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Volunteering has been a way of life for John Hennessey

LITTLETON - When 36-year-old John Hennessey was a student at Littleton High School, as a member of the National Honor Society he helped paint the interior walls of the Littleton Public Library.

Flash-forward almost two decades, and he's volunteering with Habitat for Humanity Ammonoosuc Region, doing landscape and helping build a shed at a Habitat house, a part of a group from the Littleton Coin Company.

He said the most rewarding part of the Habitat volunteering was "just being able to meet the homeowner." Habitat homeowners are required to put in sweat equity, and oftentimes work right alongside volunteers.

The vice president of marketing and human resources doesn't take credit for Littleton Coin's employee volunteer program - an employee suggested it, he said, adding, "My role in the program has been as a participant." He does enjoy, however, facilitating the program, finding volunteer opportunities for others. Many of the participants, he said, had not done any volunteering in the past.

Littleton Coin pays employees for a full day's participation in an approved community service program. Besides leading the marketing team in the Habitat events, Hennessey leads the 40-member marketing staff at work, developing strategies to keep the company successful.

"Managing good people is easy," he said. People "who have a passion for their job. The rest is easy after that."

Though he did volunteer work in high school, during his time at Boston College he stepped it up a notch. While in Boston he taught English as a second language to immigrants and tutored children from low-income families. For several years, Hennessey, who is a certified public accountant, helped low-income residents with their income tax returns.

He's recently joined the North Country advisory board of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

Knowing that there are a lot of nonprofits out there that could use a helping hand, Hennessey said he's "really looking for more exposure to where volunteer efforts can have an impact."

The decision to come back to the Northeast in 2007 coincided with an opening at Littleton Coin, which he found out about during a conversation with David Sundman, president of the family-owned company. Hennessey's father, Ed Hennessey, has worked at Littleton Coin for over two decades.

John and his wife, Erin, moved back from San Diego with their toddler daughter. "I felt the draw of Littleton," he explained.

He's using his business acumen for the betterment of his community, too. He's treasurer of the Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce.


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