January 18, 2022

Dear Stability Network community,

It is with great enthusiasm that we welcome David Song as The Stability Network’s new Executive Director, effective 18 January 2022. David is a seasoned leader with a proven track record of elevating the voices of those who have been traditionally silenced. He is also a mental health advocate with his own story and experience to share. As Executive Director, he will carry forward these two passions in a way that aligns with TSN’s and his own values.

David’s experience spans the last fifteen years in programmatic and executive roles in the nonprofit sector in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Seattle. His leadership in the education sphere has been obvious: he has successfully led strategic plans, change management processes, events and programming for Chicago Debates and the Minnesota Urban Debate League. Most recently, David served as the Executive Director of Kandelia in Seattle, overseeing all aspects of that community organization, which is dedicated to addressing systemic inequities so that immigrant and refugee families can thrive. He successfully navigated Kandelia through the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic by completing the organization’s most successful gala, adding staff, and diversifying its Board amidst global and local uncertainty.

While this list of accomplishments is impressive, it is David’s thoughtfulness that stands out as his top quality. David will lead TSN with clear passion, practiced knowledge, and authentic reflection of his own lived experience of mental ill-health. Our Board’s Hiring Committee and the TSN staff immediately saw this authenticity when we met and got to know David; he simply fits with the TSN culture. We are excited for him to lead the organization into its next chapter.

As we look to the future, it is important to reflect upon TSN’s origins. This past year saw our intrepid founder, Katherine Switz, step down to pursue other opportunities. Katherine started The Stability Network a decade ago at her kitchen table with a few close friends. Using her own story of thriving while living with a mental health condition, she built TSN from an idea to a full-fledged nonprofit organization. Katherine inspired a movement in TSN.

We navigated this transition well, with continued support from Katherine, our Board, and the TSN staff. We welcomed Peg Cheng into a Program Coordinator role, in which she has far surpassed our expectations; additionally, Melanie Jochheim-Atkins successfully stepped into a larger and more autonomous role as Program Manager. And we are most grateful for the leadership of Megan Silvestri, whose knowledge of the organization is second only to Katherine’s, and who has absolutely blossomed as TSN’s Interim Executive Director. TSN ran smoothly, and grew, during this interim period, and Megan will be missed as she moves on to other ventures.

Onward to 2022! David will be in touch with this community soon to introduce himself properly. In the meantime, please join me in thanking Katherine, Megan, Melanie and Peg, and welcoming David to the team.

Peter Varnum

The Stability Network Board Chair