Our Board Members

Cyndy and Jay GusslerCyndy Gusler – Founder and Executive Director

Cyndy has been involved in ministry for over 25 years; but God gave her the vision for From the Vine Ministries in 2008, when she was in a position of leadership in a local church. Despite a growing women’s ministry and sufficient resources to accomplish much for His Kingdom, she felt Him calling her to go outside of the church’s walls to reach women who, for whatever reason, did not feel comfortable stepping inside a church. FTVM is her passion, and she not only teaches Bible Studies at The Vineyard, but is involved in some way in most of the groups that meet there.

Cyndy graduated from Spring Arbor College with an English Major/Drama Minor and Secondary Teaching Degree, and she has a Masters Degree from Michigan State University in Organization and Communication. After teaching in middle and high schools for 10 years, she now focuses full-time on FTVM, creating and running programs that God puts on her heart as women present their needs. Cyndy’s hobbies include reading, cooking, hosting and entertaining, teaching God’s Word, and laughing and hugging – a lot. To hear more of Cyndy's story, click here.

Raechell Braxton – President

Raechell Braxton has a heart for disillusioned people. Whether it be a teenager who needs to realize her self-worth or a divorced woman who needs to find her true identity, she utilizes God's Word to empower and give hope to people in seemingly hopeless situations. Her volunteer activites include co-writing for Refuge Temple Ministries, Inc., drama team, i.e., TRUTH-IN-ACTION PRODUCTIONS; co-directing the Women's Ministry Auxiliary, where she oversees and mentors women; and Minister/Teacher of Youth and Young Adult Ministry Auxiliary.

Raechell earned her B.A. is Mass Communication from the University of Southern Misssissippi. Her career has included diverse roles such as marketing and project management for residential remodeling and specialized banking services. 

Bill St. Clair – Vice-President / Treasurer

Bill has over 30 years experience in the CFO, Business Advisory, Controller and Internal Audit areas.  Nine years were with Exxon, where he sharpened his financial evaluation, financial reporting and internal control skills. . In 2002 he was confident that he could use his skills and experiences to assist the underserved small company that needed the experience of a CFO but could not afford one full-time.   Since then he has served as a strategic business partner for small business owners in a wide variety of industries such as non-profit, manufacturing, real estate, retail, medical services, franchise services, software development and a residential moving company.  He possesses high-level skills in strategic business planning, establishment of operational/financial controls, transaction structuring, systems integration, human resources, and risk management. He also has expertise in developing financial forecasts that have been used by his clients to raise capital and support their business plans.

He served on the Board of Literacy Advance for 3 years, which provides literacy services to adults in Houston.  He continues to serve on the Board of the Friends of the Texas Medical Center Library, which serves all of the hospitals and students in the Texas Medical Center.  He served four years as the Director of the spiritually based Upward Basketball and Cheerleading league that serves hundreds of children in the Houston area. He serves on the Legislative Committee of the Cy-Fair ISD, keeping citizens and legislators informed of the impact of potential legislation on area schools.  He is a member of the Friends of the School of Christian Thought at HBU and is also active in the Greater Houston Partnership and the Cy-Fair Chamber of Commerce. Bill earned his MBA specializing in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.  He earned his BSBA in Banking and Finance from Mississippi State University.

Mary Slattery – Secretary

Mary recently retired after working 15 years as a Pastor’s Assistant at a Cypress area church.  Prior to working at the church, she lived overseas (Dubai, UAE & Singapore) for 4 years for her husband’s job.  She has also worked in the oil & gas industry and medical field. Mary attended college at Sam Houston State University for Nursing. Married 37 wonderful years to Bill Slattery,  they have a daughter and 4 adorable grandchildren.  Mary trusted Jesus as her Lord & Savior on 10/11/1989, and was baptized with her husband & daughter. The Slattery’s are currently members at Houston NW Church.

Roy Eriksen – Board Member

Roy Eriksen is the owner of Goliath Capital Management, LLC, a financial consulting and marketing firm located in Houston, Texas.  Mr. Eriksen brings over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry, holding various positions with both large financial institutions and private corporations.  In addition to his service as board member with From The Vine Ministries, he also serves as a committeeman and board member with other local non-profits such as The Get Together Northwest, Sports Quest Ministries, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  Mr. Eriksen got his Bachelors of Science degree from Texas A&M University.

 

Sheila Kelly – Board Member

Sheila works part-time and loves to travel; but her true heart is in servanthood, after experiencing the grief from the deaths of two brothers, her own baby, and a niece to suicide. The Lord has helped her to be brave enough to share her story and bold enough to share the Lord’s grace with those who want to hear what Jesus Christ has done in her life. Sheila has two adult sons and three grandchildren.

 

 

Michelle Warren – Board Member

Michelle is a Louisiana native who has been in the Houston area for almost 10 years. She is a graduate of TCU (BA, Theatre, Radio-TV-Film) and Emerson College (MA, Theatre Education) and is a children's theatre director and public school teacher. Michelle is also active in her church community, serving as a small group leader with her husband, Kevin. They have 3 young children who keep them busy!