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20 Questions - Posted November 24, 2017 10:09 a.m.
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Photo by Shannon Richardson

20 Questions with… Zack Wilson, Executive Director, High Plains Food Bank

What is the best advice you received when you were beginning your career? Ask many questions. There is no such thing as a dumb question unless you forget to ask it.

How do you use social media to grow your network? I try to make sure no small task or event goes unnoticed through social media. It’s always a great opportunity to recognize the hard work of our staff, volunteers, and donors that make our work possible.

How do you maintain balance? Setting a time schedule and sticking to it helps keep me on track. Also knowing when to turn off work and turn on family time is key to keeping me refreshed.

What has been your wisest investment? Collaboration with community partners, state partnerships, and other food banks around the nation. Learning from everyone’s experiences helps you build a stronger organization.

How has your past work experience shaped you into a leader? Being a part of our organization for more than a decade has allowed me to be a consistent learner from decisions made, experiences, and how both of these items help shape the future.

What is the best part about your job? Knowing that the scope of our work helps feed people daily. I am very blessed every day to work to put food on the table for people that need it.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and private life? I can never receive enough input gleaned from those who have a deeper experience and knowledge in many areas. From board members to local leaders to other food bank directors in our nation, I have many mentors who still help me each day, and I’m proud to call them my friends

Which living person do you most admire and why? My wife – she puts up with me 24/7 and is always a listening ear, the encourager and strength that I need in my life to keep me going.

Which over-used word or phrase makes you cringe? “… but we’ve always done it this way.”

What is your business philosophy? To serve those who need serving and to serve those that allow us to do this work every day. This is engrained into the philosophy of everyone living in the Texas Panhandle, and it is our job to serve them back.

Which quality do you most value in an employee? Passion and drive for our work, and people who want serve every day.

What personality trait has most helped you succeed? Being a listener – it’s always a work in progress but you learn to lead by listening (the three L’s).

Who is your favorite author? Frank Peretti.

What did you learn from your best boss? I am fortunate that my past bosses have all taught me many invaluable things but the most important one was to “slow down.”

How can Amarillo improve its business environment? Continue its Panhandle business spirit where the customer is always first, and to not be afraid of change or growth.

Most important tech tool: iPhone.

Best time management tool: iPhone.

I can’t live without my: family.

My favorite thing about Amarillo is: the people.

Most unusual job or task: Running across someone who recognized me from the food bank on a hiking trail in Caprock Canyons. We ended up having a great discussion about our services on the side of a canyon wall.

-- the AM Team

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