Congratulations to Jennifer Montgomery, Executive Director of Loudoun Hunger Relief for being a finalist for the 2020 Nonprofit Executive of the Year.
What does community leadership mean to you?
Community leadership is simply a call to action – find a cause you’re passionate about and support it – whatever it is. Wanting to belong and be a part of something greater than ourselves is in our DNA. Work for the common good and work together. We are better together.
Share with us who your inspiration is in making giving back to the community a priority?
I have lots of people that I admire and consider role models in the arena of giving and kindness, particularly the more than 300 volunteers who give their time at LHR! In addition to those community rockstars, there are a few folks that I consider mentors. Carol Barbe is a true role model in servant leadership and generosity of spirit. Lynn Tadlock believes that strengthening the community means bringing together philanthropy/social service sector, government and the business community and she’s right. I thank Andy Johnston for showing me how to be a selfless advocate and partner, and Amy Owen for shouting from the rooftops that we need everyone to contribute in order to make our community stronger. I also credit my parents for modeling kind and generous behavior to my siblings and I growing up. They taught us to be kind, treat everyone equally and help when you can.
What is your most proud moment in regards to community involvement?
I am so proud of the new mobile market at LHR! It’s a game changer for helping people. I am also proud to live in a community that cares so much about all of our neighbors.
How does giving back to the community affect your life?
It makes me a better person. It helps with balance, allows me to teach my children about empathy, and gives me the warm fuzzies in a world that can be crazy, cold and unfair. It reminds me that everyone craves connection, acknowledgement and kindness.
What advice would you give to someone who is interested in getting more involved in their community?
Look around you. There are opportunities every day to connect. Find something you care about and do a little research. Who’s working on that cause? How can you help? Start where you are, but take action! Get moving, no seriously, send the email! Make the Call! We need you!
What is a leadership tip or mantra to live by?
A lot of magic happens when you stop thinking in terms of “What can I gain?” and you start thinking in terms of “What can I contribute?”
Thank you to Jennifer Montgomery, of Loudoun Hunger Relief, for answering a few questions! Congratulations to all of the Community Leadership Award finalists.