Interview by Abernathy Cochran intern Amelia Payne
Meet Phillippa Lewis Moss! Phillippa is the City of Gainesville’s Community Service Center Director and is originally from California.
The Gainesville Service Center is where services are offered and volunteer needs are fulfilled in the city. Residents of Gainesville and Hall County can ride the public bus system, get extra support through financial services, or take part in programs designed to enrich the lives of mature adults such as the Senior Life Center and Meals on Wheels.
Phillippa said she loves the Hall County community because of the generosity in the area.
“The generosity of the people. They are very giving and interested in each others well being. It is a very benevolent community. I love that people know their neighbors and speak with one another,” she said.
We want to thank Phillippa for taking some time with us and telling us more about her life and love of Hall County.
Question: What inspired you or lead you to your current career?
Answer: “When I was a kid in the Oakland/San Francisco Bay area I got on the bus from home to school everyday and it was about an hour and a half trip for me one way. I was on the bus for about two to three hours everyday. During that trip I noticed our community changing. I noticed the differences between one neighborhood to another. The variety of people that got on and off the bus, business people, leaders, and retail stores. I just became fascinated with what it takes to run a city or a county and what it means for the people that live there. That’s what inspired me to get into government.”
Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Hall County, and what do you love there?
A: “I would have to say Eat at Thai. My favorite dish is Krapow. I also like Two Dog Cafe because they have some really cool, eclectic, out of the box food. I feel like when I go there I’m not sure what I am going to get but I know I am going to love it.”
Q: How long have you lived or worked in Hall County?
A: “I have been in Georgia since 1995. I moved here from California. I started working in Hall County in September 2001. I have worked here for 17 years.”
Q: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met here in Hall County?
A: “Gus Whalen of the Featherbone Center. He was such a charming, interesting man, who had a vision for this community. He was able to integrate a lot of different pieces in his professional and personal life.”
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would it be? And why?
A: “I’d probably go to West Africa because we recently did the ancestry DNA test with my family. We found out where our bloodline is. For my husband part of his bloodline is Nigeria. My bloodline is from Benin, The Congo, and Ireland. I told my husband and son that I want to go all the countries that our bloodline leads us to.”
Q: What is your favorite movie or what is the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
A: “I love ‘E.T.’ I had to watch it a few times to realize it wasn’t a scary movie. Once I got past thinking it was scary it became one of my favorites. In terms of recent movies I really love ‘Black Panther’ because it ties back to part of my reason for being in public service. There is this whole back story of people who have a resources and people who don’t and ultimately people who have the resources make the decision that it’s important that they are shared to make a difference in the world.”
Q: What advice would you give a crowd of people?
A: “Remember that we are all one.”
Q: What is something on your bucket list?
A: “I really want to see my 16 year old graduate high school and go to an awesome college. I would also love to do more world traveling. When I retire I would possibly like to take on an elected office. To see if I could transition my administrative skills into governing as an elected person.”
Q: What is your favorite music/ three bands you would like to see (dead or alive)?
A: “I love Prince, John Legend, and Norah Jones.”
Q: Choosing anyone alive and a non-relative: with whom would you love to have lunch? Why? Where is Hall County would you have lunch?
A: “Oprah Winfrey because she has such a fascinating life story and she has been able to push through so many boundaries. She is not someone who only uplifted herself but she uplifted others. I am fascinated by how much generosity she has.”
Q: What is your favorite thing about Hall County?
A: “The generosity of the people. They are very giving and interested in each others well being. It is a very benevolent community. I love that people know their neighbors and speak with one another.”
Q: Where do you see yourself in five or ten years?
A: “Retired and hopefully watching my son play major league lacrosse. Traveling with my family and reinventing myself.”
Q: (Even for friends or family), what is something interesting that most people don’t know about you?
A: “That I am an introvert. I enjoy my work and spend a lot of time with people but I am a homebody. I like being at home it is my favorite place. It is my comfort zone and its my retreat.”
Q: What 3 words or phrases come to mind when you think of the word HOME?
A: “The ocean, the trees, and Gumbo.”
The Faces of Hall County is a project to showcase the amazing people that live or work in our community. If you would like to nominate an interesting person to be featured please email email@example.com.