Willpower, courage, and perseverance: these are the words that come to mind after hearing Safija’s life-story. In 1992, the Bosnian War tore through the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the time, Safija was 35 years old and living in Bosnia with her family. The war forced Safija and her two young sons to flee, leaving her husband behind in Bosnia. Safija and her children fled to Croatia but the war eventually made its way there. With no home to return to, they escaped to Germany as refugees and finally to the United States. Thankfully, her whole family was reunited in the United States but escaping the war didn’t mean their hardships were over. Coming to America meant facing more challenges, such as finding work, keeping food on the table, and learning an entirely new language.
After moving to America, not only did Safija take English classes and succeed to learn the language, she also obtained a new job in banking, her first job in America. Back in Bosnia, she earned her degree in accounting, so banking was seemingly a natural fit. Although she loved working at the bank, a new opportunity came along, the opportunity to work at JNCo. as an accountant. When she came to work for JNCo. in 2001, she was excited about the challenges of accounting for a family business. Overtime, many things have changed in the accounting department, especially the use of technology. Technology has become an extremely prominent part in accounting and with Safija’s careful and thoughtful approach to problem solving, she has been able to help grow the department tremendously.
One of Safija’s favorite things about being a JNCo. accountant is connecting with her customers, she especially enjoys the friendly conversations she shares with them over the phone. She really likes her customers and says, “if you ask them, my customers like me too”. Safija also enjoys that her coworkers are like her second family, she says, “it's a good feeling”. Her coworkers appreciate that she is dependable, knowledgeable and thoughtful. They admire that at the end of the month accounts receivable ties out to the penny, which is not an easy task but according to Sheri, “Safija does it effortlessly”. She is a great friend to many of our employees and customers, and JNCo. is extremely grateful to have Safija as part of our work-family.
Outside of the office, Safija enjoys cooking, reading, crocheting and spending time with family (especially her grandchildren). She frequently spends time with her two grandchildren, Hana (2 ½ y/o) and Isa (1 y/o), when she can and facetimes Hana, who lives in Connecticut, everynight. Her favorite dishes to cook are Bosnian dishes, such as filo dough, baklava, and roasted lamb. She also likes to cook seafood, her favorite dish is fried haddock but her family’s taste varies, her husband likes salmon and her two sons like scallops. She finds, the best way to please her family is to cook what her daughter-in-laws’ like, because we all know, a happy wife means a happy husband.
Happiness is what Safija has found and created for herself in America. Her courage to start a new life, learn a new language, and raise two successful sons teaches us that if we persist, even when times are hard, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Safija’s willpower and outstanding work ethic is an inspiration to all of us here at JNCo.