Member Spotlight: J.C. Poma

J.C. Poma, Hospital Hospitality HouseJ C  Poma Headshot

Q: Three things you want folks to know about you.

  1.  I am a couple months into my time as the Volunteer Manager at Hospital Hospitality House (HHH) and am so excited about the direction we are headed as an organization. It is because of our dedicated staff, volunteers and Board of Directors that we are where we are as an organization and to think that the best is yet to come is very powerful.
  2. I came to HHH after working for the local sports start-up Arena Racing USA. As the Sales Manager for Arena Racing, I bring with me a wealth of contacts to HHH that I hope will translate to increased involvement in all areas of the House. One of my first goals is to educate new groups (corporations, churches, schools etc.) that want to utilize their time, talent and treasure to support what I truly believe is one of the best kept secrets in Richmond, our House. My long term goal is to change our mantra from one of the best kept secrets to the most talked about nonprofit in Richmond and I believe there is no better way to do that than inviting an individual or group to volunteer their time and see our mission and interact with guests up close and personal.
  3. I am a proud graduate of the University of Virginia and also received my masters from Georgetown University. While at UVA, I met my best friend and wife, Jennifer. We were just married here in Richmond on September 27th. In my spare time, I enjoy Cross Fit and am an avid Washington Redskins fan.

Q: Three things you want folks to know about your work.

  1. HHH provides lodging and non-medical services to families and individuals in medical crisis. Guests are referred from physicians, staff and social workers from area hospitals. Since we opened our doors in 1984, we have served over 140,000 guests from across Virginia, the United States and beyond. Our mission is to be the premier area provider of lodging and non-medical services that promote the healing process in a caring, emotionally supportive, home-like environment.
  2. Did you know that we are the second largest hospitality house in the country and the only house that operates on donations alone? It is so moving to me that we can provide lodging for individuals and their families in medical crisis without regard to financial status. While it costs probably close to $60 per person per night to ‘operate’ the House, we only ask for a $15 donation per night.
  3. HHH operates with the support of a large corps of dedicated volunteers; this includes individuals as well as groups! They come from numerous religious, civic, corporate and educational groups. Everyone joins together to make meals for the guests, wash windows, perform light maintenance, paint and decorate renovated rooms, etc. Some even initiate the collection of pantry items, paper products, furniture and other household needs. We could not do what we do without them and are always looking for others to join this tremendous group of people! We treasure our volunteers, for their time, their talents and their unflagging commitment to our mission.

Q: Why do you love the profession of volunteer administration?

I think my father put it best when I first accepted the job at HHH. My father has been in Human Resources his whole life and it is a path that I often talked about getting into after college. His advice to me was that being in charge of volunteers is Human Resources at its finest. You are working with individuals/groups that are passionate about your place of business and are volunteering their time to help fulfill your mission. To me, volunteers are the most powerful way our mission is carried out and being able to work with these dedicated people and coordinate their involvement is something that I truly love and look forward to every day!

Q: What do you love about GRAVA?

It sounds cliché, but I want to learn from everyone else in GRAVA! I look around and see other volunteer administrators who have best practices that I think can help me here at Hospital Hospitality House.

Q: Any other exciting news or information you want to share?

We are almost complete with a rebranding/marketing study and I am proud to say that ‘coming soon’ we will be announcing a new name, logo, color pallet etc. Included in this rebranding will be a renovation of our first floor social space, which I am so excited to unveil to all of our volunteers that come in to make this a home-like environment for our guests. Stay tuned for our ‘official’ announcement!!

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