Jessamyn Rodriguez and Denver Frederick

Denver: We are going to do Take Five now with Jessamyn Rodriguez, the Founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen. Are you ready, Jessamyn?

Jessamyn: I am ready.

Denver: What should we be worried about?

Jessamyn: Poverty and inequity.

Denver: What is one of your favorite documentaries or movies?

Jessamyn: There’s a great documentary about Mavis Staples called Mavis! You can watch it on HBO. It’s awesome.

Denver: What is today’s most underreported story?

Jessamyn: I think we’re underreporting environmental issues. I think everybody really needs to take a deep read into stories around global warming.

Denver: What is something you believe that other people think is just insane?

Jessamyn: I think I have a lot of faith in people and their ability to achieve and I think it’s unusually optimistic.

Denver: What is the most favorite part of your morning ritual?

Jessamyn: Oh, watching my sleepyheaded kids come into my room in the morning and wake me up. They usually get up before me [unintelligble] their sleepy faces are the cutest.

Denver: Name some organization or person that you have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for.

Jessamyn: I’m gonna say Charles Best of DonorsChoose.

Denver: What is the most important thing that makes for a healthy organizational culture?

Jessamyn: Positivity and tolerance.

Denver: If you were a kitchen utensil, what would you be?

Jessamyn: A KitchenAid mixer.

Denver: What do you wish more people would be open and honest about?

Jessamyn: Their fears.

Denver: If you were to start your career all over again and do something completely different and away from this field, what would that be?

Jessamyn: I think I’d go to medical school and become a doctor.

Denver: What is your superpower?

Jessamyn: Intuition.

Denver: If you could have one gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, what would it say?

Jessamyn: We had a billboard in Times Square outside of the Morgan Stanley building that had bread. If I did a giant billboard right now that could say anything, I guess it’d say “Impeach the President.”

Denver: What is something, whether it’s related to your work or not, that you’re exceptionally excited about right now?

Jessamyn: Oh, we just got my son a 2-wheeler and he’s gonna start riding ’em 2-wheeler.

Denver: What are you currently reading?

Jessamyn: The New Yorker.

Denver: What do you think about when you’re driving in your car alone?

Jessamyn: Work.

Denver: What topic would you speak about if you were asked to give a Ted Talk on something completely outside your main area of expertise?

Jessamyn: I’m like a keen observer of Canadians living in the United States and then there’s something there to be talked about at Ted.

Denver: What is something about you that very few other people know?

Jessamyn: When I was 16, I foiled a bank robber.

Denver: Given a choice of anyone famous in the world, dead or alive, that you could invite over as a dinner guest, who would that be?

Jessamyn: I just saw Oprah Winfrey this week and I’d really love to get in front of her. Does everyone say that?

Denver: No, no.

Denver: What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Jessamyn: It’s all gonna be good. It’s all gonna be great. Everything’s gonna be good.

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