In December, we’re highlighting another one of our beloved company founders, Janet Kiehart. Janet, along with Bill Stamp and David Sharp, founded the company in 1984. In our early years, Synergis was one of the first Autodesk resellers, and so Janet was one of the first salespeople to sell AutoCAD in the mid-Atlantic region. Although Janet is no longer selling AutoCAD directly, she is very fondly remembered by her customers in the region who often inquire about her and want to know what she’s up to.
Janet started at Synergis with a business background and two-year associates degree but no computer, systems, or software background. As a result, Janet challenged herself to learn everything she needed to know watching others use the software, using the software herself, one on one mentoring with CAD users, and by reading the limited books available at the time. Her knowledge grew as the CAD industry grew and her ability to understand how our customers work, to understand their challenges, visualize a potential solution and to communicate in a way that gains their confidence is what led to her consistent success over the past 36 years.
If you ask Janet about the keys to her success, she’ll tell you, “I think it’s simply my personal motivation and on-going desire to learn.” But if you ask others, it’s much more than that. Janet is one of the hardest working and most committed individuals you will ever meet. Rarely taking a break during the day, Janet is laser focused on reaching out to as many potential clients and customers as she can. She works tirelessly toward finding solutions to customer challenges and will research products we don’t currently offer to stay on top of market opportunities and to make the best recommendations. She is a fearless customer advocate and will go the extra mile to ensure a customer’s success. It’s no surprise that she is a client favorite and leaves a lasting impression on so many she serves.
Today, Janet is a strategic account manager within our Synergis Software division and is responsible for building, maintaining, and growing a solid connection with our customers. Janet spends most of her days consulting with customers and prospects about their business challenges and how Synergis Adept, our engineering document management solution, can save them time, reduce their risk, and lower their operating costs.
Janet considers her time at Synergis a “total blast” and what she enjoys most about working at Synergis is “the camaraderie among all of us, the entrepreneurial spirit, and ability to be part of our growth and forward momentum. I love seeing the creativity and how we’ve evolved as an organization over time. And I love the friends that I’ve made and the wonderful experience of working together.” As one of our founders, Janet feels her most important contribution was “in building something from nothing.”
Janet’s favorite Synergis Family Value is “Pursue Growth Continuously.” While Synergis is many things to each of us, Synergis provides an atmosphere and venue that enables all of us to earn a living while growing personally and professionally. To Janet, growing in her work experience kept her interested and inspired and she hopes that Synergis provides that to all its people. As you’ve probably gathered, Janet is a life-long learner, and she is currently taking classes at DeSales University working towards a Liberal Arts undergraduate degree. She is “totally loving being a student again.”
Janet is happily married to her wonderful husband of 16 years, Jerry Waxler. Together, they have four nieces and nephews who have 8 children, ages 6 months to 5 years old, so one of their favorite pastimes is serving as the fun-loving Aunt and Uncle. Janet and Jerry are also both animal lovers and they have had many pets over the years. Currently, Weesie Bird – their little cockatiel buddy – entertains them often with his exceptional singing. And, most fondly, Janet remembers her 20 years of “wonderfulness” with her horse, Grand Finale, along with her first cockatiel, Baubbles, who lived to be 25! In her free time, Janet enjoys daily walks with Jerry and her friends, swimming laps at the YMCA, and day trips to the beach. And her favorite food is ice cream – “for obvious reasons!!”
Although those of us who know her don’t ever see this becoming a reality, Janet claims she will “one day voluntarily slow down.” As she does, she will redirect her focus to what is most important to her: “being with family and friends who I love and who love me and to try to give and love as much as I can every day.” Thank you for your years of service in building Synergis into what it is today, and for your many contributions to your Synergis family over the past 36 years! We look forward to many more!