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Dave and Carolyn Urban

Dave & Carolyn Urban

Position: CEO | Director of Staff Care (Charlotte)

About me

We are originally from the Philadelphia area and moved to Charlotte in 2013. I spent over 20 years in the field of higher education overseeing enrollment and building strategic partnerships with various different organizations. I also co-founded and is partner in Charter Oak Research, which has provided marketing, research, executive search, strategic planning, and consulting services to over 50 clients, including Christian and private schools, colleges, and seminaries in addition to several other business organizations. He holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in Business Administration from Eastern University. My wife Carolyn graduated from Eastern University and spent 11 years coaching the women’s lacrosse team there, prior to stepping away to raise their three children.

How and why I became a MAI missionary

I started playing soccer at the age of 5 and had the privilege of being coached by his dad until going off to college. The foundation of teaching I received had a significant impact on my life. During my college years I came to know Christ as my Savior through the environment of my college soccer team. I went on to coach myself at both the HS and Collegiate level which further prepared me for a role that I did not know would be in my future. When the opportunity came up to be a part of the ministry of MAI, who’s mission is to glorify God and see lives transformed by sharing the message of Jesus Christ through the global environment of soccer, it was a natural fit. Carolyn also has a background in sports, having coached Women’s Lacrosse for 11 years at Eastern University. The mission of MAI is what drew her in because she saw first hand the impact that sports can have on the lives of players through the environment of a team. Carolyn has the privilege of serving in Staff Care in the Charlotte office.

Dave & Carolyn Urban

CEO | Director of Staff Care (Charlotte)

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David & Lola Sanford

Position: National Director

About me

I am married to Lola and we have two sons. Lola is a professional Christian Counselor. Mitch serves with MAI as the Director of International Tours. Luke and his wife, Margaret, and their sons, Cliff and Kai live in Marion, IN where he is head coach of the Indiana Wesleyan University Men’s Soccer Team.

I coached at Wesleyan Christian Academy in High Point, NC through the ’80s and ’90s and  loved using the environment of the sport to mold and impact young men for Christ. My WCA teams won nine State Championships and were nationally ranked several times by the United Soccer Coaches. I was awarded NC High School Coach of the Year three times, United Soccer coaches Southeast COY twice and United Soccer Coaches National Private High School COY once. I am a member of the NC Field of Honor with the NC High School Soccer Coaches Association and a member of the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame. I also served as the Middle School Principal my last ten years at WCA.

When MAI opened the office in Charlotte in the early ’90s I connected immediately. While at WCA I would coach teams on Charlotte Eagle International Youth Tours to Europe and traveled with the Men’s pro team to Jordan, Israel and Gaza. In 2003 I joined the MAI Board of Directors and served five years before the board challenged me to come on staff full-time. The Lord confirmed that call and Lola and I moved to Charlotte in 2008 to take on the role of US Director.

In addition to my state-side responsibilities, David serves sports ministry initiatives Mitch and I started in Kenya in 2006. We travel annually to train new coaches and develop existing ones. There are now an estimated 800 teams using the game to express the Gospel of Jesus to their youth and surrounding communities. I also travels to Central and South America as well as Africa and Europe to help MAI train leaders and coaches.

How & why did you become a MAI Missionary

My joining MAI as full-time staff was a long process. By connecting with the Charlotte Eagles leadership, coaches and players to help impact my players at Wesleyan Academy I formed strong relational bonds. I then began helping take International Youth Tours. The next step was serving the ministry through the Board of Directors. Finally, the Lord called us to move to Charlotte and I have been in my ‘sweet spot’ in ministry here with MAI.

I love the community I serve with at MAI and enjoy a great partnership with an incredible financial and prayer support team made up of dozens of individuals and families that make it possible for me to serve with MAI.

David & Lola Sanford

National Director

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Graham and Lori West

Graham & Lori West

Position: Director of International Training

Graham & Lori West

Director of International Training

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Mitch and Holly Sanford

Mitch & Holly Sanford

Position: Director of International Tours

About me

  • Leading international ministry through soccer with MAI since 2005
  • Currently helping MAI partner with ongoing sports ministry in Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, and Germany.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

My initial experience with MAI was on a Charlotte Eagles youth tour to Sweden and Denmark in the summer of 1997. I followed that up with another Sweden-Denmark tour in 1999 and a tour to Holland in 2000.

I then joined MAI after college as an intern to help run a short-term trip to Holland in 2005 and have been involved with the Charlotte office ever since. I officially joined staff in 2007.

My desire to become engaged in full-time sports ministry was the result of the impact that my tour leaders and coaches had on me as a high school and college player. I hope that I am able to have the same influence on young people today, encouraging them to invest their talents into the advancement of God’s Kingdom.

 

Mitch & Holly Sanford

Director of International Tours

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Paul and Robin Shedd

Paul & Robin Shedd

Position: MAI Staff Care & So Cal USL2 Team Ministry Director

About me

My parents were missionaries in Bolivia and Chile.  At the age of 15, I moved back to the States to continue my education.   Robin grew up in the Peruvian Amazon Basin as an MK. We both accepted the LORD as our personal Savior as children. We met at Ben Lippen School in Asheville, NC. I attended Wheaton College and Robin received her RN degree at West Suburban School of Nursing. Tied the knot in 1976.

We have lived and worked (Paul as a Spanish teacher and Coach-Robin as a Nurse) in Chicago, Tanzania and St. Petersburg, FL and have been blessed with three children: Erin, Dawn and Matt; 3 wonderful in-laws; and 6 grandchildren.

How & why I became a MAI Missionary

Growing up as missionary children, we were very familiar with mission life.”Although both of our experiences were positive as MKs, we did not feel GOD’s calling us into full time missions until we were in our 40s.  Paul took his high school soccer teams on missions trips 4 different summers. In 1997 we traveled with the team where Robin grew up the Peruvian Jungle.  After that we answered GOD’s call and joined Missionary Athletes International in 2000. Over the last 19 years we have learned that GOD is always faithful in the good times and not so good times. He has faithfully provided His love, encouragement, grace, mercy and financial support through our awesome support team. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!!!!

Paul & Robin Shedd

MAI Staff Care & So Cal USL2 Team Ministry Director

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OFFICE STAFF

Brent Morris

Position: Director of Finance and Administration

Brent Morris

Director of Finance and Administration

Shari Strain

Position: Denari Administrator

Shari Strain

Denari Administrator

Susan Peterson

Position: Senior Bookkeeper

Susan Peterson

Senior Bookkeeper