Long-time sexual assault survivors’ advocate retires from resource center in Renton

Mary Ellen Stone retires from King County Sexual Assault Resource Center after 40 years of service.

The King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC) announced today that after more than four decades of advocating for sexual assault survivors, its Chief Executive Officer Mary Ellen Stone will be retiring, effective in Fall of 2023.

“Over four decades, Mary Ellen has laid essential foundations, establishing and strengthening the organization into what has become a respected, comprehensive provider of supportive services for survivors of sexual assault and their families,” said Marilyn Sherron, KCSARC’s board president.

Under her leadership, the nonprofit grew from a staff of three and a budget of $50,000 in 1979 to one that today has a professional staff of 72 and an operating budget of $8.5 million. She has been a driving force for change in the way survivors are viewed and treated, both in King County and Washington state, and has been a role model for other regions throughout the United States.

“Mary Ellen’s passion, tenacity and leadership have shaped KCSARC into the strong, vibrant nonprofit it is today — one that is both resilient in the face of challenge and able to rise to new opportunities,” said Sherron. “We are deeply grateful to Mary Ellen for all that she has achieved, and in the coming months, there will be opportunities for us to celebrate a lifetime of work and progress for survivors of sexual assault.”

Stone shared her news recently with KCSARC’s board of directors and staff. In a letter to supporters and partners announcing the news on Oct. 5, Sherron said that the nonprofit’s board has the experience and background necessary to identify KCSARC’s next CEO and support a smooth transition.

“I can tell you with certainty we stand on solid ground as an organization and are well-positioned to undertake this transition,” Stone wrote. “KCSARC has an extraordinary staff, and they are fully engaged and committed to ensuring a successful transition.”

The search for Stone’s replacement will begin in the next few months, with an expected transition by September 2023.