Janis Johnson formed JJohnson Communication in Marin County, California in 2005 after more than a decade as a senior communications executive in higher education and health care and 25 years as an award-winning journalist with major news media. Her diversified career as a strategist and practitioner who has built and managed communications teams and initiatives in complex organizations brings a broad portfolio of strategic communications skills to the critical issues facing higher education, health care institutions, community nonprofits and small and entrepreneurial businesses.
As a senior partner with The Napa Group, a management consulting firm specializing in strategy, leadership and organizational design, she helps leaders and organizations develop the strategies – strengthened by internatl and external strategic communications programs, messaging, relationships and staff capabilities – to build market position and stakeholder buy-in and engagement. She also conducts best practice research, strategic plan facilitation and client and project management.
Because of her strong background in fundraising communications, she also partners with Marts & Lundy, a national fundraising consulting firm, and Partnership Resources Group, specializing in the Northern California nonprofits.
Previously Janis spent 12 years in senior communications positions at Georgetown University, Georgetown University Medical Center and Loyola Marymount University. As assistant vice president, she oversaw the award-winning communications for Georgetown University’s $1 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign, then the largest and most successful in the university’s history. In that capacity, she developed and led an integrated campaign marketing program of brand development, publicity, print materials, films and electronic and Internet media. Before that, in the mid-1990s she was director of communications for Georgetown University Medical Center during a volatile period of downsizing and mergers, responsible for external and internal communications and the development of materials for health practitioners and consumers.
As assistant vice president at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles from 2001 to 2005, Janis built the institution’s first comprehensive communications office and led a multi-year award-winning branding initiative that repositioned the institution as “LMU in LA.” That refreshed identity raised the visibility of the university in the West and strengthened its positioning for a $300 million fundraising campaign.
Her recent book, The Artist’s Eye: Vernon P. Johnson’s Watercolors of 1950s Small Town America, chronicles small town America in the 1950s through the visually detailed paintings of her father — and the stories behind them — along with her own memories (see sidebar).
For the first 20 years of her career, Janis was a staff writer for The Washington Post and later a correspondent for USA Today, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Miami Herald, Miami-South Florida Magazine, the Boston Globe and other publications focusing on news, politics, business, health, science, religion, travel and other lifestyle topics. She won several magazine awards for her work, including a special Fund for Investigative Journalism grant.
Janis is a member of the International Association of Business Communicators, the Public Relations Society of America and the Association of Fundraising Professionals. She also has served on the board of directors of To Celebrate Life Breast Cancer Foundation in Marin County. Janis has been the “woman traveler” behind the popular travel blog, Womantraveler: Travel on Your Own Terms since 2005 (www.womantraveler.info). She is a graduate of Duke University.