Phyllis Haynes

Arkansas Foodbank Network

City: Little Rock
Category: Nonprofit Executive of the Year
Year: 2008

As the executive director of an organization that serves on average 23,000 people per week, Phyllis Haynes has a lot on her plate.

She is not overwhelmed by that fact but, instead, is motivated by it.
"I am driven by a work ethic that finds reward in contributing to humankind," Haynes said.

Since Haynes joined the Arkansas Foodbank Network, she has greatly increased the nonprofit's donor base from 250 donors in 1999 to 30,000 donors in 2008.

Haynes, who holds two master's degrees — one in education and one in public administration, considers her greatest accomplishments to be acquiring a $10.3 million grant for a new food bank facility, leading the development of a statewide association of food banks called the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and being selected as a guest lecturer at the Clinton School of Public Service.

One her biggest challenges, Haynes said, was raising public awareness of the Arkansas Foodbank Network. "In 1999, the food bank was virtually unknown in the community, and as a result, procuring donations of food and funds was difficult," she said.

Haynes' management philosophy centers on people. "Human capital is a business' greatest asset," she said. Haynes strives to treat her employees as "internal customers," providing the same respect she extends to actual clients.

Haynes said her secret to success is to "work harder and smarter than everyone else."

Haynes plans to complete a $14 million capital campaign in 2009 that will fund the new food bank facility and purchase trucks, refrigerators and forklifts. The proceeds also will be distributed for upgrades of about 500 member pantries, shelters and soup kitchens.

Haynes participates in many community activities. She is a board member of the Downtown Kiwanis Club and KUAR/KLRE Public Radio. She also is a member of the Little Rock Racial & Cultural Diversity Commission and the League of Women Voters.

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