New Member Monday: Will Blanchard, Blake Bonfiglio, and Austin Manger

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Posted by Laura Beth Breaux on 08/21/2017

Each week, EYP recognizes new members in the organization. This group is constantly growing and changing and we love bringing in new members and fresh ideas! This week, our new members are Will Blanchard with Oklahoma Christian University, Blake Bonfiglio with American Red Cross, and Austin Manger with Oklahoma Natural Gas. Upon joining, we asked each of them a few fun questions to get to know them a little better.

Will Blanchard - Oklahoma Christian University

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

College is my work and my hobby. During the day, I serve as the Director of Advancement Operations (fancy-speak for fundraising) at Oklahoma Christian University (OC). In the evenings, when I'm not doodling with chalk with my kids, I'm knee-deep in books, studying for my PhD in Higher Education at OSU. My wife, Amy, and I, now along with our two kids, have lived in Edmond for eleven years.

What do you like most about Oklahoma?

I love the warmth I've seen in our communities here. We live in a big, modern, innovative city, but we haven't lost touch with our small town charm. We still wave at strangers, open doors, and share recipes. It's a great place to raise kids.

What is your typical work day like?

Other than beginning every morning with coffee, no two days are identical. I spend time visiting with OC alumni, building proposals for major donors, working on strategic plans for the University and our fundraising campaigns, and serving/connecting with students.

What is one thing you can’t live without?

Probably cliche, but I've got to say my family--story time with my kids, especially. They keep me going!

Connect with Will on LinkedIn

Blake Bonfiglio - American Red Cross

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm a husband and father to two little ones. Originally born in Wichita, KS, but moved to Edmond 18 years ago. Grew up in Edmond, graduated from Oklahoma Christian Academy and attended UCO. After nearly a decade in corporate technology sales, I recently made the shift to working for the American Red Cross last year, as a Regional Philanthropy Officer. Love to be outdoors - camping, hiking, hunting and fishing. 

What do you like most about Oklahoma?

Oklahoma is home. After having lived in a few different states over the years, Oklahoma has always felt like home. The people are friendly, and the community truly cares about one another. I also love how diverse our state geography is - there's so much to do outdoors here. 

What is your typical work day like?

A typical work day for me is tough to sum up - I work for the Red Cross, and my primary role is to build community partnerships and fund raise. However, any time a disaster strikes (which is fairly often in Oklahoma) the playbook gets thrown out. A normal day could be me meeting with a corporation in the morning, attending a luncheon and then ending the day in the boardroom. Other days I'm in the middle of a disaster with jeans, boots and my Red Cross vest helping victims and speaking with media. I wear a lot of different hats, and that's one of my favorite things about my job. 

What is one thing you can’t live without?

I'd have a hard time living without my calendar. I'm horribly forgetful, so for better or worse, I live out of my calendar to make sure I'm getting to where I need to go on time and not missing anything personally or professionally. 

Austin Manger - Oklahoma Natural Gas

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am from Oklahoma City. I attended Oklahoma Baptist University where I majored in Communication Studies. I am currently the Regional Manager of Community Relations for Oklahoma Natural Gas, where I am tasked with elevating the company brand and strategically engaging community partners.

What do you like most about Oklahoma? 

My favorite thing about Oklahoma is the culture of kindness that radiates anytime there is a need to be met.

What is your typical work day like?

My typical workday involves a lot of driving, typically to and from events. I try to spend the majority of my time in the community. “community relations,” not “office relations.”

What is one thing you can't live without?

Competition 

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