Stef Arck-Baynes is Director of Communications at Philabundance. Stef has been a PPRA member for 2 years and currently serves on PPRA’s Programming Committee.
PPRA: Stef, tell us a bit about your background and your current job.
SAB: I’m the Director of Communications for Philabundance, the area’s largest hunger-relief organization. I guide the strategy for all internal and external communications to help Philabundance drive hunger from our communities today and end hunger forever. My prior positions include: VP of Strategic Communications at Opportunity Finance Network, Marketing Manager at Brooklyn Public Library, and Communications work at NY-based restaurant group Sushisamba, Barnes & Noble.com and AOL.
In my free time, I act as the publicist for my husband’s food cart, 2StreetSammies.
PPRA: What projects are you working on right now?
SAB: I’m about to kick off planning for 93.3’s Preston & Steve Camp Out for Hunger, the nation’s largest single-location food drive, working with 6abc on shoots for its holiday hunger series, and developing content for Philabundance’s new website, slated to launch on Halloween.
PPRA: What is your favorite part about your job?
SAB: Hands down, my favorite thing about my job is the diverse and passionate group of people with whom I work, from the staff to the volunteers to the corporate partners to the clients. I’m inspired by them every day to do more to raise visibility, food and funds for hunger in our area, which is a crisis that impacts 1 in 5 people.
PPRA: What was your latest & greatest accomplishment at your job?
SAB: Last year’s Camp Out for Hunger raised a record-breaking 1.367 million pounds of food and more than $100,000 for our neighbors in need. In addition to the tangible outcomes, it was the most efficient and collaborative event to date, which helped strengthen our relationship with our partners.
PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?
SAB: I think what’s served me best is being personal and personable. I strive to get to know the people with whom I work, whether they’re a reporter or a potential donor or board member. Building relationships is the most important thing you can do in our field (and in life!)
PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?
SAB: I will watch Trading Places every time I stumble upon it on TV.
PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly (museum, park, store, etc.)?
SAB: The Wissahickon. I love to hike there with my husband and our dog. It’s super serene and great exercise.
PPRA: How do you take your cheesesteak?
SAB: I prefer roast pork 🙂