A Portrait in Words

About Janell

Born and raised an Iowa farm girl, I was one of those kids who loved to write the dreaded “What I did on summer vacation” essay. I graduated from Allison-Bristow Community SchooI where I played saxophone in the band--marching in parades was the best part!

I attended Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota. There I was editor of the college newspaper and helped out with the yearbook. I received a bachelor’s degree in communication (journalism emphasis). 

I worked in community journalism for 10 years in Clarksville, Charles City and Hampton, Iowa. Becoming a part of those communities gave me a deeper appreciation for small towns and the farming lifestyle.  

Upon my marriage to Frank, I moved to Minneapolis and became a city girl learning to navigate congested freeways, downtown mazes and the Mall of America. (I never did get the hang of that retail mecca.)

I spent 12 years in public relations at my alma mater Northwestern and its 15-station radio network. My role focused on media relations, college publications and fundraising collateral. And I loved being surrounded by those college students!

I was Director of Communications with Leadership Foundations of America, a Christian nonprofit that supports inner-city organizations, for 15 months.The office was in downtown Minneapolis where I felt I was in the Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Then I spent four years as public information specialist with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. I wrote about the beautiful parks, recreational opportunities and environmental issues of a world-renown park system .

Currently, I work as a freelance writer/editor. Clients include Christian nonprofits, small business and corporate. Talk about variety! I've edited communications material for an inner-city ministry and written employee profiles for a railroad maintenance company.