Employee Spotlight: Jenna Mitchell, HR Manager May 10th, 2019

When asked where I was born, I like to share the fact that I was born ‘on’ Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, but quickly follow it up that it was at the Kaiser Permanente hospital located there. I was born to parents of varying degrees of heritage with my Mom being a descendant of one of  the Mayflower pilgrims and my Dad having immigrated from Ireland in his early 20’s. I spent my elementary and junior high days in South Pasadena in relatively small schools, then found myself my at a large high school, Los Alamitos, for 9-12th grade.  The switch came from a family dynamic change that led me to moving in with a childhood friend, Dawn, and her Mother. We started calling each other sisters after a while and continue to do so to this day.

I had decided in 8th grade that I wanted to be an architect and took drafting all four years in high school,  and was accepted in the Architecture program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. It took 6 years of schooling to graduate, and I decided to stay in the area afterwards which lent to reinventing my career goals to make a living in SLO. Almost 30 years later I am still here, except for some short periods of living in OC and SB to explore some other ventures. About 20 years ago I opened a cultural drum and dance studio in SLO, World Rhythm & Motion, and that continues to offer classes to the community. My 9 year-old daughter, Jalilah, and I both love to dance in our personal choice of genres.

4 years ago I was hired at Wallace Group as their Office Manager, and at the beginning of this year I have become the Human Resources Manager for the company.

Questions not necessary in order of importance:

  1. Describe what you do at WG

Right now, I am overseeing the office management with help from a great team of administrative assistants. Along with human resources tasks related to recruiting, benefits administration, and employment laws.

  1. What are some of your favorite activities with WG?

I have enjoyed some of the Fun Committee events like kayaking, ziplining, and going to the PCPA shows.

  1. What are you involved in outside WG?

I choreograph and direct dances for the Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble for 10+ years. I also run World Rhythm & Motion dance studio.

  1. Favorite pastime

Spending time with my daughter, hiking, reading, traveling, and dance of course!

  1. Favorite movie

I always get stumped on this question as there are so many that I have loved through the years. An easy fallback on is “The Princess Bride.”

  1. Favorite food

Mediterranean and dark chocolate

  1. Describe your dream vacation.

Wow, so many to name…Spain, Greece, France, or back to Italy, Scotland, Egypt. But a true vacation where I mostly relaxed, I would chose the island of Palau where a close college friend is from and I have always wanted to visit.

  1. What’s your favorite childhood memory?

Exploring the canyons, streams and other places of nature around our town of South Pasadena with my brother.

  1. What’s your secret ability? (expert pool player, play the harmonica, know how to tap dance)

Learning just about any dance genre (some definitely better than others though!)

  1. What is the furthest away from SLO have you been?

Egypt a few times.