Jennifer Crookes Carpenter
Operations Manager & Development Officer, Night Fall, Inc.
Education/Alma Mater: Trinity College
Morning News Sources: New York Times – app for weekdays and print edition for weekends!
Hometown/Current town: Schenectady & Saratoga Springs, NY; now live in Meriden, CT
How long have you worked in your current position? I’ve been involved since it was founded in 2012. I’ve gotten much more involved in the daily operations since 2018.
Did you have a job that might surprise people? I was a bank teller during some of my college years!
What do you value most about CWC? I love our Book Club, especially, and all of the ways in which those of us who work in different industries can put names to faces and forge friendships.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? “Never put someone else down to lift yourself up.” This was my mother’s mantra when I was a teenager, especially.
Piece of advice for people entering your field / looking to excel in your field? Development Officers need to be excellent listeners. It’s so gratifying and fun to match a prospective donor or funder’s passions and interests with the mission and dreams of a nonprofit organization.
Proud moment or accomplishment you’d like to share? When I worked with Hartford Stage, I had the honor of working with production staff to deliver gorgeous pieces of theater scenery—a giant wooden horse and an oversized garden armillary—to donors’ homes. The best part was introducing loyal supporters to the folks who actually build what we see on that stage.
First Job in high school: “Professional Walker” at a nursing home in Fairfield, Connecticut. That’s where I learned compassion, patience and professional creativity.
Dream Job (besides current): I really and truly love developing relationships and fundraising in Hartford. I’m searching for my next fulltime position right now! My dream job would be a Development Officer role where I can both solicit leadership/major gifts and also bring new prospective donors into the fold by meeting each person where they are in their interest in that organization. It’s my passion and my talent!
Bucket List Item: It took me until my 40s to visit my favorite American cities—Portland, Oregon, and New Orleans. Next up, eat my way through the fabulous restaurants and see all the historic sites in Charleston, South Carolina.
Hobbies: Cooking, Theater, Museums, Hiking & Kayaking
Favorite Sports Team: Boston Red Sox, Union College Hockey (sorry, Yale!), Trinity Bantams—Men’s & Women’s Squash, especially!
TV Character most like you: I’m sure I’m not the first CWC member to identify with Lisa Simpson!
Vacation Spot: On the water or by the bonfire at Brant Lake in the Adirondacks
Favorite Movie: When I want to relax? The Goonies!
Principal Consultant, Slalom
Education/Alma Mater: BS – Central Connecticut State University, MA – University of Northern Colorado
Morning News Sources: 30 minutes NPR while getting ready, NYT briefing
Hometown/Current town: Cambridge, MA, West Hartford with a lot of time in Hartford, CA, CO. NY in between
How long have you worked in your current position? 1 year 8 months
Did you have a job that might surprise people? When I was 25 I was President of a healthy living magazine based in Santa Monica CA. As the dotcom world shifted we moved to an incubator model and I worked to develop strategies and secure VC funding for numerous technology startups.
What do you value most about CWC? The friendships I’ve made.
Best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? Just because you can take a punch doesn’t mean you should
Piece of advice for people entering your field / looking to excel in your field? Remain humble and curious, the rest will follow.
Proud moment or accomplishment you’d like to share? Within my first year at Slalom I won the People First Award – given to the person voted on to put the team ahead of all else
First Job in high school: waitress at Friendlys in West Hartford Center (now Sweet Frog)
Dream Job (besides current): Coach and consult with more disruptive companies.
Bucket List Item: Go to Richard Branson’s island.
Hobbies: Cooking, working out, reading. I really like snowboarding and boxing when I can.
Favorite Sports Team: um is there a strategic thinking team?
TV Character most like you: Lorelei Gilmore?
Vacation Spot: Martha’s Vineyard
Favorite Movie: Lord of the Rings and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind