Jennifer O’Connell oversees the areas of Membership Development and Engagement, the coordination of the Emerging Sustainability Leaders Program as well as the business operations of Arizona Forward’s non-profit. Jennifer joined the Arizona Forward team in 2019 with over 25 years of experience in business from corporate settings to public education to owning her own business. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language and Latin American Studies and a MBA from Thunderbird Global School of Management with an emphasis in Marketing.
After deciding to depart her corporate sales career in the Global IT and Telecommunications markets, she opened an operated an all organic vegan restaurant located in old town Scottsdale for over 5 years. The locale was one of the first food establishments in the Phoenix area to be constructed with sustainable building materials and to invest in recycling and compostable to-go products with a corporate mission of promoting health, harmony, cultural and environmental wellness.
Previous to her role at Arizona Forward, Jennifer served as the Director of Business Operations for a K-12 school based in a holistic pedagogy with sustainability and healthy communities as part of the core principles. Jennifer’s leadership included oversight of marketing, development, finance, technology, organizational design, policy and procedure implementation, human resources and maintenance of a large farm campus. Jennifer was awarded the 2016 Arizona Charter Business Leader of the Year Finalist by Arizona Charter Schools Association for establishing sustainable business practices and reinforcing school values with business partners and the community.