Greenleaf Job Training Services is announcing the retirement of company founder and CEO Jennifer Kuntz, effective Sept. 1, 2020. Jennifer, who founded Greenleaf Job Training Services in March 1995, will become chairman of the company.
With Jennifer’s retirement, Kristin Schaub, currently Director of Operations, will become CEO, and Kate Lingnofski, the current Director of Programs, will become COO. Other members of the leadership team include Christe Hendershot, HR Manager, and Dan Woodburn, Training Manager.
Jennifer’s Vision for Greenleaf
The story of Greenleaf Job Training Services stretches to the early 1990s, when Jennifer was working as a job coach in special education at Worthington City Schools in Worthington, Ohio. In that role, she helped students obtain employment as part of their curriculum, but she knew the students struggled to retain their jobs over the summer break. In an effort to bridge the gap for those students and others, she spent a summer as an independent youth job coach for Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities agency (OOD). At the time, Jennifer was a single parent with three little boys at home, and she was earning $13,000 a year. But it was clear to her that a need existed for a company that could help people with disabilities find and keep employment and gain greater self-reliance and self-confidence. So, Jennifer started that company, and under her leadership, Greenleaf Job Training Services has grown from one employee to 35.
Over the years, it has placed thousands of people with disabilities in jobs. In 2019 alone, the company served 414 people in various programs and placed 82 people in jobs. In addition, the team at Greenleaf Job Training Services also works with employers to help them make reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities, and it helps businesses and their employees create a more diverse and inclusive work force and workplace culture.
The success of the company is due, in large part, to Jennifer’s own progressive attitude about how people with disabilities should be treated. “Everyone else was focusing on the disability,” Jennifer said. “In my mind, that’s focusing on the limitation. I chose to focus on their strengths and what they enjoy doing.” Today, Greenleaf continues to stay true to those founding values. For the past 25 years, Jennifer has built an outstanding team to carry on the company’s mission to provide employment support services to people with differing abilities so that each person may achieve greater productivity, self-sufficiency and independence. The rising leaders of Greenleaf have a long tenure with the company and embrace its values and mission, Jennifer said.
Strong Future with Trusted Leaders
“From the beginning, we have built this company to be a place dedicated to providing vocational rehabilitation services to people who are employable but are often overlooked,” Jennifer said. “We are a company that lifts people up. In that same vein, I have total confidence in our leadership team to take the reins and continue moving forward. This strong leadership team has great experience in the industry, and I trust in their ability to lead the company into its next 25 years.”
Kristin, a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, joined Greenleaf in 1999 as a Program Developer. She has years of direct experience providing job development, job coaching, job seeking skills training and vocational assessment services. As Director of Operations, she oversees all operations, including administrative staff, all compliance and quality assurance efforts and general business operations. She earned a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Services from The Ohio State University. “I look forward to continuing to shepherd the excellent programming that Greenleaf Job Training Services has become known for since Jennifer founded this company,” Kristin said. “Our team is devoted to carrying Jennifer’s mission forward and continuing to serve and help people who are differently abled achieve things they never thought were possible. That is our passion, and that is what drives us every day to succeed.”
Kate joined Greenleaf in 2010 as a Job Developer, and since then has held numerous positions, including working in customized employment and overseeing the company’s Project SEARCH program. As Director of Programs, she has overseen all of the vocational rehabilitation programs and personnel, including job developers and job coaches.
Over the past 25 years, Jennifer has participated in designing statewide training programs for vocational professionals and has participated at vocational rehab association annual conferences as well as other statewide training programs. In addition, she has served on the board of Ohio APSE, an organization that works to improve integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Jennifer has been a member of Women Presidents’ Organization; Vistage, an organization dedicated to leadership development; and the National Association of Women Business Owners, an organization that also presented her with a Visionary Award. In 2016, she was named as one of Sunny 95’s Outstanding Women.