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The Touch of Light Team

Daniel Shea

President and Co-Founder 

Daniel is a recent graduate of the University of Washington, with a Bachelor's Degree in International Business and one year of Mandarin Chinese language studies. He holds an Associate of Liberal Arts Degree and a Vocational Certificate in Graphic Design from Walla Walla Community College, which he earned while incarcerated. Daniel is himself a former prisoner, with 10 years of experience in state and privately-owned facilities in Arizona, Oklahoma, Minnesota, and Washington. In addition to running A Touch of Light, he serves as a Board member and Director of Marketing for A/NT Gallery, a local non-profit arts organization at the Seattle Center.

Linda Piekkola

Advisory Board Chairwoman

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We're honored to welcome Linda Piekkola as Chairwoman of our Advisory Board - Linda has been a long-term supporter of A Touch of Light, and brings substantial experience to our organization. She has previously served as Chairwoman of United Way for over a decade while working for the Everett Herald, served as a Juvenile Diversion Court Judge for Snohomish County, and ran a soup kitchen program for the homeless population in Hoquiam, Washington.

Al Novak

Advisory Board Member

Release Housing Specialist

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Al Novak served in the U.S. Army from 1957-1960, and moved to Washington State from Wisconsin in 1975. He worked in the construction trades until his retirement in 2004, and has three years of experience managing transitional release housing properties.

Doug Crandall

Advisory Board Member

Leadership & Corporate Engagement


Doug is a graduate of West Point and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has led multiple units in the Army, and consulted for Walmart and Amazon. For five years, Doug taught leadership, advanced leadership, and leading organizations through change at West Point, where he won the Excellence in Teaching Award. Doug is the co-author of four books: Permission to Speak FreelySay AnythingHope Unseen, and Leadership Lessons from West Point, has published articles in the International Journal of Servant-Leadership and written case studies for both Stanford and Harvard’s business schools. For three years, Doug taught business and leadership courses in the Associate of Arts Degree program at Coyote Ridge Correction Center in Washington State.

Michelle Daniel

Advisory Board Member

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Michelle Daniel is a third-year doctoral student in the American Studies program at New York University.  She is interested in excavating the collateral consequences of criminal convictions for people and families directly impacted by mass incarceration, in addition to participating in a scholarly project challenging the narratives of the history of women’s prison with a group of incarcerated scholars. Even while incarcerated, Michelle published and presented her research findings to dispel notions of about the reach and intellectual capacity of justice-involved women.  Michelle’s advocacy extends beyond the classroom through collaborations and

opportunities to speak truth to power. While incarcerated, she presented legislative testimony on a reentry alternative she created for long-term incarcerated people that was approved by the Indiana State Interim Committee on the Criminal Code and has joined the advisory boards of the Lumina Foundation and the Urban Institute. 

She is a founding member and chairwoman of the board of Constructing Our Future, a reentry alternative for women created by incarcerated women in Indiana and a 2017-18 Beyond the Bars fellow, a 2017-18 Research Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, and a 2018-19 Ford Foundation Bearing Witness Fellow with Art for Justice, 2019 SOZE Right of Return Fellow, 2019 Code for America Fellow and 2019-2020 Mural Arts Fellow.  Michelle is currently under contract with The New Press to publish the history of Indiana’s carceral institutions for women with fellow incarcerated and formerly incarcerated scholars.  As an artist, further, Michelle is interested in finding ways to funnel her research pursuits into theater, dance and photography.  Her original co-authored play, “The Duchess of Stringtown,” was produced in December 2017 in Indianapolis and New York City and her artist installation about stigma, “Point of Triangulation,” ran September 26, - October 1, 2019 at NYU Gallatin Gallery in New York and the Beyond the Bars Conference at Columbia University, March 6 – 8, 2020.

Sheila Nelson

Community Sponsor Volunteer

Veteran Handicrafts Program

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Sheila served in the Army National Guard for eleven years before being honorably discharged, and was one of the first female soldiers to work in an infantry unit handling communications. She was later incarcerated for nine months in a woman's prison, and credits her probation officer for believing in her and encouraging her to seek higher education. She graduated as an Honor Student from Wilston State College in North Dakota in 2008. Sheila is excited to join the team at ATOL, and is passionate about sharing with others the same hope and encouragement to succeed as she has received.

Rosalie Connell

Executive Assistant

Rosalie is a former U.S. Naval Officer, and has also served as a volunteer firefighter and Sheriff's Deputy. She is the mother of a prisoner, and is currently retired to Florida, where she volunteers her time to help answer the phones and assists with our prisoner outreach programs.

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