Meet Our Board

Thomas Nettesheim
Executive Director

At the age of 18, Thomas walked up to an unmanned booth with pamphlets on a table about preteen kids being sold for sex. In shock, he wondered “How can this could be okay?” He looked up the organization behind the pamphlets and his journey began by donating to Rescue Freedom International.

When Thomas and his wife moved to Florida in 2015, they learned that Florida was number 3 in the country for reported cases. He felt the need to do more. He spoke to a leader at Rescue Freedom who encouraged him to raise awareness. After hosting two successful events and learning about the need for more education and safe housing for survivors, Thomas made the decision to start Restoring Oaks. He has worked at Constant Contact since 2011 where he has learned much about marketing for small businesses and nonprofits. He also just finished his bachelor’s in Psychology at Liberty University

Dr. elisa niles-thorne
Board Member

Elisa A. Niles, PhD., LMHC-S, NCC, CCTP, CCMHC RPT-S,

Current Positions: Core Faculty at Hodges University in the CMHC Program

Licenses/Certifications: LMHC, Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, Prepare Enrich Facilitator, Registered Play Therapist Supervisor, Board Certified Counselor, Board Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor, trained in Traumatic Incident Reduction

Specialty Focus: Children, Adolescents and Adults, Trauma, Christian Counseling

Elisa Niles is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of Florida. She is also a Board Certified Counselor and a qualified supervisor for mental health interns and marriage and family therapist interns. Elisa is a 2016 recipient of the National Board of Certified Counselor- Minority Doctoral Fellowship Program. She completed her education at the University of the Virgin Islands 2002, 2005 and Argosy University in 2009. She completed her Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision at Walden University in 2019. Her dissertation examined the Impact of Trauma on Reoccurring Homelessness in the U. S. Virgin Islands.

Elisa served as the membership chair of Chi Sigma Iota-Omega Zeta Chapter, community lay director for the Suncoast Emmaus Community, member- at- large for the Florida Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development. She also served on the following  Board of Directors: Florida Mental Health Counselors Association, Chair of the Continuing Education Committee for the Florida Association for Play Therapy, and Co-Chair for the Florida Counseling Association Convention Committee. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Restoring Oaks, Inc.

She has presented at local, state, and national conferences. She now a published contributing author in the textbook: Fazio-Griffith, L. J., & Marino, R. (Eds.). (2021). Techniques and Interventions for Play Therapy and Clinical Supervision. IGI Global. http://doi:10.4018/978-1-7998-4628-4

She is Owner and Founder of SoundMind Counseling and Consulting Services, LLC.

Elisa was born in St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands, but has also lived in Jamaica and Antigua.  She enjoys singing, dancing, traveling, going to the beach, and trying new foods.

Sandra Wankelman 
Board Member

Sandra Wankelman is native to Colorado but enjoys traveling and exploring life with her favorite person, her daughter. Her biggest mission is to serve others through Christ and change the world, one person at a time. Over the last decade, Sandra has accomplished obtaining her first Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies and her second Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Project Management.

Throughout this time Sandra worked in various fields, obtaining additional skills and certifications in health care and technology systems. Combining her education and trainings with a Christ centered life and putting people first, Sandra aims to expand the efforts of Restoring Oaks to make a global impact on the governments, communities, and people to eventually end trafficking once and for all.

Maribeth baker
Board Member

I’m Maribeth Baker. I’m a mom of a 9 year old son and a 2 year old daughter. I am a sex and human trafficking survivor from over 10 years ago and went on to get my associates degree in criminal justice. I have been praying about an opportunity to get involved in this cause and have been very passionate about it since college where I studied more about it and wrote several papers on it. I am very excited to join this board and am looking foward to where God leads me in this ministry!