Meet Jennifer Wheeler: 30-something, college educated, married 12 years, mother of two, soccer mom… bail bondsman?
At first glance, Jennifer is your typical San Fernando Valley work-from-home-mom. Jen grew up in the Valley, went to private school, achieved a BA in Radio & Film from Cal State Long Beach and married. She worked in the music industry for nearly ten years. Her husband works for Disney. Really, these folks define a “West Valley” family. So how did she become a bail bondsman?
Out of college, Jennifer went to work for KROQ Radio, then moved on to EMI Music, where she started in an entry level position and was running her department as Advertising Supervisor when she had her second child. Parents of two small ones and doing the L.A. Industry carreers, Jen and her husband quickly realized they wanted more for their family than a couple of hours a day with their kids. They agreed to bite the bullet financially and Jen left to start a small ebay business so that they kids wouldn’t grow up in daycare, like they were seeing so often around them.
Making wedding favors and a very part-time job helped the family financially. But when a layoff came from her part-time gig and with the kids both in school, it was time to think about what was next.
That’s where I came in… Jennifer has been a friend of mine for years. I knew she had great judgement, a strong work ethic and a dedication to family – the perfect addition to our bail business.
Jen accepted our invitation to join our business because it fit her need for flexibility: she works when her kids are at school and when they’re asleep. She’s there to get her kids off in the morning, pick them up, make dinner, do homework and be at every game and activity.
Never having had any first-hand experience with the criminal system, Jennifer tells me what interests her most about bail is learning about the justice system and law enforcement as well as helping people in need. Jen had an advantage coming to work for us because she had seen the business from my perspective. She wasn’t surprised by the late hours or the immediacy of dealing with people in crisis.
Jen says that what does surprise her is, “how many ‘everyday people’ get arrested for avoidable mistakes like drug posession or minor warrants that weren’t taken care of — things that seem little, but impact their lives sometimes greatly.”
I asked how people react when Jen tells them she’s a bail bondsman: “Surprise! Most people know nothing about bail bonds. It’s not like telling people you’re a waitress or a CPA, where they get what you do. Saying I’m a bail bondsman is always a conversation starter whether I’m on the soccer field or at a neighborhood party.”
I’m happy to say that Jennifer Wheeler is the newest bondsman at Greg Rynerson Bail Bonds. She’s one of our main front-line employees, answering calls day and night to help California families during a time of need.