Chief People and Inclusion Officer

About FareStart

For nearly 30 years, FareStart has transformed lives, disrupted poverty and nourished communities through food, life skills and job training. Driven by a vision that every individual deserves the opportunity to thrive in an equitable and just world, FareStart is deeply committed to addressing racism and systemic inequities that perpetuate homelessness, poverty and food insecurity. The organization’s holistic approach provides pathways toward personal stability, economic mobility and food security while advancing equity. 

FareStart is a nonprofit that provides social services while managing mission-driven businesses to deliver on job training opportunities for students and feed the community. With an annual operating budget of approximately $20 million, FareStart’s social enterprise model braids philanthropic and public funding with revenue from their foodservice businesses. They employ 180 full and part-time staff and benefit from the help of over 3,000 volunteers. Governance is provided by a Board of Directors that serve on committees in support of the organization’s efforts. 

FareStart provides job training and wraparound support, including housing, counseling, food and transportation to adults and youth. Due to the pandemic, training has moved to a 100% virtual environment and is focused on building skills that can be applied across a variety of jobs and industries. The organization anticipates bringing back in-person training opportunities in 2022. FareStart also reduces hunger and food insecurity by providing healthy, prepared meals to shelters, permanent supportive housing, schools, daycare centers and nonprofit organizations. Nationally, FareStart provides training, resources and consulting support to nonprofit organizations that want to launch or expand food-based job training programs. Since the pandemic, FareStart has provided over 3.5 million meals, enrolled 200 people into job training programs and facilitated over 200 job placements. 

As they approach their 30-year anniversary in 2022, FareStart celebrates its rich history while looking ahead and adapting its work to realize its mission in a better, more equitable way. They are committed to becoming an antiracist organization by addressing and confronting racism in how decisions are made, how they show up in communities, how they build business practices and policies, and how they engage in philanthropic and programmatic partnerships to fulfill their mission and vision. They are taking a more trauma-informed approach to their training and meal services. They are also building a team that thinks big as they endeavor to expand their programs and services to reach more individuals and communities facing barriers to employment and food security. This includes developing and implementing new employment offerings for staff to ensure the personal stability of team members responsible for delivering the FareStart mission.

FareStart’s bold path forward is captured in their 2022-2025 Strategic Plan

The Chief People and Inclusion Officer Role

FareStart’s complexity and new direction offers an experienced Human Resources leader the opportunity to provide dynamic, thoughtful leadership and implementation of best-in-class human resources (HR) and diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEI&B) practices. The CPIO will ensure that all HR and DEI&B practices align with and support FareStart’s overall business operations objectives and core mission. Critically, this role will ensure inclusion is at the forefront of all FareStart business initiatives and help foster a “one team, one mission” culture across all of FareStart’s operations and social enterprises. They will work to ensure all voices are heard within the organization, and systems, processes, and policies support equity, as well as the attraction and retention of a diverse workforce.

Reporting directly to the CEO, the CPIO is an important voice on the senior leadership team (SLT), which includes the CEO, Chief Program Officer, CFO & Chief Operating Officer, Chief Development Officer, and Chief Innovation Officer. The CPIO will also interface regularly with the Board of Directors.

This position is both highly strategic and very operational. Strategically, the CPIO will bring an equity lens and people expertise to the development of a new strategic plan and all ongoing initiatives.

Operationally, the CPIO will rely on strong functional expertise in HR and DEI&B to develop programs, policies, and benefits across the employee lifecycle that support a healthy, positive culture and a unified team. The CPIO will directly oversee 3+ direct reports, whose teams will be responsible for implementing all HR and DEI&B activities.

Key Responsibilities

Strategic Partnership
  • Support new strategic plan and implementation of the new direction of FareStart
  • Collaborate with senior leaders and champion effective change management strategies and introduce new processes, systems, and policies are introduced
  • Function as a strategic business advisor to the CEO and senior leaders of each business regarding key organizational and management issues
Drive Culture of DEI&B
  • Serve as the executive level strategist creating opportunities to define, assess, measure and promote scalable practices in DEI&B and cultural proficiency
  • Ensure all identities, employees, volunteers, and other stakeholders feel a sense of equity and belonging
  • Lead for all aspects of HR, embedding diversity, justice, equity, and belonging into HR practices.
Departmental Management
  • Lead HR team through the lens of a servant leader who considers people and their professional development as the top priority
  • Set the stage for high performance, encourage personal initiative, accountability, and responsibility at all levels across the HR team
  • Manage and coach three or more direct reports, including two departmental directors (a Director of Human Resources and a Director of Diversity) and provide indirect oversight of all employees within those departments.
  • Effectively manage departmental budgets
HR Excellence
  • Audit existing HR infrastructure to ensure FareStart has the practices and policies it needs for growth
  • Talent Acquisition: develop comprehensive strategic recruiting and retention plans to meet the human capital needs of FareStart’s strategic plan
  • Career Pathways: implement strategies to increase engagement, opportunity, and advancement for underrepresented groups and our students
  • Succession: Work with SLT to establish a sound management succession plan that aligns with FareStart’s strategy and objectives
  • Ensure a comprehensive and equitable compensation strategy
  • Assess and provide benefits plans that are competitive and cost-effective

Ideal Candidate

FareStart’s CPIO will be driven by enthusiasm and passion for FareStart’s mission and excited by the opportunity to further the organization though inclusion. This role requires an authentic leader with strong interpersonal skills who can deploy fresh, supportive energy where needed and operate in a dynamic environment.

Strong emotional and cultural intelligence is crucial to communicate effectively and respectfully with staff, key stakeholders, the Board of Directors, and the population FareStart serves, all of whom bring diverse racial, educational, and socio-economic backgrounds to the organization. The role requires a deep understanding of how the varied needs of these groups differ and intersect in order to foster an inclusive culture that prioritizes the needs of each audience without bias.

Ideal candidates have demonstrated commitment to talent development, the employee experience, and organizational culture. They are excellent communicators, listeners, and are adept at conflict resolution. Strength in analytical thinking, problem solving, an excellent eye for detail, and well-developed organizational skills will be important for success in this multifaceted role.

Ideal candidates are expected to bring a thorough knowledge of employment laws and keep up with the latest changes and regulations. Experience with various HR information systems and system implementation is an asset.

Strong supervisory and leadership skills are essential. We seek candidates who have led HR teams and DEI&B strategy in growing organizations. They have a high level of comfort with ambiguity and leading through periods of change.

Additional Qualifications that would be valued include:

  • A minimum of 15 years of HR experience, with at least five years at the executive level
  • SHRM Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP) or SHRM Certified Professional (SHRM-CP) certifications
  • Certified Diversity Executive (CDE) certification
  • A BA or BS, or MBA, MA, or MS in human resources or a related field of study

Compensation and Location

The salary for this position is in the $180,000 – $200,000 range, plus benefits.

The position is based in Seattle on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish Peoples and specifically stands on the lands of the First Peoples of Seattle, the Duwamish. FareStart honors the land they occupy and the Duwamish Peoples.

FareStart defines antiracism as the clear acknowledgment that racism permeates organizations, communities, and industries, including our own. We recognize that we have a duty to be vigilant in addressing and confronting racism in how we make decisions, show up in our communities, build business practices and policies, and engage in intentional partnerships and philanthropic endeavors to fulfill our mission and vision.

FareStart is an Equal Opportunity Employer serving people of various communities and backgrounds. We seek applicants who value diversity and inclusivity. Women, People of Color, and Members of the LGBTQIA+ Community are encouraged to apply.

To Be Considered

Please submit your resume and cover letter expressing your interest in the position and fit for the role via the Become a Candidate button.

Chief People and Inclusion OfficerFareStartSeattle, WA

The search for a Chief People and Inclusion Officer is being assisted by a team from GoodCitizen: 

Melissa Merritt
Managing Director
Direct: 206.792.4300

Mollie Smith
Senior Associate
Direct: 206.462.6190

Keristian Farra
Direct: 206.792.4311