Five Questions With: Lori Stedman

Lori Stedman is the marketing director for the Jonnycake Center of Westerly. In her role, she works collaboratively to build integrated marketing campaigns with a collective goal to raise awareness on the need for sustainable support through donations and volunteerism.

For more than two decades, Stedman has helped large and small businesses harness the power of technology (social media, email, digital content and search engine optimization) to help extend its reach to inform, educate and engage consumers on products, programs and services. Her creative oversight and delivery of marketing-related business initiatives includes the implementation of company websites, business portals, mobile applications, as well as traditional direct-to-consumer print collateral.

Stedman holds a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of Rhode Island.

PBN: In September, the Jonnycake Center of Westerly redesigned its Jonnybuck loyalty program. Would you please explain the roots of the program, when it started, why it was launched and who are the main users?

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STEDMAN: The Jonnybuck customer loyalty program started five years ago to reinforce our relationship with our customers. It has opened the door for another touch point with our customers, and they love it.

PBN: What did the redesign of the program consist of and how long did it take?

STEDMAN: The redesign took two months – a fairly short timeline considering it was a complete physical makeover. Each Jonnybuck now prominently features the Jonnycake colors, logo and information on how the center is assisting the community.

PBN: What do you hope to gain through this redesign?

STEDMAN: This change marks the beginning of Jonnycake’s efforts to better share our mission with Rhode Islanders, namely to assist nearby residents through crisis situations and with maintaining their self-sufficiency in the community. By weaving the mission throughout this program, we will better inform the public about all of the different ways we are sustaining community together.

What we’re trying to achieve with the new design is to educate customers that their patronage makes a difference in the local community. For example, the reverse side of the redesigned Jonnybuck reads: “Last year we distributed 734 turkeys between Thanksgiving and Christmas and we provided gifts to 424 families.”

PBN: Which communities does the center support and what types of donations and financial aid does the organization need the most?

STEDMAN: Presently, the Jonnycake Center of Westerly provides residents of Westerly, Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton access to a variety of assistance from legal, financial, heating, housing, utilities and educational services to our on-site, full-service food pantry.

PBN: How would you describe philanthropy in Rhode Island today? What more can residents do to help those in need?

STEDMAN: Philanthropy in Rhode Island is continuing to increase, as we see more social justice businesses and organizations being founded. [Residents] continue to recognize the needs of those within our communities who require assistance, and while the Jonnycake Center of Westerly generally sees an uptick in donations during this time of year, we ask residents to remember organizations [such as] ours on a year-round basis. The need is [constant], not just seasonal.

Emily Gowdey-Backus is a staff writer for PBN. You can follow her on Twitter @FlashGowdey or contact her via email,