Board of Directors
Michael was born in Alaska but lived also in Illinois, Massachusetts and Virginia due to his father’s government job assignments. He enlisted in the US Navy after high school and had several tours at sea but ultimately ended up receiving a medical discharge from the service. It was at the naval hospital that he met his wife Joan and they were married in 1972. They moved to Bangor, Maine where he attended Husson College, graduating with a business degree. He was a partner in a construction company, a financial comptroller for an international company and currently him and his wife are the owner and operator of a successful winemaker/brewer company that started in 2001. Michael has traveled extensively in India over the years. He has 2 adult children and 3 grandchildren who he says are “great to be around.”
Abhijit was born and raised in Odisha state of India. His formal educational background comprises of six years of Christian Theology and two years of Mission Studies (missiology) at various institutions in India and abroad. He is passionate to see the uplifting of the poor and downtrodden through educational and sustainable community development initiatives in South Asia.
Mrs. Gervais grew up on the dusty Texas High Plains in a spiritually rich environment surrounded by grandparents and family members who knew and walked with Jesus and shared with her their love of Jesus Christ. A graduate of Texas A&M University (where she met and married John), Sheri worked briefly as an engineer and then as a high school math teacher prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom. For the next 17 years Sheri home educated their 3 children, and also served the local homeschool community as a teacher and board member. She is co-founder of Mu Eta Sigma National Math Honor Society for Homeschooled Students and currently serves on the Board of New Beginnings Life Ministries in Brenham, Texas. When they aren’t visiting family, Sheri and John spend their time and energy fixing up their 104-year old farmhouse.
Mr. Gervais was raised with an Episcopalian faith but his love for the Lord has taken him through many life events which only husbands and fathers have the opportunity to experience. John is a graduate of Texas A&M University and has practiced as a Civil Engineer for 34 years in Texas in both private and public sectors, as well as a variety of civil applications. He has been married to Sheri for 31 years and they have 3 children, all Aggies, and 1 grandchild (Aggie class of 2039). Now that his children have started their own journeys, John is looking forward to helping STEP International move forward in their outreach.
Joan was born, raised and educated in a Christian home and schools in the Chicago area and after attending nursing school she enlisted in the US Navy as a nurse. It was there that she met Michael and they were married in 1972 and moved to Bangor, Maine where they still reside. They have a son and daughter, both grown and married with 3 grandchildren all who are blessed to live relatively close by. Joan retired from 25 years in nursing to be able to concentrate on their full-scale winery and brewery business, which keeps them busy year-round with production and sales. Joan enjoys attending Pilgrim Orthodox Presbyterian Church and has been involved over the years in various ministries there such as youth work, Sunday School teaching, Bible studies, leadership and music positions and hands on ministries and can testify to God’s goodness in all things. Joan has traveled and has facilitated medical camps in India.
Andrew is a civil engineer in Kansas City, Missouri, and is a member of Redeemer Fellowship Church. He is originally from Columbus, Indiana, and graduated from Purdue University. Andrew first visited the projects of STEP in India with Engineering Ministries International in 2013. He loves to see the Hands and Feet of Christ in action, and has at various times been involved with Samaritan’s Purse, Agua Viva International, and Habitat for Humanity. His favorite chapters are Isaiah 58 & 59.
Representatives & Ambassadors
Katheryn Carmichael is a registered nurse from Birmingham, Alabama. After receiving her Bachelor of Science from Auburn University, she served in the mental health field in North Carolina, where she worked with survivors of sex trafficking through a faith-based rehabilitation program. In 2017, she began working at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) Hospital and is currently involved in ministry and missions through her local church. Katheryn has traveled to India several times and has a heart for India.
Sarah Turner works as a Research Specialist in Maine and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Aquatic Animal Health. Sarah enjoys raising her two young sons with her husband and has a love for writing and a heart for empowering women and children through education. In 2018, she began serving as a writer and editor for STEP International.