Our guest this week has been with World Vision for nearly 30 years, and currently serves as their Chief Development Officer. Kathryn Compton is a dynamic and innovative leader who developed and leads Strong Women Strong World — a global Women’s Empowerment initiative focused on bringing together influential and affluent partners who are dedicated to empowering women and girls through gender reconciliation in developing countries. Kathryn shares her background, world travels, and illustrates why it is important for Sew Powerful to continue our work in Zambia.
Strong Women Strong World with Kathryn Compton
IN THIS EPISODE
Cattle ranch, Mexico, World Vision, sanitary pads, strong women, strong world, clean water, chores, fetching water, Zambia, Middle East, sanitation and hygiene, 40 pound bucket of water
We are Sew Powerful, How a Global Community of Seamstresses Is Changing Zambia One Girl at A Time, 2nd edition. By Jason G. Miles and Cinnamon, © 2016 & 2020 Jason G. Miles and Cinnamon, all rights reserved.
Sew Powerful 2021 Spring Summit, https://summit.sewpowerful.org/start-now
World Vision, https://www.worldvision.org/
Kathryn Compton, https://www.worldvisionphilanthropy.org/kathryn
2030 UN Sustainable Development Goals, https://sdgs.un.org/goals
ABOUT THE SEW POWERFUL PODCAST
The Sew Powerful Podcast shines a light on the people behind the mission to keep girls in school and create purposeful products in Zambia. Join us every week for a new 30-minute episode to meet new people, hear inspiring stories, and learn how you can join us in this global movement. Whether you sew or not, make purses or not, you will find something to enjoy in every episode. Listen today.
Host: Jan Cancila
Guest: Kathryn Compton
Jan Cancila, Host 00:04
Welcome to the Sew Powerful podcast. This is your host, Jan Cancila. You know the sound of my sewing machine means it's time for another episode. So, let's get started.
Good morning. Today we have the distinct honor of speaking with Kathryn Compton of World Vision. And Kathryn was one of our speakers at the Spring Summit in May of 2021. And if you listened to her talk, as I did, I came away just wanting to dig deeper and learn more and learn more from Kathryn. Kathryn is the Founder and Chief Development Officer of Strong Women Strong World, which is a ministry of World Vision. And we're going to talk about that in a minute. She's been with World Vision for more than 20 years. And she developed and leads that program, which is a women's empowerment initiative, focusing on bringing together influential and affluent partners who are dedicated to empowering girls and women through gender reconciliation in developing countries. Good morning, and welcome, Kathryn.
Kathryn Compton, Guest 01:16
Well, thank you, Jan, and thank you to Sew Powerful for having me back. The honor and the privilege is mine to be with you today. So, thank you for for inviting me.
Well, it's an encore performance so we're happy that you're here. I mentioned in the introduction that you were the founder and the leader of Strong Women Strong World. Just give us a quick overview of that and then I'm going to go back in time. But let's talk about what that program is.
Absolutely. Well, thank you so much. World Vision has been focusing on the challenges that women and girls faced since inception, over 70 years, seven decades. But as a child-focused organization, we've not articulated specifically, what it is that we do with women and girls, and that is the emphasis of the work that I have been doing, is to get, be more robust, and intentional on our programming, that we focus on empowerment and changing dynamics for women and girls in the field. And also, how we talk about it to our constituency base, our donor base, our advocacy base, and in our language on how we do that. And we know that it's multifaceted, there's things that need to happen in the life of a girl, in any of us, a girl or a boy, to be able to have them achieve their full potential. And so that includes access to water, safe births, education, protection, economic opportunities, by addressing the underlying cultural norms and harmful behaviors that restrict women and girls from having equal access to those things. And so many of those norms are social norms, they're cultural norms, and they're spiritual norms. And so we want to change those dynamics in a reconciliatory way, not leaving men and boys out of the dynamics, but really doing that together as how God created us, right? He created us to be in rightful relationship with one another. So that's why I call it gender reconciliation.
And that's fantastic. Okay, we're going to get into more of the specifics of the program as we talk here today. But let's sort of start at the beginning. Where are you from originally? And what was your family life like growing up? And I always ask this question, because I think it's so interesting to see how our childhood influences how and what we do as adults. So you, so give us a little perspective there?
Absolutely. Well, I'm the eldest of nine children, and grew up in a cattle ranching family in northern Mexico when we lived with my great grandfather. And so I don't want to tell you exactly how long ago that was, but it was many decades ago. And the important thing about that dynamic is growing up in Mexico, and you know, with a great grandfather, there were gender dynamics and assignments, you know, of what women did, and what men did. And as the eldest of nine (I have seven brothers, and one sister) and so my mother, you know, started looking at these dynamics because the, the men would eat first. My brothers were not taught to do any chores or pick up their clothes or put them in the laundry bin or anything of that nature. And my mother was very, very wise. And she determined that she was going to change that dynamic and sat down with my father and my great grandfather and said, We're going to change this. I do not want my sons to be dependent on a woman for anything. I want them to be fully liberated to reach their full potential. And that requires that they know how to cook, how to clean, how to sew buttons, how to iron their shirts. And so, I think that that's a really, really important thing for them to know.
And my great grandfather, and my father thought it was a great idea. And so that changed the dynamics in our household of how nothing was impossible for me. And nothing was impossible for my brothers. And we grew up understanding and respecting one another in our differences, as well as our strengths. And so they're wonderful fathers and wonderful husbands. And, you know, and that led me to this place of not being militant in wanting to get equal access and opportunity for women and girls, but really doing it in a way that brings everybody along together in a rightful way.
Well, and you know, that's interesting. My family growing up wasn't quite as rigid originally, well, actually, my brothers cook much, much better than I do. So yeah, we pretty much shared the chores growing up, too. And that's had an impact on our adult lives as well. So, what kind of work did you do before you joined World Vision?
Oh, that's a great question. Thank you for asking that. And then much to my, my father's dismay, he thought that I should choose a career and stick with it and be in that and that, unfortunately, was not for him, for his expectation was not what I chose to do. And my path was to choose as many different opportunities as I could. And so, you know, spice was the variety of life, right? And so, I worked as a dental assistant, I worked in retail, I worked in the restaurant hospitality business, my degree was in landscape architecture, I worked as a commercial construction project manager. That was before I came to World Vision. And, and of course, as a cattle rancher. My youngest son was born in Mexico and so we did spend some time out there as well. But I found as I looked back at all of those experiences, it perfectly positioned and trained me for what I do today. And today, as I'm doing this work with World Vision, it requires a lot of travel to challenging places. I mean, it sounds very exotic, but it's rough in a lot of the places that we go to, and that we see. And it equipped me to be able to do that. And to be comfortable in that space. And to be able to understand all of that. So, yeah, it's been wonderful. And even within World Vision, I've had opportunity to do different things. But I just know that each step was laying one more stone in the foundation of where I ended up today.
And so, what was the impetus to make the change? And why did you choose World Vision? What happened there?
Oh, I think I was at a place where I was looking for a change. And a friend of mine called me and told me that they were looking for someone at World Vision to do letter translation for 90 days. It was a 90-day temporary position. And I was working for a commercial construction company. And I, I left that job, left benefits, everything else for a temporary job. And the minute I interviewed for the job and took this temporary position, I knew this is where I wanted to spend the rest of my working life. And I think that my only regret is that I didn't start there sooner, start at World Vision sooner so I could be here longer.
But you needed all those other world experiences probably to build on, right?
Oh, absolutely. And we can't go back and change it, right? So, you know, so but I'm blessed and I love the work that I do. And I love the work that World Vision does and other organizations that are addressing the needs of changing the lives of girls and boys, women and men, and so that they can reach their potential.
Well, I don't know if there's a good answer to this, but when you took that 90-day position and felt at home there at World Vision, did you have something in your mind about what you wanted to accomplish through your work at World Vision back then?
Not at that point, it was a sort of walking off the plank, right? And so, I didn't know where I was going to end up. But I just knew that I had to trust and start and when I started at World Vision, I worked that 90-day position was, as we were transitioning from one program model to another, and it was informing donors that we were closing down those projects and opening up new ones. And I was working with the Spanish portfolio. And so, all of my communication was in Spanish, was either written or on the phone with Spanish donors. And so I ended up spending two years in that role.
And during that time, I was exploring through the organization where I wanted to be. And I gravitated towards fundraising. And I love to fundraise. I love to raise money for the work that we do. And it's not about the money, but it's about what happens when you connect the poor with the non-poor, and how the life of the giver is changed and how they are empowered, and how they're doing something significant, because I believe we've all been created with an innate sense of wanting to do something for someone else.
As a woman who started your career, and you said you've been there a while, 20 years ago at least, do you see any differences in the opportunities? And maybe go back even before World Vision, opportunities that women didn't have then that they might have now? Or do you see progress or not progress? Or what sort of is your impression for working women in the Western world, probably?
Absolutely. Thank you for that question. Actually, I've been at World Vision, almost 30 years.
Oh 30, oh wow.
Yeah. But even before that, I worked in virtual construction. They're not very many women project managers in those roles. And so, at that time, there are more and more now, you know, other than clerical roles, but I was a project manager. And
Well, I have to say, I just met the project manager they hired at my husband's construction company, and she's a woman, so
Woman. Yeah, and that didn't always happen.
Right? And so, you had to have the appetite and the stamina to live through that and work through that but I think it was a good experience. There weren't that many, but that is growing and increasing. And then I would say, at World Vision in the fundraising department, there were very few women representatives that were working with donors. But that is growing, and that is changing.
And I have a quick story of a colleague who started the fundraising department at World Vision back in the 80s. And he had hired a woman to be a fundraiser. And he was being called in to a meeting with senior leadership on why he should not have a woman in this role of meeting with donors. You cannot have a woman meeting with donors, we cannot be doing that. Why are you doing that? And so he, he was really pondering on how he was going to navigate this with senior leadership at World Vision at that time. And on the way into the office, it was announced that Sandra Day O'Connor was becoming the first woman Chief Justice. And so, he walked into that meeting and they said, What makes you think that we should hire a woman donor representative? And he said, If it's good enough for the U.S. Supreme Court, it ought to be good enough for us. And he opened that door, and he was always very, very favorable and very welcoming and nurturing to having women on his staff to bring a different perspective to how we do our fundraising.
Yeah, you know, and I have several men in my career that I thank for opening the door for me as well. And and those people that hold the keys, it's important that they do open the doors. So that was a great story.
I understand that you worked with Jason Miles, the co-founder of Sew Powerful, at World Vision. What was it like to work with Jason? Has he changed over the years? What was he like as a colleague?
Oh, he was wonderful. So, I had the privilege of hiring him on to running a team of fundraisers. As I said, he never really worked or reported under me, I reported to him and did what he wanted to do. So that has not changed at all. He is so entrepreneurial, so wide thinking, so let's get the job done. And nothing's impossible for him. He doesn't know what he can't do. And that hasn't changed. And just even being more in touch with him recently, just his enthusiasm and his passion and all, it's amplified. And his vision is amplified. And he's a great leader for people to follow and to be a part of, he's kind of a Pied Piper.
You know, and it was interesting. We had a quick call on some business things yesterday, Jason and our former senior VP. And it was wonderful to hear Scott say (well, at the end, and I know this was very genuine), Well, Jason, I've always really liked how you work, what you do, how entrepreneurial you are. And so, this will be a fun opportunity. And so, you know, and Scott's similar, right? So, Scott has similar behavior, and to recognize that and really applaud that. And so, it goes to show that Jason's respected and loved by many, from leadership to those that follow him.
Well, and I have to say that's absolutely true in the world of Sew Powerful. And it's just nice to confirm that that's the real Jason all the time. So yeah.
Nothing you said surprises us, so that was great. Kathryn, you mentioned earlier that you've traveled many places and I guess it would take maybe the rest of the podcast for you to list them all. But the places that you've traveled, what one place sort of sticks out in your mind? What surprised you when you got there versus what you expected? You know, I always like to ask this of world travelers, because I've had that experience on vacation, but some business trips, too, where it was nothing like what I thought it was going to be.
Right. Well, it would be hard to talk about where my favorite or anything like that is. Of course, I love Latin America and feel very comfortable there. I love Africa because the culture is very similar to the Latino culture, and very warm and embracing and family, family units and connections. But I had a friend that kept trying to get me to come to the Middle East with her. And I said, I do not have the emotional bandwidth to do this. I you know, I'm pretty committed to Latin America, and what I do in Africa, and Africa is a pretty big continent, I do a lot there, and a little bit in Romania, and I said, I can't fall in love with another place. And she said, No, you have to go. And so, we did, started visiting countries and looking really at the refugee situation. And it surprised me how I fell in love with it. I mean, I fell in love with the work. And that sounds odd because it's a challenging situation, and it's complex and it's complicated. But I fell in love with our staff that works there, I fell in love with the people, with the food, with the culture. And that surprised me because I thought it was going to be a drive-by, you know, I'm going to come and see and do this. But I really, really have a heart for it, and was surprised that my heart's big enough to love that too. Yeah, so
That that answer surprises me. That's not what I thought you were going to say. So that that was cool.
Well, Kathryn, why don't we take a quick break. And when we come back, I want to delve into some of the statistics and information that you shared during the Summit, where I wanted to, like, raise my hand and ask more questions. So, we'll do that after the break. So, listeners, please stay tuned and we will continue our talk with Kathryn in just one minute.
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Welcome back. We have been speaking with Kathryn Compton. She is the Founder and Chief Development Officer of Strong Women Strong World at World Vision. And we've learned a little bit about her history and sort of what led her to do the work that she does now. And I have many questions, many more questions for you, Kathryn. I know that you're an expert in water and sanitation in the developing world. How does the Sew Powerful Purse Project sort of fit into those concerns? Can you talk about water and sanitation and the role that Sew Powerful can play in that?
Yeah, absolutely. And I'm not a programmatic expert, but I've been around it enough where I can talk about the importance and the implications of it. And let's start maybe not so much with the water, but let's put a girl in the center of it, and how water impacts her life.
So initially, if a woman's going to give birth, in many, many instances or communities that we work in, there's no clean water at a center where she's going to give birth to her baby. So, she has to often bring her own bucket of water, that's often contaminated. And that is the water that she's going to clean herself up with and clean her newborn baby with. And that, for me, as the mother of three children, that's horrific to think about that, that you're not going to be able to have clean water. So, at birth, there's already a compromise that is not going to give you the best opportunities at being able to have a healthy life and start off in a healthy way, both for mom and for baby.
And secondly, if I give birth, I've hauled my water, dirty water, that's what I cleaned myself up with, cleaned my baby with. Now, I'm home and I give birth to a daughter and when she's about five, maybe, she's going to start doing the trek for water with me. So, I'm going to be walking, then, we think the average is about six kilometers every day to haul water. How much water do we, do we use? You know, 10 minutes shower is 25 gallons of water, for one person. That's five buckets, five 5-gallon buckets that weigh 40 pounds, that we would have to haul six kilometers for one individual and household.
So so that little girl, my daughter, would not have any opportunity to have vision or to have dreams or to do anything other than to look at her feet the rest of her life. She's going to spend a lifetime fetching water, fetching firewood, and doing chores. Say then we do get access to clean water and she's not having to walk. Now she can go to school. Because she would not be going to school before, because boys aren't the ones fetching water; they have the priority to go to school, she would be the water fetcher. Now she can go to school. Now, if she's going to school, and when she's going in school, when she hits her menstrual cycle, there's often not clean water at the schools. And so therefore, she's having to haul water from home, to be able to be there and to clean themselves up when they have a menstrual cycle. And rarely do they have even the sanitary pads that we take for granted here. And so rather than suffer that embarrassment, that they can't clean themselves up, they don't have the sanitary pads, they stay home, and they miss out on school and they're not attending school. Then now we know the more school that they're missing, the more of their education is compromised, they get behind, they end up dropping out.
And you know, and so then that changes the whole trajectory of her life. Because we know that the longer that you keep girls in school, the longer they delay their sexual debut, the greater opportunity that they will have for their children. When they do marry and have children, their children will have greater access to education. She will have greater access to economics. And you have to start changing that cycle and that trajectory of life. So, the pads, what Sew Powerful does, is so so critical. It's really helping girls to stay in school, and it's very closely connected to the water and the access to clean water for girls. So and it changes her life, not only education-wise, but economic-wise, you know, economic opportunities that she can have and and who she chooses to marry. I mean, there's all sorts of implications in it. But it's just the simple thing of a sanitary pad that can change that for them.
I mean, what a domino effect, two different paths, having the pad or not having the pad. That's, yeah, that's amazing. Well, in the Summit, you talked about the importance of bathrooms and bathrooms for girls in schools. That hadn't even crossed my mind until you talked about it at the Summit. Can you expand on that a little bit and repeat that for people who might not have heard it?
Well, absolutely. And I mean, a lot of these schools, as I said, they don't have clean water, or access to water, and they don't have latrines. And so, everybody is using the bush for going to the bathroom. So, if a young girl is in her menstrual cycle and has no sanitary pads, she's out in the bush trying to clean herself up and go to the bathroom there. So, part of our water sanitation and hygiene programs are constructing when we're putting access to water, a hand pump or a mechanized system in a school is able to access. Part of that is doing latrines for boys and girls, so girls have that access. If we do have a strong enough water system, they often will be flushing toilets, and that they're able to use, not just a pit latrine. And when we have that ability to have flushing toilets, we're having rooms where girls can shower, if they do have an accident, and they are able to clean themselves up at school, and that will help them keep in school. Once they have that, once they have the access to the clean water, separate bathroom facilities (either a pit latrine or flushing toilets and bathrooms) and the sanitary pads, the girls' education enrollment rate rises. I mean, it's almost immediate.
Well, Sew Powerful has a seven-minute video and it's of the girls receiving the purse with the sanitary pads and soap and underwear. And the joy and excitement they have is, if I won a million dollars I wouldn't be as happy as those girls are, to get that simple thing because they understand it's life changing. And probably generational changing as well.
Oh, absolutely. The generations to come will be different. Their children will absolutely be in school. I mean, the longer we keep those girls in school, and boys, but the longer we keep them in school, the higher the education rate will be for the following generations, which means the income-generating ages will improve and the opportunities will improve. One of the things that I wanted to point out too, that I think it's really important that, especially in Zambia where Sew Powerful is and World Vision is doing their work, is there's a lot of intentional education going on with the boys too, for the boys to understand, and destigmatizing menstruation and menstrual hygiene. And so, the boys are able to talk about it. They talk about it from the perspective of their sisters and their mothers. I mean, we could do more of that here in the United States,
you know, where there's a really clear understanding on why it's really important to respect girls and be a part of it, and in essence, demand the right for girls to have that privacy and that means to be able to stay in school inside of menstrual cycles.
This may be the hardest question of all. And I'm going to start out by saying, look in your crystal ball.
I'm sure you have it right there on your desk out of sight. But when will these obstacles be obliterated, that the girls in the developing world will have the same opportunity as boys? What, what do you think that looks like? How do we get there?
Oh gosh. Why did you ask me that question? I don't, you know, I can't say when we will get there but I'll say that we are making great, great progress. And there's a greater global awareness of the importance of, from the rights perspective of girls and changing those cultural, social and spiritual dynamics that hinder girls from achieving that. So, we are making progress. And I think that the global community is being extremely intentional, to not elevate the rights of women and girls at the risk of diminishing the rights of men and boys.
Because if we do that, then we'll end up with a different problem, right? And so, you can't elevate one without the other. So, there's a great intentionality on that. And so, I'd say we're making progress but there are still places that it is extremely difficult. And it's seeped in, you know, hundreds of years of practices, and that they, that often it's not even really known how it came into being, you know, or what the reasoning was. But really trying to get governments, communities and women and men themselves to understand that women and girls are to be valued, that they were formed and created in God's image, and that they can work, be together with men, and be in rightful relationships to be able to achieve full potential. So, I can't give you a date. But I know the goal is by 2030 that we will have the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals; Goal number five is really creating greater equity for for women and girls. And so trying to to eradicate it in the extreme cases.
Do you find that older women or women of previous generations who didn't have these opportunities, how receptive are they for their daughters and granddaughters to break the cycle of what they had to go through? Are they saying this is the way it should be? Are they saying I'm glad for my daughter and granddaughters?
Well, it's kind of a mixed bag. But interestingly enough, a lot of the, I call them perpetrators, that would keep girls and women suppressed in the old norms, are women. It's passing on these cultural practices that this is the way it's always been, this is the way it should be and so we can't buck the system. So it takes bold and courageous women of my generation, of an older generation, to step out and to say, No, that's not okay. And to lead it and to try to lead my peers. It's absolutely critical when we have men in leadership, traditional leaders, or governmental leaders, to step out and to say and demonstrate and model different behavior. And so then when you can do it together with men and women of stature and influence, pastors and the clergy in the faith community, doing it along with government and others, then that's when we can start changing those norms. But it's a long, hard road. That's the hardest thing. It's it's easy. I shouldn't say it's easy, but it's easier to drill a well and distribute purses with sanitary pads than it is to change the behaviors that they've lived in forever. Right?
But it has to all come hand in hand.
Sure. Yes. Good. Well, well, thank you for answering that question. So even though we're making progress, and girls are going to school, are they still having to do all these chores, get up really early before they go to school? So, I mean, it looks like we're getting them into school, but they're exhausted by the time they get there.
So that's correct. That's a correct statement. And so, there is still that dynamic, that girls are assigned the chores and helping to tend to the babies and helping to prepare the meals, and to do all of that. And if there's still water fetching, I mean, when I'm talking about access to clean water, it's a 30-minute round trip walk. So that's still, you're still fetching a bucket of water for 30 minutes, a 40-pound bucket of water. So, there's intentionality of trying to make certain that those duties and chores are distributed between the boys and girls. But boys are often doing the work in the fields as well. And so, it's for all children. So that is still a dynamic that is needing to be addressed and to work on. Some of the places that we're able to address some of that is doing partnering with another organization that does bicycles, really robust bicycles, and providing bicycles for them. And so, to help kids stay in school, help them use it for fetching the water. We use it here in the United States as a recreational or a getting, fitness mechanism. There, the bicycle becomes a mode of transportation that they can use. And so, it becomes how do you transport your produce to the town to sell and get kids to school and do all of that. So that's in some places, we're able to do that with another partner organization.
Well, okay, so let's wrap this up now. And I mean, what an amazing career you've had, Kathryn. So, for people who may be retired or nearing retirement, and they've had a great career, what could their next chapter look like? Should they be sitting on the beach drinking margaritas? Or is there more than that in the next chapter of our lives?
Oh, that's a great question. And you know, that's one that I've been pondering a lot lately because I'm nearing the end of my career. I don't know exactly when, but you know, it's, it's coming. I can see the lifespan of my career here at World Vision getting shorter and shorter. And my thought process is, before I retire from World Vision, I have to find my retirement job. And by that, I mean what I'm going to do next. No, it's not sitting on the beach, drinking margaritas. I might want to do that one or two days.
But but not not seven days, you know, or a week here and a week there. And so, I suggest that we all need to find what gives us passion, and what we can do that's giving back and where we're keeping that. As I said earlier, we all have been created with an innate sense of doing something for someone else. How can we live that out in this season of life? It's just writing a different chapter, but still staying core to that mission of doing something for somebody else. And so I'm looking for my retirement job, so, post-World Vision.
Well, we have a really great volunteers opportunity page on the Sew Powerful website. You might want to check it out.
Actually, Jason's already talked to me about it, so.
I'm not surprised. Well, Kathryn, thank you so very much for your time today. This has just been a truly fascinating talk and I am most appreciative of your time. And I know our listeners are really going to learn a lot by listening to all of your experiences. So, thank you very much.
Well, thank you. And I wanted to say one quick thing. I want to thank everybody who has written me wonderful cards post-Summit. That has really, really been a blessing and very very encouraging to hear from you all. And so, thank you so much for doing that. It's been wonderful to be involved with you.
Oh, I'm so glad that people did that. Oh, that's wonderful. Well, okay. And thank you very much. And I hope I get to talk with you again soon sometime. Thank you very much. Bye bye.
Bye bye. Thank you.
If what you've heard today inspires you to want to make a difference, I urge you to explore the Sew Powerful website at www.SewPowerful.org. That's SEW POWERFUL dot ORG. The website has great information about the organization. It's where you can download the free purse patterns, or even make a donation. We hope you will join us again next week when we bring you another Sew Powerful story. Thanks for listening. Now, go out and have a Sew Powerful day.
ABOUT THE HOST
Jan Cancila has been making purses for Sew Powerful since 2014. She serves the organization as Director, Global Volunteerism, the Area Manager for Shows and Events-Mid/South USA and as the Houston Regional Coordinator. She was a public speaking major at Hanover College and holds an MBA from Our Lady of the Lake University. Jan had a 25-year career with The Coca-Cola Company before owning and operating a linen and party rental business in Houston. She is married with two grown sons, a lovely daughter-in-law and two remarkable granddaughters. Jan’s published work includes more than 100 online articles for Examiner.com. Reach Jan with comments or suggestions at email@example.com.