Successful Role Model │ Jacqueline "Jack" Howard │Headshots │ Birmingham, MI
This is a very exciting blog. I really feel like people will walk away inspired, motivated and educated.
The woman I am about to introduce is nothing short of amazing. She is beautiful, strong and relentless. Jack and I go back, I think, to our joint high school senior trip in 1999, I am pretty sure that is where I met her. Fast forward a couple of years (I had to giggle a little at the time span) Jack contacts me for portrait photography. But of course! This woman is always so stylish and fly, I knew it would be a wonderful session and it was.
So you know I was excited to hear from her in May of 2018 when she needed headshots.
It is always joy to work with Jack, you will see why when you scroll down. I thought it would be amazing to hear what a BOSS in the community, a leader in the finance industry, and a mother of 2 had to say about success, sacrifice, family and living your life on your own terms.
I hope you enjoy this Successful Role Model: BOSS edition
For those who may not know exactly who you are and what it is that you do. Please introduce yourself and explain what it is that you do?
My name is Jack Howard. I serve as the Senior Director of Corporate Citizenship for Ally Financial. In short, I oversee the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts that includes employee giving, financial literacy and corporate giving.
Our CSR strategy focuses on economic mobility (I am very proud of this focus). Essentially we want to help under-served communities increase their income through financial literacy, job training and housing.
My personal goal is to end generational poverty and close the wealth gap.
How did you get started? Tell us your story.
I have always loved writing and studied journalism and public relations at MSU. From there I worked at a couple large public relations agencies and eventually landed at Ally.
Do you have a Daily Routine, a specific way that you start your day every day? If so what it is?
I wish. This is an area where I would like to be more consistent. I generally like to wake up and pray/meditate. Then I get dressed, drop my kids a lot school, grab a coffee (all of this rarely happens everyday!!!!). The most consistent thing in my morning routine is listening to Audible books during my commute to work. I listen to about two books per week. The topics of the books range from spirituality, leadership, money and relationships.
What habits do you feel attributed to your success?
I am a hard worker. I may not be the smartest person in the room, but I work the hardest and rarely take no for an answer. I am also very assertive and ask for what I want. I set goals, put my head down, and do the work.
Are there any habits, fears, insecurities, etc., that you've overcome in order to become successful? What are they? How did you overcome them?
During the last five years I transitioned from a manger position to a senior director with a team that reports to me. This was a tough transition for me because I was amazing at “doing the work.” As a leader you have to motivate others to “do the work.” It was hard to let go. It was also tough learning how to motivate others. Leading a team had made me a softer, more compassionate person.
How do you push through your worst times?
I am a breast cancer survivor. I survived chemo, radiation and surgery. Facing my mortality at 30 was a game changer for me. It gave me amazing perspective. I know that I can pretty much handle anything. I trust that all things work together. However when hit a rough patch the things that help me are therapy (I go once per week), yoga, resting, prayer/going to church and spending time with my children.
What is your super power?
I am relentless. Period. I realize life is not perfect...So I am constantly trying to keep a positive perspective and push myself toward the next level.
How important is Time to you and why? How do you schedule or use your time?
My time is VERY VALUABLE. I have two small children and a very demanding career. I am constantly juggling work travel and spending time with my kids. I have an AMAZING VILLAGE that helps me keep it all together. Since there are only 24 hours per day, I am very mindful of not wasting time and “outsource” things that will give me more time for my kids or career. For example, I have someone clean for me, and in the past I’ve had an evening nanny and used Blue Apron for meals. Having kids and a career is tough and I learned when my oldest child was young that I should not try to be superwomen and instead ask for help.
What were some of the biggest lessons that have impacted the way that you work?
Biggest lesson is understanding servant leadership. My goal as a leader is to help my team become the “best versions” of themselves and produce amazing work that helps end generational poverty.
Another big lesson for me has been focusing on career opportunities that align with my spirit. I am a firm believer that if you do something you love...the money/success will follow.
What is your motivation? Do you have a quote, video, saying that you would like to share?
Motivation: my kids, changing the financial trajectory of black families, evolving into the woman God created me to be.
I work hard for my kids because I want to give them opportunities and experiences that I did not have. My parents did the same thing for me and my siblings. I owe my parents and ancestors excellence because that is what was given to me. I will expect the same from my children. Each generation has to build from what was created by the previous.
Closing the wealth gap is my professional mission. There are so many societal and psychological factors that contribute to the lack of wealth in our community. I want to uncover those issues and help the under-served obtain generational wealth.
Evolving into the woman I was created to be is a daily journey. I’m getting closer and closer to becoming her as I get older. I LOVE who I am becoming. She is soft, feminine, powerful, kind, strong and authentic.
What is one thing that not many know about you?
Hmmmmm. I pretty transparent. I guess something people may not know is although I have a very outgoing personality, I love being alone. I need that balance. When I am not working/attending community events or with my kids I am usually alone at home watching Netflix, listening to music or an audible book. I enjoy quiet time because it gives me time to set my intentions and gain clarity.
Thank you for spending a few minutes with us. I hope you enjoyed Successful Role Models - BOSS Edition.
Were you inspired? Have questions you would like to ask Jack? Comment below. We would love to hear from you.