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2023 September Mag

August 28, 2023
Inspirational. Passionate. Authentic.

Meet Jennifer Smith, the CEO of Growth Potential Consulting and the founder of Passionate Leaders Institute®. When it comes to Jennifer, three words immediately come to mind: inspirational, passionate, and authentic. For more than two decades, she has let authenticity and passion drive her work, fueled by an unwavering desire to unlock her clients’ potential by connecting with their own passions.

image of a strong black woman wearing a sea foam colored top staring directly at the camera and wearing black rimmed eyeglasses and a large green stone and blackened silver beaded necklace on a Cerese D magazine cover

Jennifer’s journey began early on when she started volunteering. From active involvement in the youth chapter of the NAACP to showcasing her talents in local community plays, she has always been driven to make a difference. While she initially pursued a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Grambling State University, it was her experience working in a Six Sigma Quality role that revealed her true calling—working with leaders. Following this revelation, Jennifer pursued a master’s degree in Organization Development and Human Resources from the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

Developing Leaders

In 2007, Jennifer took her expertise and founded Growth Potential Consulting. Her firm specializes in assisting Fortune 1000 companies, mid-size businesses, and higher education institutions in identifying, assessing, and developing leaders and their teams. Today, Jennifer is a recognized leader in her industry, having worked with leaders across the globe. She has partnered with clients, coaching and facilitating the growth of over 3,500 leaders spanning 14 different industries.

Throughout her career, Jennifer has developed comprehensive training programs for thousands of employees and successfully coached diverse coalitions of leaders from nine countries, bridging multicultural gaps along the way. Her experience as a diversity leader and inclusion practitioner allows her to genuinely connect with clients and guide them toward becoming strategic, intentional, and passionate leaders.


Jennifer is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated®, an organization focused on “being of service to all mankind.”  Beyond her work, Jennifer remains committed to giving back to her community. She generously dedicates her time to mentoring college students and aspiring leaders, offering invaluable guidance and support to help them thrive. Jennifer’s philanthropic efforts extend beyond mentoring, as she actively contributes to charitable causes and initiatives that align with her values and goals. Notably, she supports organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association and Eden Autism, while also donating to fund scholarships, supporting students’ dreams of pursuing a college education.

Jennifer’s commitment to giving back is a true testament to her character and unwavering dedication to making a positive impact on the world. With her expertise and genuine passion, she is poised to leave a lasting mark on businesses worldwide, inspiring leaders not only to lead but also to live with boundless passion.


In recognition of her accomplishments, Jennifer is a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Alumna and a TEDx Speaker. She is also a Professional Certified Coach, credentialed by the International Coach Federation. This prestigious certification allows her to strategically partner with renowned institutions such as The University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School, Fortune 100 companies, and private organizations. Jennifer volunteers as a speaker during Carey Business School courses and serves as a reviewer for the Leadership in Organizations residency program.

Jennifer Smith embodies the qualities of a remarkable leader—inspiring, passionate, and authentic. Her journey serves as a beacon of motivation for individuals and businesses alike, urging them to embrace their potential and lead a life filled with purpose.

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