We sat down with new board member Jim Joedecke to learn a little more about his career, love for philanthropy and specifically his passion for Home of Hope! Get to know Jim below.
Tell us about you.
“I grew up in Katonah, New York. I graduated from Emory University (1993) and the University of Georgia Law School (1996). I have practiced law in Gwinnett County, Georgia for over 25 years, and am an equity partner at Andersen, Tate & Carr.
“I’m an active member and a past president of the Braselton Rotary Club, and a Leadership Gwinnett graduate (2007). I serve on the Boards of the Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia, Home of Hope/Gwinnett Children’s Shelter and the Boy Scouts. I am also presently serving on the Braselton Town Council. I am especially proud of my work on the Council helping to rewrite the Braselton Development Code and Sign Ordinances, as well as the formation of the Braselton Art Council, which brings public art to Braselton.
“My wife Stepanie and I have been married for 16 years. We live in Chateau Elan and have three children, Elizabeth (11), Jimmy (10) and Carmela (8). When not working, I can be found at my son’s football or basketball game or my daughters’ cheer competitions. In my (limited) spare time, I love to watch the Georgia Bulldawgs and putter with my ’65 Land Rover.”
How’d you get connected to Home of Hope?
“Tom and Ethel Andersen, two of the founding partners of my law firm have always set a great example of public service. I believe I first became aware of Gwinnett Children’s Shelter many years ago when our firm did a service project on campus helping to landscape, cut hedges, etc.
“I remember when Home of Hope first came into existence when GCS reinvented itself. Over the years, I’ve gotten to know Maureen and Home of Hope, and I’ve learned a lot about Home of Hope’s mission through my work with the Community Foundation. We’ve also gotten to introduce many of our friends and neighbors to Home of Hope.”
Why did you decide to join the board?
“I think Home of Hope’s mission is so important. When I look at my own children, it absolutely guts me to think that there are children in my community who are experiencing homelessness.
“What I love most about Home of Hope is that it is not only a place of refuge, but also helps to empower young mothers by teaching them life skills to become successful.
“Home of Hope not only affects the young mother and her children staying with them, but will also alter the future for subsequent generations of that family, hopefully helping them break a cycle of homelessness and become successful members of society. I want to be a part of that.
“I am looking forward to my first Board meeting this January.”
What do you hope to accomplish on the board?
“I hope that I can help Home of Hope continue to thrive and to expand its reach and to help as many families as possible.”
What’s the difference you’ve seen Home of Hope make in women’s lives?
“You can feel the love in the building. You can see confidence grow during families’ stay at Home of Hope. You see children come out of their shell.
“Home of Hope is a place of security and stability for moms and their kids – just knowing you have a place for your children to rest their heads each night, be fed and loved while you are there.
“On top of that, to know that these women are getting life skills like making a budget, accruing savings, career help, etc. so that when their stay comes to an end, that they can be successful in life… Home of Hope doesn’t provide a temporary fix, it provides solutions that can be used throughout lifetimes.”