Executive Director - Megan, MSW, LSW
A licensed social worker, Megan has worked at Gracehaven since 2009. A summa cum laude graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in social work, Megan has long possessed a passion for working with and serving women who have been sexually abused.
Megan served as Gracehaven’s caseworker for several years as she earned her master’s degree in social work administration from The Ohio State University. She has served as chief operating officer for Gracehaven since mid-2012. In her service to Gracehaven, Megan has played an important role in the organization’s education, training and outreach initiatives, and in working with other local organizations that provide services and support to at-risk children. She serves as Social Service Committee chair and is on the Steering Committee for The Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition (CORRC). Megan also serves as a representative on the Ohio Network of Anti Human Trafficking Coalitions.
She has led support groups for sex trafficking survivors and taught sex trafficking prevention classes at Scioto Correctional Facility; and has also led awareness and prevention educational training for high-risk children at the Juvenile Detention Center in Franklin County. Megan has also educated middle school and high school students about human trafficking and has led training sessions designed to teach social workers, lawyers, law enforcement, foster parents and health care professionals to better understand how to identify the warning signs that a child is under the control of a trafficker, so they can connect victims with services and support they need.
Before becoming Executive Director, Megan served as chief operating officer for Gracehaven, providing a leadership role in managing the organization’s staff, and in developing policies and procedures to support its growth. She has worked in partnership with the Central Ohio Rescue and Restore Coalition to develop a peer review tool to be used to develop quality standards for Ohio’s anti-human trafficking agencies and to evaluate how various agencies adhere to those standards.
While earning her undergraduate degree, Megan also served at the YWCA’s Permanent Supportive Housing Program for formerly homeless women struggling with mental illness and addiction. She has also served as a pastoral assistant at Vineyard Church of Columbus where her work included assisting the church’s women’s prison ministry, outreach to the homeless, leading a women’s group, pastoral counseling and sermon research for the senior pastor. Megan also worked at the church’s food pantry and in its nursing home ministry outreach; and has organized and led a recovery group for survivors of sexual abuse.
Megan's greatest joy in life is being "Aunt Megan" to her many nieces and nephews, a job she takes very seriously. When not working or with the kids she is listening to Bob Dylan, Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, Al Green and the Rolling Stones, watching movies or reading 3 books at once.
You can reach Megan at email@example.com
Director of Development and Finance - David
David Gay graduated from The Ohio State University (B.A., English) and obtained a Certificate of Ministry Completion through Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He served from 2002-2011 as Executive Director of Lower Lights Ministries, a Christian community development organization in the Franklinton neighborhood of Columbus, before transitioning to Chief Financial Officer. Prior to his work with Lower Lights Ministries, David served on pastoral staff at Highpoint Nazarene Church in Delaware, Ohio.
Today, David continues to serve Franklinton with many community partners including MissionColumbus Institute for Community Initiatives where he serves as Board Member/Treasurer. He and his wife of 10 years, Jamilyn, and their two sons reside in Franklinton.
You can reach David at firstname.lastname@example.org
Outreach Case Manager- Melissa, MSW, LSW
Melissa Niemie Nathan is licensed social worker. She graduated summa cum laude from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in clinical social work. Her professional experience includes: case management with homeless families through the Salvation Army, addiction treatment (group and individual therapy) through the Columbus Public Health Department and ER / OB social work with Mount Carmel. Additionally, Melissa spent a quarter while pursuing her BSSW working with street children in Chennai, India, a quarter after graduation working on a community development project in Uzbekistan, and most recently 3 years serving as an outreach coordinator with families impacted by HIV/AIDS in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Melissa has had a distinct calling towards social justice and marginalized people from a young age (12) when she began regularly working at Vineyard Columbus’ food pantry. She has particular grace and passion for females who have been prostituted, females who are addicted and incarcerated females.
Melissa has been married to her kindergarten sweetheart and best friend for 11 years and is mother to 3 fantastic boys: Jude (9), Asher (6) and Marcus (3). In Melissa’s free time she tries to squeeze in as much NPR, reading, and ethnic food as possible.
You can reach Melissa at email@example.com
Educational Specialist and Outreach Social Worker - Bethany – MSW, LISW
Bethany Barney is a licensed social worker. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in social work from Ohio University and went on to complete a master’s degree in clinical social work at The Ohio State University, also graduating with a certificate in school social work. Bethany began her career working at Gladden Community House, a settlement house in Franklinton. There she had the opportunity to run groups with middle school girls, as well as work with families and neighborhood schools. Bethany’s career also includes family therapy, homelessness prevention, school resource coordination and medical case management.
Long before her degree, social work was a part of Bethany’s life. She remembers times in her childhood setting up cots and gathering toiletries for homeless families who stayed at her church on a regular rotation. She has always been drawn to justice, but that passion has been growing since she began attending International Justice Mission’s Global Prayer Gathering in 2007.
In her free time Bethany likes to explore new places, play or listen to music, cook and spend time with her full-of-life nieces and nephew. Bethany has been married to her best friend, Peter, for just over two years and they dream of someday taking a long road trip to wherever God may lead.
You can reach Bethany at firstname.lastname@example.org
Volunteer and Special Events Coordinator - Kendra
Kendra is a graduate from Otterbein College with degrees in Sociology and Communications. Most of her career has been spent dealing with children and families in the foster care system, helping them reunite and working toward healthy relationships.
Being an avid runner, Kendra throughly enjoys the outside and takes advantage of all types of weather to run and see God's glory in the day ahead. In her downtime, Kendra organizes and promotes healthy lifestyles through walking. She is founder and co-owner of Step and Stride.
You can reach Kendra at email@example.com
Executive Assistant - Shelbie
Shelbie comes to us with 20 years of experience as an administrative assistant to several pastors, working for Vineyard Church of Delaware County, Vineyard Church of Columbus, and Ascension Lutheran Church in the Columbus area. She is the behind the scenes person who loves to make everyone else’s job easier by doing whatever is needed to keep everything organized.
She was also the marriage ministry coordinator at VCDC and completed the certificate program at Ashland Theological Seminary in Formational Prayer and Healing Care Ministries. Her heart has always been to help others know their identity in Christ.
Shelbie has been married for 20 years to Nick and has two grown children.
You can reach Shelbie at firstname.lastname@example.org