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SPOTLIGHT: Jennifer Symmes, Snoop Dogg and Sarah Palin

4 Jan

I love to write about other people, so who better to profile than my CRACKER JAX Blog subscribers.  This is first in a series of Spotlights taking a look at some of the great people who read the blog. First up…


Jennifer SymmesJennifer lives on Jacksonville’s southside with her husband David and 10-month-old daughter Kenley.  A former news reporter, she now works in public relations as a senior account executive for Access Public Relations. She ran the show for the recent “Chevy Mystery Tour” social media/public relations campaign in which a number of people, including myself, participated.



 What exactly do you do as a public relations person?
Right now I spend a considerable amount of my time on the General Motors and Jacksonville Aviation Authority accounts. I help clients  make new friends, strengthen relationships with influencers, the media and target members of the community. I also plan fun and cost-effective events and pitch stories to the media.

Have a mad celebrity crush on anyone?
Matt Lauer – because smart men are sexy.

Who fascinates you?
My daughter.

How did you meet your husband David?
A friend and I were leaving a restaurant and she recognized him and walked over to say hi. I thought he was smoking hot, but felt  I was having an “ugly day” so I hung back and waited by the car. After a long time I began to feel stupid, so I walked over to them. David introduced himself and we hit it off immediately and he made me laugh. I asked him to go with me to the wedding of Jack Del Rio’s daughter Lauren that I was covering for the Amelia Islander for a features piece because I thought he’d be a fun date. The wedding was incredible. The bride was stunning. But it was David he really got my attention. He proposed three months later and we married six months after that.

Complete this sentence:  I will know I’ve made it when…..
I am able to travel the world with my family at any moment I wish, with chump change.

What charity are you passionate about?
Operation New Hope. I’m a new board member there. I’m passionate about it because someone I love has struggled with addiction for more than a decade and has been in and out of incarceration.  
Operation New Hope helps that population with second chances, getting back on their feet and a return to self-worth. Even though this person I know comes from a good family – my family – and has received tremendous amounts of support throughout the years from immediate family members, church family and friends, it’s still a struggle. I simply cannot imagine how difficult it is for those who don’t have the type of support Operation New Hope gives.

Favorite book?
“The Alchemist” because it reminds us of the value and lessons from our own unique experiences, and it’s also a beautiful love story.

If you could go away for a week all by yourself, where would you go?
Someplace beautiful where I could talk and listen to God without interruption.

Why do you read the CRACKER JAX blog?
It makes me laugh! And I learn new things about Jacksonville and get a better insight on health-related stuff too.

Wackiest photo op?
Had my photo taken with Sarah Palin at a political fundraiser I helped with. I actually like Mama Grizzly and what she stands for, mostly. But I’m also entertained by her infamous sound-bites and ability to add new words to the dictionary.

What’s your go-to ice breaker story?
During college break, a friend and I were pulled by casting directors in Times Square to appear on an MTV Hip Hop show called Direct Effect. It was mid-December and we were bundled-up head to toe. We thought this sounded a little crazy and fun so we agreed. Once we got into the studio, we realized that many of the locals had purposely planted themselves in Times Square in hopes of getting on the show because off came multiple layers of clothing and these folks were clubbed out!  My friend and I stood there in our poofy sweaters feeling pretty silly. We found out Snoop Dogg and Ludacris were performing on the show..and Snoop Dogg was kicking people out if they couldn’t dance. My friend wanted to bolt out of fear of being humiliated on national television. I talked her into staying by telling her we could just copy everyone else’s moves, plus I secretly felt like I had some moves of my own. Snoop Dogg made his way across the room as he rapped the lyrics to “Gin n Juice.” We were pretty nervous as he came our way, and then he stopped right in front of me. We danced a short tasteful little number and then Snoop carried on. A few people back at school saw it on TV and couldn’t believe their eyes. We survived the experience and had a lot of fun. My friend and I still love to share laughs about it. 


Tell us something about yourself that few people know.
I grew up wanting to be a famous dance choreographer, but everyone thought I was crazy and that there was no future in it. Yeah, right. I could have chased my dream. Have you SEEN So You Think You Can Dance?


Be sure to follow Jennifer on Twitter. She’s @JennSymmes

And stay tuned for more Spotlight interviews with CRACKER JAX subscribers!