River City Six: Jennifer Knecht
Since 1887 Immanuel (www.immanuel.com) has been providing Christ-centered service to seniors, each other and the communities in which the organization serves. Jennifer Knecht is the Vice President of Marketing and Communication for Immanuel.
Tell us a little bit about Immanuel.
As a not-for-profit, serving arm of the ELCA (Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) Immanuel’s house of brands includes: Immanuel Communities, Immanuel Pathways, Immanuel Community Foundation and The Immanuel Vision Foundation. Immanuel Communities owns and operates 10 independent living, assisted living and long-term care retirement communities on six campuses. Immanuel Pathways operates three PACE® Centers in Nebraska and Iowa. The Immanuel Community Foundation, a Resident Assistance Fund, provides financial assistance to independent living residents. Finally, the Immanuel Vision Foundation extends financial support to non-profit, charitable 501(c)(3) organizations that share purposes in alignment with Immanuel’s service centered mission.
How did you get started in the business?
Forever curious and passionate about helping companies and people aggressively grow I launched into marketing in college at the University of Nebraska. I have since had the honor of working inside and outside of marketing/advertising agencies and in a variety of interesting industries, from manufacturing to consumable goods (chocolate!). After college I moved to the West Coast where I served as the Director of Public Affairs and Programs for the USO of San Diego, supporting our troops and families through September 11th and the months of deployment that followed. I made a big loop up the coast and through the northern Midwest, eventually landing back in Lincoln.
Tell us a little about your family.
I met and married the most wonderful husband in the world in Lincoln (a New York City transplant) and we now live with our dog in downtown Omaha. Both lovers of the water, we are splitting our time between the fun of the Old Market and our family lake house on Johnson Lake.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
Life-changing. My life’s mission is to positively impact lives, helping people grow as professionals and in their personal lives while aging with grace. As an insider in the healthcare industry, with an emphasis in senior care, I’ve seen the polarizing impact health has on lifestyle as we age—either ultra-positive or devastatingly negative. I am passionate about raising awareness surrounding the factors we can positively impact to help us age with grace, ensuring we live active and full lives well into our later years.
With my life’s mission guiding, I launched the podcast and blog Food, Success and Life for the Modern Woman (www.fslmodern.com; on iTunes; on Stitcher Radio in the GooglePlay Store and iHeartRadio) years ago. Weekly I connect with physical, mental and emotional health experts from around the globe, showcasing cutting-edge research and information to help listeners take charge of their ‘health-style.’ Additionally, in my new role at Immanuel, and I’m excited to be part of an organization that is at the forefront of the retirement living industry with the lifestyle and wellness initiatives we extend our residents and participants throughout our Nebraska/Iowa service area, across all six of our senior living community campuses and three PACE® centers.