Staff Spotlight: Patrick Minor
What drew you to DMARC originally, and how has it changed since then?
Originally, DMARC moved into the building next to my apartment. I had never heard of the organization before. I was working as a regional minister for young adults in my church, until the position lost its funding. Then, a neighbor at the time, John Robinson, the former Red Barrel coordinator, posted a job listing for a warehouse associate at DMARC. I started researching the organization and was amazed to discover the amazing work that was happening just across the street from me. As a minister and someone whom had previously worked with and volunteered for other food pantries in Ohio and Iowa, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to sustainably put my efforts into something for which I have a great passion. That was about five years ago, and since then, I have seen the organization expand exponentially in the number of full-time team members, the number of pantries we supply – including an ever-growing list of mobile food pantries, and huge programs and community events, which involve hundreds of volunteers and positively affect thousands of Iowans.
What do you like most about working at DMARC?
I have an internal and external answer for that. In Polk County, I am always amazed how dedicated DMARC is in providing service that upholds the dignity of our clients. Even during conditions like extreme weather or during a horrible pandemic, which might close operations at other businesses, we are able to creatively adapt our methods for intake and food dispersal to safely continue fulfilling those needs. Internally, I appreciate how worker-focused DMARC is. We are always trying to stay on the cutting edge of what is possible for workers rights, benefits, and fair pay.
What is your proudest moment at DMARC?
There are so many from which to choose, but I think the most impressed and proud I have been of DMARC was during the summer of 2020 produce box giveaway. Just the scale of the months-long event, the coordination with other organizational partners, the huge number of consistent and dedicated volunteers, and the sheer number of households we were able to assist, always just leaves me in awe when I remember it. And to think the whole operation was set up and implemented by our small Mobile Pantry team, with the assistance of several other DMARC staff, just blows my mind. It really opened my mind to imagine what even greater things we might be able to accomplish.
What’s a fun fact about yourself that others might not be aware of?
I grew up in the same town as Lebron James, but I never saw him play while he was in Ohio.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I majored in opera performance in college, I can speak 3 languages fluently, I’ve been told I should open a restaurant or food truck for the vegan food that I make, I’m also a studio artist/photographer, a published poet, and an assistant boxing coach. These are mostly hidden because I don’t speak of them much outside of their own contexts.
Before working at DMARC, what’s the most interesting job you’ve ever had?
Before DMARC, my most interesting job was a regional young adult minister, serving 23 congregations. I got to travel frequently throughout the state and see so many different ways people can gather and worship.
Where is your favorite place in the world to be?
This large and peaceful Metro Park in Ohio. I don’t remember what it was actually called, but it reminded me of this book called “Rocky Pond,” so that was just what I always called it.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
Growing up, I experienced some trauma which made it difficult for me to imagine myself existing in the future, so engaging in ambitious thinking was always a challenge. I now can do so many things well, I’m just determined to be happy doing all of them. I want to make several successful YouTube channels, I want to own a restaurant, I want to have my own homestead farm in the middle of nowhere, I want to be a professional boxing coach, I want to be a prolific author and illustrator.
If you could use one famous movie line to describe yourself, what would it be?
“I know what I have to do now. I’ve got to keep breathing because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring?” – Cast Away