For immediate release
Minneapolis, Minnesota – Transmission Ministry Collective (TMC) is excited to announce the hiring of Miche Ilana van Essen as the organization’s new Co-Executive Director of Operations. Miche will join Co-Executive Director of Community Engagement Micah Melody Taberner in leading TMC, as the organization continues to build an online community dedicated to the spiritual care, faith formation, and leadership potential of transgender and gender-expansive Christians.
“I am incredibly excited to work alongside Miche!” said Micah Melody. “Her skill in strategic leadership and her passion for intersectional theology and justice make her an incredible addition to the team. I can’t wait to see what new possibilities her vision, passion, and unique perspective will open up for our community.”
Austen Hartke, TMC’s founder and current Executive Director, will be stepping down after four years in the role, as part of a planned leadership transition to ensure that a diversity of leadership perspectives shapes TMC’s future. As part of this process, TMC will be shifting from having one Executive Director to two Co-Executive Directors, which allows for greater specialization among the leadership team and moves TMC into a more horizontal and egalitarian model of leadership.
“I’m so excited to welcome Miche to the TMC staff team,” said Austen. “Her gift for organization, her innovative theological frameworks, and her commitment to our value of ‘oneness, not sameness’ makes her the perfect person to step into leadership alongside Micah Melody.”
Miche (she/her) is a Jesus-loving, Jewish, Asian, Queer, and Transgender woman. As an Intersectional Theologian, she strongly desires bridge-building and understands the world through the lens of ambiguity that queer folks are all too familiar with. She hopes to defend her DMin in late 2023 at Pacific School of Religion and has also finished her MA in Global Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary, specializing in Resonant Leadership. Miche is also the host of the Models We Live By podcast and loves to sing and play guitar.
As Co-Executive Director of Operations, Miche will be the head of internal administration in charge of scheduling, organizing personnel, and financial tracking, as well as a partner in strategic leadership alongside Micah Melody. Community members will also see her participating in Bible Study Live, offering Office Hours, and representing TMC at local gatherings and national conferences.
Leo Seyij Allen, TMC board member, served as chair of the transition team and facilitator of the search committee.
“It’s been my pleasure to work alongside outgoing Executive Director, Austen Hartke, and lead the Board of Directors and transition team in the search for a new co-Executive Director,” said Leo Seyij. “Miche van Essen will be an integral asset to the TMC team as we embark on this next chapter of grounding, connecting, and empowering transgender Christians around the world.”
TMC will share more about Miche, along with opportunities to get to know her, in the coming weeks.