Our Leadership

Our People

FareStart leaders are dedicated to transforming our community one life at a time. We believe that everyone deserves a second chance. We trust our students will use that second chance to turn their lives around. Our Senior Leadership Team and Board of Directors work hand in hand. They are unrelenting in feeding the hearts, souls, and careers of our staff and volunteers--with new challenges and resources.

Senior Leadership Team


Megan KarchChief Executive Officer

During her 16 year tenure, Megan has been an instrumental part of FareStart’s significant expansion, paving the way for a broader impact on homelessness in King County—including increasing the number of individuals served by 400 percent, growing business revenues from .8M to 6M, purchasing and renovating a new $12.8M facility, and launching a national expansion effort resulting in 60 members representing three countries. In 2015 alone, more than 800,000 meals were prepared and served to adults and children in need, and 203 individuals graduated from FareStart’s culinary training program, with 91 percent of adult graduates achieving employment within 90 days.

Under Megan’s leadership, FareStart has received many prestigious awards including the Downtown Seattle Association’s “2007 Champion” award, the Mayor’s “End Hunger” award, Seattle Human Services Coalition’s “Organization of the Year,” the Alliance for Nonprofits’ “Evergreen Award,” Seattle Business Magazine's 2016 Community Impact  "Nonprofit of the Year" award and the James Beard Foundation’s 2011 “Humanitarian of the Year” award.

Megan has served as board president of the Alliance of Non Profits, board president of NPower, board member of the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID), executive board member of the Downtown Seattle Association (DSA), was on the Impact Assessment Committee for Washington Women’s Foundation, and as a member of the Governor’s State Advisory Board on Homelessness.

In 2005, Karch was named one of the “40 Under 40” by the Puget Sound Business Journal, and in 2007 was voted one of the top 20 Women of Influence in Puget Sound. In 2011 Megan was recognized as one of ten “Women of Valor” by Senator Maria Cantwell and in 2012 won Executive Excellence award by Seattle Business  Magazine. In 2013, she was recognized by Seattle Met in their annual Light A Fire Awards as an “Extraordinary Executive Director.”

Prior to joining FareStart, Megan lived in the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area where she held the position of Vice President of Vocational Services for Humanim, a nonprofit human services agency. In her free time, she enjoys a host of outdoor activities including sailing, cycling and skiing.

Michelle McDanielChief Development Officer

Michelle McDaniel joined FareStart in 2013, overseeing fundraising, marketing, communications, community engagement and volunteer services for the organization's local and national programs. In addition to her role at FareStart, Michelle enjoys volunteering at local non-profits, including serving on the Boards of Crisis Clinic and Boomtown Café.

Just prior to joining FareStart, Michelle was the Regional Chief Development Officer at the American Red Cross, Western Washington Chapters.

Having spent her "first" career as a mental health professional working with adults and youth, Michelle has a passion for ensuring the well-being of our most vulnerable community members.

Michelle has a bachelor's degree in psychology and a Masters in Business Administration.

Ryan DeanChief Financial Officer

Ryan Dean joins FareStart in 2017 as the Chief Financial Officer after spending nearly twelve years as Director of Finance and Administration at the Seattle Aquarium. Prior to the Seattle Aquarium, Ryan held senior finance positions at IBM, Real Networks, Sequent Computers and Boston Market. He holds a Masters in International Management and a bachelor's degree in Finance. Ryan is an avid cyclist and ultimate Frisbee player. He coaches youth ultimate in the Seattle Public Schools in his free time.

Matt GurneyVP Social Enterprise

Matt Gurney joined FareStart in 2000 as the Youth Barista Program Developer. Now the Vice President of Social Enterprise, Matt leads all FareStart businesses, including FareStart’s School Meals, Community Meals, The FareStart Restaurant (Lunch and Guest Chef Night), FareStart Catering, and two cafés located in the 2100 building and Pacific Tower, respectively. Matt is active in the Social Enterprise community, recently completing Stanford Business School’s Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship and delivering a presentation on Social Enterprise at Catalyst Kitchen’s Biennial Member’s Summit. When he’s not at FareStart, Matt serves on the board of BikeWorks (a non-profit dedicated to promoting the bicycle as a vehicle for change to empower youth), coaches his son’s youth soccer team, plays ultimate Frisbee and enjoys a strong cup of Seattle coffee.

Molly Hancock, VP Programs and Student Services

As the Vice President of Programs at FareStart, Molly Hancock is responsible for the adult culinary job training program, the youth barista education and training program, youth culinary and customer service program, student and graduate support services and public funding.  Molly was previously a FareStart board member for 9 years including service as board chair, and joined FareStart as a staff member in early 2012.  Molly also serves as the Board Chair for Jubilee Women’s Center, a provider of transitional housing and services for women experiencing poverty.  Molly is also the Past President of the Seattle chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, an association of professional women in foodservice and the culinary arts, and serves on the Downtown Seattle Metropolitan Improvement District Advisory Board. Prior to joining FareStart staff Molly was Director of Strategy at Starbucks Coffee Company and was the Chief Operating Officer for Larry’s Markets and for Consolidated Restaurants.

2017 FareStart Board of Directors

President: Lisa Clarke, Amplero
Past President: Craig Russell, Community Volunteer
President Elect: Ken Hart, Cornerstone Advisors, Inc.
Treasurer: Cate Hardy, PCC Natural Markets
Secretary: Gregg Johnson, Johnson Consulting Associates, LLC

Bill Adamucci, Community Funding Group
Chris Schenck, Dali Wireless, Inc.
Gail DeGiulio, Global Partnerships
Jeffrey Adelson, Boeing
Joanna Smith, Community Volunteer
Judy Meleliat, Aegis Living
Julaine Smith, AccountantSmart
Justice Mary I. Yu, Washington State Supreme Court
Nicole Trimble, FSG
Paul Davis, Paul Davis & Associates, LLC
Phil Stalcup, Community Volunteer
Rodger Kohn, Tousley Brain Stephens
Tricia McKay Lincoln, LUMA Consulting

Ex-Officio Members: Megan Karch, FareStart CEO