The Role of WIEA

Wisconsin Inmate Education Association is the catalyst for the partnership that makes Operation Transformation possible. The collaboration includes WIEA and Trinity International University. We function as the guardian of vision and results as we facilitate necessary planning, fundraising and implementation.

Board of Directors

Robin Knoll

Dean of Students

Prior to joining the Wisconsin Inmate Education Association, Robin worked for Elmbrook Church, serving as Director of James Place – Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education, coming alongside students and teachers alike, listening to their needs and offering care and guidance.  Prior to his time at the school, Robin served as President of Inspiration Ministries, a residential care provider for adults with disabilities.  In addition to a 35-year industrial career that he left in 2005, he also served for 8-years as an Adjunct Professor at Milwaukee School of Engineering.  Robin has also been involved in both Industrial and Law Enforcement Chaplaincy, concentrating on Pastoral Care, Crisis Intervention, Grief and Trauma Care and Critical Incident Stress Management.

Robin earned his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering and his M.A. in Religion with an emphasis on Pastoral Counseling from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

Steven F. Mayer

Co-Chair of Board of Directors

Steve Mayer graduated with a Master of Arts in Religion degree from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Steve is a businessman in Milwaukee and has served on various boards of organizations that aim to provide assistance to the under resourced in our community. Steve has three grown children and has been married to his wife Susan for 38 years.

Robert P. Koebele


Bob Koebele is a volunteer member of the board of directors and Treasurer for WIEA. He is a graduate of St. John’s University, Collegeville, MN with a B.S. degree in Business Administration and a minor in Accounting. Professionally, Bob is a Registered Representative for Equity Enterprises, Inc., a financial
advisory firm that specializes in investment and financial planning. Bob volunteers on several Christian ministry boards serving the inner city of Milwaukee and the incarcerated, and additionally has been appointed and serves on the Council for Offender Re-entry for the DOC and the State of Wisconsin.
Bob has been married to Kris for 40 years and has two sons.

Scott Hower

Board Member

Scott Hower has experience in real estate development and a background in engineering.  He felt a strong desire to get involved after hearing about the life transformation taking place in prison systems across the country.  His duties include attending meetings of our board of directors, voting on board decisions, assisting in the classroom build out project, and developing relationships with prison staff.

Alice Koepke

Board Member

Alice Koepke has a heart for inmates and their families. She has been visiting a family member serving a life sentence in a Wisconsin prison for over 35 years. She joins WIEA with thirty years of experience in Jail and Prison ministry. Alice currently volunteers with CRU and Brother Bob’s Outreach Ministries, mentoring, and facilitating Bible Studies and Worship Services at several prisons. She has been a Celebrate Recovery leader at Northbrook Church for over 10 years. She was the administrative assistant to Lead Pastor and the Mission’s Ministry Assistant at Northbrook Church for eleven years. Married to Ron Koepke for fourty-five years, and widowed in 2016, Alice has three sons, fifteen grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Mike Murphy

Co-Chair of Board of Directors

Mike Murphy is the Vice President at the Kaztex Foundation. Prior to this role, he spent (13) years as a pastor at a large church in the Milwaukee metro area. Before this, he had an (18) year career in the marketplace, working for large and small businesses in various leadership roles. Currently, Mike volunteers on several Boards in the community that serves those in need. He graduated from Texas A&M University, with a B.S. in Industrial Distribution/Engineering Sales and has his M.A. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Mike has been married for over 30 years to Elizabeth and they have four adult sons and 3 grandchildren.

Catherine (Draeger) Pederson

Board Member

Catherine (Draeger) Pederson, MA is a relational leader, strategic thinker, and strength-based consultant with over 17 years of experience empowering people to make a difference in their community. She has had experience with various nonprofits committed to our community from being the previous Executive Director of Wisconsin Inmate Education Association and the Executive Director of Friedens Community Ministries, the largest food pantry network in Milwaukee. Recipient of numerous awards, including the Ten Outstanding Young America's (TOYA) award in 2015 from the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) and the Philanthropic 5 recipient in 2016 from United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County. She is pursuing her PhD in Leadership, Learning, and Service from Cardinal Stritch and has earned her Master's Degree in Christian Studies with an emphasis in leadership form Trinity International University. She is the author of: Faith, Hope and Love: When the World is Not as It Should Be and has been published in Just Between Us magazine. She lives in Washington Heights, Milwaukee with her husband and three children.

Dr. Tom Nebel

Board Member

Dr. Tom Nebel has a Master of Divinity degree from Denver Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, CA.  He has served as the national Director of Church Planting for a Christian denomination, and during his tenure nearly 800 new churches were started across the US.  He has authored six books on the subject of ministry improvement.  He is a partner with GiANT Worldwide, an international leadership development consultancy.

Dr. Daniel Green

Board Member

Dr. Daniel Green earned degrees from Trinity College (Trinity International University), Bradley University (M.A., Community Psychology), and University of Arkansas (Ph. D., Clinical Psychology). A Licensed Psychologist, he has served for 29 years as the Clinical Director of New Life Resources, Inc., a mental health clinic offering professional services in a Christian framework.  He has faculty appointments with Trinity International University, Marquette University, Evangelical Theological Seminary of Prague and Charles University (Czechia).  He is the author/co-author of 7 books and many articles.  Dan has been married to Lynne for nearly 40 years and have a son, daughter, son-in-law, and two grandchildren.

Angela Otto, CPA

Board Member

Angie graduated with a B.S. degree in accounting from Carroll University and received her CPA license shortly thereafter. Angie provides assistance to the Treasurer in bookkeeping for WIEA. She has worked for other nonprofits and hopes to put her knowledge and experience to work for WIEA. Angie was honored to join the board and is excited about the transformation stories coming out of our Wisconsin prison system.