Name: Dr. Janice Witt Smith, MBA, PCC
Leadership Charlotte (LC) Class: Class 39 (The Best Class EVER!)
Title/Company: Founder and Chief Strategist, J.W. Smith and Associates, LLC–An executive, leadership, and small business development coaching and leadership company where we specialize in developing Women Leaders and Leaders of Color
Hometown: Lynchburg, VA
Education: B.S. in Management from Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, IN; MBA with concentration in Human Resource Management; PhD in Human Resource Management, Organizational Behavior, Labor Relations and Organizational Theory with a Minor in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, from Virginia Tech; SPHR; and ICF PCC
Current personal or leadership goals: Strengthen my faith; enjoy time with my husband of 33 years, the “original” Will Smith, and my family; build my business; and be an advocate for social justice in EVERY community to which I belong
If you could describe your Leadership Charlotte experience in three words or phrases, what would they be?
Life-changing; empowering and uplifting; challenging
What advice would you give to current Leadership Charlotte participants?
Embrace every minute. Get to know your classmates. Do a real deep dive into at least two topics of passion and then develop a strategy to make a real difference in at least one area.
What is a lesson that you learned through LC that has stuck with you and why?
Our community has a number of significant issues that we face. Without Leadership Charlotte, I would not have known the magnitude of many issues that do no face me or the wealth of engaged and committed individuals who are involved in finding solutions to those problems. Sometimes we only see the surface, and we may feel overwhelmed. In spite of the challenges, I feel very hopeful and that I am not in the battle to make this a better community by myself. I now know more about the way things are done, decisions are made, community groups partner, and resources are deployed.
What are you doing in the community these days?
I am a member of the Charlotte Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and support its variety of educational and social activism initiatives. I also volunteer in CMS schools (will again post-COVID); active in sorority and church; work with Women’s Business Center of Charlotte in providing training for entrepreneurs; conduct biblical pre-marital and marital counseling; speaker for nonprofits on leadership and being a leader for life; chapter leader of a woman’s prayer group; conduct training for leaders of a global prayer group based in Greensboro; write newsletters for my community magazine; provide workshops for women leaders and leaders of color; and am building my business, J.W. Smith and Associates, LLC.