Jenny Tripp (Seattle)
Chief Financial Officer at Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC)
Jenny was an intern at Protiviti in 2008 and then started fulltime as an internal audit consultant in 2010 and left in 2013 to pursue another opportunity. She is currently an essential worker and the Chief Financial Officer at Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) in Seattle, WA.
How would you describe your time at Protiviti?
Protiviti was a great foundation for my career. I would not have been able to move up as quickly as I did at DESC had I not been exposed to so many different aspects of accounting departments. I also met a lot of incredible people while working at Protiviti and I am still friends with many of them.
You left to dedicate your work to help the homeless in Seattle. Please tell us about the Downtown Emergency Services Center.
Since leaving Protiviti, I have been working for a large homeless services organization in Seattle, Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC). DESC serves about 9,000 unique individuals a year that is currently homeless or have histories of homelessness with a focus on vulnerable people, particularly those living with serious mental illnesses, substance use disorders, and/or chronic health conditions.
The array of services we provide includes owning and operating 13 apartment buildings for formerly homeless adults in Seattle (with three more in development), providing over 500 shelter beds per night, and running King County’s Crisis Solutions Center which allows first responders to divert people who are having a behavioral health crisis from jail or hospital to our facility.
I have been the CFO at DESC since 2016 where I oversee all aspects of the accounting and finance functions. Landing a shuttle simulator at Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama last summer DESC’s mission is to end the homelessness of vulnerable people, particularly those living with serious mental illnesses or substance use disorders. Through partnerships and an integrated array of comprehensive services, treatment, and housing, we give people the opportunity to reach their highest potential. At DESC, uncommon efforts produce uncommon results that eliminate homelessness, one person at a time.
How can others help?
Volunteer! We always have a variety of volunteer needs: helping accounting set up Access databases, serving meals to clients, or cleaning, there is likely an opportunity that fits your interests.
Donate! The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significantly increased costs to DESC. We have increased our meals to clients by over 450% and are delivering them to their apartment units to help them stay home. We have also needed to buy significant amounts of masks, face shields, and cleaning supplies to keep our staff and clients safe.
Attend an event! It is hard to say what that will look like in a post-pandemic world, but if you have a chance, consider attending one of our fundraising events to learn more about homelessness in our community and what we are doing.
What did you learn at Protiviti that has contributed to your success today?
Protiviti taught me to constantly be looking for ways to improve processes. Every business is looking for ways to become more efficient and at DESC the process improvements I have implemented have resulted in more financial resources being directed at client services instead of administrative costs.
When I am not working, I love to travel and try new things (hence the space camp photo from last summer!). I’ve been to about 30 countries on six continents so far and am looking forward to exploring more once travel resumes.