There are doers and there are be-ers. Jennifer Martin is definitely a doer.
A lifelong skier, snowboarder, and whitewater rafter, as well as an accomplished equestrian (accomplished enough that she almost considered turning professional as a teenager) and certified scuba instructor, Martin cofounded the University of New Mexico women’s soccer team before she even graduated (in 1991) and only three years later founded Xynergy, Inc., her award-winning web design and digital marketing company.
“Growing up,” she says now, looking back to her earlier years when she’d wanted to study illustration and 3-D animation at the Rhode Island School of Design (where she got in—twice—only she couldn’t afford to go), “I never thought I’d get into the technology business.”
Nevertheless, the stars more or less guided her in that direction. As the only daughter of a mother who was an artist and a father who worked as an engineer at Los Alamos National Labs (and who in his spare time invented things—he holds the patent in the field of Optical Character Recognition technology. Especially given her early affinity for computers, which she’d been tinkering with since second grade.
During and after college, she got into CD-ROM and gaming, teaching herself how to code on her TRS-80. For one project, she drew heavily on R.A. Montgomery’s Choose Your Own Adventure books, which had inspired her. Not two years later, one of her first post-college jobs was working as the Graphical User Interface (GUI) designer/programmer at Intermagic, on an adaptation of Montgomery’s Comic Creator, one of the earliest incarnations of CD-ROM software developed for Apple Computers.
At that point, she figured she’d work for maybe a year, two max, in Santa Fe, then move on to New Orleans. But the combination of art and graphics and computers proved to be too tempting. Within two years of having worked on Comic Creator, she founded Xynergy. At that time, Xynergy was a huge gamble—seeing that the number of websites in the entire world at that time amounted to 1,400. Yes. 1,400. Today, there are over 140,000 websites that launch every day.
“The internet has only gotten bigger and bigger and a lot more complicated,” says Martin, who celebrated Xynergy’s 22nd-year anniversary earlier this year. “There are more tools to make it happen, and it may seem like you don’t have to work as hard. But you do. Developers, especially, have to constantly educate themselves about what’s new, what’s changing, what’s going on.”
Over the years, Martin and Xynergy have developed and maintained websites for clients as diverse as Los Alamos National Labs (for whom Xynergy produced and oversaw their intranet, from 2006-08) and Shirley MacLaine, and worked on state and federal projects from the New Mexico Office of the Governor to the New Mexico Film Office. And Martin herself has served on several boards (Theater Grottesco, the New Mexico branch of the American Advertising Federation) and has contributed free help and website development to numerous charity organizations, from the New Mexico Special Olympics to United Way to Girls Inc.
Her goal now is to keep Xynergy nimble and to continue its expansion—from the web design company it started out as to the digital marketing ninja it has turned into—and to remain true to the unparalleled level of quality, dedication, and personal service we provide to our clients.