My name is David Faro.
On January 1, 2019 I had the good fortune to become the Director of the Washington Hospitality Association’s Education Foundation. As I take the reins from a long line of dedicated hospitality professionals, it is a privilege to be able to follow in their footsteps This is an exciting role, and with the current team in place – along with a highly energized board! – I see a bright future for the foundation and for the people we serve.
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Recently, the staff line-up at the foundation has also gone through some changes, so along with introducing myself and beginning to connect with the whole workforce development community, I also wanted to highlight our current team and the areas we all focus on.
With the beginning of the new year the foundation has a renewed sense of energy for our mission. Currently we are focused on several things, but our immediate task list includes implementing two successful ProStart Invitationals , which are right around the corner. The first is in Spokane on March 2, the second is in Seattle on March 9. We would love to see any and all of you at either event! The competition is a highlight of the EF year and the excitement is hard to beat.
The foundation is also supporting two workforce development bills during the current legislative session in Olympia. At the same time, our team is doing a deep dive into our training programs with a vision to assess each product and calibrate them to their finest potential. We also aim to expand the footprint of our ServSafe classes and to provide consistent First Aid and CPR training opportunities across the state.
Lastly, and importantly, our new staff will be introduced at our winter meeting to our Board of Directors. Even more exciting, we will welcome several new board members!
At this meeting we hope to share the current state of affairs in the foundation and begin to develop the bonds of a strong community along with a renewed vision for the future.
So, beginning with that small yet exciting glimpse into the coming months, allow me to introduce the 2019 Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation team!
David Faro, MPA
Director | Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation
David Faro is a seasoned hospitality professional who has worked in a variety of roles with leading multi-national brands for over two decades.
David’s early career began in several major cities the United States learning full service restaurant management as he traveled.
Afterwards, David spent a decade in the expedition and cruise industry and held senior management positions with international bespoke luxury brands.
For the last six years David has served as the Senior Manager of Marketing for the Hospitality Association. David’s experience is rounded out by an acute interest in public policy, tourism, workforce development, and storytelling.
David also holds a Master’s in Public Administration and lectures on history, “values-based” organizational design and public policy.
David is excited to serve in his new role as Director, and his vision for the foundation capitalizes on joining multiple networks with expanded service and training opportunities for members.
Sandra is a lifelong veteran of the hospitality community in Washington state. Sandra has deep roots in the south sound area, and she is a champion for workforce development strategies that serve our industry.
Sandra’s work puts her on the front lines with government entities and community based organizations as she illuminates the vibrant career pathways for hospitality workers in Washington state. Sandra also works to connect the dots between private and public interests and to maximize the collective impact of these partnerships for our members.
Successes of Sandra’s include developing a partnership with the Employment Security Department and the creation of Hospitality Month as recognized by the Governor. It will take place, for the third year in a row, in May. This relationship created a strong bridge between our industry and job creation strategies in the public sector.
If you have ideas about hospitality workforce development, Sandra Miller should be your first call.
Marcella is the foundation’s Training Programs Coordinator, and she is currently the solid backbone of our certification processes.
Marcella is all things ServSafe, and in her short time with the association, she has laser focused her energy on our programs marketing, administration, and product development.
Marcella has a background in building online communities and with “influencer marketing” strategies. With her added experience in customer service, most recently working with the Seattle Symphony before moving to the foundation, Marcella is a pivotal member of the team, bringing a wide and varied skill set. If you need training, in anything, Marcella should be your first call.
Kelsi is a recent graduate of Washington State University with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Business Management. Kelsi’s focus was on customer service and hotel and restaurant administration. Kelsi also focused on event management and has big plans for EF events like the ProStart Invitational and our Golf FORE! Education tournament in September.
Aside from her academic interest in hospitality, Kelsi has also worked in a variety of hospitality positions including catering, quick service, and as a barista.
Kelsi recently held the position of Executive Assistant to the Vice President, CRO for the Hospitality Association. Kelsi will begin her new position as a lead organizer for the ProStart Invitationals. If you have questions about ProStart, Kelsi is the first person to contact at the foundation.
Darin Johnson provides C-Level financial oversight for the nonprofit. Darin has also been working as an interim Director for the foundation while the official position was being filled.
Darin has worked diligently with the new Director and staff to create a solid financial and operational understanding of the organization.
He has been pivotal in helping to set a strategic course for the foundation as we move forward into the new year.
Darin has a passion for solving complex business problems and leading people. Darin has held many executive management positions concentrated in the public accounting and the banking industry and is enjoying his latest role as the Washington Hospitality Association’s Chief Financial Officer.