byFairygodbosson May 12, 2016

Fairygodboss of the Week: Jennifer Scalzi

Jennifer Scalzi

Photo credit:Jennifer Scalzi

This woman has built a business on helping women - and men - find great jobs at law firms, and helping law firms find great talent. She juggles running a team virtually and being a great mom. And doing lots of crossword puzzles to boot!

Fairygodboss of the Week: Jennifer Scalzi
President, J. Johnson Executive Search, Inc.
Boston, MA

FGB: Tell us about your career. How did you get to where you are now?

JS: I started out as a recruiting and marketing coordinator in a law firm. I took a keen interest in the relationship between the law firm and its clients and wound up as a recruiter placing marketing professionals into law firms and have been in the niche ever since.  I enjoy connecting dots between talent and opportunity.

FGB: What is an accomplishment that you are proud of?

JS: I have set up a successful executive search firm that competes with the big names in my industry but has a completely different model: We have no bricks and mortar, and we wear both recruiting and client manager hats. We are a virtual firm which allows us to be where we need to be for our clients at a moment's notice.

FGB: What is a challenge that you've faced and overcome?

JS: Launching my own business (five years ago) was terrifying. I wondered, would anyone pay me to do work for them? I started the business with a "cart before the horse" scenario:  I had the talent with no jobs to put them in; and then, as time progressed, I had an equal amount of talent and opportunities.  It took an extreme amount of patience and belief in myself.  Justifying why large law firms should use me versus the large brand-name executive search firms has been another obstacle.  But, I've come to believe that the right firms know "great" when they see it!

Lightning Round:

FGB: What do you do when you’re not working?

JS: I spend a lot of energy wrangling twin 3-year old girls and ping-ponging between sports events for our 10 and 13-year old boys. Not much time for anything else!

FGB: If you could have dinner with one famous person - dead or alive - who would it be?

JS: HM Queen Noor of Jordan.  An all-american, highly educated girl who became the Queen of Jordan.  A fearless advocate for women's rights in a country that didn't value the development women outside of the home.

FGB: What is your karaoke song?

JS: Heaven on Earth - Belinda Carlisle

FGB: What is your favorite movie?

JS: Beaches

FGB: What book would you bring with you on a desert island?

JS: A book full of crossword puzzles.

FGB: What is your shopping vice? What would you buy if you won the lottery?

JS: Shopping vice = shoes

Lottery purchase = a month(s) long around the world adventure for my family.

FGB: Who is your Fairygodboss?

JS: Cynthia Bast, a Partner at the law firm I worked for years ago.  She took me, a green and eager college grad, with her to a client event and showed me the result of her work in the Affordable Housing industry.  She helped me realize how important it is to recognize your clients’ needs so that you can be of highest value to them. I will never forget how she treated me; she always wanted to help me push to the next level in everything I was doing.


Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? 
Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.

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