EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Michelle Payette

"...let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Matthew 5:16

Michelle Payette is a commissioned minister, educator, and public speaker. She has been personally invested in prison ministry since 2010 when she was incarcerated in the New York State prison system. During her nearly two years “inside”, Michelle earned her New York State Legal Research Certification, worked as an inmate law clerk and received training in and facilitated a New York State mandated parenting program. Michelle returned to her hometown in upstate New York and continues to serve her community. She is devoted to addressing social needs by coming alongside families of the incarcerated and educating community members on how they can do the same. Michelle’s philosophy on life is, “In order to better the world we live in, we need to begin with ourselves. My struggles in life led me to a life of crime. My love for Jesus and Jesus' love for me led me away from it.” Michelle is an Angel Tree Engagement team member for the world's largest prison ministry, Prison Fellowship. She covers a 20-state territory, working with prison chaplains and administrators, church leaders, and community organizations to reconcile families of the incarcerated to one another and to God. She is a single mom of two adult children and “Grammie” of one. Michelle resides in Rexford, NY.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Susan Groh, President– Susan graduated with a degree in nursing from Emory University, in Atlanta, GA. She also graduated with a Master of Religious Education degree from Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. Susan has been involved in prison ministry, counseling female inmates, since 1995 in both Wisconsin and New York states. She regularly mentors women and enjoys teaching the curriculum from Neil Andersen’s “Freedom in Christ” series. Susan is self-published “Beauty Instead of Ashes”, a book on transformation Jesus’ touch had on people in biblical times and has on us today. Susan and her husband, Greg, live in upstate New York where she grew up. Married for 43 years, she and Greg have two daughters and a son and 7 grandchildren. 

  • Virginia Augustine, Vice-President– Virginia attended City College of New York and graduated with a BSN degree in nursing. She enjoys being a homemaker and a woman’s gymnastic judge.  Virginia grew up in Carle Place, NY and moved to Clifton Park, NY where she now resides with her husband of 32 years, Frank. She and Frank have a daughter who is fully employed and a son who is in his senior year in college. She enjoys crafting and volunteering for Christian works.

  • Michael Crowley, CPA PC, Treasurer – Michael has a BS Accounting and Business Administration from SUNY at Albany and also attended classes for the MBA Health Systems Management at Union College in Schenectady, NY. Michael served in the US Army as a Sergeant and is a Vietnam-Era Veteran. Savings accumulated during his tour of duty allowed him to attend college entirely at his own expense. He was the recipient of the Wall Street Journal Award for achievement of a 4.0 GPA over 2 years. Michael is a preceptor, mentor and occasional lecturer to Union College’s MBA programs in Health System Administration, Leadership in Medicine and Accounting. Michael is married with two children and enjoys tennis, golf, football, skiing and water sports.

  • Carol Frost-Cyrus, Secretary - Carol graduated from SUNY Potsdam with a Computer Science degree. After several years of employment with General Motors and General Electric, she became a stay at home mom and returned to work part-time when her youngest child entered elementary school, at which time she worked as a substitute teacher as well as in various capacities at her church, Grace Chapel. She continues to work at Grace Chapel in the position of office administrator. Carol and her husband, Duane, reside in Burnt Hills. They have five children and two grandchildren.

  • James Warden, Advisor – James attended Valparaiso University graduating with a B.S.M.E. James is President of Tri Nuclear Corp. where he began working in 1980.  Prior to that he worked for General Electric Company and Combustion Engineering Company. James serves on the Missions Committee of his church, Grace Chapel, where he has been a member since 2000. He and his wife, Debra, reside in Clifton Park, NY.  They have two daughters, three grandsons and two granddaughters who reside in Chattanooga, TN and Ft. Collins, CO.

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