Meet our TeamGet to know our Staff and Board of Directors
Meet our Team
Shelly Owens, Chief Executive Officer
She has over 15 years of non-profit fundraising and development experience, having previously served as both a Regional Director and National Director for the March of Dimes. In 2010, Shelly and her husband, Dan, founded SixtyFeet, an international juvenile justice ministry, with the mission of bringing hope and restoration to the imprisoned children of Africa, in Jesus’ name.
Shelly has organized and led countless short-term missions trips and has also served as a long-term missionary while living in Kampala, Uganda for a period of 18 months with her husband and children. She is grateful for the unique opportunity she and her family have had to experience missions work from both sides of the ocean, both as senders and goers.
Serving as the CEO for Go Be Love is truly a dream come true for Shelly. The role is a perfect way for her to combine her passion for missions, her love of mission teams, and her fundraising and other ministry leadership experience into one focused effort.
Shelly and Dan live in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with their 5 children, three biological and two adopted. When she’s not working for Go Be Love or driving kids around, Shelly enjoys trail running, hiking, and other activities that keep her outside, active, and close to the ground.
Autumn Kerr, Chief Operating Officer
Before coming on staff at Go Be Love, Autumn worked in the advertising agency world for 11 years. Her background is design and writing but her passion is to live out James 1:27. This passion came alive on a trip to the Philippines in 2007 where she went on a group tour with Compassion International to meet her sponsored child. This trip was truly life changing and Autumn returned home with a heart on fire for missions and doing more to help children around the world. She continues to sponsor children through Compassion and has been on mission trips to the Philippines, India, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, China, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, Ecuador, the Bahamas, and Haiti.
Serving on staff at Go Be Love is a huge answer to prayer and is truly fulfilling the desires of Autumn’s heart. She considers it a joy and privilege to be able to join hands with missionaries and ministries to help children and communities around the world.
Autumn currently lives in Sarasota, FL with her son Mihretu whom she adopted from Ethiopia in 2012. When she’s not working, you’ll find her enjoying the beach, the pool or Busch Gardens with her son.
Jean Ann Murphy, Executive Director
Jean Ann is very involved in her church and several local mission organizations. She is passionate about traveling and serving others. Jean Ann believes God is calling us to do the most loving thing in every scenario, and she believes it is our job as Christians to love our neighbors at home and around the world.
In her free time, you will find Jean Ann running, cycling, reading, watching UGA football and staying busy with her two active sons.
Casi Young, Missions Specialist
Casi lived in the Chicago area for most of her life and relocated to Nashville in 2011. In 2010, she felt God was preparing her for a transition in her life; she prayed seeking earnestly after God’s will and where He was leading her. In March of 2011, she pursued an opening with Go Be Love and felt complete peace about making the transition. Working for Go Be Love is a perfect fit for her passion to bring hope to the orphans also incorporated with her love for travel. She is so excited to work with the staff at Go Be Love, the mission teams, and the ministries and children that Go Be Love partners with. She is expectant for what God has in store for her and the lives she can influence by being a part of Go Be Love.
Casi lives in the Nashville area with her husband, Chad, and their daughter Emma Sue.
Frank Pass, Missions Specialist
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in Him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring the good news!”
Frank and his wife Robin live in Prattville, AL with their 5 children, Anne Louise, Katy, Ella Grace, Gabriel and Amelia. Ella Grace was adopted from China in 2005 and it was this experience that helped to develop his passion for orphan ministry. Gabriel and Amelia are biological siblings adopted through foster care. These last 2 adoptions have led Frank and Robin to become passionate advocates for children and families of children with special needs.
Frank came on staff at Go Be Love (then called Visiting Orphans) in Jan 2011 and is thrilled to be working with, coordinating and leading teams for Go Be Love. He says that when we send teams to visit these precious children we are showing them the love that God shows us. We remind them that there is hope and that they are loved and valued. It is like shining a light in the darkness.
Paul Rutter, Board President
After marrying in 2000, Paul and Lauren moved to Virginia, and Paul attended the University of Virginia School of Law, including a semester abroad at the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, England. After finishing law school, they moved back to central Ohio so that Paul could practice in municipal bond law. He assists school districts and other local governments with financing and refinancing capital projects.
Since returning to Ohio, Paul and Lauren have been blessed with three boys, and they also felt the Lord burdening their hearts for orphans and other children in distress. It was a desire to serve these children that led them to join their first Go Be Love International (then called Visiting Orphans) trip to Costa Rica in 2013. They had an incredible time ministering to children on that trip, and they promptly signed up to lead a team to Costa Rica in 2014. They also became licensed foster parents in 2014, and they have enjoyed pouring themselves into the children that they have been blessed to care for since then.
Paul joined the Board of Directors in April of 2016 and served for a season as our Treasurer. Most recently, he stepped into the role as President of the Board of Directors.
Juliana Crawford, Board Vice President
Juliana and her husband, Judson, discovered Go Be Love when they were searching for an opportunity to celebrate their 5-year wedding anniversary with a mission trip. After some extensive Googling they found the Go Be Love International (then Visiting Orphans) website and signed up for a trip to Ethiopia and Uganda in July 2010. Since then the mission of Go Be Love has also become their own and they are excited to continue to support the organization through additional trips, introducing friends and family to the mission and serving on the Board together.
Juliana and Judson have been married nearly nine years and still live in Dallas, TX. Juliana loves to be outdoors, running and working out with friends. She also loves to do the dishes as long as Judson is cooking and cheering on her Baylor Bears (especially when they play Judson’s Red Raiders).
Juliana joined the Go Be Love International (then Visiting Orphans) board in 2013 and has served as Vice President since January of 2016.
Chelsea Swaim, Board Secretary
While in Germany Chelsea went back to school and is now finishing up her BS in marketing with a minor in information systems management. Also while in Germany, Chelsea began working with a small nonprofit and realized that she wanted to make nonprofit work a bigger part of her path going forward. She had long felt a call to search a little deeper for opportunities to serve in the mission field, and began praying for more guidance. Those prayers were answered with an opportunity to serve with a Go Be Love team that would be going to Ethiopia and Uganda summer of 2015. Since returning from this trip Chelsea began to search for ways to support Go Be Love International’s mission in an ongoing capacity and was thrilled to join the board in June of 2016. Chelsea has served as the Board Secretary since September 2016.
Chelsea and Austen recently moved back to the States and are enjoying settling into their first home in North Carolina, although summer humidity is a new concept for both of these California natives! When Chelsea isn’t working or studying she enjoys taking on DIY home improvement projects, cooking up a storm for family and friends, and staying active and fit.
Donnie Manis, Board Treasurer
He spent 35 years as a volunteer leader with YoungLife, sharing the good news with teenagers through his life and through the message.
His family had a huge role in his commitment to reach out to the children in Africa, as he made his first trip at the urging of his 18-year-old niece in 2010. As he, his niece, and 28 other Go Be Love International (then Visiting Orphans) team members loved the children in Ethiopia, he knew he would never be the same.
Since then, Donnie has carried the children of Addis Ababa in his heart daily. He is excited about God’s call to go back each year and love them, share Jesus with them, and be an encouragement to those who are called to minister there year round. It is his prayer that God would use him not only to make a difference in the lives of children on the other side of the world, but also to encourage his fellow American believers to find ways to reach out to the children of the world.
Donnie joined the Board of Directors in September of 2015 and stepped into the Treasurer role in January 2018.
Gorden Fleming, Board Member
In late 2012, Gorden reluctantly went on his first mission trip ever – to Uganda. And everything changed. Since then, he has led six teams to Uganda, and one of his favorite things to do is to invite people to “come and see” (John 1:46). It was through these trips that God began to call Gorden back into full-time ministry, and in 2015 the Flemings moved to Raleigh, NC, to pastor Midtown Community Church. Gorden joined the Go Be Love International Board in January of 2017.
Gorden and Kelly have four kids: Ware (2005), Caroline Gray (2007), Hunt (2011) and Bess (2013). When he rarely has free-time he enjoys exercising and anything Ole Miss.
Susan Zidlicky, Board Member
Susan was born and raised in Austin, Texas. After graduating from the University of Texas, with a degree in Corporate Communications, she moved to Chicago, IL. Just after being there three weeks, she met her husband Tom. Susan worked in the corporate world until 2007, when their first son was born.
Susan was following God’s call to go serve on her first mission trip in 2013. Once she returned, she knew this was her calling and wanted to serve more and more. Ever since, she and her family go and serve every spring break oversees and then again in the summer. She has a passion for Central America and loves to immerse herself in the cultural.
Susan joined the Go Be Love Board of Directors in 2018. Susan and Tom live in the suburbs of Chicago with their four sons. When she is not at the baseball field watching them play, she enjoys being outside, exercising and traveling.