Michelle Engel-Silva

Michelle Engel-Silva is the new CEO of Proteus, Inc.

published on September 13, 2022 - 11:43 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Proteus, Inc. — a Visalia nonprofit serving farmworkers and other low-income residents with job training and other employment-related services — announced it has hired its first woman CEO in its 55-year history.

Michelle Engel-Silva was announced as Proteus’s official CEO Sept. 9 at the company’s anniversary gala. Engel-Silva had served as interim CEO since October 2021 after the departure of former CEO Robert Alcazar, who was appointed in 2016.

Engel-Silva is a 27-year employee of Proteus, starting as a vocational instructor in 1995 with promotions to program manager, organizational development specialist, chief of corporate relations and human resources to director of operations. She earned a doctorate in educational leadership from UC Davis as well as a master’s degree from California State University, Bakersfield, and an undergrad degree from Lewis & Clark College in Portland.

Serving Fresno, Kings, Kern and Tulare counties, Proteus’ offerings include adult basic and vocational education, job training, employment-related services, family self-sufficiency, energy programs, and other human services programs aimed at helping individuals and families.

“Ms. Engel-Silva brings with her 27 years of an array of hands-on experience within the organization, a wealthy educational background, and a host of professional certifications that have prepared her well,” Proteus, Inc. Board Chair Armida Espinoza said. “She is well known and respected not only throughout the four counties that Proteus serves but she is well connected at the state and national level.  Furthermore, over the course of roughly a year, Ms. Engel-Silva has served as interim CEO during which time, the organization has continued to thrive, meeting or exceeding many of its goals and objectives without skipping a beat.”


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