Jennifer Olsen: Citation 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award
Prof. P.V. (Sundar) Balakrishnan
Jennifer Olsen has over a decade of human resource experience. Jennifer has worked in manufacturing, biotechnology and consulting with organizations such as OMAX, Immunex, CEPTYR and Mercer Human Resource Consulting. She holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) certification, a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP) certification and is trained in AIRS recruiting methodologies. She is a graduate of the University of Washington Bothell, where she earned her MBA.
What makes this a truly stupendous honor is that Jennifer Olsen is a member of the class of 2005. For those of you who are new to UWB, let me say, that quite simply, the class of 2005 was one of the most exemplary classes in our history. This was a class that graduated among others Tom Dason the COO of Ondine BioPharma, Luis Navarro – the man who is responsible for a Nobel Peace prize winner to speak at graduation tomorrow; and, Eric Blackstone who slept throughout most of my class just so that he could in the following month announce a breakthrough discovery that put him on the front page of every major publication in the world including the WSJ! In that cauldron of talent Jennifer Olson survived, nay thrived. It taught her the value of never giving up even when competition gets tough. Jennifer I still have a copy of your exemplary break even analysis HW on the marketing simulation!
Why am I not surprised? Here is an example:
There was a science fair at her school when she was in the fifth grade. She wasn’t much interested in science and didn’t plan to enter the fair but her closest friends were entering and it was all they could talk about. Feeling left out, she entered on the very last day you could. She put together a simple experiment that illustrates how a steel boat can float. She ended up bringing home a blue ribbon and went onto the city science fair where she won a superior medal. Her friends didn’t come in as high and needless to say were mad as they had slaved over theirs for several weeks and here Jennifer comes in at the last minute with basically a bucket of water and some tin foil and placed higher than they did. What Jennifer learned from that experience was threefold: 1) To be careful with relationships; 2) that simple may be a better way to go. You don’t have to make something complex to make it good; 3) It taught her the value of never giving up even when competition gets tough.
In Business nomenclature there are two types of work. The ones that most of do – To increase the efficiency of current Marketing Exchanges. And the Star Trek aspect that few get to do: To create New Products for New Markets. To go Boldly where no one has gone before.
Into this Darkness in steps our own Star Trek Jennifer. And Of course, it is natural that she Created and Founded her company Resourceful HR during the economic downturn of 2008. Of course, she is among the few, the brave who survived the economic blood-bath of the Great Recession and is now standing tall with 25 employees. Of course, She is the shining light, who serves as Board President of AHOPE for Children, a non-profit organization focused on assistance programs for vulnerable children in Ethiopia.
She is a team builder and strategic planner with the ability to attract key individuals and builds lasting relationships. Jennifer is a decisive leader with a proven ability to face challenges head-on and execute sound decisions. She has hosts the NW HR Best Practices Roundtable, co-chairs the HR Group for the Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association (WBBA), and serves on the Board of Directors and as Program Development Chair for Seraph Capital Forum. In 2012 she was honored by the Puget Sound Business Journal with the ’40 Under 40’ award, which recognizes influential Seattle-area business leaders who demonstrate dynamic leadership and excel in their industry and in their community.
When Jennifer is not working or volunteering she enjoys hiking, playing guitar and running.
We are honored to present Jennifer Olsen, class of 2005, the UW Bothell 2013 Distinguished MBA Alumni award.