UPstanders of the Upper East Side of Texas
Originally from New Jersey, Jen Katz moved to Tyler in 2003 when her husband, Neal, became rabbi at Congregation Beth El. He had already served the Jewish congregation as a student rabbi for two years.
Jen Katz is the driving force of a movement to forge relationships among various faiths in the Tyler area. When she’s not promoting world peace, Katz works as regional sales director for AFS, which provides leading technology for freight and parcel audit, transportation analytics, and business intelligence to help companies worldwide reduce shipping expenses. With the company for more than 10 years, she is a member of the Million Dollar Club, representing the savings her customers have realized on their shipping expenses.
Katz has been a Girl Scout leader with the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas for nine years, serving troops ranging from Brownies to Seniors. She is also a former board member of Tyler Day Nursery, which provides quality child care and preschool education for children of low-income and poverty level families.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Mary Washington College and a master’s degree in education from George Mason University.
She says the biggest adjustment in moving to Northeast Texas was getting used to the politeness and friendliness typically not seen in larger cities.
“It’s a good place to raise a family,” says the mother of three children, ages 12, 14 and 17. “When they were younger and we visited bigger cities, I felt I needed to keep an eye on them. Here, I feel it’s safer; people look out for each other.”