When Jennifer Dreyer joined the debate team at San Diego State University in 1992 she had no idea that it would lead her to the love of her life — not once, but twice. It was on this team that she met her husband, Greg Patton, to whom she has now been married to for 17 years. The couple has two daughters, Natalie, 7, and Nicole, 5. She also fell in love with Planned Parenthood, the nonprofit health care organization that provides preventive reproductive health care services, education and advocacy. Dreyer began as a volunteer at a local Planned Parenthood center and now serves as its chair of the board of directors. Her passion for the cause is boundless as she devotes countless hours to ensuring that women and men in this region have access to care.
In addition to leading Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, she is the president of Tamayo Consulting, a training and consulting firm that specializes in leadership and team development. This allows Dreyer to use her strong communication and teaching skills while helping organizations become more effective. She received the “Outstanding Teacher Award” from SDSU School of Communication in 1991. She was also honored with Sara Moser award for outstanding volunteer service from The Planned Parenthood Action Fund in 2009.
- What brought you to this area?
My husband considers anything over 80 degrees too hot, so we only looked at homes close to the coast. I was also working in North County so this area is a perfect fit. Coastal North County is such a wonderful place to raise a family because the schools are terrific, the weather is perfect, the people are wonderful and we have a diverse cultural life.
- What makes your work special to you?
In both my professional work as the president of Tamayo Consulting and the chair of the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, I work with an incredible group of people. I get to plan, collaborate with, teach, and learn from people who I think are kind, smart, and spectacular human beings.
- What would you still like to achieve professionally?
I would like to serve on a Fortune 100 Board of Directors, and be appointed to a White House Commission on women in the workforce.
- Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by people who get up every day and work for the betterment of others. As the chair of the board of Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest, I get to see the positive impact our work makes every single day in the community. Without our health centers, many women and men would have no access to basic health care, including cancer screenings and contraception.
- If you hosted a dinner party for 8, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
The Dalai Lama, Melinda Gates, and Michelle, Sasha and Malia Obama. I would, of course, include my two daughters, Natalie and Nicole, so they could learn firsthand from these wise people about happiness, the power of education, and balancing motherhood with your passions and profession.
- Tell us about what you are currently reading.
“The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working” by Tony Schwartz. This has completely changed how I spend and renew my energy. It’s also the only thing that got me to commit to seven hours of sleep a night!
- What are your favorite films?
Hmmm…I have seen so few movies since my first daughter was born more than seven years ago. So, I guess I’d have to go all the way back to an all-time favorite, “The Dead Poet’s Society.”
- What do you do for fun and what is your favorite vacation destination?
I love watching my girls dance. I think they are adorable and I love how they’ll spontaneously dance in public, and could care less about what others think of their “moves.” My favorite family vacation is Lake Tahoe, and if it’s just my husband and me, definitely Napa.
- Please describe your greatest accomplishment.
Raising two healthy, curious, independent girls with my husband.
- What is your motto or philosophy of life?
Always get better.