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Jennifer Kester

How we support our customers through their grief

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Better Place Forests creates and maintains conservation memorial forests for people who choose cremation and don’t want their ashes to end up in a traditional cemetery.

Empathetic and compassionate are two words that describe everyone at Better Place Forests. These skills are especially important to the day-to-day work of our customer care team who spends their days supporting our customers through complex planning and feelings of grief. Jennifer Kester is one of these amazing people helping our customers every day. Learn more about Jennifer and her journey to Better Place Forests.

Jennifer was raised in Southern California, not far from our Lake Arrowhead forest. Unfortunately, like many people Jennifer experienced loss from an early age. “My father passed suddenly when I was 17. It was unexpected and no one had planned for it so I’ve seen firsthand how chaotic it can be planning for the end of life when no preparations have been made,” said Jennifer. “It can really impact a family and cause added stress on top of mourning and loss.” 

This early loss caused Jennifer to want to help those around her. After spending time as a teacher she began working in customer care, eventually finding her way to Better Place Forests — becoming the founding member of the customer care team. “The mission of customer care just felt natural to me. Interacting with people and being able to communicate and support their needs is very human and rewarding,” said Jennifer. 

Fast forward three years and Jennifer is still making a huge impact on our customers’ lives every day. She is now a part of our technology team, working on the tools that help people explore the forest, choose a memorial tree, and make their plans. During her career at Better Place Forests, she’s seen the company grow from just one forest in Point Arena to 10 forests across the country. “It’s been amazing to have joined the company when opening forests in multiple states was just a twinkle in our eye — and now we have forests in six states!” said Jennifer. “It’s been exciting to see how necessary we are in the end-of-life space, which doesn’t offer a good variety of options to people.”

Jennifer continues helping those making end-of-life plans and dealing with grief. Through the many hats that Jennifer has worn at Better Place Forests, one thing remains true — her desire to help others. 

“One piece of wisdom I always try to remember is that there is no one way to grieve. Everyone going through grief is going to experience it in their own unique way,” said Jennifer. “It’s important that we meet them where they are, and not be prescriptive about what grief should look like or how we should respond to that grief.” 

We’re lucky to have Jennifer and her years of experience. We think she summarizes it perfectly when she said, “The best thing we can do for our customers is to listen and be a space for their story, whatever it may be.” 

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