As a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, and one of the country's leading female skydivers, Jen Sharp is frequently invited to share the lessons and experience of skydiving and years in business, drawing analogies to the field and history of skydiving, in venues small and large, from summer children's program to municipal conferences to the state of Kansas Capitol building. Her expertise earned her the position of guest speaker multiple times for the National Dropzone Owner’s Conference as well as the International Parachute Industry Association Expo. She was also the keynote speaker for an audience of approximately 3,000 at the March 2015 Kansas Rural Water Association Conference. In addition, she often writes articles for skydiving and non-skydiving publications, regularly contributing to some, such as United States Parachute Association magazine Parachutist and the Kansas Rural Water Association magazine Lifeline. Recently, she authored a chapter in a book on online adult education. She also maintains a casual blog at jensharp.com.
Teaching is her passion. Since earning her degree in Education, She taught in public schools and at the University level and still teaching private drum lessons to ages 3 to 85. In October 1995, She opened Skydive Kansas, the longest running commercial dropzone in Kansas, located in Osage City, which is known nationally for its educational offerings. Her reputation and credentials as a skydiving instructor/examiner afford her opportunities to travel and teach seasoned instructors how to facilitate their own courses and perform duties of leadership in their own areas. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Education specializing in Curriculum and Instruction at Northcentral University.
Jen explains, "People ask me what I do, who am I? I reply, I'm a Plate Spinner...Not literally. Figuratively. I'm a mom, a skydiver, a drummer, a teacher, a student, a runner, a programmer, a writer, a closet standup comedian, a short order breakfast cook... my eclectic activities enrich my life and keep me busy. Still, my time is valuable but not saturated. (What do they say... if you want something done, ask a busy person?) I'm just addicted to the potential for efficiency."
At 18 years old, she made her first jump November 11, 1989 and is closing in on 6,000 skydives. From October 1995 to February 2017, she owned and operated Skydive Kansas, the longest running commercial dropzone in the state. She is an ERC Director since 2010, an Accelerated Freefall Instructor since 1997, AFF Examiner since 2021, Static Line JM & I ratings since 1992, IAD Instructor since 2022, a Strong Tandem Instructor since 2004, Strong Tandem Examiner since 2009, USPA Coach Examiner since 2003, Safety & Training Advisor from 2003 - 2017; PRO rating since 1994; FAA Senior Rigger since 1995, Master Rigger since 2009. "In 2014, I had the humble pleasure of traveling to Nepal with the Everest Skydive Team as the first female tandem instructor to do tandems there," she recalls. In the non-skydiving scope, she holds a Bachelors in Education, an Associate in Computer Information Systems, and Masters in Business Administration. As she owned her own web programming company for 20 years, she's been able to work as a consultant in many arenas and industries. The unique combination of education, tech, and skydiving coupled with the necessity for safe efficiency as a DZO has honed her focus towards improving education in skydiving. Currently, she is employed by USPA as the Director of Technology doing work as a data solutions architect and database admin among other things.
- Jumps 6,000 in 32 years in the sport
- FAA Senior Rigger since 1995, Master Rigger since 2009
- Static Line Instructor since 1992
- AFF Instructor since 1997
- IAD Instructor since 2022
- USPA Examiner Rating Course Director since 2010
- USPA Coach Course Director / Examiner since 2003
- USPA Strong Tandem Instructor since 2004
- USPA Strong Tandem Examiner since 2009
- USPA AFF Examiner since 2021
- USPA PRO Rating since 1997
- Former Drop Zone Owner of 21 years – "Skydive Kansas"
- Director of Technology for United States Parachute Association
- Bachelors degree in Education (1993), Masters in Business Administration (2013), various Tech degrees/certifications
- Ph.D. Candidate in Education specializing in Teaching and Curriculum