Our Team

Drayton Nabers, Jr. Co-Founder

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Drayton is a graduate of Princeton University, earned his law degree from Yale University in 1965. Before returning to Birmingham to practice, he was a law clerk at Justice Hugo Black on the U.S. Supreme Court. Nabers has written two books on ethics and leadership: "The Case for Character" and "The Hidden Key to Happiness". 

Nabers became CEO of Birmingham-based Protective Life Corp. in 1992. He retired as chairman of the board in 2002. Drayton is former Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. He was appointed to the court in 2003 by Governor Bob Riley. 

Nabers is board chair for Cornerstone School of Alabama and a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham. He previously served as board chair for United Way of Central Alabama and Leadership Birmingham. He has been inducted into both the Alabama and Birmingham Business Halls of Fame. In 2011, he received the Birmingham Bar Association’s L. Burton Barnes Public Service Award.

Nearly 35 years ago Drayton read a book called “Born Again”, written by the late Charles Colson. Which inspires him to reach those that have been impacted by crime.
"God can use failure to do a work in us and often that is his most important work", Nabers said"

He teaches a class at in Alabama Prison every Friday morning on “Key to Happiness”. He is the co-founder of Offender Alumni Association movement.


Deborah Daniels, Co-Founder

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Deborah has championed many causes in Alabama, as well as actively serving on numerous committees and task forces focused on reducing recidivism of former offenders.  Despite having been a repeat offender herself, she has evolved as a vocal change agent for empowering former offenders.  It is her belief that having access to the necessary resources, tools and support most former offenders are more likely to transition back to society successfully and become productive citizens.  She firmly believes the missing component to reforming the criminal justice system is positioning offenders for positive change and empowerment to maintain the change.  With our incarceration being our nation’s leading crisis, Deborah is equipped to understand what is needed to make a significant difference.

 


Dena Dickerson, Executive Director

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Dena is a positive example of successfulness after incarceration.  Previously serving as a case manager for a men’s homeless shelter, she acquired greater insight for the need of assistance for former offenders.  She believes that others, through their lived experiences, are uniquely purposed to provide support, assistance and encouragement  to newly released offenders in becoming successful and productive citizens. 

Dena’s analogy of the role of OAA helping former offenders: It’s almost like coming to the edge of the forest and the person wants to come to the other side because everything is so beautiful...and they just can’t make that step...and you just reach your hand in and say “I got you..”

Contact: dena1oaa@gmail.com | 205-434-3423


Lisa Guss, Director of Development

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Lisa is an example of a successful second chance. She responded to God's voice while incarcerated and subsequently began to serve her time in prison as His servant. She completed mentor training and ministry training prior to her release and served in various capacities as she continued to look forward. God is faithful and saw her through to an early release. 

Since coming home, Lisa still serves the Lord in various capacities. She volunteers with her church and other ministries, studies, and works. Lisa's mentoring experience and training within prison and reentry as well her life experience and peer specialist training help to fuel her belief in the OAA. Seeing what God has done in her life and in the lives of others is ultimately why she supports this movement and the mission. She brings a mature spiritual background with her to the group to aid her vision for development.


Stephanie Hicks, Administrative Director

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Stephanie is a new former offender who is currently living life post incarceration.  Having been connected to OAA prior to incarceration opened her awareness to the significant barriers she may face as a former offender returning home.  However, her awareness did not minimize those challenges most former offenders encounter.  While Stephanie may not be considered the typical offender or repeat offender, the stigma surrounding incarceration is an ever-present reality for all former offenders.

Stephanie brings to OAA a desire to assist former offenders in trying to acquire training, assistance and resources to positively impact the rate of recidivism.  The current recidivism rates in the U.S. according to a United States Sentencing Commission’s 2016 study (in conjunction with the Bureau of Justice Statistics) found a 28.2 recidivism rate for state offenders within five years that led to an incarceration, compared to 20.7 percent of the federal offenders.  Based on the overwhelming statistics, Stephanie is committed to being a change agent for those former offenders who want to pursue a productive, successful life.

Contact: stephaniehick.oaa@gmail.com | 205-490-8239