April 25, 2019
Root Appoints M. Scott Knox as Its New Executive Director

M. Scott Knox
June 15, 2018 — Root, a Salem-based nonprofit that trains at-risk youth work in the restaurant industry, this week announced it has appointed M. Scott Knox as its new executive director.

Knox, who assumed his new role at Root on Tuesday, succeeds Selvin Chambers, who stepped down for family reasons after 19 months in the job.

“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 board chairman. “We are confident that with Scott’s appointment, Root will succeed in achieving and exceeding our goals.”

For the past eight years, Knox has worked at Brooke Charter Schools, a network of college preparatory, public charter schools in Boston that serve 1,750 students from Boston to Chelsea. While there, he served in several key, founding roles including chief operating officer, chief development officer, and chief people officer.

In his senior leadership capacity, Knox 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.

Earlier, Knox 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, Conn.

He also co-founded the National Partnership for Educational Access, 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, Knox worked with Jumpstart as the national director for new site development and taught 8th and 10th grade English in New Orleans.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Root team! While there are a variety of approaches to creating economic opportunity for young people,” said 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 this social enterprise movement.”

Knox received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and his Master of Arts degree from Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He serves as board chair of Silver Lining Mentoring, which provides long‐term mentoring and life skills coaching to youth in foster care.

Founded in 2016, Root helps at-risk youths ages 16-24 transform their lives and futures through technical and experiential education in culinary arts, leading to employment and financial self-sufficiency. Its 12-week 300-hour program of classroom and kitchen training builds direct culinary and hospitality skills through learning and practice in Root’s facilities and 40 or more hours of direct hands-on training with externship partners in their professional kitchens.

Root is housed in a former garment factory and includes a commercial kitchen, café, classroom, and an event space large that can accommodate 300 people.

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