“In order to find the source of issues and remedy them, we have to be proactive instead of reactive.”
This is one of Jessica Martinovic’s mantras, which helps her give back to the community and make the world a better place. A Starke County native, Martinovic is a diligent and upstanding individual with a passion for people.
“There are so many things that I want in my community,” Martinovic said. “Since I’m living here, why not try to make it a better place?”
Martinovic works as the Starke County Director of Development for the Northern Indiana Community Foundation (NICF), a nonprofit organization that uses endowment funds to help the communities of Starke, Fulton, and Miami counties. Her job is to talk with donors about their charitable intentions and passions and to connect them with community needs. In addition, her position requires extensive knowledge and awareness of the Starke County community.
“While we have a lot of meetings in-office, I’m also often out interacting with the community,” Martinovic said. “We’re meeting with donors and giving them updates on their funds, as well as conversing with many charity organizations.”
Coming from a family that aspires to pay it forward, Martinovic was a Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship recipient in 2011. Shortly after, she joined NICF as an intern during her undergraduate studies. While there, she fell in love with the organization and the work they do.
“My family has always inspired me to give back and not ask for recognition,” she said. “Ultimately, it feels rewarding to help those in need.”
In addition, Martinovic mentioned how she has a passion for writing and wants everyone to embrace their creative side. She helped create the Constellation of Starke Creatives Network, an initiative to connect talented local creatives to enhance the community’s arts and culture scene.
“I want a place where I can go that embraces local writing, music, and art,” she said. “This would help fulfill my creative side in the long run.”
All of this culminates in a positive outlook for those around her.
“It may be the writer in me, and also the work I'm involved in, but it's important to me to recognize and remember that every person has a story,” Martinovic said. “Everyone has had experiences that have led them to where they are. It's important to me to not take a person for what I see on the surface but to get to know them and their story.”
Martinovic lives in Starke County with her husband Milos and is expecting a baby girl – Violeta Grace – in March. In her free time, she spends time with her family, reads, and travels.