Biographical Summary of Elaine Oakes

Elaine Oakes, happily married to Jerry Oakes for sixteen years with three lovely children is widely known for her distinctive public service to communities throughout West Palm Beach for over twenty years. Also, she is a successful entrepreneur, renowned worship leader and an anointed minister of the Gospel who specializes in healing the hurts of life in women from all walks of life. Her successful matriculation at Palm Beach Atlantic University and the University of Phoenix where she respectively earned her bachelor’s in Organizational Management and her Masters of Science in Psychology equipped her for public service as a  Child Protective Investigator in 2009 and an Investigator Specialist 2 in 2010 through 2012. Her extraordinary leadership abilities and entrepreneurial gifting led her to provide DCF training for certifications, consulting for childcare organizations and mentorship for developing teachers. She is widely known as a teacher of teachers. Eventually, Elaine Oakes passionate desire to help impoverish children led her to start and lead Changing Place Pre-School and International Kids Zone which has grown to an attendance that exceeds ninety children.

Mrs. Oakes’s devotion to ministering to broken  children, hurting women and fractured families has led her to form “ Unshackle.” Unshackle is a ministry that focuses on healing the hearts of women from fractured relationships; liberating women from the shackles of generational bondage and helping women maximize their potential through discovering the treasure of gifting God has placed inside of them. Her vision for Unshackle spans the globe through publishing resources and developing leaders who will multiply her vision throughout the earth.

Biography of Debra Marcelle-Coney, Ph.D.

Dr. Debra Marcelle-Coney has worked in the healthcare industry for over 25-years in various capacities, which ranged from health services to management. Her desire to offer options, possibilities and solutions led her in the Spring of 2002, to form the Women’s Inner Healing Support Group; a ministry working with women from recovery centers, homeless shelters and houses of worship. Later, joining forces with Changing Places in 2006 to conduct Women’s Issues Groups throughout Palm Beach County.  She is an Nova Southeastern University alumnus whom graduated in 2007, with her Ph.D. in Family Therapy, specializing in Family Systems Healthcare.  Her government service began in 1976 – 1979, as an U.S. Army Veteran stationed in Kaiserslautern, Germany in the Signal Battalion. Fast forward to 2009, Dr. “D” as she is known in the Mental Health & Behavioral Services Department (MH&BS) of the WPB Veteran Affairs Medical Center, is currently an Addictions Psychotherapist in the Substance Abuse (SA) Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP).  Her administrative skills afforded her the privilege to assist with the creation of policies & procedures, the formulation of group treatment protocols, and other program developments to bring the program online. She has since been instrumental in launching the evidenced-based Stages of Change (SOC) Model development by theorist Drs. Prochaska & DiClemente and Solution-Focused Therapies introduced by Cognitive Theorist Steve DeShazer’s strength-based strategic design.


As a veteran herself, Dr. Marcelle-Coney is aware of the needs of fellow soldiers, maintains contacts in the local communities with both the faith-based and other area organizations, as well keeps abreast of the latest developments through the VA Central Office and beyond. She  pledged, as the appointed WPB VA Minority Veteran’s Program Coordinator (2010-2015) for over 5-years to collaboratively bridge the gap between the real and perceived disparities in health. As a result, she created “The Minority Vets Open Forums” with themes such as Impact for Veterans; Benefits for Veterans, Caring For Minority Veterans and Community Town Hall Meetings.  Dr. D is an innovative visionary who enjoys being on the cutting-edge of life and the VA permits her the liberty to flourish outside of the traditional box as a Minority Woman in government service.  Dr. Marcelle-Coney is also a licensed ordained minister in the Church of God – International Offices – Cleveland, Tennessee where  she served faithfully for many years as the Intercessory Prayer Leader, Hedges & Highway Coordinator, Vacation Bible School Administrator, Youth Worker & Board Member, Youth User Board Chair member of the Nursing Home & Prison Ministry Teams, Women’s Discipleship President. She also established Food Ministries at three local churches, appointed Shared Vision Coordinator, Co-Director of the Couples Ministry,  wrote the protocol for The Illness & Bereavement Support Ministries, Winner’s Inner Circle, published articles and  presented at national conferences.