John Jennings’ life is busy. As a project manager for our Boston team, he spends his days guiding important efforts like Nantucket Cottage Hospital, Yale University’s Sterling Chemistry Lab Renovation and renovating residence halls at Boston College while also writing thought leadership for local publications. In the evenings, on weekends, and 24-7-365 really, he’s a devoted husband and father – always trying to carve out time to help his community.
“Even as life has become more wonderfully busy with new job responsibilities and children, it’s important to me and my family that we stay connected with the community and give back,” Jennings explains. “I realized that in order to manage everything, I needed to be strategic and orient professional and career service around both my work and my children’s passions and activities.”
This approach has helped John build a diversified portfolio of community and professional commitments, including
- He serves on a Fenway Alliance committee and helps the organization advocate for the future prosperity and growth of the Fenway Cultural District. This connection offers him the chance to connect with all types of organizations including several of the small colleges that call the district home.
- Both John’s children participated in Future City Competition teams through their middle school years, and John helped as a mentor, guide and chaperone for the teams. With his children now in high school, John holds a similar role for his son’s robotics team, which advanced to the world championships two years ago
- John donates time and effort to his local Family Promise chapter, an organization focused on transforming the lives of homeless families around the country. The organization delivers life-saving services: prevention, shelter and stabilization to families in need and ultimately works to help them new homes, jobs and opportunities.
“Family Promise is an important and inspiring organization,” says John. “What’s really great about our connection here is that a few years ago the organization was looking for a new space for its local chapter. I was able to help them look at a place or two and develop a space program, but they actually met another local designer who specialized on their needs during our Open Hand Studio Meet & Match event. I was thrilled we provided the platform through which that connection could happen.”
- John and his children volunteer for an annual TEDx event in their home community of Natick, MA. The event takes place at the Natick High School, again bringing John closer to his children and community. The event is a major fundraiser for the Natick Education Foundation, which provides grant-based funding to local educators.
- On the athletics front, John’s daughter is an avid softball player, playing for her high school’s softball team, club teams and other seasonal team. John frequently helps with coaching, scorekeeping and generally helping with the team management.
It’s a lot to manage, but John has stood out during his career for his ability to manage complex situations, design solutions and projects. It’s made him an incredible resource to our clients and project teams.
“People talk about work/life balance, but there’s really no way to have hard lines to define where one begins and the other ends,” adds John. “For me, it’s about integration. How can I find synergies between work, life, and community that help me be successful and give back to my community.”