HGBA Member Spotlight: Jessica Root

Once a month, businesses, civic organizations, and church groups take part in House of Mercy’s Campaign to End Hunger. Recently renamed Race to End Hunger, these high-energy food-packing events feature great music, fun contests, and cool prizes. Courtesy Photo

Jessica Root
House of Mercy

8170 Flannery Court, Manassas
703-659-163
jroot@houseofmercyva.org
Houseofmercyva.org

 When and why did you decide to join this nonprofit?

I have been with House of Mercy as executive director for a little over two years now. I have always had a heart for working with those in need in a service capacity. House of Mercy drew me in with its great staff, volunteers, and board, and that at the heart of its mission is mercy.

How does your business serve the local community? 

House of Mercy provides food, clothing, education, and prayer for those in need through the good works of the food pantry, donation center, and thrift store. Not only can people in need come for food and clothing assistance, but community members can support the mission by shopping in the thrift store, donating in a variety of ways, or volunteering their time. 

Please share one of the greatest moments you’ve experienced in your current profession.  

Jessica Root

My greatest moments are always experiencing the change in someone else’s life whether it be a volunteer who gets more out of helping than they’re giving, a client who doesn’t need services any more, or a staff member I’ve been mentoring who moves up or moves on to something better as they grow.

Tell us about your experience with the HGBA. How has it supported you and House of Mercy?  

HGBA was one of the first networking groups I joined and it has been so good to meet other members during the past two years. I enjoy the meetings, the venues, and just how welcoming the group is. I have brought other members in and now I sit on the board. We have hosted meetings at House of Mercy and have begun some great partnerships through HGBA.

What are the top three business tips and tricks can you offer other professionals? 

Always have a growth and learning mindset, build relationships (don’t just look at the bottom line), and be kind – you never know what someone is going through no matter what you see on the outside.

Are you from this area? If not, what brought you here and what do you like about our town? 

I moved here two-and-a-half years ago for this job. I really enjoy the area in general, the great restaurant options, the wineries, and just the wonderful community.

What is your favorite season in this area, and why? 

The fall is always my favorite season because of the weather and the great holidays!

What are some hobbies you enjoy?

I enjoy hiking and camping, swimming, tennis, volunteering, and just hanging out with great friends (at wineries!). 

What is your favorite restaurant? 

There are many great ones to choose from around here but I have to give a shout out to Zandra’s. They put a super spin on traditional tacos and I just love Mexican food!

Are you involved with any other nonprofits? If so, which one(s) and why? 

Other than working at House of Mercy, I am also on the HGBA Board, Catholic Business Network Board, and Lifegiving Wounds Board. I’m also very involved in my parish, All Saints Catholic Church.

What was your first job, or your most interesting job prior to your current profession? 

I have always been in the nonprofit sector and greatly enjoyed each of the different roles I’ve experienced. I’ve been a missionary, worked at a shelter for homeless pregnant women, was the executive director at a soup kitchen, worked at a Catholic school and parish, and also at the National Shrine Grotto. Each one has given me different ways to grow and serve God.

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