Shannon Sessions has been named the new executive director of Support 7 of South Snohomish County.
Since 1981, Support 7 has been serving the Southwest Snohomish County community and its fire and police agencies by providing a private gathering place for victims and survivors at on-scene events. A compassionate team of highly-trained volunteers provides support to victims and survivors of trauma and crisis in their darkest moments 24/7.
As the founder of Support 7 and President of International Chaplains Ministry (ICM), Ken Gaydos was dedicated to meeting the needs of first responders and the community who were impacted by trauma and loss. Gaydos died in September and his family and the public safety stakeholders are committed to ensuring this non-profit community victims’ organization continues.
“We are excited to announce that Shannon Sessions has accepted the role of executive director,” said Tim Gaydos, Ken’s son, a Seattle community leader and Vice Chair of the Support 7/ICM board. “Shannon has deep ties in the community and unique experience as a veteran, former firefighter, local newspaper editor, Lynnwood Police Public Information Officer, small business owner and current Lynnwood City Councilmember. Shannon’s vast connections, professional experience and her integrity will help propel this important work forward. The fact that she and my Dad worked so well together is one more reason we have full confidence that she is the right choice for this vital role.”
Session said the community is touched by all kinds of unexpected and tragic events that impact citizens and first responders.
“Residential and commercial fires, crime scene deaths, natural end-of-life deaths are common responses for the Support 7 team,” she said. “Supporting families around the tragic increase in self-inflicted deaths by suicide is another way we provide community care.”
Ken Gaydos had faith that gave him the kind of peace that surpasses understanding and he gently shared that peace with everyone he met, Sessions said.
“His warmth and wisdom calmed many people in their darkest moments,” she said. “While I can’t fill his shoes, my goal is to continue to move our team and this work forward with his same integrity and heart for our neighbors in trauma and crisis.”