Caption: On right, JMA Solutions founder and president Jan Adams donating $7,000 to the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly.
“I go through life with my hands open,” stated Southwest resident Janice “Jan” Adams, president and CEO of JMA Solutions, an 8(a), Service Disabled Veteran consulting firm located in Southwest DC that provides program management expertise to the federal government. “I donate as much to charity as I can.” These words epitomize Adams’s commitment to giving back not only to organizations in Southwest DC but also to other local and national organizations as well. Adams recently donated $7,000 to the SWNA Education and Scholarship Task Force (ESTF).
“This is one of the single largest contributions since the task force’s inception in 1974,” noted Vyllorya Evans, ESTF chair. In 2015 Adams donated more than $223,000 of JMA’s $33 million revenue to charities. She not only contributes to charities of her choice but she also donates to charities that her employees support. Some of these charities are: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, USO, So Others Might Eat, the United Negro College Fund, National Black Coalition of FAA Employees, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, Jefferson Academy and Amidon-Bowen Elementary School (Adopt-a-School program), and numerous others that can be found on JMA’s website. “Through her generous donations of uniforms and school supplies, and by her support of our athletic teams, Jan has made the hard work of building an awesome school just that much easier. We are so thankful for Jan and JMA solutions,” said Natalie Gordon, principal of Jefferson Academy.
Born in Youngstown, Ohio, the daughter of a hard-working steel mill employee and a beautician, Adams’s road to success was not always an easy one. At age 23, she found herself a divorced mother of two young children, on public assistance, living in government housing, and on welfare. Wanting a better life for her family, once her children were in school full time, Adams went to work at General Motors at night and attended Youngstown State University during the day. Anxious for a life that would give her both job security and an opportunity to see the world, Adams joined the United States Air Force in 1976 at age 27. She traveled the world with her two children in tow.
Adams retired in Dec. 2000 with 24 years of service, as a chief master sergeant (E9). Upon her retirement, a former colonel offered her a contractor position with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). She did so well that others encouraged her to start her own company.
In Sept. 2005, Adams established JMA Solutions and worked as an independent consultant. Three years later she hired her first employees to support her first government contract, awarded to provide air traffic control expertise to the FAA. JMA currently employs 150 individuals who assist government clients with capabilities from engineering services, air traffic support, and information technology expertise, to name a few. Her personal specialties are program management and task force leadership. Although faced with the absence of a line of credit because of the previous banking crisis, which resulted in the likelihood of not making payroll, Adams pressed onward in the midst of her challenges and remembered encouraging words from her parents.
Adams has been recognized numerous times for her outstanding accomplishments in growing a successful business. JMA was one of the 500 fastest-growing private companies in America in 2011 and 2012; it received the FAA 2011 Small and Disadvantaged Business of the Year Award and was one of Black Enterprise’s Top 100 Black Owned Businesses (BE100) in 2015. Adams is a board member of the DC Chamber of Commerce (COC) and holds membership in the COC, the Air Traffic Control Association, and Women in Aviation, to name a few.
Adams was asked to give advice to our community’s youth. Her advice, which not only resonates with youth and her employees, but also with all ages, is to dream, set goals, and be passionate about following those dreams and reaching those goals. She also advises young people to be dedicated and committed and avoid giving up on things that don’t work out immediately. Adams is not all work and no play. She enjoys music, reading, watching and attending sporting events, and attending the Arena Stage theater.
For more information on Jan Adams and JMA Solutions, visit www.jma-solutions.com.
By: Audrey Hinton and Thelma D. Jones