Meet our new Executive Director!

GrowingGreat is delighted to welcome our new Executive Director, Jennifer Jovanovic, and introduce her to you.

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“We were looking for someone to take GrowingGreat into the future — to bring our nutrition and gardening programs to new audiences nationwide,” said Board President Maria Marrill. “Jennifer has the experience to do this, but beyond that, she shares our great enthusiasm for teaching children about gardening and nutrition. I am looking forward to working together.”

Before joining our organization, Jennifer Jovanovic spent seven years as the Director of Science Beyond the Boundaries, a network in which science centers and museums share best practices in hands-on education with their colleagues around the world. Jennifer was the original and only network director, growing it from 12 museums when it was founded to 250 museums reaching over 81 million visitors. Most recently she created and directed the Early Learners Collaborative, funded by a federal grant to help museums develop programs that support preschoolers’ readiness for school.  The Saint Louis Science Center is just one of Jennifer’s many clients over the years. She specializes in assisting nonprofits in creating education programs, including related written materials, grant proposals and publications. She is the former Executive Director of the Children’s Museum at La Habra, where, under her leadership, they won the national Association of Children’s Museums’ Promising Practice Award. She holds a B.A. from Harvard University.

Jennifer brings to GrowingGreat extensive background in hands-on science programming for underserved audiences, an area of potential growth for our organization. Many of the museum educators she works with are already expressing an interest in partnering with her in her new position with us.

“I am thrilled to join the team at GrowingGreat,” Jennifer said. “As a Manhattan Beach parent, I know the quality of GrowingGreat’s work and that you are making a difference in children’s lives. I am proud to be able to contribute. When I worked in downtown Los Angeles, I saw schoolyards that didn’t have any green space at all – only cement and fences with locked gates. I see a GrowingGreat garden in one of those schools as a tiny oasis for children who may not experience living, growing plants in any other way.”

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