Q: Where did you grow up?
A: Rennerdale, PA. It is a small town outside of Carnegie in Southwestern PA.
Q: How did you hear about Innovation Works?
A: When I was working with the Army Artificial Intelligence Integration Center, I found myself embedded within the supportive tech community in Pittsburgh. I heard that Innovation Works is a key member of the startup ecosystem and wanted to learn more.
Q: What drew you to work here?
A: The opportunity to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams while promoting the city that I love. If Innovation Works achieves its goals, that means that everyone around us is successful.
Q: Let’s say I’m an entrepreneur in Southwestern Pennsylvania, what can I ask for your help on?
A: I specialize in strategic branding and amplifying that message with digital marketing. My goal is to help entrepreneurs tell their stories to the right audience at the right time. My experience across fashion, legal, transportation and emerging technology markets gives me a strong foundation to differentiate any kind of product or service.
Q: Reflecting on your experience in storytelling and content marketing, what is the number one piece of advice you would give a startup?
A: Know and understand your audience. A lot of business owners want to assume that their media consumption habits reflect the habits of their target customer — that is not always the case. There are so many ways to seek information out there, it is important to build your brand where it makes the biggest impact and scale it out from there.
Q: What technology/industry are you most excited about and why?
A: Artificial intelligence. In this digital world, data is constantly collected about anything and everything we do. AI gives us the power to use the data and gain insights to make meaningful decisions for the future. I love the versatility of how this can have a positive impact on any aspect of an organization.
Q: Step back to Jane at the start of your career, what line of work had you envisioned for yourself? How closely aligned is your current work to that vision?
A: Ah, young Jane had so much to learn.
When I graduated I knew that I wanted to make a positive impact in the community and somehow help people, but I was open to what the universe had to offer. I thought since I did not pursue a degree in a scientific field that I had to give up my love of science and technology in a professional sense. Little did I know that there was an entire emerging market that needed communication professionals to help tell their story. That is why there is an A in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics) education efforts.
Q: What issues that face our region are you most passionate about?
A: Fulfilling the promises of diversity, equity and inclusion programs and educating individuals on why these programs are a priority for a successful future. As we develop products and technology that will transform how we operate in our daily lives, we need to make sure that this innovation is accessible to everyone.
Q: Tell us about your volunteer work.
A: I serve as Membership Chair for the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s Pride Advisory Council (The PAC). The PAC supports the zoo by engaging with young professionals with access to special events, awareness of conservation efforts and networking opportunities.
I am also a member of the Duquesne University Young Alumni Council to maintain positive relationships between the university and recent graduate students. Go Dukes!
Q: What does an average Saturday look like for you?
A: On the weekends my fiancé and I like to get outdoors. We take our dog Sandy on hikes and explore all the beautiful parks that Pittsburgh has to offer.
Q: When asked for a ‘fun fact’ about yourself, what’s your go-to?
A: In my free time I enjoy participating in local film and community theater. Some of my favorite roles I have played include Shelby from Steel Magnolias, Emma from Terms of Endearment and working as an extra on the Netflix series Mindhunter.