We lost a good one

Posted on September 30, 2022. Filed under: Uncategorized |

When we started Pace 3 years ago, our team was tiny. It was me and Chris and our first employee, Jenna Julien. For much of the first 2.5 years in business it was the 3 of us on a team that never got bigger than 5 people. Needless to say, we were all very close. Jenna was on the administrative side of the house, working closely with both Chris and I. If you scheduled a meeting with either of us, or visited the office, or received a pair of Pace Airpods, or attended an event, or really anything else outside of pitch meetings and portfolio support you probably met her. She had the biggest smile…that is how I will remember her.

We recently got word that Jenna suddenly and unexpectedly passed. It’s the kind of news that you just can’t make sense of. It didn’t feel real…it still doesn’t feel real…but unfortunately it is. Jenna was younger than me…she had a whole life ahead of her…and in a blink it was taken away. The thing to know about Jenna is that she lived in service and care of others. Her entire world view wasn’t about what was best for her, but rather for her community, for society, and for those in need. She advocated for those who needed it. She pushed our firm to think and invest in the well being of those less fortunate or disadvantaged..she donated her time to service and always talked about how she wanted to run a home for youth without a place to live as her “retirement dream.” Most people’s retirement dream involves a mountain house or travel or whatever…her’s was service.

When I talk to people about Jenna’s passing, the conversation usually ends the same way: “Well…it’s a reminder that life is short and to live each day.” That’s how most people instinctually try to move out of the discomfort of sitting with sadness. I don’t, however, think that’s actually the takeaway. It’s very hard to draw a true lesson from such an abrupt and unfair loss…but the takeaway I prefer to focus on is taking the elements of Jenna that were truly unique and defining, internalizing them, and carrying them on so that the world doesn’t lose what she brought, even if she’s no longer here to deliver it herself.

Jenna was a bright light who fought for the side of good every day…she will be missed both at Pace and by everyone who knew her. I am glad to have known her and called her a friend.

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    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I've started a few companies and a venture capital firm. You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it)


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