There is a saying, “Love is an Active Verb,” which Jane Roth embodies. She loves people, not merely in an abstract, passive sense, but with her actions. At work, at home, when traveling- she applies this principle to every aspect of her life. It is one of the many reasons we are honoring her as our September Woman of Kiss.
Jane and Lori
Their friendship began with the clothes. Jane says it was at least 20 years ago. Lori thinks it’s been closer to 30. Regardless, it started this way: “I was lucky enough to spot the Kiss of the Wolf booth at a Smithsonian Craft Show and the rest is history.”
Their common commitment to love as an active verb is at the core of Lori and Jane’s relationship. Beginning with casual conversations at shows and during consults, over the years it grew into a deep, abiding friendship. They describe each other in similar terms: as giving, creative spirits; as adventurous souls; as champions of human rights; as devoted mothers. Each describes the other as her role model.
“My Kiss of the Wolf pieces always make me feel beautiful and special. I’ve expanded my wardrobe to include just about every style that Lori produces. She knows my body and modifies the fitting and colors to bring out the best in me.” – Jane Roth
Jane hasn’t only honored Kiss of the Wolf with her patronage. She’s stepped in like a true friend whenever Lori needed a hand. Last year, when Lori was short an assistant for the Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show, Jane jumped in to help with travel arrangements, booth set up, and customer service. In fact, she’s volunteered numerous times at both the Smithsonian and the Philadelphia Art Museum craft shows.
Jane grew up in a family that has always honored individual differences and taken action to support those in need. Her Irish Catholic mother and Jewish father raised her to respect all people, regardless of race or religious beliefs. They opened their home to fund-raisers and participated in marches during the civil rights movement. Her father was the first to integrate hosiery mills in the South and hired anyone who had a number from the concentration camps. Her brother uses his legal skills to represent those in need.
Jane honors her family’s legacy in her daily actions. She volunteers for and donates to charities and service organizations that assist those in need. Helping Hands International, the Lab School of Washington, and College Bound are among those she’s benefited.
Jane’s active love for people has contributed to her success as an administrator and consultant in the public and private sectors. A national and international evaluation expert in food safety, education, social services, and agriculture, she actively works for inclusiveness and diversity.
When Jane retired from the Department of Agriculture, she was Deputy Assistant Administrator of the Food Safety and Inspection Service. This made her a member of the prestigious federal Senior Executive Service (SES.)
As an administrator, Jane hired, managed, coached, and promoted hundreds of professionals. Her employees came from diverse cultural backgrounds. She hired them, not based on race, age, disability or sexual orientation, but for their skills and potential.
Jane didn’t stop at hiring, though. She valued each individual’s skills and supported their professional growth. From college courses to informal training, she helped her staff expand their skills. Work assignments built on individual strengths, provided challenging opportunities and fostered interdisciplinary collaboration. Jane went beyond diversity training to celebrating diversity.
Above all, Jane respects the value of each person as an individual. As a result, her staff had a broad, complementary range of knowledge and skills. The culture she built, in turn, created success in her career.
Career Consulting and Coaching
Jane now uses her management and hiring experience to assist job seekers. She acts as a mentor and coach to her clients, from job-search, to resume, to interview preparation. For those who are already employed, she helps with professional life-cycle development. She has specialized services for those pursuing SES positions.
Jane also continues to use her expertise as an evaluation consultant. She manages evaluations, conducts training and designs data collection tools.
Traveling with Kiss
Travel is an intrinsic part of Jane’s professional life, just as it is of Lori’s. During her career, she’s conducted evaluations of local, national and international programs. There were speaking engagements, panels, and conferences, as well. One year, she led the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service evaluation team in China.
Since Lori introduced her to the wonders of silk, Kiss clothing has been a staple of Jane’s travel wardrobe. Whether traveling for work or play, it fills Jane’s suitcases as well as her closet.
“I reach for my Kiss of the Wolf whenever I hit the road. These clothes pack easily, pull on quickly and, best of all, they make me look fabulous!” – Jane Roth
Now that she is semi-retired, Jane continues to travel. Her fondness for animals shows in her itineraries. She’s traveled to see polar bears in Canada, brown bears in Alaska, and penguins in Antarctica. The Galapagos showed her a wealth of species. One day, Jane hopes to see the gorillas in Rwanda.
Jane loves travel for the spontaneous connections it creates. Recently, while in Kenya, Jane noticed a confusing mistake on the menu. When she mentioned it, her server asked if she might be willing to talk to her friends. This led to a rewarding conversation with several Maasai youths who were eager to work on their English.
Mentoring deserving young people and helping them make connections is Jane’s passion. By plan or by chance, she delights in sharing her wealth of knowledge with them.
Even her neighborhood dog walker has benefited from her largess. The struggling pre-med student was looking for work and introduced himself. Jane offered to help him with his resume. Jane was impressed, but thought he needed a mentor in his field. She gave his resume to a doctor at Johns Hopkins who was also impressed.
Jane loves people and she lives that love every day. It’s what she does and why she inspires us.
You may contact Jane through her Linked-In Account.