Jane Dvorak, chair-elect of PRSA, is one of those rare public relations professionals who has only had two jobs during her long and successful career. In this Career Capsule, Jane discusses how time flies when you love what you’re doing. You can see why this Denver-based pro describes herself as a “Consultalancer©.
Well, 30 years ago I would have hardly told you I would work in my basement with a plumber as my primary client. Funny how life sends you down a track to your dream job. That’s what I have now, the dream job I never even knew I wanted. You see, I was going to be the next media maven in Denver. The spokesperson extraordinaire and then community relations came along. Thank goodness!
My journey started out with my junior high (yep, middle school as we say now) counselor who believed in my aspiration to be the first in my family to earn a bachelor’s degree. He’s the one who “found” PR based on some aptitude tests I had taken in high school. Off to Colorado State’s journalism school I went and the rest is history. He couldn’t have been more right in the choice and 30+ years later I couldn’t be more enamored with my career path.
I’ve only had two jobs in all of my career. Few can say that. I started at a large nonprofit and handled PR statewide. At one point I could drive through any city/town in Colorado and name the newspaper! While I’d love to tell you this was a fabulous work experience, it was really the challenges of this job that taught me the most. I credit my supervisor for my ability to manage people well because she taught me all the things not to do. For all the tough lessons it was also where I learned about community relations, collaborative partnerships and bringing teams together for success. It put me in my dream job today.
Fast forward five years and you have a soon-to-be-mom happy with the concept of becoming the June Cleaver of my generation. House in the burbs, dog, you get the idea. And then I got the call to write a newsletter, some adult conversation sounded fabulous. I secured my first contract and JKD & Company was born. The 13-stair commute has been fantastic ever since.
In the last 26 years I’ve had the chance to counsel business owners, strategize key messages, create comprehensive communications programs, mitigate crises, develop awareness campaigns, tell intriguing stories and implement creative special events. I get to work with small businesses, nonprofits, trade associations, universities, startups and municipalities. My corner of the basement has resulted in numerous awards, a Silver Anvil – that plumber is pretty innovative! – and a chance to explore many industries. From nonprofit PR Director to company owner, the journey has been amazing and I’m blessed for the experience.
Jane’s career path:
- Public Relations Coordinator – 1983-85 – American Heart Association of Colorado
- Public Relations Director – 1985-1988 – American Heart Association of Colorado
- President — 1989-present – JKD & Company