An interview with Launch board member Jen Crichton posted 07/13/12

By Joe Sullivan

Jen Crichton of Launch St. LouisHow and why did you get involved in Launch?

When my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer in June of 2009, I coped the only way I knew how – by keeping busy. I soon became involved with the Gateway Chapter of the Colon Cancer Alliance by forming a team for their annual “Undy 5000” 5k/Fun Walk and, in the meantime, started researching other cancer-related organizations in which I could become involved. When I heard about Launch, I was instantly intrigued by its mission to empower a younger demographic, especially in a town like St. Louis that sometimes gets a bad rap for being too cliqueish. Shortly thereafter, I met with a few of the Launch board members and offered to provide PR support…and the rest is history!

What is your favorite breakfast food?Buddy the Elf

Waffles! Lots of syrup! I’m like Buddy the Elf.

Where do you see Launch in 5 Years? What role would you like to play during those 5 years?

Considering the headway that Launch has made in just its first couple of years, I think our impact will be even more widespread by 2017. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Launch model adopted in other cities and I’m looking forward to having a personal role in growing some “lean and mean” organizations that have a passion for helping people, but might just need a little boost…or “launch,” if you will.

Tell us about yourself (family, school, work, life)

In the past year, I’ve gotten married, started a new job, had a baby, and bought a new house. How ’bout that? I’m a director at Weber Shandwick and my husband Brian is a software analyst for Accenture. We live in University City with our adorable daughter Layla, plus our two dogs Kirby and Baxter (hence the need for a bigger house).

What is your ideal vacation spot (either have been or want to go)?

St. John, USVI – our honeymoon destination. Before I went there, I would’ve said Maui, Hawaii…but I’ve since decided that nothing tops the laid-back nature of the Caribbean. I can’t wait to go back!

If you could have lunch with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why?

My mom, who passed away in January after a two-and-a-half year battle with cancer. She was my very best friend in the world and I would give anything for just a couple more hours with her to finish each other’s sentences and laugh at our silly inside jokes.

You are in PR. What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Selfishly, I still get a kick out of seeing my clients featured in a story that I helped place. And by specializing in sports PR, I’ve had the opportunity to do some really cool stuff – like scripting the closing ceremonies of the old Busch Stadium and watching from the Cardinals dugout while standing next to my childhood idol Ozzie Smith. But the truly most rewarding part is that a lot of what I do is storytelling. When I worked at Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis as communications director, I had the extreme honor of meeting so many families who are the epitome of strength and courage in the face of adversity. Telling their stories and, in turn, shining a light on how Variety helped them in their time of need was some of the best work I’ve ever done.

If you could learn to do anything in one day, what would it be and why?

Ice Skating. I’m terrified to try, thanks to countless softball injuries to my ankles…but I would absolutely love to be able to whip around an ice rink.

If you could eat only one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ice cream. See previous reference to Buddy the Elf.

Tell us something that no one on New Kids on the Block Christmasthe Launch Board knows about you?

I know pretty much every word to every New Kids on the Block song ever recorded, including the Christmas album. Sad.

Do you have any odd talents?

I don’t think I can do anything particularly special, but something I can’t do is wink my left eye. Trust me, I’ve tried. A lot.

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