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Michelle Mallin has been at the forefront of every aspect of the Honor Bell’s creation and operation since 2014 when she helped to begin the bell’s journey from an idea into a reality. A connector of people and organizations par excellence, she brought an energy and level of experience to the Foundation that was essential. In 2018, Michelle was named the Executive Director for the Foundation and has shepherded its growth and operations even under the trying circumstances of the COVID pandemic in 2020. Since a 2016 cancer diagnosis Michelle has been not only helping to keep the bell tolling, volunteers organized, and fundraising flowing, but has been dealing with surgeries, complications, and treatments. Through it all, she has remained committed to the Honor Bell’s mission. Last December, Michelle decided that it was time to step down as Executive Director to focus on her health and family. She will remain involved with the Foundation as a member of the Board of Directors. Effective immediately, Chris Boyer will take on the role of Executive Director. Chris has been serving as Assistant Director for several months and has been involved in day-to-day operations, strategic planning, and more since he started. 

You can read Michelle’s letter to the Honor Bell community below:

December 28, 2020, 

On June 6, 2014, I met Veteran Army Ranger, Louis Olivera. He had this idea to create a bell as a funeral honor for the Veterans of Colorado. It was an interesting idea, something new, so I jumped. When he and I met the next day with several new colleagues, the Honor Bell Foundation was born. For the next two years, we worked on the design, branding, mission, and vision of the Honor Bell Foundation. The Bell grew in size, the scope of our programs grew, we had some amazing experiences. It would turn out to be the most fulfilling the role of my professional life and I gained some profound friendships. In May of 2016, we traveled to Cincinnati and cast the first Honor Bell.

What I did not know in 2014, was that a rare cancer was already forming. Shortly after we dedicated the Bell on Memorial Day 2016, I was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma. Since then, I have endured a number of surgeries, complications, and treatments. However, the Honor Bell team always had my back and for the most part I’ve worked full-time ever since. My passion for our mission as well as the friendship and support of our community have been a driving force in these recent years.

We have all endured many challenges in 2020, and for me one was that my treatments were no longer doing their job. I knew someday I would have to relinquish my role as Executive Director, and that time has now come. Effective immediately, I am retiring to focus on my health and family. My colleagues have seen fit to give me a lifetime appointment to the Board of Directors for which I am grateful, and I look forward to continuing to support the mission from that position.

Earlier this year, we added Chris Boyer to the staff as Assistant Director, and I could not be more thrilled to announce his immediate promotion to Executive Director. In a very short time, he has shown a commitment to the mission, and a new perspective on fundraising and public awareness. I’ve known Chris for several years and consider him a friend, a valued colleague, and someone who shares the vision of Veteran support that were the impetus for the Foundation’s creation.

The Honor Bell Foundation is still in its early years. I very much look forward to seeing where Chris, Alan, David, and our Board of Directors take the next chapter. I am grateful for the support and friendship of a fantastic community. I wish joy, health, and happiness for all in the New Year. And I look forward to seeing you all soon.

In patriotism and gratitude,

Michelle G. Mallin

Co-Founder, Board Member

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