Steering Committee

AVP CA Steering Committee

AVP California is coordinated by a volunteer Steering Committee currently with ten members, as well as four outreach coordinators who are building AVP programs in different parts of California. The role of the Committee is to:

  • Provide a point of contact for returning citizens and the general public.
  • Provide leadership and support to serve prisons not served by any local council.
  • Maintain website to provide information and resources to the general public, facilitators, and returning citizens.
  • Interface, represent, and advocate for AVP with CDCR and other agencies and organizations.
  • Collect, aggregate, and share data on workshops around the state with AVP USA.
  • Raise funds through the annual mail appeal and grant proposals.
  • Facilitate discussion forums for prison coordinators and community outreach coordinators.
  • Consult to local councils and provide special trainings upon request.
  • Maintain facilitator and program high standards.
  • Raise funds to support facilitators with workshop-related expenses (mileage, accommodation, etc)

The Steering Committee solicits nominations for new committee members each spring.  New members are introduced and confirmed at the annual Facilitator Gathering in October.   Steering Committee members serve a term of three years, and may serve two consecutive terms.

To contact the Steering Committee, please send a message to

Current Steering Committee Members

Joyce Banzhaf
Northern Sierra Council; first term expires 11/2018
Liaison for the Fall Gathering organizing team
Joyce Banzhaf, a Retired Teacher, has facilitated with AVP since 2005. She coordinates AVP programs at CMF and Vacaville Prisons, and the Washington Ridge Fire Camp.

Sue Torrey
Central Coast Council; first term expires 11/2018.    
Liaison for the Special Training Team, Fall Gathering organizing team, and Newsletter Production

Ann Leonard
Los Angeles / Santa Monica Council; first term expires 11/2017
Liaison for Prison Coordinators and Prison Administrations
Ann Leonard currently serves a Prison Liaison for the AVP/CA Steering Committee and is Prison Coordinator for Ironwood and Calipatria State Prisons and coordinates the AVP program at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. She became interested in prison work while working on her doctorate at Pacific Graduate Institute. In her previous life, based in New York City, she worked with international development projects around the world.

Gori Urling
Los Angeles / Santa Monica Council; second term expires November 2018.  
Liaison for the Fall Gathering organizing team and Finance

Karen Brower
Central Coast Council; first term expires 11/2018
Liaison for the Special Training, Resource & Assistance Committee,  Newsletter Production and Communication / Website
Caring Karen Brower has been facilitating since 2012 in San Luis Obispo County. She facilitates at the county jail, at the California Men's Colony state prison, and in the community. Her passions, besides AVP, include exercising, quilting, taking long walks with her dogs and spending time with her grandchildren.

Stephen Matchett
Bay Bridge Council; second term continuing on year-by-year extension
Liaison for Finance and AVP CA Fund Development Committee
Stimulating Stephen, an AVP facilitator since 2003, helped get AVP/California organized in 2005 and has served as its Treasurer since that time. He also coordinates the AVP program at Central California Women's Facility, in Chowchilla. He is a former lawyer and lives in San Francisco.

Steve Lomas
Los Angeles / Santa Monica Council; second term expires 11/2018
Liaison for AVP CA Fund Development Committee
Supportive Steve became part of the AVP family in 2006. He has facilitated workshops in CTF (Soledad Prison) and community workshops in Los Angeles (his home) Lancaster, Fresno and Santa Barbara.

Steve Gelb
San Diego Council; first term expires 11/2017
Liaison for Resource & Assistance Committee, Newsletter Production, Communication, and Finance
Smiling Steve is prison coordinator at California Institution for Men and has also facilitated at Calipatria, Centinela, Chuckawalla, and Donovan prisons, as well as at community workshops in San Diego (his home), Los Angeles, and Salinas. He loves to ride his bicycle and bake rye bread, and he just became a grandfather.

Stacy Hughes
Santa Cruz / Salinas Valley Council; second term expires 11/2019
Liaison for Communication and is the Webmaster for the AVP CA website
Stacy has been an AVP facilitator since 2012, and facilitates workshops at CTF (Soledad Prison) and in the community around the Monterey Bay. His work includes education programs between Japan and the US and community mediation.

Nancy Vimla
San Luis Obispo Council; first term expires 11/2018
Liaison for Special Training Team and the Resource & Assistance Committee, and is the contact for distribution of AVP pins and cards
Numinous Nancy Vimla lives in San Luis Obispo County. She facilitates at CMC East and West, SLO County Jail and is available for traveling. She is also on the AVP/USA Education Committee Best Practice Team. She is serious about Yoga, buys produce at local Farmer's Markets and likes exploring new interests.

Milena von Wrangle
Los Angeles / Santa Monica Council; first term expires 11/2020
Milena has been facilitating in prisons and the community in and around Greater Los Angeles since July 2015. She is currently the Clerk of AVP Los Angeles. She is pursing higher education in clinical psychology and is especially interested in the intersection between psychology and social justice issues.