Angela Stowell is leaving the multi-unit restaurant company Ethan Stowell Restaurants to become the CEO of FareStart, a Seattle-based nonprofit that provides foodservice training and job placement to the homeless.
The nonprofit, honored as the Humanitarian of the Year by the James Beard Foundation in 2011, said Stowell will start Oct. 14 after a “smooth transition” from Ethan Stowell Restaurants, or ESR.
Stowell takes over the position from Megan Karch, who left in March.
“We are thrilled to have Angela lead the next chapter of FareStart,” Board President Ken Hart said in a statement. “She’s a proven leader and visionary in both the business world and within our greater Seattle community. As FareStart continues to evolve to meet the growing needs of the community, her boldness, innovation, and collaborative leadership style will pave the way for long term success.”
FareStart’s training programs provide job and life skills to disadvantaged people, including homeless teenagers and young adults ages 16 to 24. Programs provide foodservice training in a variety of jobs: line cook, barista, server, bartender, catering cook.
FareStart operates the FareStart Restaurant, Community Table, Maslow’s by FareStart, Rise by FareStart, Café @ 2100 and Café @ PacTower.
Stowell, in a statement, said “helping people in need” has always been one of her core values.
Seattle-based Ethan Stowell Restaurants, which operates 16 restaurants with 420 employees, works closely with other nonprofits including Amara and the Pike Place Market Foundation. Over the past couple of years, Ethan Stowell Restaurants’ Goldfinch Tavern at the Four Seasons hotel in Seattle has placed five graduates trained under the FareStart program. Ethan Stowell Restaurants has also provided various training opportunities for FareStart students.
“I feel really lucky and excited to move in a direction where I get to do that every day,” Stowell stated. “FareStart is such an incredible organization that not only provides job training and life skills, but offers people a chance to find success and put themselves and their families on the path out of poverty.”
Ethan Stowell Restaurants plans to reorganize a few departments internally and promote from within while they search for Stowell’s replacement.
“We have a really strong leadership team in place and we want to take our time to find the new CEO,” Stowell said. “We’re looking for a great fit for our family business and also someone with the skills and experience to help us grow.”
Over an 11-year period, Stowell and her chef-partner-husband, Ethan Stowell, have grown the company to include multiple independent restaurants that generate annual revenue of $30 million.
She said it is bittersweet to leave. “I’m really going to miss the day-to-day with everyone at ESR.”
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