Written by Georgellen Burnett
Jane Baxter Lynn states she has an African soul. She was born to British parents in Zimbabwe (what was Rhodesia) and lived in Southern Africa for the first thirty years of her life. She still describes living in Africa with words of reverence. Living in Austin reminds her of there, as Hill Country is very similar in many ways to the African bush.
A professional communicator, Jane is principal at JBL Strategies, a strategic business advising firm focused on sustainability whether in buildings and urban growth, personal development, or organizational success. Her company is focused on communications at all levels and she is basically a facilitator whether for strategic planning, program development or bringing together diverse groups to achieve a common goal. In particular, she helps people develop clear positioning and messaging as integral parts of the company or organization’s overall strategic direction. Jane has worked in the travel & tourism, wine, and building industries both globally and regionally. She has a wealth of for profit and nonprofit experience at her client’s disposal and years of experience to devote to any communications challenge.
Jane married a Texan, Frank Lynn, who she met in Belgium and moved to the United States twenty years ago. She and Frank live in downtown Austin where they built a 5-star Austin Energy green rated home with a National Wildlife Federation Wildlife Habitat Certified garden. Jane has always been committed to conservation and the long term sustainability of the planet. She has two step-daughters and four grandchildren, all of whom live in Texas.
Jane has been a member of WCA for eight years, served as the Banner Brunch Silent Auction Chair and now leads the Mentor Program. She loves the diversity of WCA both in terms of disciplines and people. Jane takes her mentoring duties seriously and won the WCA Mentor award, shared with Jenny Magic, this year. Mentors have always been important to her career and she believes in sharing what she’s learned with others. She also believes in adapting to changing environments and addressing the needs and wants of the people one is serving.
Someone once asked her how she came by her ideals. She says that, clichéd as it sounds, she got many of them from her parents. They taught her that no matter who someone is they have a right to an opinion, which can then be channeled depending on the circumstance. She describes her mother as an amazing ninety-one-year-old going on sixty eight, who is still going strong. Jane is always grateful for what she has for there are so many who have less. She also doesn’t stress about things she can’t control. As she says, “There’s always another bus coming.”
When asked what she wanted to say to WCA members, she emphasized the need for networking and maintaining that network on an an ongoing basis. “Don’t just show up when you need something,” she stated. “Keep in touch and show interest in the other people’s lives.” That is one of the things Jane finds so rewarding about WCA: meeting and learning from all the fascinating and strong women who support each other.
Jane reiterates that so much of business is based on trust so it is important to always do your best for your client. She cautions though that you should be sure you are being paid what your worth. “Present your requirements in an unemotional manner, and they will accept them. Don’t be afraid to walk away if they don’t.”
Jane’s hobbies include bird watching, food and wine, music, and dancing.