SPiN staff bids farewell to a champion

SPiN Cafe is sorry to announce that Mark Martenson, SPiN’s Support Services Coordinator, is leaving the organization after three years of service to the community’s most vulnerable members.

Mark (right) is joined by Bob Wall for last year’s Apple Pie fundraiser.

“Mark has a knack for connecting with people who struggle. We will miss his creative and empathetic way of advocating for our guests living in the most challenging situations,” said SPiN founder and Executive Director Vivian Rogers Decker.

Mark was a passionate champion for SPiN’s guests, and an engaging teller of their daily success stories that go unnoticed by the public: The man released from prison who found a stable job and housing. The single mom who worked her way out of the shelter and into financial stability. The young, struggling couple who finally found their way off the street and into an apartment. 

“Sometimes, even the SPiN staff doesn’t hear the story,” Martenson said. “We’ll see a guest for a few weeks, then they stop coming in. We might hear a year later that they’re in solid employment and have a decent place to stay. As much as we emphasize dignity and respect in the way we work with our guests, it’s still not something people want to acknowledge: that they received free services. But there are hundreds of stories like this, just in my three years here.”

Mark’s position will be filled by Jayla Lawing, who graduated last month from Skagit Valley College.

Laken Sennett, recently featured in a SPiN article, will step in to fill the gap created by the changes. Tangiler London will continue as our Food Service Coordinator.

Best of luck to you, Mark, and we thank you for your service. 

Welcome and congratulations, Laken!