Tell us your name and a little about yourself.
Jennifer Mellon is the Founder of Trustify. In 2017, she was named one of the “100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs” by Goldman Sachs. Previously, Jennifer served as Executive Director of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services and Program Director for the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute. Trustify is the third company Jennifer founded. She is also the Founder of Aqua-Pure Technologies and Oh My Darling Designs. Jennifer is a graduate of Bucknell University and currently working on her MBA. Jennifer resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, Danny Boice and their 5 children.
What exactly does your company do?
Trustify is the first technology platform to connect clients and businesses to the only nationwide network of licensed and highly vetted private investigators. We provide affordable, confidential, on-demand access to experienced professionals – without the typical large retainer charged by most traditional private investigation agencies.
Our technology provides transparency during the investigation, powering a direct connection between client and investigator. The result of this real-time communication? Cases are solved quickly, efficiently, and much more affordable.
What were the biggest challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them?
Every time I have started a new company, it was the biggest respectively the biggest challenge I have taken to date. Trustify is my third startup and each has had its inherent risks. We founded it when I was 8 months pregnant with four kids at home, we were less than a year married, blending our family, building a home and bootstrapping the venture. As I regularly share with those desiring to be an entrepreneur – there is never the “right” time. Building a company is a leap of faith. Success is derived from your ability to grow that faith into something that you believe must succeed. When failure is not an option, you will thrive.
What piece of advice do you wish someone had given you at the start of your career?
I wish I had more female mentors that advised me to be my own best advocate.
I became the youngest Executive Director in the 40-year history of one of the largest international child welfare associations. I worked diligently and with excellence to secure this dream job. At age 25 I had my first daughter and did not do a good job of advocating for myself as I transitioned back to work. I wish that I advocated for myself in having a work-life balance as an executive and new mother. I urge other new moms in that position to lobby for themselves.
Who are your biggest influences and people you admire and why?
My biggest influencers living and deceased are Jesus, Hillary Clinton, and my father.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
Kerry Marks Hasenbalg, the Founder of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute and my first boss is responsible for the success I have today. She early on taught me to do everything in life, no matter how small or big, with excellence and diligence. She was a tough boss and worked many nights through midnight that first year of my career. She showed me that hard work, sacrifice and diligence would pay off in the long-term. I made very little, but I learned that building a network and experience is directly correlated to success and the financial rewards would come.
What do you see as your greatest success in life?
My children and family are the greatest success in my life. I am so proud of the kind people they have become and look forward to seeing everything they will build and achieve.