Giving BackIn Z Hood

In Z Hood: Meet Jen and Jason Masi, A Cool Couple Helping Others in the DMV

Recently nominated for the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s 40 Under 40 Award, Jennifer Masi is the epitome of a good deed doer.

Diane Canney and Jen Masi at the Sunset Hills Vineyard event for the Children’s Law Center. (Photo: Scott MacConomy)

Alexandria, VA – Recently nominated for the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce’s 40 Under 40 Award, Jennifer Masi is the epitome of a good deed doer. Jen has worked at the Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. since 2011. In 2017 she became the Pro Bono Director for the nonprofit organization, representing at-risk children living in homes suffering the gravest job, food, and shelter insecurities.

Jen lives in Alexandria’s West End with her husband, singer/songwriter Jason Masi. Jen has worked for the CLC at home during the pandemic. Jason continued to perform remotely by doing “quarantunes” concerts several times a week and then resumed live concerts at outdoor venues around the DMV.

Alexandrians Jennifer and Jason Masi at Sunset Hills Vineyard for a concert performance by Jason benefitting the Children’s Law Center where Jen is the pro bono Director. (Photo: Scott MacConomy)

Jen, 39, and Jason, 41, attended the same high school in Fredericksburg. After Jen asked Jason, who was home from his freshman year at Longwood University, to the prom, their first real date was at Denny’s. It was love at first date.

Jen attended the University of Virginia to earn a degree in history with a minor in political science. After graduation, Jen taught school in Charlottesville before entering the George Washington University Law School. Jason was already having success as a musician touring with his college band, Jubeus, opening for acts such as Everclear, Blind Mellon, and SOJA. In 2010 Jason went solo, performing at more than 250 events a year. Songs from his albums have featured on CBS’s long-running soap opera The Young and the Restless.

Despite Jason’s being continually on the road and Jen’s dealing with at-risk children’s constant legal protection concerns, they make time to raise awareness and fundraise for good causes. Jason has performed to benefit Cancer Can RockLoudoun Hunger Relief, the Sweet Julia Grace Foundation (a local pediatric cancer make-a-wish type foundation), breast cancer research awareness, Leashes of Valor (a canine rescue placement for veterans), and most recently, the Children’s Law Center.

Last fall, Diane and Mike Canney hosted a funds and awareness-raising event to benefit the Children’s Law Center at their Sunset Hills Vineyard in Purcellville. Some $5,000 was raised from the sales of wine that day. Jason performed for three hours, drawing the usual crowd of dedicated followers from across the DMV.

A COVID Hope Quilt panel made by Brianna, age 9, advocating for children in support of nonprofit Children’s Law Center. (Photo: Diane Canney)

Funds were also raised that day for breast cancer research at Johns Hopkins University through the sale of rosé wines. Diane Canney, the owner of Sunset Hills and 50 West Vineyards in Middleburg with her husband Mike and the founder of the nonprofit COVID Hope Quilt, was on hand to help children create quilt panels.

“Growing for the greater good” is the Canney’s business motto. They have donated over $300,000 to charitable causes since opening Sunset Hills 12 years ago. Playing for the greater good has been Jason Masi’s passion from the get-go. Hitching his rising star to Jen, with her deep commitment to children in need, has made the Masis a partnership in good-deed doing as well.

Children engaged in the Paint-A-Quilt Panel event during the Children’s Law Center fundraising concert with Jason Masi at Sunset Hills Vineyard. (Photo: Diane Canney)

Jen and Jason’s journey, making the world a better place both separately and together, began over 20 years ago. Alexandria is fortunate that they call Port City home. They are among the best of the best—over or under 40. If you have the good fortune to meet them, they will surely capture your heart as well.

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Kelly MacConomy

Kelly MacConomy is the Arts Editor for The Zebra Press.

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