibits in the Madison area. Barry lives in Madison with his wife and two daughters. He enjoys music, walking, reading, cooking, discussions about faith and culture, and making daily photographs of interesting light, shadow, and detail.
Gloria Manadier-Farr, Director of Community Chaplaincy & Allied Empowerment Services, is a licensed Minister of Fountain of Life Church and licensed Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor. She has worked in several positions throughout Dane County, including: Allied Wellness Center, Harper Adult Family Home, Rise-Up Inc., Tellurian U-CAN, Madison Inner City Council on Substance Abuse, and Mental Health Center of Dane County. Most notably, Gloria has over 18 years of experience in the fields of substance abuse, trauma, and mental health. She worked for seven years as the Program Director for Genesis Development Corporation, serving primarily African American families of Dane County and surrounding areas.
Jasmine Zapata, MD, Empowerment Coordinator and Assistant Director of the Madison Allied Community Gospel Choir, is a mother, wife, pediatrician, singer, songwriter, musician, and community leader. She loves working alongside her mother as a co leader of the choir. Ever since the sudden death of her 16 year old brother in 2007, she has been passionate about spreading the message of “hope, strength and the power to overcome” to not only her patients but to the kids she works with in the community. One of her favorite activities is holding empowerment sleepovers with teen girls across the city focusing on self-esteem, inner beauty, healthy relationships, and positive choices.
Julia Saffold, Program Director of Performing Arts for Madison Allied Community Gospel Choir (MACGC), is a ‘sought after’ choral director and gifted teacher of music with a sharp ear for both vocalists and instrumentalists. Having served as guest directress for several choir workshops and community programs, Julia’s 30+ years of directing experience, along with her anointed and energetic style, encourages, motivates, and demands excellence, from those whom she serves. Julia’s passion to encourage and uplift others is greatly inspired by the life of her son, Aaron Battle, who suddenly passed away in 2007 at the age of 16. As a result, Julia, along with her daughter Jasmine Zapata, M.D. (Empowerment Coordinator for MACGC) instituted MACGC’s theme to spread the message of “Hope, Strength, & the Power to Overcome” with the goal to help empower others to overcome various obstacles in their lives as well. Julia currently serves as Director of Choral Ministries and Worship Team Leader at Fountain of Life Covenant Church. She cherishes being a grandmother and is happily married to husband, Melvin Saffold, who also plays organ at their church.
Karen Reece, Director of Nehemiah Center for Justice and Reconciliation, is a research scientist by trade and holds a Ph.D. granted from University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Karen brings to the table her volunteer experience in reentry with Madison Urban Ministry and Voices Beyond Bars as well as years of experience with loved ones involved in the criminal justice system. Karen was born and raised in Madison, WI and every time she would think of moving away something would come up, so she just decided to stay. When she’s not doing research and/or organizing events, Karen enjoys the local music scene (particularly Hip-Hop), playing the cello and singing, and fighting for social justice.
Ozanne J. Anderson, Director of ACE Youth Empowerment Services and Director of MID Youth Empowerment Services, is the only girl of four children in her family from Milwaukee, WI. Collectively Ozanne has worked with children and youth for over twenty years. State certified as an Early Childhood Education Program Director, she has worked in both children’s and youth ministries for her home church. As a creative outlet, Ozanne uses her passion for music, singing and dance or writes poetry when inspired to capture quiet moments. She has been married for 13 years and has three children of her own; they are her joy.
Rich Henderson, Executive Manager, grew up in Denver as the youngest of three boys. After getting a degree from Stanford University in Economics and Psychology, he worked in campus ministry for 25 years and then did a three-year stint at a church as the Local and Global Outreach Pastor. Now at Nehemiah, Rich keeps things and people running. He is especially good at organizing, leading, teaching, mentoring, influencing and showing hospitality. Rich loves his wife Martha (of course), people, games, sports (especially water skiing), snorkeling and diving, the arts, reading, travel, crossing cultural barriers and having fun.
Carrie Vanderford Sanders, Director of Community & Economic Development, is a seasoned advocate for growing financial capital in underserved markets. She has been an urban planner, a public finance professional, and a community development lender. At Nehemiah, she is charged with the role of developing the organization’s community and economic development initiatives. Carrie earned a Master’s in City Planning from MIT. Prior to joining the staff at Nehemiah, Carrie was a Trustee of the organization. Passionate about equitable development, Carrie brings her community finance skills and community development background to this work. When not working in community development, Carrie enjoys spending time with her family (she has a 1 year old daughter), singing in local choirs, volunteering with the Dane County Rape Crisis Center, and teaching at Edgewood College in the Sustainability Leadership Program.