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
Joey comes to FamilyWorks with over 11 years of service in Seattle’s non-profit community. Having primarily worked with youth-development organizations Joey 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 his MBA. He is honored to be at FamilyWorks, getting to serve alongside such a dedicated staff team on behalf of such a wonderful community.
Mike Cox – Food Bank Manager
Mike left Mark Twain country in Missouri 20 years ago to move to Seattle. He has spent the last 14 years managing Chicken Soup Brigade’s food program at Lifelong AIDS Alliance and has experience working with both food banks, medical nutrition and hunger advocacy. Mike has a B.A. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Missouri and completed certification in Non-profit Management at the University of Washington in 2011. He is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the team at FamilyWorks as we help families attain nutritional security and family stability.
Larry Barnes – Food Bank 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.
Lauren Berntsen– Family Programs Coordinator
Lauren is a dual citizen of Norway and the United States who grew up in Costa Rica. She holds a BA in International Studies from the University of Washington and a Master’s Degree in Childhood Studies from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She has been active in the non-profit community for more than 10 years, working with children and families and is passionate about early childhood development. Her passions include travel, photography, the outdoors, good food and yoga. She is fluent 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.”
Jesse Shandrowski – Driver
James Moody – Food Bank Warehouse Coordinator
James has a passion for hunger relief work. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and was a former Manager of Food Lifeline’s Seattle’s Table Program (A perishable food rescue program). He is a former Seattle Firefighter and more recently worked for a cruise line for eight years before deciding to return to community service work.