Sheri Horn-Bunk, Major Gifts Development Officer for California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB), has learned that the "art of fundraising," is finding a philanthropic scenario that helps keep both sides happy. "I like to find a match for a corporation or an individual to donate to a particular project that makes sense for them," she says.
One such mutually beneficial match is a recent $150,000 donation from Work Force Staffing. $100,000 will help buy computers for CSUB's new math and science building. The remaining $50,000 will bolster the Occupational Health and Safety program in the School of Business and Public Administration. Not only will this donation benefit the graduates, but will also help local businesses fill positions. Sheri says that many companies have to go to Oklahoma, Tennessee, and other states to find people for this specialized field, who after a few years return to their home states to work.
"Graduates from this degree will meet the local needs of employers," she says. "They don't have to leave the area. After graduation, they can stay and live in Bakersfield, working at a good-paying job in the oil, agricultural, or construction industry."
Before CSUB, Sheri took on a short-term project working with the City of Bakersfield as the events manager for the opening season of the Bright House Networks Amphitheatre at the Park at River Walk. She loved what this venue could do for Bakersfield and wanted to make it our "Hollywood Bowl."
Sheri began her career in fundraising with a development position at the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra. She found she had a passion for fund-raising and learned she appreciated classical music. She also loved sharing this cultural experience with many school-age children that might not have access to it otherwise. "I loved seeing the kids get excited and their faces light up," Sheri says.
|"Bakersfield is a generous and giving community."|
In 1998, Sheri started an online classified advertising business, BakersfieldAds.com, when the idea of shopping online was revolutionary. In fact, when she downloaded local auto inventory to help people buy a car online, many skeptics told her that "no one will ever shop for cars online." Well, she proved them wrong, and her site received upwards of 17,000 hits per day. Also, while she owned this business, she went back to CSUB to finish a bachelor's degree she had put on hold years before. She has also worked for Univision Television and Buck Owens Productions-KUZZ.
A Madera, California native, Sheri has always loved music, and she sang for the Fresno City Jazz Band. She moved to Hollywood to pursue a music career where she worked for Black Bull Music, owned by Stevie Wonder, singing back up and performing studio work. After a while, Sheri says she decided she needed a "real" job and went to work as an executive search consultant specializing in the entertainment industry.
Sheri also owns Fairway Sports Marketing, a company that teaches women the ins and outs of golf. To date, her business has taught 100 plus women to golf. She also volunteers her time at Links for Life and as a board member of Bakersfield North Rotary.
Married to her husband Gary for 16 years, she has one step-son, Cody, and two grandchildren. She says her husband is like "MacGyver," and can fix just about anything. He is currently remodeling their 40-plus-year-old home in Old Stockdale, and she says he has turned it into a "real show piece."
"Bakersfield is a generous and giving community," she says. "I really, really enjoy living in Bakersfield. I plan to live the rest of my life here."
Sheri's Recipe for Happiness
3 cups of all purpose love of county (be proud, you are an American)
3 cups of service above self (give more than you take)
3 cups of love of family (with nuts)
2 cups of hard work and perseverance (one day at a time)
2 cups of respect for EVERYONE…everyone!
2 cups of smiles for EVERYONE (especially for children)
¼ cup of everyday random acts of kindness (do it, just do it)
¼ cup of speak less listen more (2 ears and one mouth, get it?)
¼ cup each risk in love, risk in career, and risk in finance (calculated of course)
¼ cup freedom (this is free to you, but many others paid the price)
¼ cup of love of the great outdoors (always wear sunscreen)
3 tablespoons of your favorite beverage (does wine have fiber?)
Pinch of salt and cracked black pepper (I just love pepper)
Wisk together with fresh dreams and bake for 8 hours a night!