An accountant running a film festival might seem a little unusual. In fact, Jenny Wellman, executive director of the Gig Harbor Film Festival, didn’t see that career change coming.
“I never, in my wildest dreams, would have thought I’d be doing this at this stage in my life,” she said. Yet, Wellman found herself using her attention-to-detail skills to run the nonprofit, nonetheless.
Prior to arriving in the Pacific Northwest, Wellman’s career in the accounting industry took her across the globe. She has called many places home, including Texas, Australia, Hong Kong, California, Ohio, and Seattle, and has performed bookkeeping duties for grocery store chains, hotels, and more. It wasn’t until Wellman moved to Gig Harbor 10 years ago that the path to her new career appeared.
Wellman had started a bookkeeping business, through which she met the former film festival director. As a friendship evolved, Wellman was asked to be the organization’s treasurer. The work, she said, was very fulfilling.
The 11-year-old film festival organization is focused on producing an independent film festival that’s held each fall. The event showcases 80 filmmakers and screens 100 films to an audience of more than 4,000. There also are several community events held throughout the year.
After serving on the board for a couple of years, Wellman stepped into the executive director role in April 2016. She said she finds it a perfect fit for her personality. While numbers-oriented, organized, and detail-driven, she also is a people person, who understands how to manage and rally 100-plus volunteers.
“I’m a pretty easygoing person,” Wellman said. “This organization is run mostly by volunteers, and it’s really important to maintain those relationships.”
Photos below courtesy Jenny Wellman
6 a.m. | First thing in the morning, I check my emails with my morning coffee.
6:45 a.m. | I see my daughter off to school.
7 a.m. | Some of the best things about living in Gig Harbor are the short walks I take through the harbor.
9 a.m. | The five-minute commute to my office also is a huge perk of small-town life.
10 a.m. | At the office getting some paperwork done before the office fills up with our amazing volunteers.
11 a.m. | We are fortunate to have volunteers helping us out. Today they are folding shirts for an upcoming event.
1 p.m. | Once everything is ready to go, we load up shirts and supplies for the event.
3 p.m. | I perform an orientation for our event volunteers so they’re ready to go for the big day.
5:30 p.m. | Picking up my kiddo after work. Now my workday is over and it’s time for family.
9 p.m. | At the end of the day, I like to spend some time cuddling our dog, Dug.