Day in the Life: Bo Soderbergh

Bo Soderbergh is in his 20th year of running the Tarrant Area Food Bank, which provides access to 500,000 meals each week. He still finds time to greet employees on their turf and shop daily for dinner at home.

7:30 a.m.
I think about going to the gym or taking a walk. Generally not successfully, but the idea must count for something.

9 a.m.
The workday begins with my walking around the building for a “good morning and how are you” with all staff. A nice way to start the day and set the tone. I have been doing this for 20 years and like to think that it makes us feel like family.

9:30 a.m.
I generally go through the Washington Post, New York Times and Wall Street Journal to check for stories of interest to the nonprofit community in general and specifically about hunger issues. I frequently share articles with staff.

10 a.m.
Early in the week, I sit down with Bennett Cepak, our associate executive director, and Charles Boswell, senior director of policy and programs. We look at the week that passed, the week ahead and discuss issues of interest. Our conversations are important opportunities to test ideas as well as share strategic and operational information. Bennett and Charles are vital to our day-to-day functioning, leaving me free to spend time in the community.

11 a.m.
Midmorning, I usually exchange a text message or two with my wife, Dr. Joyce Mauk, CEO of the Child Study Center.

noon Lunch is often a sandwich at home, one of the benefits of living 12 minutes away. If time allows, a 10-minute nap is always welcome. On Fridays, lunch is frequently at the Rotary Club of Fort Worth. As past president, it’s good to stay in touch and chat with old friends and meet the many new members. One attractive feature is the excellent list of speakers.

1:15 p.m.
Less structured afternoons allow good conversations with staff, some planned but many spontaneous, touching on program ideas and issues. I have always believed that it’s important for me to move around the building and visit staff on their home turf rather than sitting in my office. This time of the year, conversations are frequently about the holidays, which traditionally have been the focal point of community support. Since 1982, early November has been the kickoff point for the massive community support we enjoy; 800-plus food and fund drives will keep staff busy and the coffers full for a good while.

3 p.m.
I address a class at TCU. I have always enjoyed talking about our mission, history and future. In my 20 years as executive director, I have had the privilege of being a part of an organization that has experienced dynamic growth in program delivery and public support. TAFB now provides access to 500,000 meals every week, 24 million in a year! I really like speaking to students and find them engaged and interested. I generally like speaking, period!

5 p.m.
I belong to the dwindling population that shops for dinner every day. Joyce and I firmly believe that two cooks in the kitchen is one too many. I enjoy shopping and do most the cooking. I try to frequent all our grocery partners.

6 p.m.
Our evenings are uneventful. We primarily read, with interests ranging from history, biography and travel to mystery. Once a week, we’ll watch a recorded SNL or Masterpiece. 

8 p.m.
I play guitar, cycling between electric and acoustic, currently leaning toward acoustic.