A Journalism graduate of the University of California Berkeley, Janis originally thought she would follow in the rich journalism tradition of many family members. She started her career at the Chicago Sun-Times, working as an assistant in their syndication group –- helping edit and distribute columns for the likes of Ann Landers, Sylvia Porter and Evans-Novak. She went on to edit a monthly business magazine, managed in-house corporate communications for a Fortune 500 company, and worked for a national public affairs firm, whom she credits with giving her the experience and the confidence to start her own company.
Since founding MacKenzie Communications in 1983, Janis has spent more than three decades sharing her depth of experience, extensive community involvement and large professional network with clients ranging from countries, colleges and universities, multinational corporations, public agencies and major nonprofits. She also works with senior executives on expert positioning and career transitions and leads MacKenzie’s thought-leadership initiatives.
Deeply involved in the Bay Area business community, Janis is the former Chair and a current Board member of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, where she advocates for attracting, developing and retaining businesses in San Francisco and the region. She is current chair of the Five Buckets, Four Shovels Foundation, focused on financial literacy, and serves on the Board and Executive Committee of the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, the Wells Fargo Community Advisory Board, and the British-American Business Council of Northern California. Previously, she chaired the $100 million Saint Francis Foundation and has served on a number of other regional nonprofit boards, including SPUR, SF Travel, United Way and the Fort Mason Foundation.
Janis is a member of International Women’s Forum, and has been named to the San Francisco Business Times Most Influential Women in Business for multiple years. She is a founding member of Women Supporting Leadership and Learning (WELL), an initiative of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. With a long-standing commitment to “doing well by doing good” both personally and professionally, Janis believes that helping others succeed is the most satisfying aspect of her career.