News

President of Hopelink announces retirement

Doreen Marchione, president and CEO of the Eastside service agency Hopelink, announced her retirement on Wednesday, Feb. 1, after 14 years at the helm.

Hopelink has provided services for low-income and homeless families, children and seniors in north and east King County since 1971.

When the former Redmond mayor took over what was then called Multi-Service Centers of North and East King County, the agency had a budget of $9 million and served about 20,000 people annually. Last year, Hopelink served 50,000 people and had a $40-million budget with 265 staff members and 1,500 volunteers working in six locations.

Under Marchione's watch, private giving to Hopelink grew from $400,000 in annual donations 14 years ago to $3.5 million in cash and $1.5 million in in-kind contributions last year. She led the agency's 2001 merger with the Eastside Literacy Council and opened a new permanent facility in Shoreline last year.

The agency also offers food, clothing, transportation, shelter and other forms of assistance to families in need. Some of the faster-growing programs include transportation, which is contracted out and took up $27 million of Hopelink's budget last year, and providing financial help for clients' electricity and gas bills.

The agency passes through 92 percent of its raised funds directly to serving its clients. Last year also saw Hopelink's most successful holiday drive yet, with more than 5,000 cash gifts totaling approximately $800,000.

"It seems like it's a good time as far as the agency goes for a transition," Marchione said.

Marchione, who is 67, said she has not made any long-range plans for after retirement, but might travel a bit. Before joining Hopelink she served as mayor of Redmond for eight years, but she said she has no desire to return to politics.

Chris Winters can be reached at chris.winters@kingcountyjournal.com or (425) 453-4232.

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