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New leader for Samaritan House: County nonprofit names Bart Charlow CEO
April 24, 2014, 05:00 AM By Samantha Weigel Daily Journal

Bart Charlow

Samaritan House announced a new leader Wednesday to help the nonprofit manage its emergency and transitional housing, health care clinic, counseling programs and food services that have assisted low-income families throughout San Mateo County for the past 40 years.

The Samaritan House’s Board of Directors announced Wednesday it chose Bart Charlow, a 65-year-old Foster City resident and the current executive director of Peninsula Volunteers, to be its new CEO starting June 1.

It’s been a year since Kitty Lopez vacated the executive director position after 13 years and went to work as the executive director of First 5 of San Mateo County.

It was Charlow’s 39 years of executive experience in the Bay Area that convinced the Board of Directors to hire him after interviewing candidates from across the country.

“After a national search of formidable candidates, Bart emerged as our next leader because of his extensive experience and his work in various nonprofit roles in our community over the last 30 years,” Samaritan House Board Chair Patty Hsiu said in a press release. “He is an established local leader, an effective organizational builder and a strategic and innovative thinker.”

Charlow will step in just as the organization celebrates its 40-year anniversary and will meet with supporters and guests at Samaritan House’s annual fundraiser dinner Saturday, May 3.

“I am extremely excited to be here. I’ve known about Samaritan House for many years being a resident here for many years and this is a fabulous organization and I can’t think of any agency that’s done more for 40 years for those that are struggling and this agency, Samaritan House, is doing it really well,” Charlow said. “For me, it’s a great heart in a great community and I’m just humbled to be chosen.”

For an organization that serves 145,000 meals each year, runs the 90-bed Safe Harbor shelter, attracts 2,000 annual volunteers and meets the daily basic needs of more than 12,000 individuals in San Mateo County, Samaritan House spokeswoman Marcy Spiker said Charlow is a welcomed leader.

“It’s a very exciting announcement and transition for us. I think it’s especially important during our anniversary as we’re looking at strategies for the future,” Spiker said.

Charlow said he too looks forward to assisting the organization in its outreach efforts.

“Samaritan House does so much. For me, the key will be integrating it all into a system so we can reach people with what they need, when they need it and get them … back on their feet,” Charlow said.

Charlow has spent much of his career volunteering or working in executive roles at nonprofits such as Easter Seals Bay Area, Silicon Valley FACES, Adult and Child Guidance Center as well as interim executive director for Big Brother/Big Sisters, Coastside Children’s Programs and Loaves and Fishes of Contra Costa.

“How much more rewarding can it get to help people through their lives? This for me is the way I like to spend my days and given any opportunity to do so, it’s mostly what I do,” Charlow said. “I started as a volunteer and I have the greatest respect for volunteers and people who giveth themselves and the staff who run the agencies. So for me, it’s just joyous.”

Samaritan House’s annual fundraiser begins 6 p.m. Saturday, May 3 at the San Francisco Airport Marriott Waterfront in Burlingame. For more information about Samaritan House or two purchase tickets visit

(650) 344-5200 ext. 106



Tags: samaritan, charlow, years, house, executive, organization,

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