- Meet Our Leaders
Building Community through Leadership
From a young age, Andrew (Andy) Hess learned the importance of giving back to his community. He had the best teachers: grandparents and parents who embraced the opportunity to be of service.
Andy, who was elected to the Board of Directors in July 2021, was introduced to Jewish Family and Children’s Services (JFCS) by Board member David Dossetter, a colleague at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. Andy recalls that David would talk about JFCS in glowing terms. His interest piqued, Andy attended JFCS’ Fammy Gala and was inspired to support JFCS’ humanitarian work.
“JFCS helps so many people,” says Andy. “Serving on the Board of Directors is a meaningful way to contribute and have a greater impact.”
As Andy was growing up in a small town north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, his family, which owned a regional department store chain, instilled in him the values of community and philanthropy. The adults in his life were thoughtful, active leaders in the town and region, supporting the United Way, schools, and other local causes. Andy saw that his family bore this responsibility joyfully; they were grateful for what they had and felt fortunate to be able to help. He has carried this lesson forward in his own life.
Since joining the Board of Directors, Andy has been particularly interested to learn about the agency’s extensive engagement in public policy work. “JFCS is an important voice—and a leading Jewish voice—advocating for policies that benefit seniors, children, and families and that advance Holocaust education,” says Andy. “I’ve been impressed by how much JFCS accomplishes in cooperation with state and local government.”
As a member of the Board, Andy, who raised his two daughters in Palo Alto and now lives in Menlo Park, looks forward to supporting the agency’s continued expansion of services on the Peninsula.
JFCS’ work with children also resonates with this devoted father. “When we reach kids and families with needed resources and services, we can turn a child’s life around. We can offer young people new opportunities that will shape their lives,” Andy says.
Andy’s deeply-rooted commitment to community combined with his financial expertise and his extensive Peninsula ties set a wonderful example for caring and effective leadership.