2019 40 Under 40 Winners

2019 40 Under 40 Logo

Jessica Kowal

Inspira Health
Vineland, NJ

Why is a 40 under 40 winner

1. Jessica successfully launched Inspira Health's first network-wide capital campaign and has raised more than $20 million to date, surpassing the campaign goal of $14 million.

2. She launched a four-week network wide employee giving campaign. With 12% participation and more than 900 employee donors, it was the most successful employee giving campaign in the network’s history.

3. During Jessica's time as Executive Director of Development and Alumni Affairs at Stockton University, the university completed its first comprehensive campaign 25% over goal at $25.3 million and implemented its first major gifts program, raising more than 25% year over year.

4. She was named District II Professional of the Year by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and is currently a member of the 2018-19 AHP Health System Philanthropy Residency Program cohort.

Q & A

1. How did you get into health care philanthropy?

After having the privilege of working in higher education philanthropy for nearly a decade I was presented with a tremendous opportunity to come to join the team at Inspira Health. I am honored to serve as Inspira Health’s first Chief Development Officer and deeply proud of the impact we are making in the communities we serve.

2. Why did you choose to make health care philanthropy your career?

I choose a career in health care philanthropy because I believe healthcare is uniquely positioned to make a profound impact on the community’s health and wellness. Philanthropy is not just my profession it is also very personal to me. I believe that as responsible citizens we have an obligation to give back and help address social determinants of health in our communities. 

3. Tell us about a pivot point or crucial step in your career journey.

A pivotal point in my career was in 2012 when I moved out of my Principal Gift Coordinator role and stepped into the role of Director of Development. This was the first time in my philanthropy career I had pleasure of leading a team of fundraisers, program oversight and development. 

4. What was your first job, and what is something it taught you?

My first job was a Client Relations and Corporate Operations Manager for STARR Restaurant Organization in New York City. The most important lesson learned during my time at STARR was opportunities present themselves when you least expect it, be ready for it, don’t be afraid to try and trust that failure is not an option. 

5. What are your future aspirations

Grow in an expanded leadership capacity that allows me to help transform the philanthropic landscape, raise awareness surrounding the importance of philanthropy and position future fundraisers to have a more strategic seat at the table. 
Jessica Kowal

Fun Fact:

Last year I won first place Judge’s Choice Award at the inaugural Dancing Under the Atlantic City Stars. This event had more than 1,000 attendees and raised more than half a million dollars for the Community FoodBank New Jersey-Southern Branch.