At the age of nineteen, Jakob was handed the keys to a business with the instruction to run things while the owner was on vacation and to not call unless a situation involving “blood or fire” occurred. The experience, filled with challenge and joy, ignited in Jakob a deep curiosity about how organizations can empower and support their employees to outperform the norm, particularly in mission-driven organizations.
That curiosity has taken him into various industries, in management roles focused on revenue generation, operations, and organizational change initiatives; he has worked with small to medium-size organizations in industries including retail, non-profit, and professional services. Throughout his career, Jakob has focused on helping organizations develop their internal structures and cultures to meet changing expectations by customers, funders/clients, and staff. In 2013, Jakob was named as the Executive Sponsor for a multi-year Diversity & Inclusion initiative while in the Chief Operating Officer role for a national non-profit organization, and so began his (continuing) education about how the principles and values of work rooted in social justice can become more realized in organizational settings. Since then, Jakob has been involved in organizational change work in a variety of roles, including supporting organizations across the private and non-profit sector in planning and launching DEI initiatives.
Born and raised in Germany, Jakob has called the DC Metro Area home for the last thirty years and spends as much time as he can with his wife and two daughters. He received his Bachelor’s in Exercise Science from James Madison University, and is pretty sure he hasn’t used his degree once since graduation.