I’m so proud to lead the Chef team

I want to share an internal email that for me really

captures both the spirit of Chef’s culture of inclusiveness and the giving nature of our employees. This holiday story also stars a number of Chef customers since their e-commerce excellence let us deliver some holiday cheer locally from our global team that is quite geographically diverse.

Chef has a number of connections to an amazing charity, Childhaven, including our CFO, Curt, who is on the Childhaven Board. Childhaven serves the most abused and neglected children of King County.  Shauna on our HR team arranged a gift and new-clothing campaign for 63 very deserving kids.

My wife, Maureen, and I worked on our Childhaven list on the way to the airport to pick up one of our two college-age kids who was returning from school for the holidays.  We hit the Southcenter mall hard starting with our first requested item: a ‘Frozen’ Elsa Ice-Wand from Disney.  So we started with the Disney store and then headed to Nordstrom, Best Buy, Gap, and Macy’s and finally Target.  And then waiting at the airport for our daughter, we finished our work with an order from on Maureen’s iPhone.

And as I watched the pile grow in the Chef Seattle office, it was clear that we weren’t alone in our shopping patterns.  Our employees from all over the world were able to participate in our Childhaven drive through the amazing e-commerce sites of these companies.  And a super-cool fact hit me after the work was done: Disney, Nordstrom, Target, Best Buy, Gap, and Macy’s are all Chef customers, and also active Chef community members.  Amazon is a Chef user and a close partner of ours.  And even Maureen’s iPhone has a Chef connection – Apple is also part of the Chef community.

So a big thank you to the Chef team and the Chef community who made this all possible!  2014 has been an amazing year.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all!


from Shauna:

Dear Chef Team,

I am truly humbled by the generosity of our employees. Today I had the pleasure of delivering toys and clothing to 63 children in need. I am so proud of each and every person that contributed to this effort. Megan Gleason and James Murphy helped brainstorm and get the plan into action. Kayleigh Mack assisted in hanging the garland and getting the tags in place. She also helped me go shopping at Target to get the remaining toys and filled up a Car2Go to the brim. Lucas Welch helped get the word out about the program. Jordan Wilberding was super generous and sent the most heartfelt, amazing email to encourage participation. And last but not least, Barry Crist‘s wife Maureen drove the Crist Family pickup truck to take everything down to Childhaven. I’m sure there are others that I have not mentioned here, but you know who you are.

The folks at the Burien Childhaven location were not only blown away by the amount of items we brought in, but by how quickly we were able to fulfill EACH child’s request, in such a short amount of time. One other side note that I forgot to mention. The staff at Childhaven said that they have never received gifts from donors out of state, let alone in different countries. So all of you folks that work remotely and participated should feel extra proud of making this effort!

Again, I am so completely appreciative of everyone who donated or helped in some way shape or form. You should all be very proud of yourselves. We have made a lot of children very, very happy this holiday season!

I hope you all have a warm and happy holiday with you and yours.


Shauna Chernicoff — HR, Chef

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Barry Crist

Barry Crist has more than 20 years of experience in driving enterprise customer success with open source and DevOps software solutions and is a recognized leader in driving a culture of innovation. Barry joined Chef as CEO in 2013 and has been a leading force behind the company’s business operations, culture and technology innovation.