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2020 Administration Awards

2020 Administration Awards

Archer & Hound Advertising

AARBF is awarding, “Archer and Hound” our 2020 Central California Administration Award. Archer and Hound has been a vital resource for our Central California office and to the Foundation in our amazing rebranding process.

Archer and Hound was created in 2006 and is a local advertising agency located in Fresno, CA. The owners for this amazing agency are Jessica and Dave Blanchfield. Jessica stumbled upon AARBF through a fill-the-boot fundraiser out in the community. Jessica herself has a unique and as she would describe, “non-traditional” story. As a young kid, Jessica suffered from a burn injury and was treated by her own pediatrician. She describes her entire recovery as “non-traditional” because she was not aware that a burn survivor community existed until she was an adult. A few years ago, she was looking for a new board to serve on after serving for 10 years on the American Red Cross Board. She reached out to AARBF and felt an immediate connection, as this was her first time ever really connecting with other burn survivors. Once on the board, she noticed a definite need for her agency’s services and this is where Archer and Hound became a part of AARBF!

Archer and Hound is composed of 12 extremely talented staff who have a heart for jumping in and helping their clients and the community. Volunteering for AARBF was a unanimous decision and thanks to this amazing team, AARBF was re-branded in 2019! They work as a team in an open and collaborative environment, we could not ask for a better agency to support AARBF! Not only have they spearheaded an awesome re-brand but Jessica has served on the board as the “marketing” chair for a few years. They have opened our new “Champ Camp Store” with camp merchandise and have also helped design the merchandise available for purchase!

Jessica and her team continue to volunteer for AARBF because our mission is a “fantastic cause” and with Jessica’s personal burn survivor story she understands how the lack of support affects an individual. Getting to know other’s stories, she is able to tell how positive of an impact the Foundation is to survivors and is able to share that back with her team, inspiring everyone’s dedication to being a part of AARBF as one. She stated, “The friendships you form through even only interacting 2 times a year are a unique connection”.

The Archer and Hound team is, “Glad to help any way we can” and we are so thankful they are so dedicated to their community and AARBF! We love the culture within your team, thank you!

Northern Region: Anne "Kimchi" Hildebrand

The Northern California, Administration Award for 2020 goes to … Anne “Kimchi” Hildebrand! Kimchi is an amazing individual and example that even if your path shifts in a different direction, that you can always be a part of AARBF!

Kimchi came across an “Idealist” posting for the Northern CA regional manager position in 2016. She then became part of the AARBF team for two amazing years!

Although her career path has gone another route, she is still dedicated to volunteering for AARBF. Kimchi now works for “Swiftly” and has created projects called “Volunteer Happy Hours” for the company to partake in. Those Volunteer Happy Hours have been dedicated to AARBF in the form of making goody bags for the Northern Ski Trip, assembling FISE coloring books, stuffing event envelopes as well as donating postage, donating sunglasses, hand warmers and sunscreen as well as water bottles! A lot of administrative tasks are very tedious yet so essential and it makes an enormous difference to have volunteers assist whenever possible.

Kimchi shared that she continues to volunteer and recruit volunteers to assist her with these Volunteer Happy  Hours because of her personal tie and that “once you are a part of this community you don’t really leave.”

One of her favorite memories from AARBF has been seeing the determination in survivors when attempting new challenges like climbing real rocks! Survivors have demonstrated to be able to accomplish many things she hasn’t even imagined being able to do herself, it is truly inspiring.

Kimchi has stated that Swiftly will continue to donate Volunteer Happy Hours whenever they can and are needed! Kimchi, we appreciate your dedication to AARBF and are so grateful you are still keeping us in mind within your new path. We wish you so much success in all of your endeavors always and are so glad you are part of the AARBF community!

Southern Region: Russ Charvonia

Our Southern California Administration award for 2020, has been awarded to Russ Charvonia!

Thanks to our amazing volunteer/ambassador Steve Knuckles, Russ and his wife Linda became a part of AARBF! The Masons host an annual firefighter’s appreciation night in SLO, and this is where Russ and Knuckles met. They were sitting at the same table when burn injury trivia started. Russ recalls the question being; “What is the greatest cause of injuries in children?” Knuckles whispered to Russ the correct answer and then their conversation flourished from there. June 2014, Russ and Linda attend Champ Camp for a night where they were able to see and interact with campers and counselors, AARBF became very near and dear to their hearts. As Grand Master for the Masons in California, Russ was able to raise funds for a program that meant a lot to him and raised 25,000 for FISE!

Russ now provides constant support to the Southern Region with day to day tasks or whatever might be needed at the time. Not only does he donate his time to the Southern region, but he has also been part of the Board since 2016 and just became our Board President for 2020. Additionally, Russ and Linda attend a few regional events to lend a hand as well like the holiday party, relay and surf trip.

Russ shared that he continues to be so passionate about AARBF because, “seeing the difference we’re making in people’s lives is incredibly humbling. There are certain things you can plan for in life, but a burn injury is something I don’t think anyone can plan for, it is a life changing event. Being a resource and support to those in need during these events of such great loss is meaningful and impactful. Frankly, I contribute a tiny part being on the board, the real people that make the difference are staff and volunteers that are with the survivors.”

Russ shared a funny story that happened while at the board retreat. He mentioned he did not have an official camp name with the board and usually camp names are not used during these times to keep a level of professionalism (we wear multiple hats sometimes). While Russ was sharing a deep thought with the group about how to be committed to the cause, he used an analogy that was used by the marketing director from Apple when he was younger. In sum, it is about how you need to be a “raging thunder lizard for the cause!” Monkey jumped up with great excitement and stated that was his new camp name; “Thunder Lizard!”

We are honored and lucky that Russ has become a part of AARBF in many different capacities, especially with the tremendous amount of help he provides to the staff and to the Foundation as a whole. Russ expressed, “I am honored and flattered to be awarded this year” and we are honored and flattered to have his support!