Jody Maizlish Gross brings a lifetime of board expertise to Park City Community Foundation. Her dynamic professional life ranges from holding an officer role at Junior League of Fort Lauderdale in her early twenties to serving on the National board of the United Jewish Federation of North America and United Jewish Federation of Utah and Arizona. Currently, she and her siblings are co-leading a family owned commercial real estate and investment company. Her outstanding leadership and passion for philanthropy makes us proud to have her on our board of Directors since 2012. Jody has been a pivotal member of Women’s Giving Fund since the very beginning–co-chairing the initiative during its inaugural year and getting groups of women involved from ages newborn to deceased… full time professionals to part time ski bums. Whether it’s a powder day, or a blue bird slushy day on the mountain, her passion for skiing shines through. On top all the impactful work she has spearheaded for the Community Foundation, she became a PSIA certified Ski Instructor in 2006 through Park City Mountain.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you landed in Park City?
I am a professional volunteer! I’ve spent my entire life in volunteer roles, and I feel proud and lucky to be able to do that. I am a mom, wife, daughter, and friend; and I take all those roles very seriously.
My husband Stewart and I were living in Florida and we were concerned about the quality of education in our area. Rather than moving to a local area closer to a different school, we chose to really make a change and move to Park City since our extended family already had a second home here, the airport proximity was perfect for Stewart’s work, and the schools were great—so we moved here full time! We thought Park City’s lifestyle was so special that we ended up living here for nearly 14 years. Three out of four of our kids all graduated from Park City High School. I feel lucky to have had such an unbelievable life-changing segment in our family’s life.
Now that our kids are grown, we are in town on a part-time basis and also spend time in Tucson, Arizona to enjoy the warmer weather in the winter. I still love spending part of my time in Park City, getting involved with the work at Park City Community Foundation, skiing, golfing, and meeting up with friends at Park Silly Market. To my surprise, since becoming a part-timer I’ve made new friends with other part-timers who care a lot about Park City and who are looking for opportunities to be connected in our community.
How do you fit giving into your life here in Park City?
The best thing I’ve done to fit giving into my life in Park City was making a commitment to serve at the Community Foundation. I truly believe in the work that the board and staff are doing. It is an actionable organization that dreams things up, sets lofty goals, and skillfully and miraculously make things happen very quickly. It’s so inspiring to see the Community Foundation mobilize the right people in the right sectors with one initiative after another—I’m thinking of Women’s Giving Fund, Solomon Fund, or the Park City Climate Fund.
I’m also proud to support Temple Har Shalom. I find it incredible that the community cares so much and has paid off its mortgage so it can solidify the congregation to have a permanent presence in this town. I am also involved in Tucson in Angel Charity for Children and Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona because we are building community, and that’s important to me. My family likes supporting social services, pathways out of poverty and just trying to make the world a better place.
What influence has your family had in your passion for philanthropy?
Through my family’s deep lifelong involvement, I learned about volunteering, giving back, and building community from a very young age. My parents and my dad particularly, was president of countless organizations leaving an impactful legacy behind even after his passing over 23 years ago. My siblings have held leadership roles in their communities, so we often bounce ideas off each other to add value to the various organizations we are involved in. Giving back to our communities has always been a part of our DNA.
What is your advice to someone who may also spend some of their time between Park City and another community?
Park City Community Foundation offers a lot of opportunities to learn about important issues here. If you are a woman, I encourage you to join Women’s Giving Fund. If you are a couple, join Crest Speakers Series as it’s a great way to meet other part-timers. Another great way to get involved is through Live PC Give PC, Park City’s annual day of giving where you can give at any level above $5 or volunteer on the day-of the event in early November. Lastly, I encourage you to get out in the community and volunteer at events like the Kimball Arts Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, or even at the ski resorts. I’ve volunteered at all of them and have really enjoyed it.
Do you have anything else to add?
My philosophy in life is that you must be accepting, flexible, and willing to change your own attitude when obstacles arise. Life is simply how you perceive it. I’ve learned to grow from setbacks and have realized that they can become a positive force in life which open opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise dream of.