Despite the unexpected transitions caused by COVID-19, we are very excited to announce the on boarding of five new board members to NHF! This month, we will be releasing a new post every week to highlight each new member. For today’s spotlight, NHF Marketing & Communications Manager, Stephany, had the opportunity to chat with NHF Board Member Ernest Benjamin “Benny” Hinojos to learn more about what inspired him to join NHF.
Q: What is your current role, outside of NHF?
Benny: “I am an attorney in employment law which means that I represent employees in cases of discrimination, harassment, unpaid wages, overtime compensation, retaliation [and other related cases.] I have been working in this field for 5 years now.”
Q: What were you doing prior to working in employment law?
Benny: “I was actually in education working for Long Beach Unified School District for eight years. I worked one on one with kids who have special needs at a resource center that helped students with homework and tutoring support in various subject areas.”
Q: So, what inspired you to pursue employment law?
Benny: “I wanted to help people – like the underdogs. I felt that servicing employees was a great way to give back.”
Q: What about NHF drew your interest into becoming a board member?
Benny: “The people. I had the chance to meet with a number of staff members and everyone is just so welcoming. I got to see interactions between board members and staff with the homeless community including interactions at Pico. Seeing guest interactions with staff, you could tell that people felt comfortable being there [at the facility].”
Q: What are you looking forward to most as a board member?
Benny: “Bringing my personal and professional insights to issues the foundation is addressing, particularly in working with individuals who are homeless.”
Q: Tell us a little bit about you. What do you like to do outside of work?
Benny: “I like to travel and cook – but cooking is my biggest passion. My hobbies are minimal now that I have opened my own office.”
Q: What do you enjoy most about starting your own practice?
Benny: “It’s very fulfilling handling my own cases and taking in clients that I want to help. I worked for about two years for a defense firm that represented huge companies, so it is nice to be on the other side of the table [representing employees].”