Meet a Fellow APA: Bob Hoffman
What is your job title?
Public relations manager
How long have you been at MSU?
Have you been a member of the APA the whole time?
What department do you work in, and can you tell me a little bit about what you do?
I work in the public relations department of Wharton Center. My job is to make sure local, state, and national media know all about the amazing events we have at Wharton. I also coordinate many of Wharton’s marketing and promotional events. I am the face and voice of Wharton. That description makes it sound easy, but there are so many events taking place every week. At times I am balancing six to seven shows at once.
What brought you to your job at MSU?
I was recruited by the former executive director of Wharton Center, Bill Wright. After completing my undergraduate degree at MSU, I was working full time at local CBS television station WLNS-TV 6. I had filed several entertainment reports on acts coming to Wharton and I had developed a relationship with Bill. Wharton’s PR person was leaving, and Bill asked to meet with me. He told me all about the position and described the person that he wanted to hire. I realized he was talking about me. Before that, I did not really think I wanted to do anything other than be a reporter/anchor.
I have been here for almost 19 years, and I love it. It is a fabulous and exciting job. I get to work on so many shows that come through Wharton Center and meet amazing people. Disney’s The Lion King opens this week, so I am working on that, but I am also working on shows taking place next season. It is tricky, but fun.
What do you love about working at MSU?
MSU has been such a big part of my life. I am a Spartan through and through. Wherever you go in the world there is an MSU connection. You can walk through the airport in London and see someone wearing an MSU shirt. And if you say, “Go green,” they will say, “Go white.” It is like having a family connection wherever you go. It provides a feeling of safety in a sense. There is an incredible sense of pride as a Spartan too. MSU is one of the top universities in the world. To know that I work in the middle of all of that is really exciting.
What do you like to do when you are not at work?
I am a water baby. I love to be on a boat and enjoy swimming too. Michigan summers are the best; I enjoy just being outside – even if it is on my patio at home, relaxing and reading. Reading is another passion of mine and so is traveling. When I was younger I loved to travel to Europe and other far-away places, but now I realize all the amazing things this country has to offer. I love to travel out West, down South, and around Michigan. We have so many great places to visit right here. In the summer I try to stay around Michigan and go to Traverse City, Saugatuck, Grand Rapids, Detroit … I just had the week off work, and I was in all those places.
In 2009 I founded the non-profit ePIFanyNow pass-it-forward with a mission to create a revolution of positive, transformational experiences. We have had over 5,000 people attend our yearly events which gather people together to share their pass-it-forward stories. Five years ago we started the Y-PIF (youth passing it forward) Award which honors youth who are making a difference in their community.