Chamber Insider Blog

Jewish American Heritage Month: Joanne Trimmer

Thank you to Jo Trimmer for being our spotlight for Jewish American Heritage Month! 

Where were you born and raised, and if it was someplace else, when and why did you come to Loudoun?

I was born in Virginia and raised in and out of the United States as the daughter of a United States Foreign Service Officer. Northern Virginia was always home when we were not overseas.   In 2003, my husband and I moved to Loudoun when our first child was just one year old, seeking an ideal place to raise our family. We’re proud to say that we’ve lived, worked, and raised our family in Loudoun ever since, with both of our children graduating from Loudoun County Public Schools and calling Loudoun their home even while away at college.

Tell us about The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier and how long you’ve been in your industry.

The Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier’s mission is to GROW Community Giving.  We build local endowment by fostering a community of grantmakers, promoting strategic local leadership, and investing in partnerships for the benefit of the community of Loudoun and Northern Fauquier. I proudly joined the team in September 2023 enabling me to continue serving the community where I work, live, and play.

How did you get into this line of work?           

Community service in some capacity has always been a big part of who I am and what I do, be it volunteering or in my career.  Now living in Loudoun for more than 20 years, much of it has been dedicated to serving Loudoun through some of its well-known, and beloved nonprofits. I was excited to have the opportunity to continue my journey, this time contributing to the broader nonprofit community with my position at the Community Foundation for Loudoun and Northern Fauquier.  It is incredibly rewarding to be able to come to work every day, in a county that I love, where I know that the work I am doing is helping to impact so many.

Have you had any special mentors or inspirations that guided your career?

I believe there is an opportunity to learn from everyone we meet. Every experience, positive or negative, teaches us about ourselves, helping us become stronger and more resilient. I would be remiss, if I didn’t acknowledge my parents, for instilling the values of being a mentor and having mentors, acknowledging them and showing gratitude for the impact they have on our lives.  They modeled and laid the foundational values, that probably created my deep-rooted belief in the idea of “leading by lifting others” and that everyone has a role in the support of a health and wellness of their fellow human.  Unknowingly, they were setting the stage for my career in Community Service Work. I am grateful for the mentorship I have been lucky enough to receive and continue to receive, I only hope I am being that to others as I make my way through the world.

What is the best part of your job and why?

My colleagues and the board are at the top of the list, and of course the donors and all the amazing nonprofits. I get to work with some pretty amazing humans, each one committed to the health and wellness of Loudoun. Every day they go far beyond doing their part to make a difference, and I am always learning from them. It is my privilege to be a small part of that magic.

What is it like doing business in Loudoun/Northern Virginia?

Working in the nonprofit space in Loudoun is pretty special. It is a close-knit community that embraces partnership and working together for the overarching goal of supporting our community. Despite being one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S., there’s a significant need here, though it may not be immediately visible.  It is gratifying to see nonprofits stepping up to fill gaps and address needs, with the support of donors and grantmakers who facilitate this work through partnerships and the grants they make. We are especially lucky in Loudoun to have such a wonderful Chamber that embraces the nonprofit community, encouraging partnerships between the business community, government and nonprofit sectors and even offering direct support through grants to help fund the important work of the nonprofits in our community.

What does Jewish Heritage Month mean to you?

Jewish American Heritage Month, like all other designated months, is an opportunity to share stories of contributions or remembrance, build awareness and highlight the rich and diverse heritages we have in the United States and right here in Loudoun. We should celebrate how far we have come and acknowledge how far yet we can still go if we continue to work to accept and embrace each other’s differences as the gifts that they are not just during a month, but every day.  By doing so we commit to building equity – so that ALL of our fellow community members can feel a sense of safety, true freedom and most of all acceptance and belonging for who they are, who they love, and what they choose to believe.

Here in Loudoun, when attending religious services, schooling or events, our buildings have increased security measures and police presence just to ensure that we and our children can congregate, worship and learn in those spaces safely. That is the reality of being Jewish anywhere in the world, even in America where we are lucky enough to have religious freedom.

I have lived live places, where our family was the only Jewish family. So, coming to Loudoun and being Jewish has been a beautiful experience with a strong religious community and deep meaningful friendships.  My children have grown up in a diverse community, developing friendships with shared religious traditions as well as friends of many other faiths and cultural traditions, all coming together to celebrate each other and make Loudoun so special.

Favorite things to do when you are not working?

For those who know me, spending time with my husband, my two now “men-children” when they are home from college, family and close friends is my favorite thing to do. Whether it’s relaxing at home, dining at great restaurants, visiting vineyards, breweries, enjoying the stunning parks, or strolling along the Potomac, it is pretty great to do so in the beautiful surroundings of the place we get to call home, right here in Loudoun County!