Jenny Poon – 2018 Community Service, Corporate Award Recipient

Founder, CO+HOOTS CoWorking

Jenny Poon was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota and grew up in Eden Prairie. Getting her work ethic from her refugee parents, Jenny worked tirelessly in her parent’s Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant. Every day after school she would help her parents performing tasks such as cutting carrots, busing tables, and waiting tables. Jenny has profound admiration for her parents who were teenage refugees from Vietnam. Through her parent’s experience, she realizes what it means to build something out of nothing.

As a child, Jenny wanted to be an inventor. Today, she continues her inventive spirit through her creation of CO+HOOTS. Her business is consistently ranked one of the top co-working spaces in the nation due to the plethora of programming and support for all entrepreneurs to launch and scale. Not only that, CO+HOOTS is the only workspace in the nation to launch a non-profit arm focused on expanding entrepreneurship to underserved communities.

Much of Jenny’s community service to improve lives in the community comes from her work with the CO+HOOTS Foundation, a nonprofit she co-founded with her husband, Odeen Domingo, in 2014. CO+HOOTS Foundation’s mission is to create a community that is equitable, innovative and thriving by providing opportunities for underrepresented communities through ongoing education, scholarships and partnerships. As such, Jenny works actively to meet new women entrepreneurs and co-founded a monthly happy hour for women entrepreneurs to connect them to each other. Additionally, Jenny provides pro bono and volunteer work for several nonprofit organizations including: The International Rescue Committee, Child Crisis Center, Roosevelt Row and Spectrum Inspired.

Jenny’s experience as a woman of color, who came from a low/moderate income family, has allowed her to perceive how fortunate she is to receive a great education and have strong women around her who give her the courage to chase her dreams. Like the mission of the YWCA, she believes if the most underrepresented, the most underserved sectors of our community are given the chance to be successful and realize their full potential our communities, our states, and our country will rise because we are only as strong as our weakest link.

Jenny’s proudest accomplishment is her ability to identify a problem and jump into action. Her effectiveness in this area has been proven and revered, visible through her many awards. These awards include but are not limited to: Arizona Business Leaders 2017 Influential Business Leaders, Phoenix Business Journal 2016 Business Person of the Year, 2016 Phoenix Business Journal Outstanding Women in Business, and Sun 88 2016 Amazing Women Award.

Her greatest challenge is getting over imposter syndrome. As a self-identified introvert, Jenny was always very shy. As such, she works hard to overcome these impressions and tries to follow the advice she gives to all girls and women: you are capable of anything!

Jenny and Odeen have one spunky daughter named Ayda.

The YWCA is honored to present the 2018 Community Service, Corporate Award to Jenny Poon.