The Clairemont team is so proud to be involved with Triangle Family Services, an organization that helps so many people in our community. In addition to being a fun and wonderfully festive event, the Gingerbread Benefit helps local families. ABC 11‘s Angela Hampton shows you what the event is all about. Watch and learn why you should purchase tickets today! Hope to see you at the Umstead tomorrow evening!
Whaddaya Think Wednesday is a regular Q&A feature on the Clairemont blog. We ask people “whaddaya think?” on a variety of topics. This week, we share thoughts from Russ Jones, who in addition to being the president of Davidson and Jones Corporation, is a generous sponsor and active volunteer for Triangle Family Services’ (TFS) Gingerbread Benefit that will be held at the Umstead Hotel on Thursday, December 1.
Q: How did you get involved in the Gingerbread Benefit?
I attended the event with my daughters last year. They are five and seven, so the kids’ event was pretty thrilling for them, as they got to make their own gingerbread houses. I really didn’t know what TFS was all about. At that event, I met a lot of great people, and I had an opportunity to meet with Alice Lutz.
I later had the opportunity to further discuss TFS with Alice, and she asked if I would help her with this year’s event. I was a little reluctant, because I knew it would be a big time commitment. Ultimately, I decided to help in any way possible because I feel that this organization is just too important to our community. Right before I made my decision, I encountered a newly homeless person in the parking lot of one of my businesses. It was right then that I realized how quickly someone can go from stable to vulnerable to homeless. It happens to too many people every day.
TFS is one of a few organizations in our community that form the “safety net” to help those in our community who need a “hand up” to get back on their feet. Families in crisis today do not have many places to turn, and I just couldn’t imagine what would happen to them if TFS was NOT around. Given the state of the world today, it’s more important than ever to ensure that our community is a safe and wonderful place to live.
Q: What’s the most exciting/rewarding/fun thing about serving on the planning committee for the Gingerbread Benefit?
Wow, there have been a lot of rewards from working with TFS, and it’s hard to choose. Ultimately, for me, I am someone who is enthralled by business processes and corporate culture/messaging. Because of that, I have really enjoyed working with Alice on ways to get out the message about TFS so that people can easily understand how important the organization is.
Along those same lines, I’ve enjoyed my business discussions with Alice. TFS is really lucky to have someone so dedicated running the business. As a CPA, I enjoy seeing how focused she is on delivering the utmost values of the company and equally focused on cutting costs everywhere else. As a donor (I manage my late grandfather Seby Jones’ Charitable Foundation), I appreciate knowing that my contributions are being spent wisely.
Q: When you aren’t helping plan the Triangle’s most important fundraiser of the year, what are you doing?
My wife Chelsea and I are really enjoying our two daughters. I hear from so many people that I should savor these moments, and I’ve actually arranged my schedule to allow for as much “kid-time” as possible.
Work-wise, I am the president of Davidson and Jones Corporation, a real estate development and management company working across a broad spectrum of asset classes through affiliated companies. It’s a pretty diverse job that has me working with our hotel company on new management opportunities in the same day that I am working with my home builder on selling a new home. It’s really pretty thrilling.
I am also passionate about EVOLVE Movement, a Mind-Body Fitness company with three locations in the Triangle area. My wife Chelsea is an amazing leader of that company, and I’m just lucky to have a seat at the table (and a mat in the yoga room!).
Thank you, Russ! The Clairemont team enjoys collaborating with you to help Triangle Family Services, and as a result, so many families in our area. We also love EVOLVE! Congrats to Chelsea on her success!
Whaddaya Think Wednesday is a regular Q&A feature. We ask people “whaddaya think?” on a variety of topics. This week, we share thoughts from Alice Lutz, CEO of Triangle Family Services.
Q: So Alice, I believe you’ve been in your role as CEO of Triangle Family Services two years as of this month. What’s your most exciting accomplishment so far?
A: It is hard to pick just one thing that is exciting to me. At the top of my list… building a team of top talent with the skill, compassion and training to serve our client families; re-tooling a 75-year-old structure while maintaining client care; and engaging a broad section of top volunteer leaders in meaningful ways to sustain the agency.
Q: We love getting to work with you and your team on the Gingerbread Benefit. How does this event help families in the Triangle?
It is crucial in raising the needed dollars to move people from crisis to stability using a case management model. The Gingerbread Benefit event provides an opportunity to educate and inform the community of the lives being changed daily while raising necessary funds to help families in crisis.
Q: Knowing that Triangle Family Services – like many non-profit organizations – rely on the manpower of volunteers for special events like the Gingerbread Benefit, what do you think are the qualities of a valuable volunteer?
Follow through. We are all busy people. If someone commits, the community and our client families are relying on that commitment. We respect our volunteers and value a volunteer who respects commitment.
The Gingerbread Benefit will be held at the Umstead Hotel on Thursday, December 1. It is a phenomenal event that is a ton of fun and helps Triangle families in need. Oh, and did I mention the amazing gingerbread houses? Beyond belief! Hope to see you there.