Jake Weber – Executive Director
Jake Weber joined FamilyWorks as Director in 1997, after serving on its founding Board of Directors for two years. Jake has a BS in Music Therapy and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the UW. In 2007, Jake was honored by the Children’s Trust Foundation with the first annual “Janet Miller Award for Excellence.” She feels lucky to have a job that she loves, getting to partner with the community, the staff and the Board to nourish individuals and families on a path to resiliency.
Shirley Ferkingstad – Resource Center Manager
Shirley Ferkingstad was born and bred in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington. She has always worked in non-profits in Seattle. Shirley spent about 25 years working in the field of Early Childhood Education: teaching young children at the UW Experimental Education Unit and Head Start and directing several child care centers. She has worked at FamilyWorks since 2002.
Joey Ashenbrenner – Resource Development Manager
He come to FamilyWorks with over 11 years of service in Seattle’s non-profit community. Primarily working with youth-development organizations, He has experience in both program development and fundraising. He has a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Washington and in 2011 He completed my MBA. He is honored to be at FamilyWorks, getting to serve alongside such a dedicated staff team on behalf of such a wonderful community.
Ava Dowell – Food Bank Manager
Ava Dowell has been coordinating the food bank since 1995 (when it was the Fremont Public Association) and since 1998 with FamilyWorks. Before entering social services, Ava spent 20 years working for Pacific Northwest Bell & US West in management. She has devoted her life to helping others & doing the Lord’s work. FamilyWorks & it’s mission has been instrumental in helping her fulfill her purpose in life. Hunger is important to her. She respects her job & the many challenges it brings. She especially enjoys being apart of the FamilyWorks team that includes Volunteers, Churches, Schools & the Wallingford community. Her greatest job in life is being a Mother & Nana. One of her favorite quotes: “ If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” -Mother Teresa
Larry Barnes – Warehouse Coordinator
Larry was born and raised in Seattle. He spent over 25 years in the janitorial field, 15 of them at the Sunset Club. He loved waxing and polishing the beautiful hardwood floors, antiques and brass door hinges, but most of all he fell in love with the people and decided to devote his life to people. He worked a few years at OEC food bank in Renton, coming to FamilyWorks in 2008, “finding joy and inspiration every day” as he reaches out to people.
Gladys Martinez – Teen Parent Coordinator
Gladys was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA and moved to Seattle in 2004. She served with AmeriCorps from 2004-2006 as a Legal Advocate for Domestic Violence. She is the mother of three multi-talented teenage boys. She enjoys working with teen parents and having the opportunity to make a difference in their lives.
Elizabeth Ralston – Volunteer Coordinator
Elizabeth Ralston has a public health background and has worked as a health educator for the Seattle King County Department of Public Health, University of Washington, and various nonprofits. In addition to her position as volunteer coordinator at FamilyWorks, Elizabeth writes “Doing Good”, a bi-monthly column for Parentmap and consults with nonprofits on storytelling, social media, and marketing. She is very excited to be here at FamilyWorks, getting to make a difference in the lives of people working to benefit and strengthen our community.
Sarah Turner – Family Programs Coordinator
Sarah has a BA in Music and Religious Studies and graduate level work in Elementary Education. She has worked in both elementary and early childhood settings—her most recent job was teaching toddlers at the Wallingford Childcare Center and is currently the children’s choir director at University Congregational United Church of Christ in the U. District. Sarah is also conversational in Spanish.
Virginia Gonzales – Family Advocate
Virginia has a Masters in Couple and Family Therapy. She has worked in various agencies in King County for over 20 years. She has worked with newly immigrated families from all over Latin America and is an immigrant from South America. She has worked with families, teens, homeless youth and HIV/AIDS patients. Virginia is fluent in Spanish.
Lexie Fleming - Family Advocate
Lexie was born and raised on the East Coast and moved to Seattle in 2006. She has a BS in Biology and Education from Haverford College and a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Washington. In addition to working as a family advocate at FamilyWorks, Lexie also works as a perinatal social worker at the UW Hospital. All of her work focuses on helping families find resources, access support systems, and build relationships within the community to reach stability and thrive. She says, “It is a joy to be a part of the FamilyWorks community”