Like many Sixth District constituents, Jennifer values education, hard work, family and community involvement.
Jennifer Zordani was born in Oak Lawn, Illinois. Jennifer went to Gower junior high school in Burr Ridge and Benet Academy in Lisle. Jennifer attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C. for her first two years of college and transferred to the University of Chicago where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.
After college, she was working at the Chicago Board of Trade, operating a home accessories store with her mom and helping manage a restaurant partly owned by her dad, when friends encouraged her to attend law school. Jennifer attended Chicago Kent School of Law and graduated with honors in 1994. She continued to work while attending law school full time.
Jennifer began her legal career as an associate attorney at Ungaretti & Harris in 1995. She became a partner of the law firm in 2001. In 2012 she left Ungaretti & Harris and opened her own law firm.
Jennifer's law practice focuses primarily on financial services. Her clients include securities and options trading firms, brokers, investment advisers and sophisticated investors. She has practiced corporate law, trademark law and commercial litigation. Jennifer works with many mid-sized businesses. She understands the constraints businesses face, particularly with the escalating costs of regulatory compliance, demand for new and expanded technology and the desire for educated personnel who help drive growth. Jennifer's experience with constantly changing laws provides the foundation for her strong opinions about regulation. She is a strong advocate for effective regulation and particularly efforts directed at improving our capital markets and protecting investors.
While working as an attorney, Jennifer maintained her commitment to community service. For many years she participated in the tutoring program sponsored by the Fourth Presbyterian Church; she was a volunteer at Children's Memorial Hospital, and she served monthly lunches at Deborah's Place, a shelter for women in Chicago.
Jennifer's commitment to volunteerism began in college. In Washington D.C. she volunteered at the Washington D.C. Children's Museum. When Jennifer returned to Chicago, she began volunteering through the Blue Gargoyle organization in Hyde Park. She spent most of her time working in a classroom at the Carnegie grammar school in the Woodlawn neighborhood near Englewood. It was here, working with experienced teachers, that Jennifer recognized the need for pre-school education and additional support for children that do not have resources at home. Jennifer was regularly volunteering in a second grade classroom where children as old as 10 were unable to read. The teacher was required to teach five different reading levels without assistance. Jennifer saw firsthand the dedication of teachers in these classes, but also their frustration. Jennifer later became involved with, and the President of, a non-profit organization with the mission of decreasing truancy rates by connecting low income families with services.
Family is a top priority to Jennifer. When Jennifer's mother began struggling with dementia, she moved in with Jennifer. Jennifer has a sister, Julie, who is a property manager for a condominium building. After Julie divorced and was deciding where to settle with her two children, the sisters decided to move together back to the area where they grew up. They moved to Clarendon Hills in 2014. In addition to its well-regarded public school system, Clarendon Hills has a strong sense of community. The sisters' father is retired and lives in California, but stays with his daughters during the summer when he visits. Jennifer enjoys cooking meals for friends and family on Sunday and, during the summer, is regularly tossing edible flowers from the garden into every salad. With three generations under one roof and more pets than Jennifer would like, there are many comical moments. The living arrangement provides a supportive environment.
Jennifer recognizes her good fortune growing up and living in Chicago's Western suburbs. Like many other Sixth District constituents, she believes that our government plays a vital role in providing opportunities through policies, funding and performance. She is running for the Sixth Congressional District seat to work for the constituents who want to move forward together.