The Oak Cottage Board of Directors

Judy Felts, Executive Director: Judy has served as a volunteer at the TN Prison for Women for the past 20 years.  Judy is presently the managing Broker for RE/MAX Choice Properties in Brentwood, TN.   She has been a REALTOR for the past 27 years.   She is a graduate from Ouachita Baptist University with a Bachelor’s degree in music Education and hours towards her masters degree from Auburn  University and Middle TN State University.  She was a school teacher in Arkansas as well as Tennessee.  She serves on the Community Resource Board for the TN Prison for Women.   She has been a board member for  Artist in Christian Testimony International, Inc. for the past 18 years and is presently serving as the Vice Chair for the Herb Society of Nashville.    Judy is a Professional musician and sings, speaks , plays keyboard and is involved in studio work.   She is an active member of her church. 

Peter Toth: Peter worked for 30 years at GM  beginning in the Pontiac Division of GM  and retired  at GM’s Powertrain Division Advanced Development Center as an Experimental Engine Builder.  There he received Journeyman credentials as a metal model maker.  He was chosen to work on many research projects and as a result was named on a U.S. Patent.  He served in the U.S. Navy as an antisubmarine  aircrewman on carrier based aircraft with the Pacific Fleet.  After retiring from GM, he moved to Nashville and begin working for the Tennessee State Government.  For the next 10 years he worked at several state agencies including The Dept. of Commerce and Insurance, Board of Probation and Parole,
and the Dept. of Labor.  He is currently active in his community and church and for over 20 yrs. Has volunteered as a host for International students for Vanderbilt University.

Pat Toth: At Pat’s last employment she served as Bookkeeper and Office Administrator.  For the past 27 years she has been in a leadership role for the Bible Study Fellowship organization.  For 15 of thos years she was involved in teaching and training leaders and administrating over 500 women.  For over 20 years she has worked with International students at  Vanderbilt  University helping them to adjust to American culture.  She also teaches English as a second language.  She has been a volunteer at the TN Prison for Women since 2008 and helps with teaching in the worship services.  She is active in her church and has served as Volunteer Women’s Ministry  Leader. 


Dr. Sandra Shawhan: A native Nashvillian who currently serves as the Pastor of Circle of Grace , the United Methodist ministry at the TN Prison for Women.  For the past 25 years she has served as Pastor in local Parish churches throughout the Tennessee conferences  of the United Methodist Church.  She has served in additional professional roles as Certified Financial Planner, Dean of Students, Women’s Athletic Director and Associate Professor of Behavioral Science at Lincoln Memorial University.  She has served on the Board of Directors for Mercy Home, The Rape and Sexual Abuse Center, The Foundation of the TN/Memphis Conferences of the United Methodist Church, Spiritual Director of the Kiaros Advisory Board, The Community Resource Board for the TN Prison for Women and the Oak Cottage for Women Board. 

Lydia Miller: She was a REALTOR for the past 33 years.  She has served  as Director of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS,  Served on the Professional Standards Committee, Served on the Board for the Good Works Foundation.  She has served as Chairman in Germantown , TN for the Parks and Recreation Center and lead the charge to build  a Performing Arts Center and Pool  Complex.    She is a member of the Downtown Franklin Association and the Heritage Foundation.  She has also served as a volunteer at the TN Prison for Women.


Nel Bergman: Nel has a degree in Music Education from Manchester College in N. Manchester, IN and a MS in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin.  She   was a music teacher until 2006.  She currently serves as a volunteer in her church with Mission outreach to the Appalachian Mountain area.  She served as team leader for the Women’s ministry and Music Director for VBS to children.  She has served as a Volunteer at the TN Prison for Women. 





Darlene Dyson grew up on the mission field in West Africa where she met her husband of over 39 years, Brandon. As adoptive parents, they have six children and seven grandchildren. Combining her interior design degree, earned from O’More College of Design in Franklin, and her heart for serving others, she is involved in the construction and design of Oak Cottage for women. This beautiful home environment will provide restoration and healing for women upon their release from prison. Additionally, she volunteers with Wild Indigo, a ministry serving women during incarceration and provides support as they re-enter society. One of Darlene’s strong core values is supportive friendships within a community of faith.