SEND International names new US Director

missions ceo
Tags: Story, US Office

SEND International’s US Council proudly announces that Michelle J. Atwell will serve as the organization’s new US Director and CEO.

Michelle knows fundraising and development well. She has more than 18 years of experience working at ministries and nonprofits, most recently with the Red Cross of Michigan. She also has served on SEND’s US Council and chaired the Financial Development Committee.

“SEND US will be recognized as the agency of choice for short-term and career missionaries because we will offer the most effective, most efficient, and most impactful care and support,” Michelle said. “We will listen to our global workers’ needs, exceedingly deliver on their expectations and offer the greatest opportunities to fulfill the Great Commission.”

Three things drew Michelle to this role:

  1. Commitment to and passion for the mission and core values of SEND.
  2. The opportunity to inspire and lead change.
  3. Internal knowledge and understanding of key issues facing the future of SEND.

Michelle wants to see SEND US use innovation in marketing and technology, coupled with excellent relationships and partnerships with churches, donors and support networks, to recruit more missionaries, reduce the time from appointment to field placement, and offer the most competitive financial requirements.

“There's a lot here and some of it is pretty bold — which is exciting and energizing,” she said. “But I believe that this is what God wants for SEND US, and I'm ready to start working with our team to bring this vision to life.”

Atwell will be responsible for overseeing the work of the mission as it pertains to sending functions within the US: marketing, mobilization, and member care. She will lead an executive team of eight leaders over various departments, ensuring that SEND US fulfills its role in the organization’s vision of a global movement of Jesus followers making disciples among unreached people groups.

Michelle was selected after an extensive, 10-month search.

“We believe that Michelle is the person God has been preparing to lead SEND US,” said Rick Bernard, US Council chairman. “She is sharp, innovative, and not afraid to try new things. I have been impressed by her heart, her warmth, her competence, and her professionalism. We are certainly excited to see what God has in store for SEND as we move into the months and years that lie ahead.”

Michelle’s professional experience also includes Grace Centers of Hope, a local mission where she spent nearly 17 years raising funds for men, women and families who were homeless and addicted, and watching God miraculously change lives as the gospel of Jesus was proclaimed.

Michelle accepted Christ as her Lord and Savior at an InterVarsity camp when she was a college freshman.

“After hearing two powerful messages, I confessed my sins in my bunk bed and asked Jesus to save me. I told him that I wanted him to be Lord of my life, not me,” Michelle said. “That weekend blossomed into a whole new life for me.”

This whole new life has also included a summer sharing her faith with college students in Russia and leading several teams from her local church to Chernobyl, Ukraine, for short-term, church-planting activities in remote villages.

Michelle lives in metro Detroit, Mich., with her husband, Joe, and their two children. 

Please continue to pray as Michelle transitions into her new role. We are grateful for God’s call on her and her family’s life and we look forward to working together to move the mission of SEND forward in the coming months and years.

Please celebrate with us God’s provision of Michelle Atwell, our new US Director!