Profession: Member Programs and Engagement Manager / Director of Fun for the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce
Community involvement: Active Bakersfield Alliance, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference
Since coming to Bakersfield in 2004, Hillary Haenes has made it her mission to get involved.
As a new student at Centennial High School, she joined the cheer squad and the newspaper in an effort to meet new people. As a working professional, she engaged in community events and organizations to help better the city she now calls home.
Originally from South Bend, Indiana, Haenes chose to stay in Bakersfield when her family moved back to the Midwest in 2014.
“I literally have no family here, but I have formed such good friendships here that I consider a lot of my friends to be my family,” she said. “This is home for me.”
Haenes’ co-workers are also part of her Bakersfield family. Despite working full-time at the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce as the member programs and engagement manager, Haenes still devotes one to two Saturdays a month working at Bella at The Marketplace, a women’s boutique she has worked at for the past 10 years.
“Just getting to know people, forming those friendships, getting involved in the community, giving back – that’s how I got a sense of what Bakersfield is,” she said.
Biggest inspiration: My mom. She’s very strong-willed. She taught me at a young age to be independent, to voice my opinion.
Advice to others: Say yes. Discover new things, try new things. Find your passion.
Personal motto: Be a positive person. Surround yourself with positive people, creative people. I always have to put my family first, even though they’re so many miles away.