Meet the Staff

Linda Benson, CEO and Guardian, Co-Founder of Nourishing Networks

Linda has more than 30 years of leadership, management and fund development experience in the non-profit sector. Prior to her role as CEO for Nourishing Networks Central, Linda spent 20 years at Hopelink as Vice President for Community Initiatives and Director for Development & Communications.   Linda is the former board chair for Center for Ethical Leadership and Leadership Institute, former Vice Chair for Realize Redmond and former Board member for Eastside Baby Corner.  She currently serves on the boards of Eastside Timebank and Timebanks of Puget Sound.  She has a degree in business management from Brigham Young University.

Linda’s passion for the infinite capacity of human potential and an unwavering belief that we have the ability to imagine and elicit a different kind of community is what grounds her work


Karma Ruder - Co-Founder of Nourishing Networks

Karma is a specialist in cultivating community ownership and creating, launching, and supporting community change initiatives. Over the last 30 years, Karma has worked in public and non-profit sectors to create authentic processes that inspire people to move beyond differences and conflict into the creative territory of community and collaboration. Former Seattle Mayor Paul Schell named her a Distinguished Citizen in 1999.

As part of the national Kellogg Leadership for Community Changeprogram to develop collective, place-based leadership, Karma was the lead editor for “The Collective Leadership Storybook: Weaving Strong Communities.” This book describes the patterns of working together that encourage collective leadership through the stories of communities that have made these patterns a way of life to advance the common good.

Karma works with local and regional change initiatives including supporting Nourishing Networks, a Hopelink initiative. She joins Pat Hughes in deepening and spreading the use of Gracious Space, and is co-author of “Courageous Collaboration with Gracious Space: From Small Openings to Profound Transformation.”

Karma has undergraduate degrees in Philosophy and Human Relations and a Master’s degree in Public Administration, all from the University of Kansas.


Dan Prang - Summer Intern

Dan is a senior in high school who has been accepted to New York University and will start school there in September. While he is there he plans to study international relations, focused more on environmental aspects. He participates in competitive swimming and has been apart of the Bellevue High Swim Team, which has one state for the past two years. He is participating in the Nourishing Networks organization to give back to the community which he has been apart of for so long.



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