July 27, 2022
D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s appoints new Chief Program Officer Joel Bell
Grand Rapids-based D.A. Blodgett - St. John’s (DABSJ) has appointed Joel Bell, LMSW, for the role of Chief Program Officer, effective August 1.
Bell has more than 20 years of experience in child welfare and mental health services, most recently as branch director at Bethany Christian Services, overseeing operations for Southwest Michigan. Bell also serves as adjunct faculty for Western Michigan University’s School of Social Work.
Including his additional previous work with the Department of Health and Human Services and Community Mental Health Mobile Crisis Response, as well as direct casework and supervisor roles in Family Preservation and Foster Care, Bell developed experience that shaped his approach to client-centered, character-driven leadership in service to children and families.
DABSJ said it believes his passion and advocacy for equity and inclusiveness, as well as his long-term commitment to children’s wellbeing, will be paramount in overseeing 15 programs as part of the agency’s mission of helping children and empowering families by providing safety, advocacy, and support.
“I am so pleased to have Joel join our team,” said Mary Muliett, DABSJ president and CEO. “He is a strong and steady leader who has always remained focused on child and family outcomes. We are thrilled for this next chapter in our programming with Joel’s leadership at the helm.”
Bell said he is “grateful and honored to serve the community through the important work of DABSJ,” likewise noting that the move to DABSJ headquarters on Knapp Street brings him within two miles of his childhood home.
“This opportunity is a great fit to partner with likeminded people in the vision to see a safe, nurturing home for every child, and a supportive community for every family. I count it a true privilege to lead in an organization with such depth and skill,” he said.
Bell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Calvin University, and a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in interpersonal from Western Michigan University. He is a Licensed Master Social Worker.