I grew up in Virginia in the suburbs of Washington, DC, and lived my adult life there until we moved to Durham in 2019. My mom grew up in a rural area about 30 minutes from Durham, so I have some cousins, aunts, and an uncle in the Triangle area, but we had never explored Durham (other than visiting Duke Gardens) until we contemplated moving here. We were pleasantly surprised to learn how progressive a town it is, that it is a foodie town, and how much it has to offer in terms of cultural events, music, theatre, and outdoor activities. We see it as a personal challenge to eventually try all of the restaurants in Durham.
My wife, daughter and I moved to Durham almost a year after joining Bull City Commons. It was great to already have a community of friends to socialize with and to run into on Ninth Street or around town. We enjoyed taking the free bus downtown for happy hours, riding our bikes to the farmers market in Central Park, and exploring other bike paths around town.
I have been a self-described nerd ever since I went to a science and technology high school because of my love of math. At the University of Virginia, I combined my interests in math and business into a business degree with a concentration in accounting and a minor in math. I have had a 25-year career in accounting, first performing financial audits of Federal Government corporations, insurance companies, and banks, and later working for two large financial institutions leading various accounting and finance teams. More recently, I have transitioned into leadership coaching. After so many years where my tangible work product was a report that was soon forgotten, it is fun to apply my skills and work with other members to create something both tangible (a building) and intangible (a community) that will hopefully outlast us all.
I prefer to read books rather than magazines or social media. I love to learn and books permit deeper learning about topics. Similarly, I prefer deeper discussions about interesting topics rather than small talk. I am slightly introverted so I can definitely spend time at home reading, playing games, or doing jigsaw puzzles (fun fact: I recently competed in my first jigsaw puzzle competition). However, I need social interaction as well. I hate to plan social activities, so I am very grateful my wife is the social chair for our family (not to mention the lead of the Social Circle for BCC). However, I enjoy attending social events and particularly like impromptu socializing over coffee in the morning, during a walk, over a meal, or for a spontaneous happy hour. That was part of the big appeal of cohousing … there are planned social events and the building is designed to foster spontaneous socializing by bumping into people and easy gathering without extensive planning. Members have a variety of backgrounds, experiences, and interests, which is a recipe for more engaging conversations and creative problem-solving. I have enjoyed getting to know members and look forward to living in the building together.
"Jen has used her extensive experience in financial services to our advantage and has worked tirelessly on the financial aspects of the project as well as the development oversight. She is so smart and thoughtful and has incredible leadership skills. Basically we got an unpaid CFO in Jen! I have a hard time imagining how we would have gotten to this point in our project without Jen. We are so lucky to have her."