Leading a movement to ignite a ripple of change through investing in key members of the community is a huge undertaking. Perhaps it would be a bit easier with your spouse by your side. That’s the hope for Janell and Aaron Lane, who recently introduced the Community Partner Development Center. Through education and resources, the pair hopes to trigger a wave of wellness-focused progress in our area, from the top down.
Answering the call to serve, Janell and Aaron are two of the encouraging, advocating, tide-turning People of Parkview.
Janell M. Lane, MA, LMHC
Aaron J Lane, MSOL
Janell: Community Partner Initiatives Coordinator
Aaron: Community Partner Development Coordinator
Describe your career journey:
Janell: I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychological Science with double minors in Criminal Justice and Criminology. I got my Masters of Art degree in Mental Health, Community Track, from Ball State University.
After graduation, I got licensed in a variety of settings. Although I love working with all populations and diverse caseloads, it has always been one of my goals to help provide education/awareness of mental health issues and how they impact the African American community, and connect people with resources/tools.
I began my career as a therapist with an internship at the Counseling Center at Ball State University. In 2010 I moved to Indianapolis and began working at Midtown Community Mental Health Center (A Division of Wishard Health Network) as an Outpatient Clinician, which is by far one of the most challenging jobs I’ve ever had, seeing some of the horrific things that children go through. During this time, my high school principal asked me to move home for a position with the Jobs for America’s Graduates Program as a JAG Specialist assigned to Paul Harding High School.
I worked with the JAG students at Paul Harding for one year before the principal of New Haven High School offered me a position as a Restorative Manager. The following year I was offered the same position at the East Allen County Schools District Office. For 2 years I traveled to secondary schools in the district and worked with students who were struggling behaviorally, academically, or who were in difficult family/living situations. At this time I also began working part-time at the Center for Non-Violence, running court-ordered groups for the Women’s Program.
Although I loved the work, it was difficult managing both the workload and family life. So I accepted a position with the Allen Superior Court developing the Bright Stars program, focused on teaching parents how to stimulate healthy brain development in their infants/toddlers. Just after developing the program, I was offered a role as Director of Programs and Therapeutic Services at Vincent Village, Inc. I was able to add structure and therapeutic components to the program, which I loved. I accepted a job with the Parkview Employee Assistance Program in December 2014. When the opportunity to be the Parkview Community Partner Initiatives Coordinator presented itself I knew I had to take it, especially since it enables me to continue working for Parkview, but to help larger pockets of people. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I love my job!
Aaron: A great deal of my life was consumed by sports. I played football from the time I was 7 until I was in my 20s. From Metro Youth Sports to the NFL, I had all my eggs in one basket. I played ball at Purdue University, and by the grace of God, I was a free agent to the Miami Dolphins in 2008. After going through rookie mini-camp, I was released. I then played arena football for a few years, before I decided to start figuring out what was after football. Even though I had a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology, I was lost.
A great friend of mine, Michael Ledo Sr., had just started a new company called AWP Sports Training, and he hired me to come on and help train athletes at different locations. I worked for AWP for about 7 years (2008-2015), until I decided to take on some other opportunities. I ventured into the workforce trying to find my calling, as well as pursue personal and professional growth and financial stability. I dabbled in different occupations, including time as an AT&T Retail Sales Consultant and with East Allen County Schools as a District Homeless Student Liaison. Both jobs were great, but for different reasons – my values being challenged and positions being grant-funded – I decided to seek new opportunities.
While I was pursing my master’s degree in Organizational Leadership, I spent some time at Parkview and I fell in love with the culture. An opportunity opened up to be an Organizational Development Specialist and I was fortunate enough to get it. For me it was a no brainer! It provided me with financial stability and growth opportunities, and it fulfilled my passion and purpose. I began working for Parkview in December of 2014, and have enjoyed every minute since.
What is the Community Partner Development Center and how did it come to be?
Janell: The concept of the CPDC evolved from conversations between Aaron, Parkview administration, and me regarding community needs, a need within the health system, and the work we were already doing in the community. It was a natural transition for us to do the work under the Parkview umbrella.
The CPDC is an innovative, proactive way to impact community healthcare by investing in community members and leaders on the front end. These leaders, in turn, continue to invest in others. If people are taking a more “wellness-centered” approach and focusing on living a healthier lifestyle, making healthier decisions and self-care, it leads to a win-win situation for all involved.
Aaron: It was developed to provide tools and resources to leaders, youth, and parents of all organizations and walks of life. Through this center, we will provide opportunities for personal and professional development and growth. All will be able to participate in programming at our location, as well as schedule us to join their organizations to provide training and programming for their particular populations served. Our goal is to also find innovative ways to address community needs impacting all sectors, through programming, funding, and in-kind services.
How did you select the location?
Janell: Aaron and I have always been drawn to the Summit Campus for some reason. The first time we ever toured the campus, I just had a feeling we were supposed to be there. I guess it was a God thing. When we were asked to find a location on the south side of Fort Wayne and the Summit was thrown out as a suggestion, we immediately jumped on it. It felt like a natural fit.
Aaron: Janell and I have used the facilities for many of our personal events. It’s a great location that has a similar mission and vision as Parkview, is well-kept, easy access for the population we want to serve, and has great resources on campus.
What can you tell us about The Summit campus?
Janell: First and foremost The Summit Campus is very warm and inviting. It’s a very comfortable environment that welcomes all who step foot on campus. It’s covered in common areas that encourage collaboration among the many community partners that are housed there. The Summit staff has been very strategic in only choosing partners with similar missions to instigate synergy and relationship building among partners.
Aaron: The Summit campus is looking to be a hub of community resources whose mission is to impact the community we live in. The ideal is to be a one-stop shop to meet many of the needs our community faces and deals with on a daily basis.
What is a typical day like?
Janell: No two days are alike. Some days we may be doing in-house training sessions for community members, others we may be presenting at a partner agency, and others we may have a booth set up at a community event explaining our services and handing out marketing materials and Parkview giveaways. That’s what I love about the job; there is so much diversity in what we do. There’s a piece that deals with making recommendations for funding community projects that align with our health initiatives. There are training/professional development aspects, program development aspects, a program assessment piece, personal and interpersonal development and training aspects, etc. We work with leaders, we work with community members, we work with staff members at other agencies, and we work with many Parkview co-workers and leaders to coordinate our community work with internal initiatives. We wear many hats.
Aaron: We are very active with many community organizations, from being on committees and boards, to doing programming at their facilities or ours. Our schedules keep us very active and involved. There is not a lot of downtime within our days, but it is what we both love to do, so it keeps us energized and committed to what God has called us to do, serve!
What sort of difference do you hope to make in our community?
Janell: I hope to help people gain awareness that they did not have before, both on a professional and a personal level. My hope is that people walk away from our trainings with little gems that they can implement at work and at home that improve their quality of life in both places. If we can create a safe environment for people to not only receive new and valuable info, but to open up, fully engage, and apply the information to their lives so that it sticks, then we’ve done something right. If people walk away feeling fed, with some new knowledge that impacts the way they work with others, to me, that’s a job well done!
Aaron: Our primary responsibility is to just provide opportunity and hope. We believe that it takes a village to do all things in abundance. With that being said, we want our community to come together through collaboration and individual efforts to do what is best for all. We strive to support in many different ways, which is why Parkview has made this investment in us, which in turn is an investment into our communities and partner organizations.
What is your favorite part of your day-to-day routine, and why?
Janell: I love working with people and all the variety in our work. Being able to provide the services free of charge to organizations that often would not otherwise be able to afford them is also very rewarding. We get to not only see the impact our work is making in visible ways, but we hear how verbally grateful the organizations are for Parkview’s willingness to create these positions, generosity in gifting the services, and innovative vision for perceiving the need.
Aaron: My favorite part is being able to meet with individuals and groups, may it be in a meeting setting or training capacity. I love having the opportunity to grow others and myself, as well as challenge and be challenged. This allows me the opportunity to plant seeds. And watching others on their journeys and seeing the process of watering those seeds is fulfilling.
What inspired you to go into this profession?
Janell: I have always been extremely perceptive and aware of community needs and had innovative ideas as it pertains to problem-solving or finding creative ways to address issues. I love program development and taking an idea, from the concept stage to actuality. Stepping into this role has provided lots of that. We have had an active part in helping to develop the program from the paper stage to actual implementation, including every detail down to design of office space. We also assist with program development support for many of the organizations we work with.
Aaron: It’s my calling! Operating in my purpose is not work, its part of my process to fulfill my success bucket!
As a married couple, how do you navigate disagreements about the program?
Janell: This question is hilarious. I actually joke that we are the best co-workers in the world. We actually handle disagreements at work even better than we do at home. We know each other’s strengths and weakness, so many things go unspoken. He knows that I am better with program development and I know that he is the better presenter, so we take the lead in areas where we are best suited. If we ever disagree, I find we are slow to anger, and more apt to listen and compromise while at work. We give each other the same respect we would another co-worker. After all we have to go home together!
Aaron: The infamous question! Janell and I work exceptionally well together. We share a passion for others, as well as servitude, therefore, we like to say we are “On a Mission”. When it comes to navigating disagreements, we can agree to disagree on certain things, but a lot of it is trust that we both want to do what is right for those we are serving, so creating a win/win is ideal. We know when emotion is arising, so we do a great job at separating ourselves and revisiting later.
What’s something you hope to accomplish in your career?
Janell: I hope to make a real difference in the community and to be someone that people remember as having a heart for helping others. Honestly I have already accomplished many of the career goals I’ve set for myself at such a young age. I’ve held leadership positions and had the opportunity to work in a variety of settings with diverse populations. Now my focus is just to make an impact, to really help people in meaningful and lasting ways.
Aaron: I just want to make a difference through caring for others. I spent a great deal of my life self-consumed, and it got me nowhere. I soon learned that this life isn’t about me, and that my fulfillment and success in life is through relationships, whether with my family, my wife, my son, or my community. Planting seeds in others to help them grow, and watering the seeds that have been planted in me for continual growth!
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
Janell: I actually hate being in the limelight. Both Aaron and I are powerful presenters and have so much experience speaking and being involved in the community, but I think people would be surprised to know how anxious I get about being on stage, being videotaped, radio interviews, etc. I am an external processor and very verbal, but there is a shyness about me as it pertains to being up in front of others.
Aaron: I love the arts! I am very into music (all genres), poetry, dance, fashion, etc. I have done dance performances (hip hop dancing), fashion shows, gospel miming, etc. I also love to roller skate and shop!
What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
Janell: Go to the movies, out to eat (I am a foody), and travel (which I don’t get to do much of because I have a 20-month-old son).
Aaron: Spend time with family, spend time with my wife and son, workout and eat.
If you could tell people to read one book in their lifetime, which would it be?
Janell: “Captivating” by Stasi Eldridge.
Aaron: There are several great books out there, but I would say, “Intentional Living”, by John Maxwell or “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren.
What would we find on your bucket list and what do you plan to check off next?
Janell: More traveling.
Aaron: Zip lining, traveling out of the country and a cruise. My next check off is going to be zip lining and traveling out of the country. I am in the process of planning both!
How do you like to unwind?
Janell: Movies, massage, date-nights (with a baby and very active community lives, we have to be strategic here!).
Aaron: It depends on my mood. Sometimes I unwind by kicking my feet up and watching a movie or shows, or working out.
Parkview Community Partner Development Center, The Summit, 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd., Fort Wayne, Ind. For more information, contact Janell at (260) 423-0016 ext. 2832 or Aaron at (260) 423-0016 ext. 2831.