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Faces of SDBB: Jennifer

In Faces of SDBBwe highlight the hard working individuals of the San Diego Blood Bank so you can get a better sense of how we save lives everyday.

Waking up at 6 in the morning for most people is a dreaded effort, but for Jennifer, it can be a typical morning. For the last 15 years, she has been coordinating blood drives for the San Diego Blood Bank. As an Account Marketing Manager, Jennifer’s day can go from answering phone calls right when the day begins to visiting the blood drives she’s in charge of. She organizes a hand full of blood drives at a time and drives thousands of miles each year. Thankfully, she drives a Prius. Along with her fellow Account Marketing Managers, they coordinate more than 1,500 blood drives a year.

To Jennifer, saving lives means: stepping beyond our business, our apathy, and our fear, to give something that we can spare to another human being who is in need of life-sustaining blood. Jennifer embodies the San Diego Blood Bank’s mission of providing quality blood services in partnership with the community through her daily actions. To be successful at what she does, Jennifer is often meeting with potential and current blood drive organizers. When she’s not doing that, she’s training volunteers how to recruit people from their work place, school, or church to donate blood. With any job comes challenges. For Jennifer, working with blood drive coordinators, who are already working full-time jobs, takes extra effort. Yet any extra effort to Jennifer only means a more successful blood drive.

Jennifer’s favorite part of her job is working with high school students. She loves witnessing how young adults step out of their comfort zone to donate blood, even if they’re afraid at first. She notes, “Whether these students are academics or athletics, donating blood symbolizes how these individuals are and will continue to be contributing members of society.”

With all the logistics Jennifer has to handle, it’s not surprising to learn that she has a business degree in marketing from San Diego State University. After graduating, Jennifer went on to become an under-writer for a Xerox company. Later, after her son encountered a few medical obstacles, Jennifer decided to commit her career to philanthropic causes.

Outside of work, Jennifer teaches bodypump kickboxing, which is a high intensity workout with barbells. Imagining this scenario may make you break a sweat, but for Jennifer, every part of her life is more than just ordinary, just like her job. She teaches at a local YMCA and has been teaching there for more than 20 years. Apart from this, she loves skiing, long distance ocean swimming, running, riding horses and volunteering at a horse ranch, and traveling. She’s visited over 17 countries!

The other and most important loves in Jennifer’s life are her family. Just like Jennifer’s impressive array of interests, her husband Doran is an English professor and avid ocean swimmer. He also teaches English in prisons. “He’s an amazing man,” notes Jennifer. Her daughter Julia is 22 and is studying to become a pilot, and her son Shayne is a junior in high school and is involved in theater.

Her family lives near the beach in Carlsbad, and they have a garden full of herbs and vegetables. They have chickens roaming around in the backyard, which explains why their house is dubbed, “Chickens by the Sea.”

The work you do and the life you live can be seamless as long as both areas are deeply meaningful to you. Jennifer, who proves a balance between life and work is definitely possible, is one of the many Faces of the San Diego Blood Bank.

If you’re interested in coordinating a blood drive with any of our Account Marketing Managers, like Jennifer, please contact us at

By Rizalyn Vargas