Senior Director, Cause Partnerships, Blue Star Families – Washington DC
We’re honored to have such a variety of incredible social impact pros as EFG Members. Whether they’re part of a company expanding its social good footprint or a nonprofit honing its corporate partner strategies, the work they do creates a better world. Today, we’d like to introduce you to EFG Member Penny, Senior Director, Cause Partnerships at Blue Star Families. May the answers she shares spark inspiration, new ideas and help you further your path at the intersection of profit and purpose. Enjoy!
What are you working on that excites you?
I have been working with some of our partners for multiple years now, building upon our relationships and creating greater opportunities. Sleep Number is back for the sixth year in a row, Macy’s for the third, and companies like Starbucks, Campbell’s Soup, and Maurices are repeat Blue Star Families superfans. Starting a new partnership is one thing. But deepening and strengthening them is another. I really love the challenge of finding new ways for our missions to align and grow together.
What’s a book you’d gift to everyone you knew if you had the opportunity?
Be Fearless by Jean Case. It’s a great case study for how ordinary people can achieve the extraordinary. Just the title and cover alone is inspiring!
How has being an Engage for Good member helped you?
Blue Star Families joined this year, so we are still exploring all the ways in which this organization is going to empower us. But, just the act of joining has invigorated me! With every move we made as a military family, I would tell my kids to “find their people.” I feel like I have finally “found my people,” and I am looking forward to getting to know everyone in this community.
What’s one non-digital resource that helps you do your job better?
Good ol’ pen and paper! As much as we maintain digital records of everything, I still use an old-fashioned system for keeping meeting notes. A few years ago, I discovered the ARC Notebook System, and I carry that notebook everywhere I go. I am almost ashamed to admit how dependent I am on it!
What social impact project are you most proud of?
Creating a dedicated cause marketing initiative at Blue Star Families. After sharing one of the challenges of military life with Whole Foods a few years ago, we developed a campaign that went viral, even with no marketing money behind it. From that point on, Blue Star Families continues to harness the power of these partnerships—from Starbucks to Macy’s, and Sleep Number, to name a few. This team has done an incredible job, and we look forward to achieving even more goals together in 2020!
What are you eager to learn more about?
The older I get and the longer I work, the more I realize you can never stop learning, and that the best lessons are actually gleaned from experience – dissecting and examining my own experiences, and observing those of others. I try to be more observant of best practices and explore more examples of the work of others in the philanthropic world, which is why I am currently obsessed with studying the Halo Award submissions!
If given the chance, who would you like to be for a day?
Jeff Bezos. I would love to get inside the head of someone who has infinite ability to influence and change the world, and to discover what makes him tick. How does he see his role in creating change? I would love to figure out how to better harness all of his power.
What’s one digital resource that helps you do your job better?
Shared drive services like Google Docs and Slides. I am a collaborator at heart, so any tool that enables our team to collaborate in a virtual work environment is going to be leveraged regularly. Being able to jump into a document and share ideas in real-time is such a gift!
Thanks for reading along! Interested in seeing yourself in a member spotlight and being a part of a dynamic group of social impact pros dedicated to doing well by doing good?Become A Member