Heather Street Baker – 20 Under 40

The Family Place
36 | Education: Texas A&M University

As a student at Texas A&M University, Heather Street Baker realized she wanted her work to have a greater purpose.

She has worked in the nonprofit sector ever since.

“I decided that working and making a paycheck alone wasn’t enough for me,” Street Baker said. “I needed a greater purpose behind my job.”

She worked at a children’s museum, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and the North Texas Food Bank before joining The Family Place as an assistant director of development. The Family Place is the largest family violence service provider in Texas.

“​​I have loved fundraising, building relationships, and improving the community that I live in,” she said.

A personal highlight of the last year was the record-setting 2021 Trailblazer Awards event in November, honoring former longtime CEO Paige Flink, Street Baker said. “Not only was the event a success financially, it also was a beautiful celebration of Paige’s work and The Family Place.”

Street Baker’s community service goes beyond her role at the Family Place, though.

She was on the 2021 Cattle Baron’s Ball Committee and is a member of the Junior League of Dallas. Cattle Baron’s Ball is the largest single-night fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and raised $3.6 million from the 2021 event.

The American Cancer Society’s mission is personal to Street Baker.

“My husband is a firefighter, and the cancer rate is extremely high in their profession because of what they are exposed to,” she said. “I work now to provide prevention and awareness.”

What are you most excited about for the future?

We welcome our second child in March and are so excited to expand our family and see what impact we can continue to make on our friends, community, and world.

What is your favorite local store?

I love St. Michael’s Woman’s Exchange. They always have great, new, and unique products. The women who work there are so sweet and helpful, and I love that the money ultimately goes to a greater cause within the community.

What’s on your bucket list?

I would love to visit all seven continents of the world before I die. I’ve been to three so far – North America, Europe, and Australia. I’m excited to meet new people and see new places.

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

I worked at Express at the mall in my hometown. I learned a lot about relationships and interactions with co-workers and customers. Ultimately, it taught me that a little kindness and grace can go a long way.

Toughest business/personal challenge?

Like many moms, I would say juggling a full-time job and raising great children. It is a constant struggle, and you often feel like one of these two very important jobs is suffering.

How do you motivate others?

I like to motivate others through my own work ethic and example, as well as through encouraging words. I think positive reinforcement goes a long way to get people on board and invested in the work that you are doing.

What would you tell an 18-year-old you?

You never know what the world will look like in the future. Plan ahead but also live in the moment because you will never get that time back.

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Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, former deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order.

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