Nicolle Vasquez Del Favero
30, Assistant Counsel, Military Sealift Command of Department of the Navy, Office of the General Counsel, Norfolk
Business community involvement:
Dept. of the Navy OGC New Attorney Orientation Group Moderator, Lead Hampton Roads Class of 2019, Wills for Heroes Co-Chair, Virginia State Bar Young Lawyers Conference
Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach 2019—2020 Community Vice President, Project Makeover Hampton Roads Organizer, Project Makeover Advisory Board Member, Military Spouse Advocacy Network Board of Directors, Secretary, Military Spouse Juris Doctor Network (MSJDN) Pro Bono Committee Member
Something that sets you apart from the crowd?
What sets me apart from the crowd is my positive outlook and stubborn determination to achieve any goal I set and overcome any obstacle in my way. With proper planning, a good team and support system and the determination to see something accomplished, we are capable of achieving anything we set out minds to.
Someone who keeps you motivated?
My parents are my biggest motivation and inspiration. I’m the proud daughter of a Brazilian mother and a Colombian father. My parents immigrated to the U.S. in their early 20s in search of new opportunities, learning a new language and navigating a new country. Growing up, I watched them work hard to support our family and ensure that I was exposed to every opportunity available to me.
Tell us about a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of.
My proudest accomplishment thus far has been the organization of Project Makeover Hampton Roads at Jacox Elementary School in August 2018. With the help of a small team of three other women, we coordinated with three local organizations (the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, the Urban Renewal Center and tHRive to lead the weekend makeover blitz. This project will continue on in our community as the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach and has now adopted and expanded it to include year-long programming serving the students of the makeover school. The new expanded project is called Elevate to Educate and will kick off the 2019—2020 school year with another August makeover blitz at Little Creek Elementary School!
What’s a challenge you’ve had to overcome to find success?
As an attorney and a military spouse, finding a job in a state that I was not barred in was quite a challenge to overcome. After leaving Hawaii where I practiced for over two years, I joined my husband in Norfolk and had to start my legal career over. It took me about a year to build up the network and momentum necessary to find my ideal position as a civil servant with the Department of the Navy, Office of the General Counsel. I am grateful for the opportunities afforded to me in this area to join the civil service and have enjoyed building my legal career in the federal government while in Coastal Virginia.
Most important aspect you look for in a workplace?
A positive work environment with supportive leadership is a top priority for me. The work of an attorney can be stressful in and of itself. Having supervisors that are supportive and invested in my growth and development are essential aspects that I look for in a workplace. In general, I find that making employees feel valued rather than replaceable always yields a more positive work performance and creates a healthier work space.
What would you be doing if you weren’t in your current position?
I would love to run a nonprofit focused on addressing issues in the community that I am passionate about. My experience with Project Makeover Hampton Roads showed me that my passion lies in community organizing and bringing community members together to make a difference.
Favorite place in Coastal Virginia to go on the weekends?
On a gorgeous weekend, I can be found hiking the trails at First Landing State Park or grabbing a cider at Elation Brewing with my husband and our two rescue pups.
From her nomination:
“I can say with absolute certainty that Project Makeover Hampton Roads would not have happened without Nicolle’s vision and commitment. As we walked through Jacox Elementary School at the close of the weekend to see everything that was accomplished, my heart beamed with pride and excitement for the students that were going to be benefit from our efforts. I can only hope that every single one of those students grows up to be the same kind of dreamer and doer that Nicolle Vasquez Del Favero is.”
—Jillian Goodwin, friend/professional relationship through volunteer organization