Jennifer Cast has spent the majority of her career building and scaling businesses in the software, e-commerce and digital sectors. As the 25th employee of Amazon, she had the great pleasure of helping to build “earth’s biggest bookstore” (Amazon’s tagline in its early days); she later founded and led Amazon’s online music store and its physical bookstores. Jennifer has focused her volunteer activities on education, the arts, and LGBTQIA+ civil rights advocacy.
As a young girl in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Jennifer’s favorite activity was reading. Her favorite books—The Boxcar Children; Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me—Elizabeth; and Harriet the Spy inspired her to become the main character and fueled many exciting explorations with her friends. Before becoming a SAL Board member, Jennifer was a longtime SAL audience member and Poetry Series subscriber. Her favorite SAL event of all time was Mary Oliver in 2008. She has loved Mary Oliver’s poetry since 1983 and says that “being in the same room with her, listening to her read was thrilling.”