Jennifer Dodd is in the business of influencing the younger generation — whether that’s at work or on her own time. The graduate of Widefield High School finds plenty of ways to give back to the community, and says it feels natural after so many helped her achieve success.
For the last three years, Dodd has been the senior manager of TruSport, an arm of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, where she’s worked for nine years. TruSport is dedicated to promoting a positive youth sports experience.
“The lessons you can learn from youth sport participation are carried with you throughout life,” Dodd said. “We want to make them better athletes and better people. We provide resource materials for parents, coaches and kids. Our sweet spot is ages 8 to 13, because that’s when kids are learning what sports they like, and we can shape and mold their foundations so that when and if they get to that elite level, they will make better decisions.
“The big audacious goal, our vision, is to transform youth sports. That’s a huge undertaking, but it’s inspiring to get up every day and think about how we can chip away at transforming that culture of youth sports.”
Dodd has a direct influence on her TruSport team of five employees.
“What I’ve learned from others is that you don’t talk about it, you be about it,” Dodd said. “I want my actions to align with my words and try to instill that same philosophy in my team at work.
“I try to take time to support my team’s personal and professional goals and development. I want to be sure they’re having positive experiences while they’re working at USADA, that they’re being their best selves, that they have opportunities to grow and be challenged.”
She learned to walk the talk from her mother, Jerlene Dodd, who raised four children while working on Fort Carson as a civilian in a contracting office. When asked how her mother inspires her, Dodd became emotional.
“They’re happy tears,” she said. “I love talking about my mom. She is amazing. She’s always positive. She’s a resilient woman, and I think she taught us how to be independent, because she was an independent woman herself.”
Jerlene Dodd preached education and good behavior, and managed to put three of her four children through college, mostly by piecing together several local scholarships.
“She knew how to get that done,” said Dodd, the youngest child. “My mom is my favorite person in the world.”
After graduating from Tennessee State University in Nashville with a biology degree in 2006, Dodd worked for two years at El Pomar, which allowed her to “grow professionally and personally,” she said.
Dodd joined Delta Sigma Theta sorority, a community service organization, after college. She’s on the board of Camp Shady Brook, a local branch of the YMCA, and is a part-time instructor for nonprofit Kid Power, which promotes safety in children.
Kidpower Exective Director Jan Isaacs Henry nominated Dodd for the 2017 Women of Influence Award, and wrote, in part, “As part of her [Kidpower] job, she must possess sensitive and sophisticated communication skills, be an outstanding team player, and be an ambassador in the community for child abuse prevention. … At the same time, she is working on her master’s degree in public administration through Villanova University. … She is a woman of talent, drive and perseverance. Jennifer goes beyond success personally and professionally and makes a significant difference in our community in everything she does.”
— Bob Stephens