A Note From FareStart's Interim CEO, Craig Russell
April 12, 2018
It's an honor to fulfill the CEO role in the interim as the Board of Directors launches the search for the next great leader of this special organization. I have now been in the role for more than a month and could not be more impressed with the passion, commitment and leadership that drives our mission.
As I work alongside FareStart's leadership team to ensure we fulfill our 2018 priorities, our Board Search Committee has engaged an executive search firm to find our next FareStart CEO. Spencer Stuart is conducting a national search, and we have reached out to staff, volunteers, supporters and other stakeholders for input on the profile of the next FareStart CEO.
As of this time, the first round of candidates have been scheduled for initial interviews. This pace of progress is very encouraging and means we are right on track to finding a new CEO within the next several months.
In the meantime, I look forward to working with the FareStart staff and community to help provide real solutions to poverty, homelessness and hunger. Thank you for being part of the solution!
A Letter from Megan Karch
January 18, 2018
For the past 18 years, I’ve had the honor of being a part of the FareStart community. It’s been an incredible journey, but today, I’m writing to let you know that I’ve made the difficult decision to step down as CEO of FareStart, and take on a new role as CEO of IslandWood on Bainbridge Island.
I was not planning to leave FareStart, but an opportunity presented itself that I couldn’t pass up, which will allow me to grow professionally and spend more time with my young family.
When I first interviewed with the FareStart board and staff in 1999, I remember flying back home to Baltimore after the interviews and thinking “if these people are for real, I want to work for them.” That sense of connection to mission and commitment to the work was the driving force for me choosing to relocate across the country. That magic still exists 18 years later because of your support and commitment.
I’m incredibly proud of the work that we’ve accomplished to help combat poverty, homelessness and hunger. Together we have:
- Increased the number of individuals locally trained annually, from 50 to over 500.
- Grown revenues from $1.5 million to $20 million.
- Launched new, innovative programs including our Youth Barista, Youth Culinary, and Foodservice Apprenticeship, helping more people move out of poverty and homelessness.
- Scaled the model nationally resulting in the launch of over 45 programs across the country and founded a network of 55+ members sharing best practices.
- Received numerous organization accolades including the James Beard Foundation’s “Humanitarian of the Year” award.
But most importantly, we have transformed thousands of lives and multiple communities. FareStart is also in an outstanding position to make an even greater impact in the future.
I am working closely with our board of directors, leadership team and incoming Interim CEO Craig Russell to support a smooth transition as the national search begins for my replacement. Craig has been a member of our board for more than eight years, served as Board President, and is intimately familiar with the organization and its culture. He also brings vast leadership experience from his time at Starbucks. While leaving FareStart is one of the most difficult choices I have ever made, I know we have a strong, tenured team in place that will ensure that FareStart continues to thrive.