About Heart of Gold Ministries

Heart of Gold Ministries International is dedicated to providing programs that equip people to operate in their life purpose as this will assist individuals to grow in their God given talent. Heart of Gold Ministries International believes in providing the type of services that validate the individual while strengthening community. 

When you know who you are…

Heart of Gold Ministries International believes that as you know who you are and who you were born to be, that you have an opportunity to influence those around you, along with the generation that is coming alongside us.


Stephanie Claiborne


Stephanie was born in Los Angeles California and later moved to Anchorage Alaska with her mother. Stephanie was raised in Anchorage Alaska where she attended elementary, junior and high school. Stephanie received her associate degree in Human Services as well Bachelors degree in Human Services. Stephanie also has obtained her Chemical Dependency Counselor II. When Stephanie completed the first,second, and third year of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding California, she also completed her Master’s Degree in Professional Counseling at Grand Canyon University. Stephanie has also completed the first year of Emerging Prophets in Glasgow Scotland under the mentoring of Emma Stark with Glasgow Prophetic Centre. Stephanie also has helped to mentor and raise up ministry schools in Southeast Asia and also at Lemon Creek Correctional Center in Juneau, Alaska. Stephanie and her husband attend New Season AK as their primary church and are ordained as Associate Ministers with Global Prophetic Alliance under David and Emma Stark.Stephanie began her career in social services with Southcentral Foundation working with families who benefited from additional support. Stephanie then continued working for other agencies such as Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Office of Children’s Services, Salvation Army, and Genesis Recovery Services. Stephanie has a desire to see everyone live up to their full God given potential no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, ability, sexual orientation, or economic status. This desire is what was used to birth Heart Of Gold Ministries International.

Michael Claiborne


Michael has been a follower of Jesus Christ from an early age, and has always enjoyed serving in church.  He has been president of choirs, a singer, a director of Men’s choir and percussionist through the years. He presently loves to worship and pursue God’s presence with worship as he currently serves on a worship team. In 2023, Michael and Stephanie were ordained as Associate Ministers with Global Prophetic Alliance under David and Emma Stark. His desire is to see wholeness in people; mind body and spirit through missions ministry, life coaching and counseling. Michael has been a small business owner for most of his working career, currently owning a successful mobile notary signing agent business . Michael has over 15 years of sales experience in insurance, mutual funds debt consolidation and loan origination. With a focus on financial education, budgeting and planning for individuals and families. He also does financial seminars for churches entitled Maximize The 90 Percent and motivational speaking. He has a passion for teaching people fundamentals on how money works and the like.

Terria Vandenhuerk

Director of Programs

Terria Vandenhuerk has lived in Alaska since 1977. She has worked in the recovery community along side medical professionals and peers focusing on solutions for those suffering with substance use disorders. Her expertise is based on personal lived experience with trauma, foster care, juvenile detention, the criminal justice system and stopping the cycle through her own recovery process. She is educated on ambulatory opioid withdrawal management, medically assisted treatment, case management, relapse prevention and restorative justice practices that involves recovery services and re- entry. She is a certified peer coach and trainer and restorative justice coach specializing in victim offender dialogues. She has been featured in numerous media outlets, Ryan Hampton’s book “American Fix” and a CNN docuseries called “The Redemption Project”. Terria has worked with local and national advocates and legislators advocating for recovery resources to be more easily accessible. She is skilled in helping individuals navigate the recovery process, creating solutions and written plans, resource connection for employment, housing and education, reentry for returning citizens after incarceration and motivational teaching.

Louise Shavings

Parenting Program Coordinator

Louise Shavings, MSW has worked in the field of working with multicultural individuals & families for 15+ years. She also holds a BSW and an AAS in Human Services. She has worked for non-profit agencies and has managed two departments working with families. She also has had contracts with OCS, APIA, & other  Anchorage mental health organizations. Louise contracted with the State of AK as an expert witness regarding families.

Her expertise in working with families is providing both  individualized, couples & family  parenting education using an  evidenced based curriculum.

She is also one of the rarest in the State of  AK to provide Parent Coaching to individuals, couples & families guiding, directing and suggesting parent & families to work together by problem solving, learning to listen for content, communicate with one another with regard to each individual family member and ensuring they are following through with suggestions.

Her methods of non-judgmental, non-critical attitudes towards people she has worked with makes families more comfortable and open to receiving successful outcomes where families are reconnected, reunited and learn or relearn to live with and love one another in more harmonious relationships and unity within in their family systems.

Board of Directors

Kara Nelson

Vice President

Kara Nelson is an advocate, activist, and entrepreneur. She is founder of KLN Consulting LLC, an organization dedicated to creating community-based solutions for reentry and recovery programs, through consulting, training and storytelling. Also currently working with tele-medicine, providing recovery coaching along with medically assisted recovery, care coordination and physician care through an app based platform in Alaska, Washington, Oregon and growing. Kara is the former Director of Haven House Juneau,
a recovery residence providing housing, peer support services, recovery and reentry assistance, advocacy and healing for women returning home from incarceration.A life-long Alaskan, a mother of three adult children, a woman in long term recovery from substance use disorder and formerly incarcerated, all contributes to her fierce dedication to bring freedom to many. She is the state’s co-lead for Recovery Advocacy Project (RAP), RAP is working to build a visible and effective constituency in demand of community and public policy based solutions in response to America’s long standing addiction crisis. Kara is a 2016 Just Leadership USA (JLUSA), Leading with Conviction (LwC) cohort graduate and continues to be an active member.A multi-award winner, most notably, the Alaska First Lady’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2016 and in 2018, the Director’s Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Washington DC, for her leadership and advocacy dedicated to justice reform, elevating addiction recovery services, and fighting for the civil rights of those incarcerated and directly impacted. She has served on multiple boards and coalitions devoted to reentry, transitional services, corrections reform, and peer support, collaborating with lawmakers to shape ground-breaking legislation at state and federal levels. Most of all, Kara is passionate about seeing individuals, families, and communities experience healing, restoration, and transformation. She brings hope to those incarcerated across the country, is a volunteer chaplain for the Alaska Department of Corrections and is currently pursuing her 3rd year in ministry school.

Chris Nelson

Board Member

Chris has been Chaplain, Lemon Creek Correctional Center (LCCC), Juneau, AK  99802. Since 2014 – Present

This position is through Alaska Correctional Ministries,  a non-profit 501C3 organization that has a contract with the Alaska Department of Corrections to furnish chaplains to most of the correctional facilities throughout the State of Alaska.

Current Job Description and duties:  Primary duties is to provide and meet a variety of spiritual needs in a respectful and uplifting manner of  all those incarcerated that have commited crimes ranging from dug abuse to receiving multiple life sentences.

This includes conducting Sunday and holiday services, weekly Bible Studies, over sight of the local volunteers that minister and LCCC and one-on-one counseling. The job site ranges from a traditional chapel setting to the maximum security unit area.

Other Work Experience:

Have been in a position of Christian leadership for over 45 years.  Extending from sitting on Elder boards of different churches to Bible Teaching at various levels in several different church settings.

Venus Woods

Board Member

Venus Woods is a grass-roots community advocate, activist and entrepreneur for criminal justice reform and recovery advocacy.  A lifelong Alaskan, mother of three daughters, and a formerly incarcerated woman in long term recovery from substance use disorder. Through her personal experiences, she works to reduce the stigma, and prejudice surrounding formerly incarcerated and/or convicted individuals and people who use or inject drugs. 

 In addition to being a 2017 Leading with Conviction (LwC) cohort graduate with JustLeadershipUSA, she is also Alaska’s co-lead for Recovery Advocacy Project (RAP), RAP is working to build a visible and effective constituency in demand of community and public policy based solutions in response to America’s addiction crisis.

Venus is a certified Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT) Facilitator and has facilitated groups for community reentry programs, community residential centers, and the Alaska Federal Hope Court. She has served on multiple boards and coalitions devoted to reentry, transitional services, corrections reform, and Peer Support. 

Currently, Venus is the Director of HIV Prevention and Education at the Four A’s.  Under her leadership, Four A’s provides critical harm reduction services through Four A’s Syringe Access Program (FASAP). The largest syringe access provider in the state, this program distributed just under 1 million syringes in 2019 and disposed of even more used syringes, greatly reducing the risk of sharing needles and spreading disease. Not only does FASAP reduce risk of HIV transmission for drug users, it is a safe space where clients can come without judgement – a place where they know they are cared for and can access resources and information on how to begin down the road to recovery should they chose. 

Colleen “Yaari” Walker

Board Member 

Yaari was born to Herman and Esther Toolie of Savoonga, Alaska. Her paternal grandparents are Jimmie and Mabel Toolie and maternal grandparents are Donald and Laura Pungowiyi . Her clan is Aymaaramka and sub-clan is Sanighmelnguq. Yaari’s husband is Marq Walker of High Point, North Carolina. Between Yaari and Marq, they have nine children. 

Yaari moved to Anchorage in 1997. She worked for the Alaska Native Heritage Center for 14 years. She taught about Alaskan Native cultures and facilitated cultural awareness workshops. Yaari taught Alaskan Native youth about traditional healing, how to gather medicinal plants, and how to make medicinal salves. She taught skin sewing, how to butcher seals, pluck duck, and cut fish. She has worked a numerous other jobs in the community and has volunteered throughout the community. 

Yaari has received numerous awards for the work she has done and has been recognized as a Traditional Bearer from her region. 

Sharla Mylar

Board Member

Born and raised in Southern California, Sharla took a circuitous route to Anchorage, Alaska where she serves as an assistant attorney general and legislative liaison for the state.

Practical ways I can help to move the Heart of Gold mission forward may include intentional intercession, developing language for core messaging, and bringing a unique perspective from extensive  travels, non-profit and government work, and a legal education.

Other current nonprofit involvement:

Board member of Governor’s Prayer Breakfast

Advisory Board Member of R1:99 (organization serving and counseling sex-trafficking victims)

Juris Doctor, licensed in CA and AK
Regent University School of Law
Virginia Beach, VA

Master of Arts in Applied Linguistics 
Boston University 
Boston, MA

Bachelor of Arts in English and Spanish
Westmont College 
Santa Barbara, CA

Advisory Board

Chaplain David Arestad

Chaplain David Arestad

Seward Alaska

Grant and Jean Handley

Grant and Jean Handley

South Africa

Joanna Zhou

Joanna Zhou

South East Asia

Neha Raut

Neha Raut

Pune, India

Sherri Dodd

Sherri Dodd

North Pole, Alaska