Talking GOOD with Stephanie Archer-Smith

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One of the most exciting aspects of the Talking GOOD interview is that readers like you and me can learn much more about someone than would otherwise be gleaned from a conventional bio or press release. Case in point, when Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland recently hired Stephanie Archer-Smith as their new Executive Director, this was the press release that they issued. It's a perfectly acceptable announcement and it hits all the key points. It lists her credentials and asserts how she is going to help the organization advance its mission. This is what we've come to expect from press releases. But do they truly offer unique insight about a person? Not really. So I wanted to know more about Stephanie. Who is she? Why did she win this position over the other candidates? That is what I find special about Talking GOOD, and why I was so excited to feature Stephanie this week.

Stephanie has a wealth of non-profit experience. Prior to working for Meals on Wheels, she was Senior Vice President at Saint Vincent de Paul of Baltimore, Inc., where she also spent time as Director of their Beans & Bread Center. At Meals on Wheel of Central Maryland, Stephanie oversees 110 staff members, ensures that meals are delivered to as many as 1,500 clients, and is managing an organization that has been receiving increased national attention and support from the likes of the Walmart Foundation (see a video about it here).

Good luck in the new post Stephanie and thanks for telling us more about yourself in this week’s Talking GOOD interview!

1. IN JUST ONE SENTENCE, WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE? My purpose in life is to somehow make the world a better place than what it was when I got here.

2. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO ACCOMPLISH BEFORE YOU “EXPIRE?” I would like to master a second language, preferably Spanish or Italian, or learn to sing. The former is more likely.

3. IF YOU COULD MEET WITH ANYONE (ALIVE), WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU ASK THEM? If I could meet with anyone alive it would be Hillary Clinton. I would ask her how she did it.  How did she manage a public and private life, being a working mother, breaking the gender barrier, finding forgiveness?

4. WHAT WOULD THE TITLE OF YOUR BOOK BE? The title of my book would be I May Not Always Be Right, But I Am Never In Doubt. This is something I often hear from family and friends. They tell me it's because I possess confidence and conviction. Really? I think there might be more to it.

5. WHO WOULD PLAY YOU, IN A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE? Julia Roberts would play me in a movie about my life because of her laugh.

6. WHAT IS A BELIEF THAT IS CORE TO YOUR BEING? Core to my being is the belief that we have a collective responsibility to care for each other as fellow human beings, to own our behavior and take responsibility for our actions, and to learn from our mistakes.

7. WHO ARE YOUR HEROES? My heroes include Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela because of their complete commitment and dedication to their cause; their unapologetic conviction, immense courage, and boundless compassion.

8. IF YOU WEREN’T DOING THIS, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? I would be a pediatrician because I love children.  Before entering the nonprofit world, I spent 17 years working with children in a variety of capacities.

9. TELL US SOMETHING SURPRISING ABOUT YOURSELF. You might be surprised to know that I am a cancer survivor.

10. WHAT QUESTION DO YOU WISH I HAD ASKED?  I wish you would have asked me what has made the biggest difference or impact on my life.  I would have told you that I have been fortunate to have so many people in my life shape who I am in ways big and small, but nothing has defined me more than being a wife and a mother.  My family has enriched my life beyond words, deepened the joy I extract from life, and provided me with unwavering support, for whatever I wanted or did.

ORGANIZATIONAL LINKS: Meal on Wheels of Central Maryland main site, Facebook page, Twitter feed