First NVAR Hero Award Winner: Stacy Hennessey
NVAR CREATED THE NVAR HERO AWARD IN 2017 to recognize a member who has made a difference to those less fortunate. At the December 7 Installation and Appreciation ceremony, NVAR was proud to announce the first recipient – Stacy Hennessey, a Realtor® with McEnearney Associates in Falls Church.
Hennessey has served many roles throughout her life – Realtor®, lawyer, mother, director and coffee shop owner – but her biggest passion is working with the homeless.
“I’ve always been passionate about working with the homeless,” Hennessey said. “That’s always been something I care about, trying to make an impact on somebody’s life.”
Hennessey is involved with Homestretch, a charity that empowers homeless families to be self-sufficient and find permanent housing. The non-profit does this by giving clients the skills, knowledge and hope they need to be productive participants in the community.
From the moment a family walks through the door, Homestretch provides support for them. The non-profit offers housing, career guidance, credit counseling, job training, legal resolution, English classes and other life skills to help families succeed.
“The reason I love Homestretch is because it actually changes the trajectory of their life,” Hennessey said. “We do everything we can to change where they’ve been to where they’re headed.”
2017 NVAR Chairman Bob Adamson said that although Hennessey is quite humble, her philanthropic efforts are magnanimous.
Hennessey serves on the board of Homestretch and has organized many events and programs for the organization, such as an auction that raised over $100,000; Friday Storytime where volunteers read new books to the kids and leave the books to help build the children’s library; and a Back to School Program where children receive clothes and supplies to start the school year.
“Stacy talks about Homestretch everywhere she goes but she is very modest about what she does,” said Christopher Fay, executive director of Homestretch. “She is somebody who makes friends very well – lasting friends – that trust her and believe in her. It has to do with her character and who she is.”
According to Fay, Homestretch has a high success rate because its solutions are not temporary.
Although Homestretch is successful in its goal, Hennessey said the organization could always use more volunteers and resources. For instance, they currently have about 76 housing units available and would ideally like to have 100.
Fundraising isn’t the only way to help their cause: becoming a mentor, organizing a team to set up apartments, and donating a piece of furniture are other examples.
“I’d love to get all Realtors® in Northern Virginia involved because our biggest expense is housing, and I think that there are people that can help with that,” Hennessey said. “It seems like a natural fit that we [Realtors®] would want to help others find a home.”
Hennessey grew up in the real estate world spending summers in Seattle with her grandmother, who was a landlord. She graduated from law school in 1988 and practiced law in D.C. for several years before becoming a PTA mom. She then became the director of the Falls Church City Chamber of Commerce, where she stayed for many years before switching gears completely and opening her own coffee shop, called Stacy’s Coffee Parlor.
It was at the coffee shop that customers began asking her real estate questions and she decided to become a Realtor®.
“Real estate is a natural choice for [Stacy],” Adamson said. “She is a people person, enthusiastic, and goes beyond the extra mile for her clients.”
Through her involvement in the community, Hennessey fully embodies Adamson’s 2017 leadership theme that “NVAR Cares.” It is NVAR’s hope that this recognition will raise awareness of Hennessey’s contributions and exemplify that NVAR members care about the welfare of those in this community.
“Stacy is tremendously deserving of this award, and we are very proud of her achievements,” NVAR CEO Ryan Conrad said. “We are honored to recognize her dedication to the community and the important mission of Homestretch.”