Fauquier FISH is proud to announce the appointment of a new Executive Director, Kathryn Lamonia. Kathryn’s hiring represents the first paid position in the organization’s 37-years of operation.
Substantial program growth over the past several years has necessitated a shift from the organization’s historically volunteer-based management. Since 2014, Fauquier FISH has seen a nearly 500% increase in its operational budget. This growth coincides with the increase in number of community members served by the organization – which has grown by thousands annually. Naturally, the number of volunteer hours required to fulfill the organization’s mission has also risen dramatically.
FISH operates three large-scale programs – a food pantry that distributes meals to nearly 3,000 individuals each year, the Weekend Power Pack program which sends food home to 300+ school-aged children each week, and a Book Bag School Supply drive that provides 600-800 children with needed supplies every August. Additionally, the organization provides specialized meals for seniors and distributes hundreds of holiday meal baskets to families each December.
The current health pandemic has created an even greater surge in need across all of FISH’s programs – with no signs of slowing down. Fauquier FISH’s Board came to the decision that to continue providing the exceptional level of service the community has come to expect, the role of Executive Director required a dedicated employee. In her new role, Kathryn will oversee operations for all of FISH’s programs, creating greater synergy and strategic vision across the organization.
Since taking over this position on August 1st, Kathryn has faced numerous challenges head on, making incredible strides. Early wins include securing a reliable bulk food source for the organization’s Weekend Power Pack program and helping to facilitate the program’s upcoming relocation to Appleton Campbell’s recently vacated space in Old Town. FISH Board Member Megan Oakley shared, “Kathryn has brought tons of positive energy, determination, and resilience to her position. We are thrilled to have her join the FISH family and look forward to her leadership as we move into this next phase of organizational development.”
Kathryn joins FISH after serving in management roles at The Inn at Little Washington and having successfully operated Old Town Warrenton’s gift shop, Piccadilly Ltd, for 13 years prior to the store’s closing in 2017. When asked about what attracted her to the position, Kathryn shared, “I knew I wanted to move into the non-profit sector and I was very impressed with FISH’s mission, vision and values; food insecurity and childhood hunger are issues I care deeply about. The opportunity to work with such an engaged board of directors and their dedicated volunteers was very appealing. It is remarkable that FISH has grown so quickly while being run solely by volunteers; most non-profits operating on this scope and level have a paid staff. I am sincerely honored to be FISH’s first employee.”
Fauquier FISH’s Board Members, Carol Schumacher and Charity Furness, preceded Kathryn as volunteer Executive Directors.