Jan has always been filled with passion for her country, her state, and her community. The daughter of a World War II Vet, Jan holds her father’s values at her core. Civic duty, service to others, honoring those who’ve served our country, respect for the environment, the importance of education, and the significance of the working and middle classes are fundamental to Jan’s principles. Her grandmother, an independent woman and part of the suffrage movement, spoke often about the importance of women’s rights. As one of Jan’s key influences, her grandmother taught her strength was balanced by benevolence, women were capable, self-sufficiency was the basis of independence, and women made great leaders.
Jan has called Lakeland her home for 35 years. As a single parent who raised her son without benefit of child support, Jan knows first-hand the struggles associated with earning just a hair above poverty levels. Though she worked full-time, her income was inadequate to meet the basic needs – food, shelter, utilities, and healthcare – so she took on a second job to make ends meet. During those years, Jan learned that no matter how often she showed up with a positive attitude, no matter how many hours she worked, it was not enough.
After five years of working two jobs and raising her son, Jan returned to college. She graduated with a business administration degree from Florida Southern College in 1998.From there, she found success in a rewarding career where she is respected as a business leader, skilled negotiator, and consensus builder.
In June of 2010, she met Ed Parker, and they discovered they share many values including making family a priority. Over these 10 years as partners, that has meant providing love and care for their parents through serious health issues. As a parent, grandparent, and daughter, Jan lives and understands the challenges of the sandwich generation.