Jennifer Nelson was raised in Texas. Her mother was born on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia and immigrated to the United States from The Netherlands. Her father was a retired major in the United States Army who served two tours of duty in Vietnam and deceased in 1988. Jennifer has two brothers—one older who lives in Colorado and one younger who lives in Texas with his wife and two daughters. Watching her mother raise three kids with the help of her grandparents, Jennifer was inspired to work hard and always give back to the community.
Jennifer Nelson moved to Cape Coral in the Fall of 2008. She had a long career with Goodwill Industries which took her throughout the country from Texas to California and eventually to Florida. A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, she began her career with Goodwill as a volunteer in 1993. She later held several senior level management positions in operations and became an expert in sustainability and recycling through the Goodwill movement nationally and locally in Florida.
Since April 2017, Jennifer joined the Uncommon Friends Foundation where she serves as Executive Director. The Uncommon Friends Foundation promotes character, leadership, business ethics and historic preservation.
Making an impact locally is very important to Jennifer. She is on the board for PACE Center for Girls in Lee County and Chairman of The Board for Recycle Florida Today. She was selected in 2014 by Lee County Commissioner Brian Hamman to serve on the Lee County Sustainability Advisory Committee. She has been a committee chair for PACE’s Love That Dress event since 2013 and enjoys volunteering her time. Jennifer is a graduate of Leadership Fort Myers and a graduate of Goodwill Industries’ Senior Leadership Program. She is also Kaizen trained in logistics and efficiencies.
Jennifer is the proud mother of an active twelve-year-old who attends Trafalgar Middle School. As a business-minded woman and community leader, she believes that government should have an understanding of how its actions can impact its community from small to large businesses to teachers, our children, and our senior citizens.
When asked why she wants to run, her response is simple: “I am excited to run for District 4 as a concerned mother and citizen for the future of Cape Coral. My daughter and I have called Cape Coral home for more than eight years. I’m hoping to elevate the level of professionalism and leadership on City Council while offering my experience, knowledge, and expertise.”