Jody grew up in Ridgewood, a small town in New Jersey, with her parents, two siblings, and dog Shango. She graduated from Temple University, where she studied accounting and finance. At the same time she entered college Jody joined Inroads, an internship program designed to place talented minority youth into positions of leadership in corporate America and the community. The ultimate desire of its founder, Frank Carr, was to cultivate future leaders who would help create pathways for others to follow. This philosophy has informed much of the volunteer work Jody focuses on to this day.
Throughout most of her professional career, Jody served as a project manager on large-scale projects in the financial services and insurance industry. Once her children were born she moved from managing teams of analysts, programmers, and consultants to project-managing a team of four (including her husband Malik and daughters Hannah and Haviland).
Living by the mantra “To whom much is given, much is expected,” Jody dedicates a great deal of her volunteer time to supporting diversity and inclusion efforts.
1. What has your favorite Nueva moment been?
It is so hard to select a favorite Nueva moment, but if I had to choose just one it would be the first day Malik and I toured the school. We were totally struck by the students, the ease with which they spoke and their confidence…this coupled with Marilyn’s welcome, the candor of the Parent Tea leads, and the big smile we saw on Hannah’s face upon leaving the activity session…we knew that this was the right fit for our family.
2. You are very active in the community; why is volunteering so important to you?
Volunteering is my way of attending Nueva. It allows me to interact with students, parents, faculty, and staff, who continue to inspire me daily.
And, because Nueva has impacted my family in such a meaningful way, I hope to share this gift with other families who may not be aware of the school or may not initially see themselves as part of the community.
3. What’s something about you that might surprise people?
My secret passion is interior decorating/design. I could spend hours walking through the SF Design Center touching fabrics, selecting paint colors/wallpaper or choosing the perfect chair. Beautifully curated spaces bring a smile to my face.
4. What have been the biggest influences in your life?
My family influences me the most. From my mother who worked as a police officer during the day, went to school at night (to earn two degrees), dialyzed my father twice a week, and after all that lay in bed with me to recite poetry….to my sister who raised two sons, as her husband travelled overseas multiple times as a sergeant in the army.
I am influenced by my daughters each day as I see how they work through situations with grace and kindness (and a few grumbles). And I can’t forget my husband, who is ever supportive and models continuous improvement and sacrifice.
I could go on and on…but the underlying strand that connects each person is the small daily actions of one that can have significant lasting impacts on others.
5. What are you excited about in Nueva’s future?
Nueva’s future is boundless…it reminds me of how the curriculum is designed to eliminate ceilings for the students. I truly believe that the school’s continued commitment to its mission and culture will allow it to support the growth of students who will impact the world in immeasurable ways.
March 3, 2017