Lark Kesterke

Lark Kesterke

Lark Kesterke strives to lead with an open heart and mind

She is the director of impact and investments for United Way of Snohomish County.

This is one of 12 finalists for the Herald Business Journal’s Emerging Leaders award, which seeks to highlight and celebrate people who are doing good work in Snohomish County. The winner will be named at an event on April 12.

Name: Lark Kesterke

Age: 40

Profession: Director of impact-investments, United Way of Snohomish County

Lark Kesterke understands the nonprofit world is fluid in nature. She said she tries to adapt, knowing stagnant, rigid thinking will only be a hindrance.

She is the director of impact and investments for United Way of Snohomish County. Her department is responsible for grant allocation, setting advocacy policy and delivering direct service programs.

United Way has undergone a change of mission, leadership and culture over the past three years. Kesterke has tried to be open with her team while accountable with the nonprofit’s limited resources.

“Despite the many transitions our department has experienced, I am proud that we have remained steadfast in keeping the community at the forefront of our work,” she wrote.

Kesterke also serves as chairwoman for Casino Road Kids Ministries, an organization she’s been involved with since 2015.

“I remain drawn to their mission of bringing hope and purpose to children by sharing the love of Christ through service and mentoring and am grateful for the opportunity to serve on this board and by extension my community,” Kesterke wrote.

She and her husband support Hand in Hand and WithinReach, nonprofits that help children and families. They also support the Mukilteo YMCA and she has spent 12 years as the coordinator of the Penn Cove MusselFest in Coupeville.

Kesterke said she strives to live each day with an open heart and an open mind. She wants to find the good in all people and all situations. She strives to remain true to her values both, professionally and personally.

“As a parent, I hope to instill in my children a love of adventure, an empathy for others and a drive to pursue a life that is deeply meaningful,” Kesterke wrote.

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