Interview Series: Jess Zemlicka, Public Relations and Media Manager

We want you to be able to get to know our newest member of the ONA team, Jess Zemlicka! She is serving ONA as our new Public Relations and Media Manager. We wanted you to get to know her a little better so we asked her all the tough questions 😉 and you can read her responses below.

How did you learn about ONA and why you decided to get involved?

Having volunteered for ONA in the past, and knowing Susan and MeKenzie for just over five years, I was familiar with the organization’s mission and service. I had always thought about joining the ONA team in a larger capacity. I mentioned this, and my interest in expanding my public relations and marketing skills, to Susan and we agreed to hit the ground running! I’m very excited to be working with the team and helping serve our veterans and active duty service members!

What role are you filling with ONA?

I am ONA’s PR & Media Manager. I’ll be connecting our mission and services to local news outlets, getting the word out so we can serve even more veterans and active duty service members. Once we’re able to host and take part in events, I’ll be there volunteering with my husband and son and our wonderful team! 

We just love your relationship with MeKenzie! Tell us how you two are connected and how you’ve become so close.

MeKenzie and I are connected in a lot of ways! She is my sister-in-law, son’s godmother, maid of honor, wedding officiant and one of my best friends! Not only are we all that, we’re less than 12 hours apart in age! Our friendship started when I began dating her brother, Brennan, almost six years ago. We have grown closer every year since even though we’ve never lived in the same town together. She really has become my sister! 

What are your hobbies?

My husband and I really love to go antiquing, thrifting and doing DIY projects together. I also love to cook and do hand embroidery/cross stitching. Most recently, I started a Poshmark closet (@focusedthreads) where I sell second hand clothings, shoes and accessories!

What is your favorite book, podcast, and/or TV show and why?

I really love listening to true crime podcasts! I don’t have a favorite, but my recommendations are My Favorite Murder, And That’s Why We Drink and Crime Junkie. Plus, all are run by amazingly smart and strong women! I’ve been a fan of true crime since I was younger and watched Lifetime movies and Unsolved Mysteries. 

As far as TV goes, I really love British and historical fiction shows. My favorites are Downton Abbey, Outlander, Great British Baking Show, and, my guilty pleasure, The Only Way is Essex. 

What inspires and motivates you?

My happiness and enjoyment for what I do on a daily basis is what inspires and motivates me. If I’m not happy about or enjoying what I’m doing or experiencing, then why do it? My happiness is spending time with my son and husband, being able to enjoy my hobbies, and knowing that every day I do something that helps someone else. 

What do you want to be when you grow up? / What is your dream job?

Honestly, I’m not sure. I have been wondering this myself for the last couple years. When I was younger, I wanted to be a lawyer. In college, I wanted to work for a professional sports team doing community relations. I’m currently exploring digital media and graphic design by taking free online courses and watching YouTube videos to explore both areas and what the work entails.

Allison Foster

Director of Communications and Care Packages

Jess Zemlicka

Public Relations and Media Manager

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