Did you ever watch the HGTV show Room by Room? If so, then you have Hudsonite Janis Worley to thank for that.
As the director of new product development at Sherwin Williams in the early ‘90s, Janis was tasked with creating a new product: a television show. When she said she had no experience, as someone who worked in marketing in finance, her boss said, “You watch TV. How hard can it be?”
While Janis served as the show’s executive producer at the start, the show was picked up by HGTV and production moved to Knoxville. Janis decided to pursue something else.
She opened her own production company, making commercials and working with PBS stations 45 and 49 to make documentaries. For those documentaries, Janis won some Emmys and national awards.
“It was during that time period while I was doing my own freelancing that I started to get super involved in the community,” she says.
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In 2002, Janis began volunteering with Junior League of Akron, serving as its president and then sustainer representative. She has also played roles in several other non-profit organizations in Akron, including the Summit County Historical Society and the Women’s Board of Akron Children’s Hospital. She spent four years as the president of the board for the Ronald McDonald House and has also helped out with Art Bomb Brigade and Crafty Mart. She is part of Leadership Akron. After a few years working at One of A Kind Pet Rescue, Janis is now the Finance and Operations manager at First Congregational Church of Akron.
“If you need something done, give it to a busy person,” she jokes. “I’m pretty efficient. I’m really good at multitasking, somehow I manage to do it. The thing is, if you enjoy what you’re doing, it doesn’t feel like work.”
When she isn’t volunteering or in board meetings, Janis loves spending time with her two children or doing something artistic.
“I’m a very weird combination of left brain right brain because I do finance for a living. I do accounting. I work with numbers all day long. But I have this secret Martha Stewart in me,” she says.
She says her favorite thing about Akron is its “small big city” vibe.
“I think that you can have such a big city with such great opportunities with the arts and entertainment and everything and still be able to run into people you know. I think it’s a real tight-knit community,” she says.