Jayhawks looking for last minute Valentine’s Day cards might spot a familiar family.
Jeff and Heather Hawkins are featured in seasonal banners at Hallmark retail locations this year. We introduced alumni to Heather, j’06, g’12, who works for the Association as executive assistant to the president and coordinator of donor relations, and her husband, Jeff, c’06, a former KU basketball player, on our blog in 2014.
The Hawkins family’s modeling career all started with a KU connection. Shannon Presti, a former KU basketball manager and friend of Jeff’s, encouraged the couple to pursue modeling opportunities for their two future Jayhawks, Mavrick and Sienna. Presti, c’05, connected them with Rachel Imdieke, a photographer and fellow Jayhawk, who introduced them to Voices& Talent Agency in Kansas City. The agency signed the family, and the rest is history.
As Jeff tells tells it, “We really feel like the Jayhawk connections made this possible for our family. Without the guidance of Shannon and Rachel, we never would have landed with Voices& and then Hallmark.”
We asked Heather about their experience modeling as a picture-perfect family in this sweet Q&A just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Tell us how you were selected for the Hallmark ad/promotion.
We’ve had a handful of other modeling jobs since our family was signed. Our agent at Voices& submitted us for the Valentine’s Day promotion, and we were really blessed to be selected for the shoot. It was such a fun day, and we were thrilled when we found out they were using the picture of the three of us for the campaign. The people we worked with for Hallmark have been top notch! They were so kind to us and since we were newbies, they really helped us through the process.
So what’s it really like being a model?
Oh my goodness, it’s fun! I am absolutely certain that when I hit the lotto someday I’m going to pay someone to do my hair and makeup. It’s been so eye-opening to see the creative process and how many people work so hard to make those shoots go. It’s such a team effort!
Have you had any “superstar” moments where people recognize you from the photos?
It’s been fun to get pictures from friends and family all over the Midwest standing by the banners. My aunt actually went into a store and asked the manager if she could have the banner when Valentine’s Day was over. She’s been collecting them up all over town.
What did Sienna think of the experience?
That girl was absolutely hooked from the moment we walked in. She’s absolutely a girlie-girl and loved having them put her in different outfits and play with her hair. Her favorite part was without a doubt jumping on the bed. She seems to think she now has the clearance to jump on any bed she wants, whenever she wants!
We have a pretty great team here at the KU Alumni Association! While many of our staff members travel around the world hosting events and meeting Jayhawks, many others work behind the scenes. In this new series on our blog, learn a little more about the people who make your Alumni Association a positive force for KU—and a fun place to work.
Heather Hawkins, j’06, has served as the executive assistant to the president for the past three years. She has a degree in strategic communications, which comes in handy as she helps with projects for the Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and works closely with Presidents Club members and other donors. Heather is married to former KU basketball player Jeff Hawkins, c’06, and they have two adorable Future Jayhawks.
What’s your favorite spot on the KU campus?
Absolutely Allen Fieldhouse, it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been in that building, I STILL get the chills!
If you could have dinner with two people, living or not, who would they be? I’d pick my dad’s mom who passed away when I was little. I would love to have time to hear about all the trouble my dad surely got into as a little kid. My second choice would be Gillian Flynn, author of “Gone Girl” and a KU alumna! Her books are fantastically addictive. I lost sleep after reading each one because I couldn’t get the stories out of my head.
Put your iPod on shuffle. What are the first five songs?
“Single Ladies,” by Beyonce, “Heartbreak Warefare,” by John Mayer, “Ordinary People,” by John Legend, “The Way You Make Me Feel,” by Michael Jackson, “The Age of Worry,” by John Mayer
Cats or dogs? Dogs, all day, everyday. To be honest, cats give me the creeps!
What’s the last book you read? I love to read. One of my happiest places in the world is the library. the last book I read was The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, I highly recommend it!
Tell us about something in your office: a favorite photo, trinket or other object or memento. My favorite objects are the Mother’s Day pictures my son Mav drew and my bulletin board of pictures of my kids, Mav and Sienna, and my husband Jeff.
What’s your favorite color? Green
Favorite KU celebrity? I’ve got to go with my charming husband, Jeff Hawkins. Basketball season holds a very, very special place in the heart of the Hawkins household.
Do you have any hidden talents or unique hobbies? Sadly, no special hidden talents or unique hobbies. However, with two kids, a husband and three dogs, I’m not sure there’s time for any unique hobbies unless I could learn to sleep standing up or function with two hours of sleep—those skills could certainly come in handy!
In case you missed it, we made a video of our top ten memorable moments from the past decade of KU basketball’s dominance in the Big 12 conference. We’re pretty proud of the video, starring former KU basketball player Jeff Hawkins, c’06, and his son, Mavrick.
But for every good video, many more minutes of outtakes exist.
And that, friends, is what we’re sharing with you today.
Watch the video below for some behind-the-scenes footage from our video shoot: