Forty Under 40 2014
Jennifer Hancock, president-elect, Volunteers
of America of Kentucky
Education: Bachelor’s and master’s degrees in social work, University of Kentucky
Donates time to: Board member, Kentuckiana Works; member, Kentucky Children’s Justice Act Task Force; co-chairperson, Children Exposed to Violence Collective Impact Initiative; member, Humana CareSource Quality Members Access Committee
Volunteer hours per month: Five
Hours worked per week: 60
Hobbies: Gardening and running
Mac or PC: PC
Shopping weakness: Online shopping of any kind
Fantasy job: Private investigator
Interesting fact: She received a full scholarship from Metro United Way for college because of her community service work in high school.
Guilty pleasure TV show: Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Atlanta“
Listens to in car: XM radio, WFPK-FM and WFPL-FM
Passions: Family, being active and on the move, giving back
Motto: Be the change you wish to see in the world.
Describe your job.
“I am responsible for operations of Volunteers of America of Kentucky, which encompasses 30 programs in Kentucky, Tennessee, Southern Indiana, West Virginia and Southern Ohio. We reach more than 20,000 people … each year, employ approximately 750 staff members, and operate with a $26 million budget.
“My role involves oversight of program management in the areas of homeless and housing services, developmental disabilities services, veterans’ services, and addiction-recovery services; fund development activities and donor/funder relations; communications and marketing; new business development; community engagement activities; and government relations.”
What are the greatest challenges of your job?
“There are many! Chiefly I would say is determining priorities — everything seems so important right now as the nonprofit sector is rapidly changing.” It is important to ensure “financial sustainability as government funding diminishes for human services and to maximize opportunities with the Affordable Care Act to get reimbursed for our clinical services.”
Why did you choose your career path?
“I think it chose me. I intended to be a therapist and quickly ended up in a clinical supervisor role that turned into an administrative role that evolved to where I am today. I am as surprised as anyone.”
Describe how your early work experiences shaped your work ethic.
“I started baby-sitting for pay when I was 13 and loved contributing and earning my own income. I officially entered the work force at age 16 in a retail clothing store. I loved working and quickly advanced to a management position.
“In college I worked full time, went to school full time and did a practicum for four semesters. I’ve always had a healthy work appetite!”
Tell us about a project/program of a community group you serve and describe your role.
“I am the co-chair of the Children Exposed to Violence Collective Impact Initiative. Working with 40 other local nonprofits, we are developing an innovative approach to addressing solutions for youth exposed to violence to prevent what could otherwise be lifelong consequences.”