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meet the staff

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Alex Miley

The Place Property Manager

Alex is the property manager of The Place. He and his wife, Brie, were married in July of 2022 and welcomed their son into the world in 2024. Together, they pour into our athletes at Family Dinners both at The Place and on SCU's campus.

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Clay Elliott

Founder/Director

When Clay was 12 years old he prayed a God-inspired prayer that went something like, "God, if you'll let me, I'll speak for you." God honored that prayer and carried him all the way to the minor leagues in baseball. Clay was never called up to the big leagues of the MLB, but he used (and continues to use) his platform as a professional baseball player to speak in to the lives of leaders and those in the athletic world. He has served in ministry as a youth pastor and parachurch director for over 40 years. After all this time, God prompted him to found the ministry of Called Up. He has as much passion and excitement as ever for how the LORD is using this ministry to guide people in living out their God-intended design. ​ He's married to Kelly, who has served alongside him in ministry for their entire marriage and recently retired. Together they have 4 grown children, 3 kids-in-law, and 10 grandkids.

Darren Johnson

Director of Training

Darren has been involved in vocational ministry in the Bay Area for over 25 years serving as a pastor in several churches and other ministry contexts. He is currently pastoring a church in the Cambrian Park area of San Jose. Darren has been married to Cheryl since August of 1995 and they have four children, Justin (2000), Zachary (2002), Trey (2004), and Kate (2006). Darren has a passion for spiritual formation, discipleship and training. Seeing people grow into their new creation status as followers of Jesus is his life’s work. Darren and his family have been involved in various collegiate and high school athletics including baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, and field hockey.

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Debbie McManis

Family Dinner Chef

Debbie is a native Californian transplanted from SoCal to the Bay Area in 2001. She graduated from The Master’s University in 1990 and followed up her degree with a teaching credential. She and her husband have been answering the call to church plant Creekside Bible Church in Cupertino. There Cliff serves as lead pastor and Debbie helps with various ministries throughout the year. They have four grown children and one adorable grandson. Debbie retired from teaching at a local Christian classical school after sixteen years and felt the call of God to free up her calendar. Shortly after her retirement she accepted the position as cook for Called Up family dinners on Monday evenings at The Place. 

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Lynette Furstenberg

Accountant

Lynette has been working in the accounting world for years. She joined our team as a contracted bookkeeper in 2020. After a couple years we hired her to take the role of Accountant on our staff and we're so grateful to have her! She loves the Lord and wants to use her gifts to build the Kingdom of God. She has 3 great kids and a wonderful son in law.

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Melissa Charloe

Bay FC Chaplain

Melissa grew up as an elite, competitive soccer player and continued her career into D1 and professional soccer. It was her freshman year at the University of North Carolina where she was first introduced to Jesus when her teammate invited her to a campus ministry for student-athletes. By her senior year, she fully accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior and been so grateful to God since.  Melissa’s heart is to support and encourage others in getting to know, trust, and love God. She has voluntarily done this in various capacities while being a teacher and a D1 and D2 soccer coach. Melissa is passionate about helping others find their true identity in Christ and experiencing the freedom and purpose that it brings.  In 2013, Melissa married Kevin Charloe when they vowed to help spur each other on to live a life worthy of the gospel of Christ (Phil 1:27).  They now have two children, Riley and Grayson and are fostering a baby boy.

Rob Ralph

Director of Inland Empire

Rob and his wife Michelle have been in the Coachella Valley for over 25 years. Hired in the valley as a Paramedic in 1993, Rob and Michelle began to plant themselves in the local community through church, coaching and Michelle as an educator.   Rob became an assistant baseball coach for La Quinta HS in 1996 and was a 3 year head coach for Desert Christian Academy until 2013 when he went into full time ministry.   Through God’s abundant blessing and favor over 20+ years of coaching, Rob has been able to develop many rich relationships on campuses and in the community. Rob is a character coach for a couple of HS teams and a mentor for young coaches. He is passionate to accomplish the Called Up mission of guiding people into living out their God-intended design with anyone wanting to grow and develop in their relationship with Jesus.   Rob and Michelle have three children, Robbie, Raquel and Grace. They reside in the desert city of La Quinta.

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Whitney Fiock

Bay FC Chaplain & Director of Communications/Development

Whitney gave her life to Christ as a little girl and used to share the Gospel with her friends on the playground, in the bathroom, at camp... but it was in her college years that she truly fell in love with Jesus. While attending Biola University and serving at a houseboating camp (Sonshine Ministries) in the summers, she spent significant time in God's Word, connected deeply with His people, and served him regularly. It was in these years that she truly learned what it meant to die to herself so that Christ could live (Galatians 2:20) and the joy that came with that. Whitney's heart is for those that are far from Jesus. She stepped in to full time ministry right after college as an intern with Sonshine (2009-10), then an FCA area rep (2010-2019), and now with Called Up (2019-). She served as the SCU Director for 4 years before stepping in to the role of Director of Communications & Development. In the Spring of 2024 she became a co-chaplain for Bay FC along with one of her closest friends, Melissa Charloe. What a dream! ​ In March 2017 Whitney married the love of her life, Rob. Together they have four little rascals that bring so much joy to life - Colt, Wells, Scarlet, and Rhodes!

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