Get to know alumni board member Janelle Jordan ’98
Jordan’s dedication to Ohio State and her Buckeye family is undeniable.
“Dedicated to what I believe in.” That, in her own words, describes Janelle Jordan ’98 to the core, and her dedication to Ohio State and her Buckeye family is undeniable. Consider these truths: Jordan graduated with a triple major in logistics, marketing and international business. In a nine-month period, she earned a varsity letter and set a school record in rowing. She serves as vice chair of the alumni association board of directors and as a leader of the Alumni Club of Minnesota. With the goal of “helping people and processes thrive,” she founded Jordan Solutions LLC in 2015 after 17 years in leadership at General Mills. She credits her Ohio State experience for instilling that desire in her, and for motivating her to apply it personally and professionally to this day.
- Why do you serve on the OSUAA board?
I truly believe it will be one of the greatest honors of my life. I’m representing my community and my family — my parents, siblings, uncle, aunt and cousins. I’m representing my friends, my high school classmates, my fellow alumni and colleagues in Minneapolis, and the nearly 570,000 Buckeye graduates around the world I have not yet met. I have such a deep passion for the connections that Ohio State enabled and want to help other people realize them, too. I also feel very fortunate that I have the time and flexibility to do that.
- Who helped your journey as an undergrad?
I was on the rowing team at Ohio State toward the end of my undergraduate career. I left for a nine-month internship, so when I came back, many of my friends had graduated. I became a varsity rower with Andy Teitelbaum as the head coach; he’s still there today. In rowing, you have an advantage if you’re tall and strong, and I’d been an athlete most of my life, so I started doing it and moved to varsity when they needed one more rower. I started in September and by late May broke the school record on the rowing machine for 2000 meters. I spent hours in the tank working on oar positions and the finesses of working on the water, and I remember Andy and the assistant coaches spending countless afternoons helping me. I’d had wonderful, diverse experiences as an undergraduate to that point, and I was proud to represent the university in this different way. I am grateful to Andy for coaching me, both as a rower and as a person. About a year ago, I was in town for a board meeting, and I went out on the water with the team for a 7 a.m. practice. It was a pretty surreal experience to be an alumna out on the water with the same coach I had 20 years before.
- How did your Ohio State experience prepare you for professional success at General Mills and with your own company?
From a skills standpoint, my business degree was incredible. I felt so well prepared by Fisher College of Business for General Mills and for my MBA work at the University of Minnesota. But when I think about what’s special at Ohio State, there’s the strong execution. As a logistics major, I have always marveled at the fact that at Ohio State commencement, you get your diploma. I have worked with other schools, and they talk about getting a diploma mailed weeks later. At Ohio State, you figure out a way to do it and you do it. It represents just doing this amazing thing because you believe that it should be done. At Ohio State, the expectation of excellence is so great, and that sticks with you your whole life.
- Your Twitter bio is “passionate about girls’ self-esteem, holistic health, and helping people and processes thrive.” The last part is from your business, but what about the first two?
In our culture, girls and boys are raised differently. Many times, boys are encouraged to take risks, and girls need to be polite. My daughters are 9 and 12, and I teach them to take risks. I’m also the founder and troop leader for two Girl Scout troops. Whenever I can, I mentor young girls. In the last few years, I have volunteered more than 1,000 hours for the Girl Scouts organization, because I believe in it. With regard to holistic health, I’ve been managing an autoimmune disease with a naturopath the past four years. On that journey, I’ve learned an incredible amount about holistic healing and anti-inflammatory eating. It’s amazing what a difference it makes to reduce our body’s exposure to chemicals, both in food and in our environment, to give it a chance to heal itself as it was made to do.
Association board welcomes three
These new members of The Ohio State University Alumni Association Board of Directors take office in September. They succeed Jeff Kamin, Liza Reed and Kristin Watt, whose five-year terms are expiring.
Catherine Allendorf Lanning ’00, ’00, ’04 MBA
Senior vice president for property and casualty marketing
Leonard L. Haynes III ’75 PhD, ’90 HON
Senior advisor, Office of the Undersecretary
U.S. Department of Education,
Bernie Savarese ’00, ’11 MBA
Assistant vice president for student success
New York University,
New York City
About the author
Dan Caterinicchia is assistant vice president for strategy and administration in the Office of Advancement.