Occupation: Executive Director, Willis Dady Emergency Shelter
What’s the best advice you ever received: I’ve received great advice for various situations. Some of the best advice includes: You can learn a lot more about someone based on what they’ve done instead of what they say they will do; shaving your legs is a waste of time and won’t help you reach your goals; and when you’re overwhelmed and feel defeated, it’s better to go to the gym than go to the bar.
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishments: I had the honor of starting and helping manage the Fairweather Lodge program, which provided permanent housing to men who had formerly been homeless and who all had a serious mental illness. I was able to witness lives transform as they put in the work to live cooperatively, maintain employment and become friends with one another.
What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier in your career: Earlier in my career I wish I had known I really can learn something from anyone and everyone I come across. Everyone has a different approach and something unique and positive to offer.
If you had $1 million to give, what causes would you support: I would invest it in an endowment through the 1610 Foundation, so that the foundation could continue making charitable gifts for years and years to come. The 1610 Foundation gives to organizations focused on the environment, civil rights, peace and equality.
What is your biggest passion: I’m passionate about eating homemade meals from fresh local ingredients, especially when prepared and shared with friends and family.
Who are your local mentors: I’ve had many people impact my life, but three of my mentors include my parents, Maureen and John Trepp, college professor Paula O’Laughlin, and Tex Evans, founder of the Appalachian Service Project.