Meet RJ Fisher! RJ officially joined SHFB’s advisory board in January 2020, but formerly worked in the finance department at Community Action Lehigh Valley for six years and as CFO for four years. Currently, he is the Vice President of Finance at CyroConcepts. With finance being his expertise, RJ works hard to make the most out of contributions and advocate for those in need. Learn more about RJ in the Q&A below:
Why did you join SHFB’s advisory board?
As the former CFO of Community Action, I became very familiar with Second Harvest and the impact it has on the community. I grew up in a family that struggled sometimes to find where the next meal would come from, and I remember distinctly walking through the food pantry with my mom and siblings. I’m very grateful today for those experiences and the opportunities I’ve received over the years, and it’s become very important to me that I give back in any way I can for those families in need today.
What do you do outside of SHFB?
I am the father of two daughters, 16 and 7, who are my life. I also enjoy fishing, hiking, and spending time with friends. I also like to be the most “off brand” finance guy around and ride my motorcycle whenever I can. For work, I am in charge of the finance department for my company having sole responsibility for all things accounting and finance related.
What do your responsibilities look like on the advisory board?
I think our responsibility is to provide the best feedback and guidance where possible using the strengths we have as a group. We need to do our very best to provide resources where we can to break down barriers the program may have that ultimately prevent helping our ultimate responsibility: the families in need. For me, finance has always been my strong suit; therefore, it is my duty to ensure our donors’ and supporters’ contributions are used most effectively and efficiently.
What is something you wish everyone knew about food insecurity?
I’ve heard it said best that I wish everyone knew how pervasive food insecurity was in any and all communities. It’s not limited to just the poor section of your neighborhood; it could be your neighbor, the person sitting next to you at work, or even your own family member too proud to say anything. Factor in the inequalities that still exist and seemingly keep growing in today’s world, and you have a population suffering to support each other.
What is your greatest achievement/most rewarding highlight in your career so far?
Being able to transition in 2019 to a career that has been a passion of mine since going back for my Master’s degree, along with having the opportunity to give back through the Second Harvest, the Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley, and other non-profits has been extremely rewarding. Having been awarded the Top 40 Under 40 award in 2021 as a result of my efforts was a wonderful achievement in my book in that I was given a platform to speak about food insecurity and racial inequality. Anyone that knows me knows I am soft spoken, and having that opportunity was huge for me.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I love spending time with my girls, especially outdoors. Spending time with friends has also been important to me, sharing our experiences and connecting like a second family.
What book characterizes you the best?
The Road Less Traveled.
What is your life motto?
Never tell me the odds, I’ll always beat them.
What are the first three words that come to your mind when you hear Second Harvest Food Bank?
Passion, Sustenance, Commitment.
What is one piece of advice that has stuck with you since you heard it?
Never change who you are and what you are passionate about. Stay humble, and stay kind.
Where have you seen the biggest impact on the community due to Second Harvest’s efforts?
Most recently, I have seen the impact the Hispanic Center has on the Southside of Bethlehem through their food pantry and senior program with the influence of SHFB and what they provide. Many more families were fed, not only more meals but more culturally acceptable meals, and fresher foods throughout the pandemic.
What is something you wish everyone knew about hunger in America?
Hunger in America is a massive concern that isn’t just going away. Making any decision on an empty stomach is not easy for any human being, especially when you don’t know where your next meal is coming from.
What other volunteer activities do you participate in, if any?
I am currently the Treasurer of the Board for the Hispanic Center of the Lehigh Valley. I also volunteer when and where I can at various other non-profit organizations across the Lehigh Valley and around my home in Upper Bucks County.