Q. What is your current role at KBS?
I am a Senior Accountant in the Funds/PIFSS department, and I report to Brian Ronson and Maria Tran.
Q. What is the scope of that role?
I oversee the GK II fund cash reporting, reviewing property accrual reports and I am also in charge of AP for the PIFSS and State of Michigan funds.
Q. What is the scope of that role?
I started at KBS in January 2020, just a couple months before the COVID-19 shutdown.
Q. What is the most enjoyable part of your job here at KBS?
I would have to say the people I work with; everyone is so nice, and I have made some great friends. I have also had the opportunity to learn a lot and grow in the organization in the few short years I have been here. I am very grateful for all the opportunities.
Q. Given your first year with KBS was during COVID-19 quarantine, do you have any fun or memorable events at KBS since then?
I had a lot of fun doing the beach cleanup that Apollo organized! Also, the quarterly meetings have been fun. It’s great to see people from the 7th floor that I don’t see often and getting to hear how the company is doing.
Q. Tell us about your career before joining KBS.
Prior to KBS, I worked at a financial broker dealer assisting a team of brokers with different insurance and investments.
Q. Did you grow up locally?
I was born in Whittier, CA and lived there until 1999. Then my family and I moved to Temecula, CA. That area has grown so much since we moved out there, but I have always loved Orange County, so I moved back for college.
Q. Has your family always been in Southern California?
Mostly, my dad was born in Cuba, but his family left there when he was 6 years old. My mom was born and raised in CA but her two older sisters were born in Cuba as well. My immediate family is all still in SoCal but I have cousins spread out all over the country.
Eight year old Jessica (right) with her older sister and her younger brother.
Q. Tell us a little about your family.
I am the middle child; I have a sister that is two years older, and my brother is seven years younger than me. My parents have been together for 32 years and are still going strong. They have been together since they were teenagers. My dad works for Customs and Border Patrol as a K-9 handler on the Mexico border, and my mom is a Controller at a Charter school. My sister is married and has two kids, Mila (6) and Leon (3). We are a very close family; we spend as much time together as we can! I lived with my sister in San Antonio, TX for about seven months after my niece was born. Her husband was still in the military, and I had just graduated college, so I went to help her out with her first child and spend some quality time with them. It was so much fun, and I am really close to my niece because of that.
Jessica while living in TX with her sister, brother-in-law and baby niece Mila.
Q. Where you involved in any clubs growing up?
Yes, I grew up participating in dance, and then in High School I was involved with Colorguard
for all 4 years, we performed with the marching band. My junior year we went to Grand National Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis when it was brand new, that was such an amazing experience. I was also captain of our PLUS (Peer Leaders Uniting Students) team; we would hold forums at the elementary, middle, and high school level to give students a safe space to talk about difficult topics and connect with their peers.
Q. Where did you go to college? Were you involved in any extracurricular activities?
I went to Cal State Fullerton where I majored in Business Administration with a concentration in Entrepreneurship. I was one of the founders of a coed business fraternity that focused on entrepreneurship. We would hold start-up competitions every semester where students would get into groups and come up with a new business idea in eight hours. We would also hold fast pitch competitions where students could pitch their current business ideas to a panel of investors. It was fun! I learned a lot from those experiences.
Jessica’s graduation picture from Cal State Fullerton.
Q. You were recently married; how did you meet your husband?
Jonathan and I used to work together! We met when I was 19 and working at the box office at the Brea Improv Comedy club through college. Jonathan had just gotten out of the Army and was working security there while attending Cal State Fullerton as well. We were just friends for nine years before we started dating. We reconnected in 2018 at a soccer game and have been inseparable since. He’s my best friend!
Q. Is your husband from Southern California as well?
Yes, he was born in Montebello and grew up mostly in the Fullerton area. His parents migrated from South Korea a few years before he was born, and he has one younger brother.
Jessica’s engagement photo in front of the LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club) stadium.
Q. What are some of your favorite pastimes?
I spend most of my free time with our dog Dexter, he’s a German Shepherd & Husky mix so he’s full of energy. I enjoy volunteering for Coastal German Shepherd Rescue which is where we got him.
Jessica, Jonathan and their dog Dexter!
Q. Any favorite sports teams or musical artists?
We’re big LAFC (Los Angeles Football Club) fans. My first date with my husband was one of their games, so it holds a special place in our hearts. We’re still season ticket holders 5 years later.
For American football, I grew up a Miami Dolphins fan because of my dad. He has been one since he lived in Miami briefly after coming to the U.S. I’ve also been a LA Dodgers fan since I was a kid. But I am not a 49ers fan by marriage.
For music, I love all kinds of music. I love anything I can sing and dance along to.
Q. Favorite vacation spots or places you have visited in the U.S. or abroad?
I love to travel! I studied abroad in Spain while I was in college and have also traveled to Malta and Italy. My husband and I have been to Seattle, San Francisco, Hawaii, and Cancun together.
But our favorite trip so far must be our honeymoon. We went on a three-and-a-half-week trip to the Maldives and then South Korea. The Maldives has always been
a dream destination of mine, so relaxing and beautiful. Korea was a blast, my husband has a lot of family and friends there that showed us around Seoul, eating fresh seafood in Busan and we spent a couple days on Jeju Island.
Jessica and Jonathan in South Korea.
Q. Favorite book or movie?
I’m a huge Batman and Harry Potter fan. My favorite Batman movies are the Christopher Nolan Trilogy with Christian Bale.
Q. Favorite food or restaurant?
My husband and I are big foodies, we always joke that food is our love language because we love to try new things! My husband loves to cook, and I love to bake.
Q. If you were a contestant on Jeopardy, what categories would you want to guess from?
Probably anything Disney, Harry Potter or Batman related. Or food!
Q. What advice would you offer to those younger than you?
Live life to the fullest, take risks and have fun! We get one chance at this crazy thing called life, make it memorable!