Mary Vandel Young

Executive Director and Trustee


     Growing up on the wide-open plains of Cheyenne, Wyoming, Mary Vandel Young met Christ when she was 15. Mary later graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education in 1990. She completed a Master of Divinity Degree in 2003 from Fuller Theological Seminary. Throughout her professional life, Mary taught in international schools and also served on Young Life staff in Kauala Lumpur, Malaysia; Lima, Peru; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Raleigh, North Carolina.
     Serving alongside JourneyMates founders Jennifer Ennis and Sally Breedlove since 2007, and Executive Director since 2012, Mary's vocational passion revolves around her role in JourneyMates. Mary also serves as a mentor and spiritual director to individuals and has taught a graduate course in Christian Spiritual Formation through the Raleigh Fellows since 2009.
     Mary now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and attends Church of the Apostles Anglican, with her husband, Dr. Jason Young, a psychologist, and their teenage sons, Luke and Tobias.

Alanna Linden

Board Chair

Alanna Linden has served for eleven years as the President of the Raleigh Office of the National Christian Foundation, where she is responsible for the growth and vision of the foundation. Alanna received her MA in Organizational and Interpersonal Communication from the University of Memphis. She has over 20 years of experience in marketing, management, and fundraising in non-profits, churches, and ministries.
     Alanna lives in Rolesville, NC, with her husband of twelve years, John. Besides JourneyMates, Alanna has volunteered with Neighbor to Neighbor, the Raleigh Rescue Mission, and Firstchoice Wake Forest.

Mike Gioielli

Board Vice Chair

     Mike has a BS degree in computer science from Union College in Schenectady, NY. In his forty years as a software professional, Mike has developed innovative software products and solutions for leading private and public entities. Mike and his family have been residents of the Triangle area for 25 years and are active members of Southbridge Fellowship Church.
     While religion was an active part of Mike's early life, he did not become a true believer in Jesus Christ until 1998. Since then, he has continually sought to experience more of God and his love and to share that experience with others.
     Mike sees a need for the contemporary Christian believer to adopt and practice core spiritual disciplines as essential pathways to the transformation of spirit that is needed for the Gospel to flourish in today's postmodern world. Mike believes that JourneyMates is a primary way to learn and experience, in a corporate context, the spiritual rhythms necessary for authentic spiritual transformation.
     Mike and his wife Ellen have been married for 35 years and have three sons. They have been past leaders in youth ministry and were founding leaders of the Cary Teen Community Bible Study (TeenCBS). Mike has also served as an eMentor for Family Life.

Jennifer Ennis

Founder and Trustee

     God has given Jennifer Ennis a passion to connect with people on their spiritual journeys to awaken a greater awareness of God’s presence in their lives and help them more deeply experience the joy and freedom of His unconditional love.
     Since 1975, she has served with her husband, Ralph, on Navigator Staff. They have ministered on college campuses and in leadership development in the US, Russia and other countries. In the 1990’s she, with others, did cultural research in seven countries to better understand how to bring the Gospel into those contexts. She has co-authored various works including: The Shame Exchange, Pray for Your City, An Introduction to the Russian Soul, and Alcoholism and Family Systems for Russian.
     Jennifer is a psychiatric nurse who counsels individuals. She is also a certified spiritual director and leads contemplative retreats. She and Ralph live in Raleigh, NC and have four married children and twelve grandchildren.


Frank Shell

Treasurer and Trustee

     Frank grew up in Raleigh, NC, and received his bachelor's degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and his MBA from Wake Forest University. He paused his career with BB&T to attend seminary at Columbia Bible College in Columbia, SC, before returning to BB&T in Raleigh. He helped found Capital Bank in Raleigh and currently works with First Tennessee Bank, where he focuses on providing banking services for the residential construction industry.
      Along with his work in JourneyMates, Frank has served on the board of the Cary Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Cary Rotary Club and has volunteered on the advisory board of the Cary Family YMCA.
      Frank and his wife Terri are active members of the Church of the Apostles Anglican Church. Frank joined the men's and women's evening group in 2009. "Through JourneyMates," he says, "I have had the opportunity to learn and practice spiritual disciplines that enabled me to deepen my relationship with God and better listen for His voice and leading. This has been a real source of strength and encouragement over the last few years while working as a banker in a very difficult economy. I make attending my JourneyMates group a priority, and it is one of the highlights of my month."

Vaneetha Demski


     Vaneetha has been a Christ-follower since she was 16, and since then has been leading Bible studies, speaking, and mentoring women. JourneyMates has been a significant part of her life for the last few years, both as a participant in the Chapel Hill community and a member of the board. Through JourneyMates, Vaneetha says, "I have become more attuned to the Holy Spirit and have learned to hear God's still, small voice, even in the midst of life's noise."
      Vaneetha is a freelance writer, currently working on a memoir, as well as a stay-at-home mom for her two teenaged daughters. In the past, she worked as a consultant for Gartner Group, a marketing manager for Sara Lee Knit Products, and an assistant vice president in corporate lending at Bank of Boston. She holds a BS in commerce from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Scottie Dietz

   From her childhood home in Delaware, Scottie came to North Carolina to attend Wake Forest University where she received a bachelor’s degree in English, followed by a master’s degree in school counseling from UNC-Chapel Hill. Scottie enjoyed 32 years as a teacher, counselor, and administrator in a variety of public and private schools.
   After retiring as Director of College Counseling at St. David’s School in Raleigh, Scottie felt God’s invitation for a deeper intimacy with Him and was led to join JourneyMates where she is now a Facilitator. JourneyMates offers the opportunity for Scottie to combine her passion for listening to others with her love for scripture and her desire to seek God’s faithful presence.
   Scottie is a former member of the Raleigh Young Life Committee and has volunteered as a client advocate at Gateway, a faith-based pregnancy resource center in Raleigh. She currently serves as a Stephen Minister while leading the Cancer Companions Ministry at White Plains United Methodist Church in Cary. She is a trained examiner for the Gesell Institute of Child Development and works in school admissions testing.
   Scottie and her husband Bob have four married adult children and are devoted to their growing family including their eleven precious grandchildren.

Donna McClatchey

Donna has taught and facilitated several Bible studies over the last twenty years, but it was through listening to God through silence and stillness and resting in His presence that she has come to a fuller and deeper understanding of God's love for her, and thus, has fallen deeper in love with Him. Currently, Donna serves as a facilitator in the Chapel Hill JourneyMates community and was briefly a member of the JourneyMates leadership team.
      Donna also serves on the Executive Committee for the Women's Leadership Council at UNC-CH and The Methodist Home for Children Board and remains involved with her children's school. Donna and her husband Billy have been married for sixteen years and have three children.