AFPNCOH Member Spotlight
Director of External Affairs
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
member Shelley Hinton has been with
the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank for the past four years. She
describes her role as “the perfect mix of integrating the importance of
the Foodbank’s mission with the art of emotional connection.”
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
I am proud to be a part of something bigger. At the Foodbank, as we
provide food to families throughout our community, I am reminded daily
of the struggles many are facing. The work we are doing will positively
impact these individuals. It will transform lives. In all honesty, my
job is so rewarding because of the pride and optimism that goes home
with me at the end of every day.
What made you choose/led you to a career in
Four years ago I left a corporate marketing job because I felt like
something was missing in my career. I knew that I wanted to be more
connected to the community and my curiosity of the non-profit sector led
me to the Foodbank. My first role was as Director of Marketing, where I
focused on building the awareness and identity of the Foodbank brand,
while supporting fundraising efforts. Two years later, I transitioned
into my current position where I have the pleasure of managing an
extremely talented group of individuals that make up both the
fundraising and marketing teams.
Tell us about a memorable event/grant
request/gift solicitation/donor experience.
It is really difficult to define one special event or experience. I am
taken back by so many different donors, from Girl Scouts that donate
canned goods in hand-crafted collection boxes to new donors making very
significant donations online before even visiting our facility. However,
an event that I am sure will be memorable is the Foodbank’s inaugural
Selfless Elf Run.
I have been involved in running throughout my life and always wanted to
be a part of starting up a new race. The Selfless Elf Run connects two
passions of mine, neither related to elves, but both connected to
improving the overall health of our community. Bring your elf hat or
striped socks and join us on December 21st!
What is the best piece of career advice you've
received and who gave it to you?
Early in my career my dad shared this advice: “No leader is perfect and
the best ones don’t try to be. Instead build on your strengths and
surround yourself with people that can support your weaknesses.” My dad
is a smart man who has worked hard all his life, but I admire him most
for his selflessness, genuine personality and quiet leadership.
What has been your most noteworthy professional
accomplishment so far?
Two years ago I was part of developing and launching an awareness video,
Hungry Kate, which became an incredible marketing asset for our
organization. The value of this tool became apparent when more than 50
other food banks across the country asked for access to the video to
create their own local versions. Months later, Feeding America, our
national hunger-relief affiliate, produced their version of the video,
and most recently a national food manufacturing developed an extended
version of our original video promoting awareness of their philanthropic
efforts in the fight against hunger. This was a true example of the
well-known phrase, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”.
Why is AFP important to you?
Professional organizations such as AFP always provide great
opportunities to network with others in your line of work and make
connections. I transitioned into fundraising from business, so as I
continue to grow my knowledge of fundraising, I value the educational
opportunities and resources of AFP.
What is the most thoughtful gift you've ever
I have a necklace that my parents gave me to wear on my wedding day. The
necklace includes two small diamonds from the wedding rings of both my
grandmother and grandfather that had passed prior to my wedding. I wear
it all the time, but I especially appreciated feeling connected to them
on such an important day.
What are you currently reading?
We read a lot of Curious George in my house, but when I make time for
myself I have been enjoying a new book titled In a Single Bound
by Sarah Reinersten. It is a memoir about a young woman who became the
first female leg-amputee to complete the Ironman World Championship. I
was fortunate to hear her speak and her story is full of courage,
inspiration and determination.
What is something people would be surprise to
learn about you?
I am originally from a small town in Northwest Ohio with one stop light,
one church and less than 600 residents. I graduated with only 28
students in my grade and moved to the Akron area to attend The
University of Akron on a track scholarship. I thought the Akron area was
just a pitstop, but I am proud to now call it home.
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