Get to Know Us – Eileen Blake
Get to Know Us – Eileen Blake
1. How did you become involved with the OAC?
When I began job-searching, I was lucky enough to find a post about the Outreach Coordinator position with the OAC in the local chapter of the Public Relations Society of America. The first time I walked through the doors of the OAC National Offices to have my interview with Lindsay and James, I knew only the basics I’d gotten from the “About Us” section of the Web site. Now, I think it’s a blessing that I found the job because I can’t imagine working with a better group of people.
2. Have you personally dealt with obesity, and if so, how has it impacted your life?
I have not personally dealt with obesity, but this community inspires me to focus on my own health and make it a priority the way so many of our members do. One of my goals for the New Year was to find a fitness activity I would do consistently, so recently I joined a Muay Thai gym. So far, I am having a lot of fun with it, so wish me luck!
3. What is your favorite part about being a staff member of the OAC?
In addition to some of the things I’ve already mentioned – that I love our great our community of members and the way you all inspire me – I’d have to say it’s also the other staff members and the OAC National Board of Directors. The people I work with daily are all pretty amazing. It’s also a great environment; I hear laughter down the hall while I am typing this.
4. Why is the OAC valuable in advocating for obesity awareness?
The OAC is beyond valuable in this area because we’re the only ones out there advocating for obesity and spreading awareness about the issues faced by individuals in our community. I’m honestly shocked by some of the biases that I’ve seen since I began working here, and think that the efforts of the OAC in this area are incredibly important.
5. What is one major goal that you want to accomplish as a staff member?
I’d love to see the OAC’s name and the Your Weight Matters brand become as well-known as something like the American Heart Association with their Red Dress campaign for heart health. I want us to have a name that everyone will know.
6. What is your favorite film?
I’m all about the problem-free philosophy, hakuna matata! The Lion King has been a favorite since I was about four years old.
7. What is your fondest memory from this past year?
I managed to make a couple of “adult” milestones; it’s been just over a year now that I’ve worked for the OAC, and I also moved out and live with a roommate – and her little dog, too!
8. If you could’ve had any career other than your current one, what would it have been?
At one point I was considering the U.S. Foreign Service or the Secret Service as a potential career path. I had met quite a few of the folks who were working in these areas before I came to the OAC, and it seemed like a potentially very interesting line of work. However, I am really happy to be here with the OAC instead!
9. What is your favorite place to vacation?
This is a toss-up for me between Charleston, SC, and the Outer Banks in North Carolina. I love old Southern cities and Charleston is my personal favorite – but I also love vacationing at the beach and the Outer Banks is beautiful. There are also a number of places I haven’t ever visited, but would like to.
10. What is your most prized possession?
There are some intangible things I would never want to do without – my family and friends are sitting right at the top of that list – but I also love my books. The ones that I consider particularly irreplaceable are the old Hemingway novels that came from my grandparents’ house. I also attend a lot of different book events locally and occasionally as places I travel to with friends, so I have quite a few that are signed by the authors. There are always books stacked up everywhere in my apartment as it’s pretty common for me to be reading three of four different books at the same time. When we traveled out to Phoenix for Convention last year, my book for the trip was called, “Salt: A World History.”
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Join us next time as we feature Walter Medlin, MD, FACS, OAC Board Member!