Meet The Staff: Jaja Leroux
Meet our Director of Finance
based out of the Maryland Office
A pretty colorful mosaic would be needed to describe the background of Jeanne-Marie Leroux (Jaja). Born in Louisiana, she is not Cajun or Creole but a mix of Ecuadorian, Polish, German and Irish. She was raised in Ecuador, Chile and the US spanning both Latin American and US cultures. As a result, Jaja speaks both English and Spanish fluently and can defend herself in French.
Jaja’s first job was decided in college while walking from English 101 to Philosophy- the poster read “Interesting Openings at 36,000 Feet“. Six months later she was in Honolulu, Hawaii training to be a Pan Am flight attendant at the time, the youngest flight attendant in the system. She spent seven years being paid to see the world, experience many cultures, eat amazing food, and meet people from all walks of life. She still believes it was an unrivaled education in life and the real world.
After Pan Am was downsized and Jaja was furloughed, she landed at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and spent three years studying and working as assistant to the bureau chief at Worldwide Television News. She then returned to the DC area to marry her first love and start a family. Finding a job at the World Wildlife Fund as assistant to the director for Latin America and the Caribbean, she coordinated and monitored projects throughout these regions. Because the work spanned three continents in the pre-internet age, her program became the first in any NGO to use something called email, to which one could attach and send documents not only from one computer to another, but from one country to another! Wow!
In 1994, she moved to Oxford, MD to be closer to family and went to work for a stock broker: valuing portfolios, researching stocks and managing the Easton office. Here she met a man who would become her partner in marriage and business. She moved to Annapolis and for 12 years was Vice President of Annapolis Performance Sailing. Jaja ran the administrative end of the business accounting, human resources, office management and took care of 25 plus employees, often filling in as “mom” when they were far from home. Jaja edited and proofed APS’ annual mail order catalog until 2010 when that partnership came to an end. In December of 2011, Jaja joined the Alliance as its bookkeeper where she is delighted to bring her many skills to support a mission she believes in.
Jaja has three amazing daughters, Roxanne, Emma and Zoe, who are the love of her life. She also has two great dogs that love the Chesapeake as much as she does. Jaja loves to cook and garden; especially cook.