We had the good fortune of connecting with Sofia Bork and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sofia, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
In my 20’s I pushed myself, but looking back realize I was working past my capacity, I’m extroverted and thrive with working with different groups and organizations, but stretched myself thin. It happened slowly,  because there were so many projects and organizations that I was passionate about, but I wasn’t prioritizing time with my family. Once the pandemic hit, it forced me to reflect on how I was spending my time. As a culture we uplift being “busy” and going to multiple events/meetings, etc when in reality it isn’t helpful, and doesn’t allow you to truly flourish. When you rest and intentionally build time to relax and disconnect into your day, you’ll see a change. It’s so important to make time to be with your family and loved ones because you always can go back and volunteer or serve in leadership roles, but you can’t replace time spent with your family. My sister always tells me this and I think of my nephew who I’m watching grow, he’s shown me how quickly time passes. As I’ve become more established in my career, I’ve narrowed my focus on the number of organizations I’m involved with and commit only when I know I can authentically give of my talents. Succession planning is also key, I’m always thinking of who would be an excellent fit for an opportunity when one is presented to me and I don’t have capacity, but know somebody who is ready to serve. We’re lucky to live in a city full of talented individuals who are passionate, have phenomenal ideas, and are ready to lead.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?

I work for Truist as the Community Affairs Manager and Government Affairs Liaison for Georgia. In my role, I lead our grant making from the local allocation of the Truist Foundation and the Trusteed Foundations in Greater Atlanta/Northern Georgia, by meeting with community organizations to identify needs and driving collective impact between the region teams, community development/CRA, and philanthropy. Increasing teammate community engagement through volunteerism and Board service is another part of my role, as well as tracking Truist investments and collaborating with Marketing to communicate our impact story.
I majored in English, with a concentration in Writing and Publication, minored in Spanish, and never thought I’d be working in banking, but I’ve loved my career here at Truist and feel like I’ve landed my dream job. I’ve been volunteering in the Atlanta community for years and developed my civic leadership skills and board experience. Volunteering helped me realize how happy helping others made me feel, and was an excellent way to use my natural talents. I knew I wanted to work with Truist because of the phenomenal work done in our community and felt that my values aligned with theirs. I feel uniquely positioned for this role as I’m leveraging my passion and energy for the community and blending it with an innovative and fresh perspective.
Prior to this job, I worked in a role that was completely unrelated to what I’m in now, however I continued to develop my civic engagement and community building skills while volunteering. When I interviewed for my current role, I was able to speak to a diverse set of leadership roles that I’d held over the years and the relationships I had built across multiple communities as well. I volunteered with Mayor Andre Dickens’ mayoral campaign last year and was named as the Latinx Strategy and Outreach Director, this led to me serving on his Inauguration Committee and finally served on his Transition Team on the Neighborhood Empowerment Committee. This is why I’m a staunch advocate for volunteering, it helps others when you dedicate your talents, and you’re able to build your skill set as well.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?

I’m a huge advocate of our parks and greenspaces, I’m lucky to serve on the board of Park Pride and the Historic Oakland Cemetery Foundation and always take friends on walks through the parks. Oakland Cemetery is also a city park and has a vibrant history. As you walk, you’ll see tombs and statues juxtaposed with the downtown skyline and it’s a stunning testament to the rich history of this city and also a reminder of the continued work we have to do to advance equity. The Sara J. González Park located in the Northwest part of Atlanta is a must, since it’s the only park in the state of Georgia named after a person of Latinx descent. I’m the founder of our Officer Edgar I. Flores Memorial Latin American Ethnobotanical garden, which is both educational and experiential.
For food, I always advocate for Summerhill, Little Tart is my go-to for breakfast and you can find me there on weekday mornings catching a quick bite to eat with a friend. It’s definitely a favorite for me during Legislative Session as it’s a quick drive to the Gold Dome from there, there’s nothing better than pastries and politics.
I’m an avid cyclist and enjoy biking the beltline as well and making stops along the way to eat and visit with friends. One of my favorite things to do is listen to Victoria Lemos’s podcast “Archive Atlanta” and tour the specific neighborhood she’s focused on in a podcast episode. This was a hobby of mine during the pandemic and provided a more in-depth understanding of the city. I’m also a history nerd and love old buildings and anything with historic preservation. By George in the Candler Hotel is great for breakfast,  it’s a couple blocks from my work and I love basking in the beauty of the architecture and appreciate the historic preservation.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents, my boyfriend and family have always been there for me, I’m lucky to have grown up in an environment where my parents encouraged a love of the arts. My mom is an immigrant from Bogotá, Colombia and took my sister and me to the library weekly because she didn’t want us to struggle with reading like she did when she immigrated. Because of my mother, I became a voracious reader, fell in love with storytelling,  learning about people, and later decided to major in English. During my years in college, a frequent question posed to me was: “What are you going to do with an English degree?” in college and I honestly didn’t know. I felt frustrated and was crying about it to my dad one day. I’ll never forget, when my dad looked at me and said “whenever somebody asks you that, you just tell them ‘I’m going to do something amazing’” . Years later, whenever I’m feeling tired or frustrated, I think of that memory and how beautiful and rewarding my life has been. There have certainly been struggles and failures, but my parents instilled a sense of grit and perseverance in me. Now as I look at my life, I’m thankful my parents encouraged me to pursue a liberal arts education and cultivated a love of literature and language within me, because it taught me to pursue things I loved, even when people didn’t see what I did. Because of my education, it’s made me a more empathetic person, I can identify themes and see patterns in places you wouldn’t traditionally see them, I’m able to understand others because great literature is created by compelling storytelling and we as humans cherish that. It’s one of the most ancient forms of communication and there are themes that unite us across the centuries. Everyone experiences happiness, heartbreak, success, failure and redemption at one point in their life; it is through story that we are united and able to authentically connect.

Instagram: Sofia.m.Bork

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sofiabork

Facebook: Sofia Marie Bork

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