Jennifer Peterson is an accomplished and seasoned business executive who has helped build brands and manage operations for some of Columbus' most successful companies, while also sharing her strategic business and marketing leadership with a variety of nonprofits and community organizations. As Chief Operating Officer of RAPID5, Peterson brought a lifelong passion for the outdoors and a devotion to community engagement to the role, with the goal of improving the overall quality of life in the region, by expanding access to central Ohio's bounty of natural resources. Leading the start-up phase of RAPID5, she drove standing up the organization, inclusive of securing HR, IT, Finance/Accounting, Legal, PR and Marketing support resources; hiring initial staff members; as well, supporting the Board Development process. This initial period garnered $3M in funding; nearly $500K in publicity/media coverage; an over 300 active-volunteer database; and, thousands of followers via social, email and website engagement. RAPID5 has been touted as a “transformational initiative to take Columbus and the central Ohio Region to the next level.”
In her seven years with Steiner + Associates prior, as Chief Executive at Easton, Peterson guided the award-winning, mixed-use fashion lifestyle center through innovative expansion and groundbreaking strategies while navigating the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Peterson also led the efforts of the Easton Community Foundation, which pivoted during the pandemic quarantine to organize and deliver thousands of donated meals to frontline hospital workers and first responders.Her previous professional experience spans 18 years in various executive retail positions, including leading the brand and business for C.O. Bigelow as the VP, General Manager, heading up marketing for Victoria's Secret and its PINK brand, in addition to leadership roles at Bath & Body Works and Lane Bryant. Peterson also helped launch fashion handbag and accessories startup Jewell LLC, overseeing all design, product development and marketing, in addition to working on iconic brands like Wendy's, Sears and the NutraSweet Co. during her tenure in advertising.Peterson is on the board of ALVIS, Inc., serves as Chair of Leadership Columbus, Development Co-Chair of The Center for Healthy Families and is on the Community Justice Team as a member of First Community Church. She is engaged with the Urban Land Institute Columbus and its Women’s Leadership Initiative and was on the City of Columbus Commission on Black Girls. For many years, she served as a board member with the Junior League of Columbus, CATCO and Dress for Success Columbus.
Among many personal and professional honors, Peterson was most recently tapped as the 2023 Junior League of Columbus Sustainer Honoree. In addition, she was the winner of the GlobeSt 2022 Women of Influence award as a corporate real estate executive. Peterson was also recognized as a YWCA Columbus Woman of Achievement award recipient in 2021, and a Women WELDing the Way calendar honoree in 2020 by the Women for Economic and Leadership Development (WELD).
Jennifer has been married to her husband Chris for 24 years and they have three children, Isabelle (22), Millie (20) and Harry (18).