Candice Jensen’s experience working for nonprofit organizations helped prepare her for her new role as the American Botanical Council’s (ABC’s) communications and marketing coordinator. A native of San Antonio, Jensen moved to Phoenix in 2010, where she worked for the Arizona Science Center and then the Arizona Humane Society. Those experiences, and others, helped hone skills that are now assets to ABC.
When she moved from Phoenix to Austin in 2014, Jensen knew she wanted to find the right nonprofit, and she thought the position at ABC was well-suited to her skills. “I felt like I could really fit this position well, not to say that I don’t have lots of room to grow, because there are a lot of things that I’m learning here at ABC,” she said.
Jensen, who received her associate’s degree in communications from the University of Phoenix in 2012, describes herself as a life-long learner. “I have a thirst for knowledge,” she said. She also considers herself to be realistic, goal-oriented, and organized. “I laugh when I’m uncomfortable,” she added with a laugh.
She has a good sense of humor and brings an optimistic, ebullient disposition to the organization. “I would consider myself a pretty positive person.” she said. She tries to see the good that comes out of all situations.
Jensen started at ABC in late July, and she has already hit the ground running. Perhaps the biggest project on the horizon for her is the update of ABC’s website, which she will help manage. Her knowledge of web development and knack for digital marketing will come in handy for the project, which will be done in-house.
“I love web development and different applications,” she said. The website overhaul won’t happen overnight, though. “It’ll be a long road to get to that goal,” she said. “And that whole journey is going to be a lot of fun.”
The redesign process will require a deeper understanding of the demographics of people who benefit from ABC’s many educational services, including members and others who visit the website out of curiosity. “That’s part of the challenge for the new website, but just knowing [the demographics] will be really great,” Jensen said. “We’re going to learn so much about who we are and how we can grow even more.”
Some of her other responsibilities include maintaining the website (including troubleshooting), making sure educational content is frequently updated, answering user questions, maintaining social media, and interacting with the community via those channels.
“Candice is a fantastic addition to the ABC team,” said Denise Meikel, ABC’s development director and Jensen’s supervisor. “She’s a unique blend of great technical skills, a delightful personality, and a drive to see projects completed, and completed well. We’re grateful to have her with us!”
Jensen’s job is all about expanding ABC’s audience and publicizing its unique nonprofit educational mission. “Really bringing that awareness to people who don’t quite know who we are is always part of the goal at the end of the day,” she said.
Jensen enjoys interacting with her colleagues and figuring out everyone’s roles in the organization. She admits her job has certain challenges, though. Sometimes, the content can be difficult. “It’s quite dense, but there I think lies a good challenge for [me]. I hope to further my knowledge of the herbs, [and] everything that we’re talking about, so I can speak to it in confidence myself,” she said.
She has even considered taking classes or getting certifications to help improve her understanding of botany and increase the value of her contributions.
Jensen said she believes in ABC’s nonprofit mission. “It really seems like there’s a need for it, because herbal medicine has always been around. That was the first form of medicine. It’s the best form of medicine. It’s something to protect,” she said. “And I don’t think a lot of people think about that.”
She has always had an interest in gardening. “I’ve always wanted to have my own garden, but really don’t think I have been given a green thumb,” she said laughingly, adding that most of her plants don’t survive. But she hopes one day to dedicate more time to gardening.
Jensen likes living in Austin. She thinks the city’s people are unique. “I love the people here, not to mention there are a ton of activities and things to do here, but the people really make it great,” she said.
In her spare time, Jensen enjoys doing yoga, cooking healthy and organic meals, getting outdoors (e.g., hiking, paddle boarding, and kayaking), reading blogs, and watching all kinds of documentaries and TV shows on Netflix, including “Friends.” She also enjoys seeing her niece and nephew as often as she can. She is married to her husband, Justin.