Greenleaf Founder Announces Retirement and Promotions of Veteran Employees

Columbus Chamber
The Columbus Chamber provides connections, resources and solutions that help small businesses and Fortune 500 enterprises grow Central Ohio's economy.

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.