• Root Announces M. Scott Knox will be new Executive Director

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    June 13, 2018
    Contact: Elisabeth Massey
    M. Scott Knox to Head Salem, MA nonprofit
    SALEM, MA…June 13, 2018… Root’s Board of Trustees announced that M. Scott Knox, has been hired to be the new Executive Director as of June 12, 2018. Scott was unanimously chosen by the Board after an extensive search. His exemplary credentials include an impressive combination of finance and development, along with years of experience working with young people.

    “The Board set out to find a leader with the vision to build on Root’s early successes and to more effectively meet the needs of underserved youth in Essex County,” said Jennifer Eddy, Root’s Interim Executive Director and Chairman of the Board.  “We are confident that with Scott’s appointment, Root will succeed in achieving and exceeding our goals.”
    For the past eight years, Scott has worked at Brooke Charter Schools, a network of high-performing, college preparatory, public charter schools in Boston that serve 1,750 students from Boston to Chelsea across four campuses. Scott served in several key, founding roles at Brooke including chief operating officer, chief development officer, and chief people officer. In his senior leadership capacity, Scott oversaw the financial management of the Brooke school network, led two capital campaigns raising over $9 million, led talent recruitment increasing the number of teachers who identify as Black and Latino, and helped build services and support for Brooke alumni. 
    Prior to joining the Brooke community, Scott worked at The Steppingstone Foundation as Dean of Academic Preparation. After leading the academic program for two years, he joined the management team as the Vice President of National Expansion and launched the Steppingstone program in Hartford, CT.  Scott also co-founded the National Partnership for Educational Access (NPEA) which is a national association dedicated to promoting quality, success, and growth among over 300 member organizations and schools that share a commitment to expanding educational opportunities for underserved students across the United States. Before joining Steppingstone, Scott worked with Jumpstart as the National Director for New Site Development and taught 8th and 10th grade English in New Orleans.
    Outside of work, Scott serves as Board Chair of Silver Lining Mentoring, the only mentoring program in the state that exclusively provides long-term mentoring and life-skills coaching to youth in foster care.  Additionally, Scott is a beekeeper and gardener, and co-teaches a garden horticulture course at a prison south of Boston through the New Garden Society. A resident of Roxbury, Scott received his B.A. from Boston College and his M.A. from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He earned his first paycheck working at a restaurant when he was 14.
    “I am thrilled to be joining the Root team! While there are a variety of approaches to creating economic opportunity for young people,” said Scott Knox, “there are very few programs like Root that effectively integrate career preparation, life-skills development, and community building for at-risk youth.  It is an exciting time for the organization, and I am looking forward to working with the board, staff, program partners, donors, and volunteers who are a part of this social enterprise movement.”
    About Root
    Root offers a rigorous, 12 week, 200-hour program of direct kitchen and classroom training that helps students transform their lives and futures through technical and experiential education in the culinary arts - leading to employment and financial self-sufficiency.  Program participants learn and practice their skills through externships in area restaurants, as well as in Root’s own food service businesses: The Root Café, Catering by Root and HarborPoint at Root event space.  Students graduate with industry-recognized certifications, a sense of accomplishment and newfound confidence and self-esteem.  By preparing these young people for work, Root helps fulfill an identified need in the regional hospitality industry for well-trained, young professionals.  Additional information is available at www.RootNS.org.
    Faith Emerson, Director of Development
    (978) 616-7615
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