I Am Project HOME: Tricia Dressel
Since moving to Philadelphia almost 16 years ago, Tricia Dressel has had plenty of experience with nonprofits and community-based organizations. But when she had the chance to join the Project HOME staff three years ago as our Director of Human Resources, she knew it was an opportunity she had to seize. “I had always admired the work of Project HOME and the impact it had at a community level. And I saw such strong leadership in [co-founders] Sister Mary Scullion and Joan McConnon.”
Since 2013, Tricia has made her mark, and is now a vital part of that strong leadership. Overseeing the Human Resources department is a hefty chore – with twenty sites and almost 400 staff. And she recognizes that rapid organizational growth and the many diverse locations present challenges. But she is committed to empowering every staff person to be as effective as possible and to finding ways that everyone stays connected to the vital mission and values of Project HOME.
“I think about the value that each person who works here adds to our community,” Tricia says. “I am in a unique position to really reach out to folks across the community – from our Trustees to our support staff."
The job suits her personality in many ways. “I am intensely curious about people, and I want to understand their motivations.” At the core of her work, she feels, is learning how to tap into people’s strengths, so they can continue to improve their skills and their contributions to the success of Project HOME, in whatever role they play in the organization.
Her love of the spirit of community at Project HOME spills over to other parts of her life. Tricia has a strong commitment to the ongoing movement for justice in the LGBT community. She also loves her South Philly neighborhood, where she is an avid player in a bocce league.
“I have witnessed Tricia living out our values of dignity and respect by the way she engages and supports our staff,” says Associate Executive Director and CFO Joan McConnon. “Her warmth, gentleness and caring is a blessing to all of us.”
Tricia’s enthusiasm for her work is obvious, as she speaks of the “awesome staff” and the “talented people who could work for many different organizations” but choose to be here. “It’s an amazing job,” she says. “It’s a privilege.”