Millennial on the Move: Jeremy R. Moss

by CoVaBizMag

Jeremy R. Moss
36, General Counsel & Human Resource Manager at Jo-Kell, Inc., Chesapeake


Contributions to the business community:

LEAD Hampton Roads, Signature Class of 2018; Virginia State Bar, Real Property Section Council, Area Representative and Subcommittee Chair; Virginia Ship Repair Association, Member, Contracts Committee; Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Member, Hampton Roads Chapter

Civic contributions:

Chesapeake Bay Wine Foundation, Member, Board of Governors (2017–present); Knights of Columbus, 3rd Degree (Chesapeake Council 8240); REVIVE! Virginia Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education (OONE) Program, Trained Lay Rescuer (2018–present); Virginia Public Access Project; VPAP Partners (formerly Young Associates, 2013–present); Virginia Tech Division of Student Affairs Alumni Advisory Board (2012–present)

How do you define success?

Life is a continuum—a series of hundreds of baby steps followed by giant leaps of faith. Success is being prepared for, and taking, those giant leaps of faith.

What person or experience has made the biggest impact on your life?

When I met Tom Tillar in 2001, he was in the midst of his 46-year career at Virginia Tech where he was the vice president for Alumni Relations and advisor to my fraternity. Through his mentorship, Tom taught me about the importance of relationship-building and being engaged in your community. These lessons have benefited my career in a tremendous way—superlative client service requires relationships built on trust and confidence and necessitates understanding, in a meaningful way, the needs of your client or customer.

What is your biggest accomplishment?

I am proud of every matter and client that I’ve counseled and helped in my legal career and am honored to have received numerous accolades for my professional and community efforts. But, my proudest accomplishment is still putting myself through law school (holding three jobs at one point to stay afloat) and passing the bar. As a first-generation law student and attorney, I am proud to have overcome the huge knowledge and resource gap that comes along with that.

What’s the best compliment you’ve received from a colleague or manager?

Early in my career, a named partner at my firm described me as a “problem solver.” For some, the compliment may be insignificant, but I’ve taken it to heart. Lawyers are trained from the first day of law school to be problem spotters—to abandon instincts and common sense, to slow the decision-making process, to express all possible concerns, to equivocate and then to create a shield of words around us and our clients. This exercise can be good, but only if used to provide a framework to make choices, not to halt a decision-making process.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be an attorney. I never seriously considered other fields or professions and think that is one of the secrets to being happy practicing law—it is a calling.

Name a book that has inspired you professionally.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho has had a profound impact on my career. This fictional story of an Andalusian shepherd offers powerful insight and opportunities for self-reflection about the importance of listening to your heart, living in the present and recognizing opportunity.

What is your best time management hack?

Track your time. For at least a week, track how you are spending your workday in 15-minute increments. After only a short time, you’ll be able to see trends in how much time you spend every day and develop a more realistic understanding of how long specific tasks take to finish. If specific tasks (social media, meetings, email, etc.) are creating unnecessary distractions or causing lost productivity, reprioritize and take proactive steps to limit time spent on those tasks.

What’s your favorite restaurant for a lunch meeting in Coastal Virginia, and what do you order when you go there?

The quiet setting and delicious food make Daikichi Sushi Bistro in Chesapeake a perfect place to meet for lunch. The Mexican Roll (spicy crunchy shrimp) and Manhattan Roll (spicy crunchy tuna) are my “go to” options, but try whatever Chef Hiro recommends.

Is there anything that you would change about your generation as a whole? If so, what?

Many of my peers in the millennial generation struggle with feelings of emptiness and disconnection in their life. In many instances, technology and social media worsen those feelings. Even in the most “connected” of times, deep, personal and familial relationships, and faith, are the most effective ways to find fulfillment in life.

What do you think is Coastal Virginia’s biggest challenge?

Divisive politics (at the federal and local levels) create the biggest challenge for Coastal Virginia. With no consensus on increased federal defense spending and no meaningful regional revenue sharing approach, divisive politics could undermine our regional economic growth.

How can Coastal Virginia better retain its younger population?

To attract younger populations, Coastal Virginia must continue to focus on revamping and developing city centers, including expanding local, quality restaurant options and offering transportation alternatives. Walking, biking and mass transit options must be made more easily available for people to travel to and from home, work and entertainment options.

What’s something that gives you hope for the future?

As a generation, millennials have an overwhelming desire to affect society in a positive and meaningful way and to be part of a corporate culture aligned with their own beliefs. The correlation between a positive corporate culture, employee engagement and productivity and corporate success gives me hope that an authentic, values-based economy will continue to thrive.

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