Board Spotlight: Nancy G. Pope
Who is Nancy G. Pope?
Nancy G. Pope is the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Paramount Pictures. She grew up in what is now known as Sherman Oaks, formerly Van Nuys. Nancy attended Pitzer College (with JFS Executive Vice President Susie Forer-Dehrey) and Stevens Institute of Technology. She has worked for multiple high-profile organizations including AT&T and EMI Music.
She describes herself as equal parts funny and serious. Nancy believes we all have an inner child and keeping it happy and alive is of the utmost importance.
When she’s not entertaining family and friends in her home, you can find Nancy with an easel and paintbrush.
How she became a JFS Board Member:
Nancy joined the JFS Board of Directors a few years ago when she was asked to be part of the Human Resources Committee by her now Human Resources Committee Co-Chair, Melanie Brunswick, and was later selected to be an official member of the Board.
When asked what influenced her to become a JFS Board Member, Nancy said it honestly wasn’t something she had planned for and was rather unexpected. But now, she couldn’t be happier to be a part of the JFS family and continuing to grow with it!
“At this point in my life, having an anchor and being affiliated with this organization that does such remarkable work is extremely heartwarming and gratifying,” Nancy said. “JFS is one of the positive anchors in a sea of confusion, difficulties, and craziness.”
“When I think about the struggles and challenges people in our community have, it can be very overwhelming. And then I remind myself that I’m a part of JFS, which is a very effective, impactful organization, and it gives me solace to know that I’m part of an organization that is truly making a difference.”
About her new role with the Advancing Equity Workgroup:
In March 2021, Nancy was asked by JFS Board Chair Nina Tassler to serve as Chair of the newly formed Advancing Equity Workgroup. This ad-hoc group is exploring how an organization rooted in Jewish values can play a meaningful role in advancing racial equity. She is using her extensive expertise to guide a challenging and thought-provoking conversation on behalf of JFS.
“Because of my work, I have been more increasingly aware of the challenges people of color face, particularly in the employment universe. With many years of experience, you gain insight. It’s a super important journey, and I have the professional experience to do it,” said Nancy. “Plus, I had the support of the staff, especially Nancy Volpert and Davina Cohanghadosh who were super helpful. We’re forging a good team.”
What Nancy wants people to know about JFS:
Nancy believes that unless you’ve experienced firsthand the impact of how people are really touched by JFS’s work, whether it’s a recipient, a volunteer, or staff member, it’s hard to convey the human connection and compassion that JFS provides.
“There’s really something unparalleled about how and what JFS does. I think people would have a hard time understanding the impact JFS has on any person’s life, and then the impact is exponential when you add the fact that they are showing up for people in trouble or in need. There’s a lot of magic going on at JFS,” said Nancy.
Coming Full Circle:
Long before JFS was a part of Nancy’s life, Nancy was growing up with JFS Executive Vice President Susie Forer-Dehrey and JFS Board Member Debby Barak.
Nancy met Debby in pre-school and later met Susie in junior high school. Their parents were all friends and instilled in them similar values, which they continue to share.
“The closeness of our friendship has really happened in the last five years,” Nancy said. “Our friendships have been re-solidified and getting to be in their sphere has been very heartwarming. The mutual admiration is nauseating.”
Nancy, Debby, and Susie’s fathers were a part of a group of men who called themselves “ROMEOs” (Retired Old Men Eating Out). They’d get lunch and talk about politics and their communities. Now, their daughters get together and are at the forefront of an organization that has helped hundreds of thousands of people in the very same communities.
When it comes down to it, Nancy believes that Jewish Family Service LA is an inextricable part of her identity. “When you think about the anchors in Los Angeles, Jewish Family Service LA is such an anchor and reflective of all the best parts of our city,” Nancy said.