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Meet Our Board of Directors

April lives in Thousand Oaks, CA where she works as a Legal Assistant for a Family Law & Real Estate attorney. She has 3 daughters, 1 son, and 1 grand-daughter.  She currently works full time while serving as President on the board of directors for The Shield of God Foundation. She attended and graduated from School of Ministry at Water of Life Church in 2018 with her mom, Sheryl Costa. She attends Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, CA where she serves with the Care Ministry praying with others. You can also occasionally catch her singing back-up vocals for the Worship Team. She also completed a Discipleship program at her church to further her ministry education. As a survivor of long-term sexual abuse and domestic violence she developed a passion for helping and caring for people in similar circumstances. She aspires to dedicate her life, career, and ministry to operating The Shield of God Foundation full-time. In her free time she enjoys spending quality time with her kids, reading, writing, singing worship music, and long days at the beach. 

Jeff Brasfield 


Jeff Brasfield spent the first 15 years of his career specializing in tax, audit and general accounting. In 2012, Jeff started his own bookkeep​ing and CFO services company, focusing on “back office” accounting services for small businesses. He has spent recent years transforming and growing his business into a virtual setting, allowing his company to take on clients around the U.S. As an extension of his belief in “giving back”, Jeff has served as Treasurer of Cancer Can Rock ( since 2017, a small nonprofit based in Northern Virginia, and Treasurer for Shield of God ( ), based in Southern California since Fall 2021. Outside of work, Jeff enjoys spending time with his wife, son, and dog, going to the beach as often as possible and playing guitar.














April Poyo​rena  

Founder & President

Michelle Bartley

Secretary / Programs & Services Co-Chair

Michelle lives in Spring Hill, TN where she works as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Since 2012 she has worked with special needs individuals and is passionate about her work with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Family and Child Development as well as a Master's Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. She obtained her BCBA in 2016 and licensure with the state of Tennessee March of 2023. Her goal is to serve as many children and families as possible while extending the love of Christ through her work. She has served on the board of Shield of God since 2022 and is passionate about helping survivors break through their experiences and discover what God has planned for their life after trauma. In her free time, Michelle loves to spoil her church and friends with yummy baked treats and long days snuggling with her cats, Atticus and Ellie May. 

Novel L. Carter-Vasquez, JD, Owner of Holistic Health Day Spa & Lodging has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for her dedication, achievements and leadership.

Since 2005, Novel has excelled as the owner of Holistic Health Day Spa & Lodging. Prior to this endeavor, she attended Abraham Lincoln University School of Law, Glendale, California and completed a law apprenticeship. She also excelled as the Honorary mayor of Wrightwood, California. Before embarking on her professional journey, she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Affairs from Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey. Subsequently, she earned a Doctor of Jurisprudence (JD) from the Abraham Lincoln University School of Law.

Eventually, Novel began working full-time as a Massage Therapist upon relocating to the west coast. She enrolled in the massage program at the Southern California College of Holistic Health, Redondo Beach, California while studying for her law degree. She ultimately acquired a degree as a Holistic Health Practitioner (HHP). She also attended Medical Massage Academy and became a certified Medical Massage Practitioner (MMP). Through Holistic Health Day Spa & Lodging Novel is responsible for providing Medical Massage (Oncology Massage, Hospice Massage, Infant Massage, Manual Lymphatic Drainage, Cupping, Acupressure Massage and more). The Spa also offers various massages, facials, skincare, manicures/pedicures, Energy Healing including bridal services.

Outside of her primary endeavors, Novel remained active within her local community as well as outside of her community. During her time as a member of the Wrightwood Lodging Association, over the years, it lost popularity and began to lose its zeal.  Many years as a fixture of Wrightwood the Association hardly existed and the former President bestowed the honor upon Mrs. Carter-Vasquez to become President. In the two years of being President, she was fortunate to resurrect the Association and become its current Vice President. She was also passed as second Vice President of the Wrightwood Chamber of Commerce. She is also currently involved with the Chamber and serves as Vice President of the Wrightwood Timberline Lions Club. The Marquise Who’s, Who’s recognized Mrs. Carter-Vasquez exceptional services with being awarded the Lions International Appreciation Award, 2012 & 2021.

Novel later volunteered from 2016-2023 as a State Delegate and received the CADEM Volunteer Award of the Year (2023). Previously, she had served as a long-term volunteer Board Member and Vice President for the High Desert Homeless Shelter, 2005-2020 and was awarded the Appreciation & Gratitude Award (2020). She currently volunteers with Our Lady of the Snows serving the homeless and those in need. In 2022, Novel was asked to sit on the board of Shield of God as a Legal Advisor.  

Kelly lives in Westlake Village CA with her daughter and has another daughter that lives in Austin, Texas. She has spent the past 16 years working in Special Education and is a fierce advocate for the neurodiversity population.

She has a bachelor's degree in Child & Adolescent Psychology and is currently completing her Master's at Pepperdine University in clinical counseling.

She is a member of Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, CA where she serves as a visiting Chaplain through Calvary’s Care Ministries.

Her goal is to always be of service to those in need and to share the word of God. 


































Novel Carter J.D.

Legal Advisor

Kelly Barreca

Program & Services 


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