Women of Influence
Jennifer Burton’s career is a testament to the power of service and dedication to making a difference in the community. Armed with a business degree from UNT and inspired by her grandparents’ philanthropic spirit, Jennifer began with a strong desire to give back. Formative experiences at a young age, such as delivering Meals on Wheels, left an indelible mark on her heart, reinforcing her commitment to serving others.
As she entered the nonprofit sector, Jennifer’s passion for philanthropy continued to grow. Managing the Dallas Cattle Barons Ball, a major fundraising event for the American Cancer Society, exposed her to a remarkable group of women who juggled successful careers, family, and community service. The resilience and dedication of these women ignited her own aspirations to become a leader.
Among the women who inspired Jennifer the most is her mother, who devoted thirty years of her life to serving economically disadvantaged families and children through her role at CPS. Despite the challenges and modest financial rewards, her mother’s passion for serving others left a lasting impact on Jennifer, guiding her own path toward leadership.
Jennifer offers valuable advice for young women aspiring to be leaders. Get involved in causes that matter the most is essential, as it fosters a sense of purpose and dedication. Listen to others with similar passions and ask questions helps to gather insights and broaden your perspectives. Jennifer’s journey also highlights the importance of perseverance and self-belief, as she didn’t let rejection deter her from securing her first Executive Director position.
In Jennifer’s view, listening is a fundamental quality of a successful leader. Surrounding oneself with like-minded individuals who share the same drive and motivation fosters a strong team dynamic. Her team’s unwavering support and collaboration transcend the confines of the workplace, reinforcing the significance of work-life integration.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is crucial for Jennifer. As a mother to a 16- and 9-year-old, she cherishes meaningful moments with her family. Prioritizing time, setting boundaries, and learning to say ‘no’ when necessary help her strike a harmonious balance between her personal and professional life. Recharging with friends and family, engaging in physical activities, and indulging in some leisure time further contribute to her well-being and motivation.
Jennifer Burton’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of service, perseverance, and empowerment. As the Executive Director of the Northwest ISD Education Foundation, she continues to lead with dedication, inspiring others to give back and make a positive impact in their communities. Her leadership philosophy, grounded in empathy and attentiveness, fosters a supportive and thriving environment for both her team and the students they serve.