#MyGivingJourney is a series by CFS where we feature extraordinary women in Singapore and their efforts in philanthropy. In our last feature, we have one of our own – Jenny Wah, CFS’s Director of Marketing & Communications.
Jenny Wah chalked up over 20 years of marketing experience at several MNC companies. She started in Key Account/Brand Marketing in the FMCG industry with brands such as Coca-Cola & Pokka. Then she spent the bulk of her marketing career in the IT industry with Adobe and Autodesk. She led global teams and worked with diverse clients all over the map. The demands were dizzying, as were her frequent flyer miles.
It was a career that rewarded on many fronts. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, leaving many businesses and employees reeling. The pandemic was called a ‘great equaliser’; however, COVID-19 also revealed glaring inequalities in societies. For her, this was a period of introspection that led to a flash of insight and courage. Jenny recalls: “I found myself wondering, what could I do that can contribute to a more equal society?”
So when the opportunity to join the Community Foundation of Singapore came along, she decided to take up the role of Marketing and Strategic Communication Director.
Equality of opportunity and social mobility have long shaped Jenny’s outlook towards a purposeful life. One of three children of a mechanic and a housewife, she understands the struggles of many lower-income families.
Growing up, Chinese New Year was a particularly poignant time. For her, it was a window into how altruism can uplift lives: each year, the Chinese clans would give out bursaries to help students in need, as well as items like school books, shoes and uniforms. Jenny was one such beneficiary.
Education was Jenny’s springboard to a better future. Armed with a B. Business (Honours) degree from NTU and later an MBA, she embarked on a career in sales and marketing, garnering a reputation for her can-do spirit and creative solutions. She often spearheaded her firms’ corporate social responsibility efforts as well, which she found fulfilling. Four years ago, she started volunteering as a museum host at the National Museum of Singapore, feeding her passion for culture and history.
Crossing over to a nonprofit meant new challenges. Budgets were smaller and there weren’t as many hands on deck. Jenny learnt to work around this by tapping into her network for pro bono services and negotiating goodwill with vendors. She also had to build a team from scratch.
However, all this was made easier by the warmth and commitment of the people she worked with. “Everyone double or triple hats and works together for the collective and greater good, never losing sight of the big picture” she notes. Most importantly, she adds, “I see my work here initiating positive change and making a difference.”
Jenny believes that technology can deliver an impactful customer journey in a consistent, personalized and scalable fashion through transformative concepts such as marketing automation, nurturing through compelling content and relationship marketing.
“For me ‘Customer Experience’ is not marketing fluff, it’s a work ideology that needs to be at the core of everything we do professionally. I believe that both ‘People’ and the ‘Promises’ we make are at the very heart of CFS’s Brand. I am proud to work in CFS which offers the unique opportunity to be a part of something that will profoundly impact society,” she says.
Begin your own journey of giving with CFS. Read more about the #MyGivingJourney series here.
This article was written by Sunita Sue Leng, a former financial analyst and journalist, who believes that the written word can be a force for good. She hopes to someday write something worth plagiarising.