This series shines a spotlight on the incredibly smart, creative and strong women who inspire others in our community. I hope they inspire you, too, to take that leap, feel uncomfortable or do the unexpected.
I’d like you to meet Dr. Jenn(ifer) Lefner. Double-certified neonatologist. Pediatrician. Mother. Board and committee member. Entrepreneur and founder of Seedlings Baby Food. And might I proudly add, friend. No big deal people. Well, actually… she is. Jenn, much like many other women I know, felt a calling. And although her shifts at Saratoga Hospital and after-school sports pick-ups quickly fill her day, she MIRACULOUSLY finds more time. More for her recently launched baby food venture. More for her recent appointment to the Charles R. Wood Foundation. More for the health of others, and for the greater good of our community.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO HEAD DOWN THE ROAD OF ENTREPRENEURSHIP ?
I was inspired by the plight of local farmers having to get rid of unused produce due to the pandemic. My knowledge as a physician, and experience as a mom led me to the idea for Seedlings Baby Food, which uses farm-fresh produce as the source for excellent nutrition for infants. 9 Miles East Farm is not only our first farm partner, but also serves as our manufacturer, co-packer and business mentor. (Watch 9 Miles East on The SCOOP!)
WHAT DRIVES YOU TO GIVE SO MUCH OF YOURSELF?
I get just as much out of my volunteer roles as do the people I’m helping. I have served on the board of the Incredible Teddy Foundation for just over three years. I enjoy helping families in dire need of support when they encounter an unexpected medical emergency involving a child.
I recently began my role as board member of the Charles R. Wood Foundation. The foundation supports not-for-profit organizations with an emphasis on programs for children, healthcare and the arts. In this role, I’m eager to bring my medical expertise and experience with children’s health to the table. I tend to be very straightforward and give my honest opinion when evaluating what’s best for the health of our community.
I also get so much joy from my work at Saratoga Hospital. Being able to care for newborns and families in our own community means so much to me.
AND WHEN YOU’RE NOT SERVING OR WORKING?
When not working at the hospital, growing Seedlings Baby Food or volunteering, I try my best to exercise daily. A run through Spa State Park can be transformative! When I am able to, I love to cook and spend time in my garden or at our local farmer’s market. I love to read, but wish I had more time to do so. Like you, I love going into town and do my best to support the various small businesses here in Saratoga Springs. Most importantly, I love being with friends and family, including my two daughters and husband John.
ONE PIECE OF ADVICE TO YOUNG WOMEN?
Give yourself patience and grace.
So not only is Jenn giving our community so much of her time and energy, but also giving great advice that translates to us “older” readers as well. Her words are especially important for the women out there who feel so much pressure to do it all, and to do it perfectly.
Yep, I know a few of those. And I bet you do too.