Jennifer took the plunge into early morning news in 2010. It was the one shift she had never worked. "It always looked fun, but who wants to get up that early?" Jennifer always thought. Once she became a mom she realized there's no time for sleep anyway so why not work a schedule that allows her more time with her kids.
She's been in the business since 2000 and covering news in Rochester since 2002. She anchored the 7 PM and 11 PM news at WHEC-TV before coming to 13WHAM TV. She's traveled from Rochester to find the local angle on some big stories including spending 3 weeks along the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.
The story she became a journalist to tell came in 2006. It was a news conference in Washington DC to kick-off an awareness campaign about Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Jennifer was sick with CFS for five years beginning at age 16. She went from being a three-sport varsity athlete to being so sick she missed her junior and senior years of high school and had to be tutored at home. Researchers say CFS patients experience a level of disability equal to those going through chemotherapy, have advanced stage AIDS or Muscular Dystrophy, but for years the public had little sympathy for CFS patients. A 1994 Boston Globe article about Jennifer's' battle helped take away some of the stigma. For Jennifer, seeing how information can lead to understanding and tolerance made Jennifer want to be a journalist.
A story she did about a young man in the Rochester area who is struggling with CFS has been published internationally and is often used by CFS advocacy groups.
Jennifer was working on this story while pregnant with her second daughter. Midway through the pregnancy Jennifer and her husband Vinnie learned the baby had a defect called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH). The case was severe and the baby was given a 23% chance to survive. They researched hospitals nationwide and were relieved to find that Golisano Children's Hospital at Strong in Rochester had the specialized equipment and experienced team their baby needed. Grace was born in the fall of 2011, has had four surgeries, spent time on a heart-lung bypass and went home after 72 days in the NICU. Vinnie and Jennifer are so grateful for the fantastic care their family received and are now raising money to build a new Golisano Children's Hospital.
Jennifer grew up outside of Boston and graduated from the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Her first TV job was in Hastings, Nebraska. In her spare time, Jennifer was a volunteer firefighter.
She's now made Rochester her home and continues to volunteer. She is a member of Rochester Rotary. She's a current board member of The Dream Factory of Rochester and a past board member of The Center for Disability Rights, The Verona Street Animal Society, Inc. and CASA of Rochester/Monroe County, Inc. She ran a marathon for the Stroke Association and biked 65 miles for the American Diabetes Association's Tour de Cure. She loves spoiling her two daughters, is also a mom to a dog named Bo (a Vizsla whose full name is Bo Sox) and is in desperate need of cooking lessons.