Jenn Schimmelpfennig
Back to the People

Question your assumptions. Stick to your convictions.


Jenn Schimmelpfennig

Jenn believes that marketing is powerful, and it should be used for good. In 2006, she set out to create a conscientious, progressive ad agency. It would be a boutique firm, attracting designers, writers, strategists, sociologists, economists, and others who shared her vision. Clients appreciate Jenn’s ability to listen, but also her ability to challenge them. She works with cities, causes, corporations, and creative enterprises to push their brands forward. This extends to her volunteer work where she serves on the boards of the Indianapolis Parks Foundation and Exodus Refugee Immigration.

I was 25 when I started Pivot. I’m not 25 anymore, but with age comes experience. The agency has grown up around strategy, design, and writing—getting sharper every year. The vision has always been to come alongside people and organizations who are doing meaningful work and to help them make progress, whatever that means for them.

Structure with just the right amount of chaos. That’s what we’re aiming for. Staying disciplined without giving up spontaneity. Dreaming big without ignoring the nuts and bolts. Asking the right questions while trusting your gut. It’s all a balancing act.

I could never decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. Psychologist, teacher, researcher, librarian, artist. I combine all of those now. I’m a perpetual student of different industries, and what I learn while solving one problem helps solve the next.

Persuasion is a big responsibility. We use psychology and art and writing to influence people. We can’t take that lightly. That doesn’t mean we can’t have fun with projects, but it does mean we approach our work seriously. We don’t phone it in.

We believe in our clients. If you’re going to help grow a brand, you must care about its mission. Doesn’t matter if it’s nonprofit or for-profit. You can’t put your best effort into a project you don’t believe in.

I have to remember to breathe. Hiking, biking, yoga. Shifting gears is critical. I get close to nature to give myself headspace. I’m also trying to read more, and I’m learning to cook.

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Jenn Schimmelpfennig