No. Jess Bushey says, "No," when we tell her about her nomination. She drops the phone and walks away. She does not want to be announced as our Roth Hero. She returns, campaigning to not be recognized, but her fans campaign harder. And much to her chagrin, she is declared this month's Roth Hero.
It seems as though Jess is never quite off the clock. During the work hours, Jess is the Market Vice President for the Sacramento, Pleasanton and Reno markets. But she does not leave her skills and knowledge at her desk, she brings them to those in her community who need career advice.
Jess donates her time to guest speak at local universities and organizations about getting hired in the financial industry. She speaks mostly to second year accounting students about how to transition in to the industry. Her seminars are full of young people excited for the future, but unsure where to begin. "Her speaking engagements at American River College, CSU Sacramento, Accounting & Financial Women's Alliance (AFWA), and Financial Executives International (FEI) have candidates raving — she is legendary!" says a coworker.
One of Jess's several nominations came from a Professor of Accounting at American River College saying, "Jess is a wildly popular speaker among students, and typically the one who students find most valuable. She is engaging and truly reaches her audience. She often makes her point with humor, yet always respects the audience."
Some of Jess's most notable work occurred during the recession. When employees were being cut at a rapid rate, many found themselves unsure of how to even look for another job. With many candidates feeling confused and discouraged, Jess and a team of coworkers decided to host free workshops before and after their own work day at functions called Pink Slip Parties (two of which were televised in Sacramento).
A coworker remembers one woman in particular: she had been with her company for 25 years, and now suddenly unemployed, had no idea where to begin. Jess worked with her individually to build her first resume, work on interview techniques, and devise a plan for the next step in her career. Jess didn't leave that night until she made sure that all 100+ patrons received the attention and assistance they needed from either her or one of her coworkers.
For the past 6 years, she has been at every national AFWA and FEI event and has served as a featured speaker to audiences seeking career advice. Her devotion to helping others extends well beyond doing things that "are good for business." At various conferences, she often spends extra time at a booth helping candidates who are not even in her industry — or they are in markets she will never serve and job fields she will never recruit for, but she helps because she loves to do good things for others.
"She is an unsung hero," says Julie Hagan Belka, Sr VP of Professional Services at Roth Staffing. "She really has impacted a LOT of people with her advice, guidance
Whether it's with students or experienced professionals, Jess insists that she does not hand out hope; she aids others in forging a strategy. She helps them build a platform for their own success. As she puts it, "I believe in leaving people in a better position than where I found them."
A donation of $500 will be made in Jess's name to Women Helping Women, a charity that provides women with working wardrobes and career coaching.