BEST was founded on the belief that businesses have the power to make a difference when it comes to preventing human trafficking. That’s why it’s crucial that BEST’s Board of Directors include leaders with insight into modern business acumen who can help advise BEST on the inner workings of large corporations. BEST board member, Megan Minarik, brings this business insight to BEST. Megan is currently a Merchandise Manager at the prominent e-commerce company, Zulily. She has built an impressive career in the retail industry that spans over 15 years and has been a valuable member of BEST’s Board of Directors for four years. Megan serves as BEST’s Fundraising Chair, and her work on the Board is helping BEST expand our programs nationally.
Zulily’s is a retail business, but at its root—it’s really about technology. The company uses advanced data and automated reasoning to make decisions that are constantly transforming its website, serving up millions of variations of products on its homepage, and launching thousands of unique items daily. As a Merchandise Manager, Megan is responsible for making corporate decisions that help drive Zulily’s success in the consumer marketplace. She brings to BEST’s Board of Directors a valuable corporate perspective that helps BEST understand how to deliver programs that truly help large corporations.
Although Megan has dedicated her professional career to the retail industry, there’s a reason she has such a vested interest in BEST’s work to prevent human trafficking. Growing up in Golden, Colorado and Spokane, Washington, Megan’s mother worked as a nurse, and some of her patients were the victims of physical and sexual abuse. Her mother would not share confidential patient information with Megan and her sister, but she was transparent with them about the level of violence and exploitation some of her patients were put through. Many of them were vulnerable children. These talks with her mother gave Megan insight into the brutal world of human trafficking, and the ugly truth that it was absolutely happening within their community.
As she grew up, Megan gained a degree in Business Administration and Apparel Merchandising from Washington State University and went on to build a successful career in retail. But she never forgot the influence of her mother’s patients and the compassion she had developed for vulnerable people. As it ended up, one of her good friends was married to an attorney who represented cases with people who had been sex trafficked. Whenever she saw these friends, Megan would curiously ask him a lot of questions about the crime of human trafficking, and the laws surrounding it—and most of all—what happened to the survivors of human trafficking? Who was helping them?
Megan’s friend introduced her to Val Richie, who was the Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney for the King County Prosecutor’s Office. Val not only gave Megan more insight about the crime of human trafficking, but he also introduced her to BEST’s Executive Director, Mar Brettmann, who encouraged Megan to join BEST’s Board of Directors in 2015.
Since then, Megan has been a champion for BEST, helping the organization grow and expand to reach more businesses both inside and outside of Washington state. BEST is grateful for Megan’s dedication and expertise that she brings to the Board. Her knowledge of business leadership, compassion for vulnerable people, and commitment to this issue is sure to continue to help BEST make an impact in preventing human trafficking.