Patricia Jelen

Fabulous People: Patricia Jelen

Patricia Jelen is the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park operations manager in Green Bay, as well as an accomplished artist. Check out her beautiful work at Learn about Patricia Jelen…

Hometown: Suamico, WI

First job: Dishwasher at a country club.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WI: Hiking in the woods, working on my husband’s and my small farm, drawing, painting, sculpting, gardening and loving our pets.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: When I was a kid, I used to go to the school library to read The Encyclopedia Britannica and National Geographic magazine. I loved to learn about the world and all it had to offer–cultures in foreign lands, interesting geography, amazing animals. As a result I had a list in my mind of all of the places in the world I wanted to visit, and I have had the opportunity to visit all but two. Some of the best trips were leading missions trips to remote and/or devastated areas of the world to love others and provide them with basic human needs.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: When I was young I had people in my life that told me I was not good enough, I would never amount to anything, to stop smiling and learn my place. Well, I realized once I grew up and got out in the world that I was good enough, I have amounted to something, I love smiling and laughing and joking around and my place is wherever I want it to be. I know that I can make most anything happen with hard work, an open mind, the willingness to learn and a good attitude.

Someone who inspires you and why: Mary Kay Ash (of Mary Kay Cosmetics fame). She was kind and loving—a gentle force to be reckoned with. I met her at her home in Dallas when I was a young woman beginning my life in business leadership. I found her to be one of the most intelligent and selfless people I have ever met. She taught me a lot about how to operate a successful business by valuing and encouraging others and providing the tools necessary so people can prosper.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Take calculated risks in order to create new opportunities for yourself and your business. I don’t recall ever having said the words “I can’t.” I will always tell myself that I can take on new challenges, and I will try anything as long as it’s legal, honest and moral.

Favorite quote: “Fail forward to success” –Mary Kay Ash

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am actually quite shy. Most people think I’m extremely outgoing. I’d rather be home creating something beautiful than be out and about with others.

What makes someone fabulous: A kind heart—along with a great sense of humor!

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