As we celebrate the Olympics, meet the Marketing and Communication Officer for the Zambia National Olympic Committee, Felix Munyika. Even with an early defeat in women's futball (soccer), the NOCZ is proud of its team's showing. Zambia sent a delegation of 50 athletes in 5 sports to the Tokyo games. Listen as Felix reveals how the Olympics in Zambia has parallel goals to those of Sew Powerful with a prediction our two organizations could find synergy in the future.
Zambia at the Olympics with Felix Manyika
IN THIS EPISODE
athletes, Zambia, olympic games, sports, national olympic committee, people, country, lusaka, olympics, Tokyo, Olympic flag bearer, hat trick, teqball, olympafrica
Zambia National Olympic Committee, https://olympics.com/ioc/zambia
Team Zambia Olympic Games Handbook, https://www.nocz.org/post/team-zambia-olympic-games-handbook-launched
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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: Felix Manyika
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.
Sew Powerful podcast listeners, we are in for a treat. Today I have the honor of speaking with Felix Manyika. And Felix is the Marketing and Communications Officer, now get this, for the Zambia National Olympic Committee. So, I'm very excited for this podcast to be broadcast during the first week of the Olympics, and with our Zambia connections, so please listen, you're going to be amazed at what you hear. Felix. Hello, how are you today?
Felix Manyika, Guest 00:57
Thank you. I'm good. How are you Jan?
I'm very well. Thank you so much. Tell our listeners: where are you located? Where are we talking to you from today?
All right. Yeah. So, my name like you said, my name is Felix Manyika. I'm the Marketing and Communications Officer for the National Olympic Committee of Zambia. So, the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, headquartered in Lusaka, the capital city of the Republic of Zambia, is an organization that is in charge of the administration of Olympic Commonwealth and Africa Games. Yeah. So we are based in Lusaka, the capital, that's where we do our operations from, but we do have a wide coverage across the country.
Oh, excellent. Okay. And so, in Lusaka, right now, what what season is it? What is your weather like today?
Felix Manyika 01:49
Yeah, this time of the year, this is July 23, with temperatures going up to, going as low as 13 degrees. Yes. So, this time of day, it's a bit chilled. And yeah, the weather is good.
Okay. And, and of course, those temperatures are in Centigrade, and our listeners in the United States will have to translate that into Fahrenheit. Okay. Very, very good. Yes. Okay. And so, you, you're in Lusaka, but your athletes are in Tokyo as we record this, right? Okay. All right. Can you tell us what is the COVID situation in Zambia right now, how are people doing?
Yeah, I think now, as of now the COVID situation in Zambia is improved. Yeah, because a good number of people have started getting their vaccines, their COVID vaccines. Yes, cause we, for the first batch of vaccines that are given, I think about 280,000 people got. So today, they just started the second one with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Yes, and the response has been good. People are going out to get the vaccine so that we can forget about the COVID virus. So yeah, I think the situation is good. People are responsive, you know, putting in mind all the COVID-19 prevention protocols and precautions, wherever, whenever they want to go out, you know, you're going to visit other places. Yeah. But for public places, like sports centers, and other sports activities, they're still not open, because of, they want to cushion the number of positive cases that have been recorded daily. So public gatherings and other activities that bring a lot of people together are not being done. We're giving it a ten day period by the President so as to the history is to fewer than. And that's been, you know, the goal and the way foward when it comes to public gatherings and other sports activities in the country.
Okay. And Okay, so we've got that that background, but you're, you're serving on the Zambia National Olympic Committee. I don't really know what a National Olympic Committee does. So, could you tell us a little bit about what the Committee does? And then in a minute, we'll get to what you do on the Committee?
Yes. Right. So the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, which also is also known as the Commonwealth Games Association of Zambia, is a board governing sports body that is in charge of administration of Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games and Africa Games. So, what we mean by that is that the National Olympic Committee of Zambia makes sure Zambia participates in multi-sport events like Commonwealth Games, Olympic Games as they are doing now. All Africa games, our Regional Games in southern Africa and also supports the development of sports in the country through various programs, such as that sports workshops and also providing support to national federations with sports federations, affiliates, the National Olympic Committee of Zambia and so it becomes part of us. We have Olympic sports and Commonwealth sports. So as that now we have about 29 sports that are related to the NOC and benefit from the programs that the NOC offers. Yeah, so in terms of sports development, assisting athletes, we have a number of athletes that are on IOC scholarships, that's Olympics scholarships to help them improve in their careers. So, I get this question through the NOC. Yeah, so we do a number of programs. But the basis of all this is sport and promoting Olympism Commonwealth values in Zambia.
Okay, cool. And you are the marketing and communications officer. Now, I have to admit, I took a peek at your LinkedIn profile. And I know that you do more than than what you do for the the Olympic Committee. But first, let's start with your your duties for the marketing, for marketing and communications. What what are your responsibilities?
Yeah, so I know that an organization like ours is a not-for-profit organization. Yeah. So, it for me for my job title, it gives me some, gives me a challenge to achieve certain things when it comes to the marketing perspective. Because we we, if people are not in sports, then we need to go an extra mile to convince them to be part of us. Yes, so but on the communication aspect of my job. I think for you to find out about us, you had to search out something, maybe on the internet, and something like that. So my job enables me to make sure that if someone wants to look for information about the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, they are able to find the appropriate information they need. Yeah, so I manage the digital space for the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, which includes their website, or social media platforms, you know, making sure that information is out there. I also manage internal communication between the executive board and the staff members. And also between the NOCZ and also the public. Yeah, whatever goes out to the public, most of the time passes through my office, in coordination with the Secretary General's office, and also the administration office. So, I'm a link between different channels, I act as a link. But to put it in simple terms, my job mostly involves putting a good public image of the National Olympic Committee of Zambia out there, through social media and also online digital space.
Well, and I saw that you published on LinkedIn, a copy of the handbook that you provided for your athletes going to Tokyo. And I have to say, it was very impressive and very thorough. And you talked about some cultural differences, not to speak loudly in public and things like that, so that they would be comfortable in Tokyo. So how did you put that together? How how much input did you have to get to from other people to put pull that off?
Yeah, so for for that one it was a work in progress. I think I we took about three months to get it done. So we need we had to involve different people. We had to talk to our foreign affairs ministry so that they can get in touch with the Zambian embassy in Japan, for us to get those norms and guidelines of our athletes expected that to to present themselves in public once they go to Japan. So, we had the government involved in that area. We also had input from Federations that gather Football Association of Zambia, that's the Soccer Association in the country where they had to also bring in portraits of the athletes that would be going to the Olympic Games there because we didn't have everything in a central place. So, we had to ask for different parts. And then I had to put everything together so that you can have the first ever handbook for any multi-sport event so that it can also act as a guide for the international media. You don't have to be asking questions. We just share the copy and they'll know what athletes who is in Team Zambia, what athletes are comprised of Team Zambia and it will make their job and our job easier because it will be easy to find the information and the event they will be participating in at the Olympic games.
Well, I people who know me know I'm a big fan of handbooks and I thought yours was exceptional. I thought it was really good. Tell us what sports will Zambia be represented in Tokyo.
Felix Manyika 10:07
So, Zambia will be represented in five sports at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. We have women's football, soccer. Yes. We also have judo, swimming. We have boxing and athletics.
So, 30 athletes make up Team Zambia at the Olympic Games in these five sport disciplines.
Could you repeat the number? How many athletes?
Felix Manyika 10:36
- We have 30 athletes.
Oh, wow. And when and when you say athletics what what is that?
Track and Field. Track.
Oh, Track and Field. Okay, track and field. Okay. All right. Got that. All right. As we record this, your women's football are in the US, we would call it soccer, team has played their first round and they played against the Netherlands. Right? And so, tell us a little bit about that match. I know the outcome is not what you would hope for, but it sounds like it was a good showing for your team.
Yeah, so for a team that was making it's Olympic Games debut, its a team full of young players. Our captain is just twenty-one years old. And I think going into the game against the Netherlands, we didn't, we didn't expect results. But we did our best and we managed to do what we aimed for. I'll give it put it in this way. Netherlands is one of the top ranked teams in the world there. I'm first guarantee that they're defending champions European Champions. 2019 World Cup Finanlists when they lost to the USA. 2019 Women's World Cup.
And Zambia is a small nation that is just getting into football, especially women's football, women's soccer. So, for us, though we didn't get the results we wanted, their performance was impressive. We have World Cup (player) Barbara Banda who scored the hat trick because she became the first African player, woman, female player to score a Hat Trick at the Olympic Games and the first African player male or female to score a hat trick since Atlanta '96. Yeah, so for us, it was also just being proud of the girls. They put up a good show. The Olympics is the biggest stage in the world that an athlete can perform on so I think was it was a learning game, and though we lost the learning game, and I can guarantee you the next game we will perform better and if things go as planned will we might even record a win against the Republic of China.
So, are they eliminated now with one loss or? So, they get to play again?
Felix Manyika 13:00
Yeah, they still have two games to play.
After two games, thats when we will know our fate.
And what about your other athletes: the boxers, judo, swimming and track and field? When do they participate?
Yeah, so tomorrow being a Saturday, we have the second game. Zambia will be up against China. So the women's team. But after that, our best boxer, Stephen Zimba, will be in the ring. He is a welterweight boxer, 67kgs, to be up against a boxer, I've forgotten his name, but he's from Samoa. That will be a first fight for the boxing guys with another fight, boxing on Monday 26th (July), our flyweight boxer, Patrick Chinyemba, with be up against Alex Winwood, from Australia.
But before that on a Sunday, our Judoka, Steven Mungandu, will be on the mats Sunday afternoon, Central African Time. I've yet to find out who is the opening to be facing, but the schedules that we do have, our athletes will be in action from Saturday up until Monday before a few days rest, then they get back to the action.
All right. All right. Well, that's quite the schedule. Um, how are the athletes chosen to be on the Zambia Olympic team? What's that process?
Yeah, so the the process for being on the Olympic team involves the different qualifying criteria according to sport. Yeah. So, for the female football team, they might they had to go through an African qualifier where they came out first in Africa to go to Olympic Games. They are the only African representatives at this year's Olympic Games. And soccer, the female team so you had to go different facing different countries. They may judge the only so qualified for the Olympic Games.
Then for the boxers, they had to go to a qualifying tournament, that was last year, 2020 in March 2020. That is before COVID-19 hit. We managed to send a team to send a team to Senegal, Dhakar in Olympic Qualifying Tournament where our boxers, the three managed to get two silver medals and one gold medal. Yeah.
So for the Athletics, Track and Field, we have two sprinters, one male, one female. One female, her name is Roda Njobvu. She qualified through a qualifying event that was held in the country which attracted different countries around the region. So, she had to set a national record of about 11.12 for the 100 meters (a run this decade) (something decade) and also, she managed to qualify for the 200 meters at the Olympic games with the time of 22.65. Yeah, that's it. Below the qualifying time for the Olympic Games. So Roda will be co-participating in two events, the 100 meters and the 200 meters, while Sydney - Sydney Siame will be participating in the 200 meters, Men's 200 meters. Sydney Siame was the first Zambian athletes to qualify for the Olympic Games when he qualified, at the qualifying event in Switzerland back in 2019. Yeah, so we do have two track and field athletes.
For the judo, Stephen Mungandu also went through a qualifying phase, and he attended different championships, both the regional Africa and also international stage for him to make points to qualify for the Olympic Games. So, he was ranked going to the Olympic Games was ranked eighth in Africa, in this sixty-six kg category. That's how he qualified for the Olympic Games.
Then we have two swimmers, two swimmers, Tilka Paljk and Shaquille Moosa. They qualified the three decided places because of their ranking on the FINA ranking points on the African continent. Yeah, so they went through qualifying tournaments, but they had to, to get points for them to by (FINA undecided) places. Yeah. So no one was specifically chosen. They had to go through different qualifying criteria for them to meet the Olympic Games, so yeah, qualifying standard.
It sounds very, very competitive. I imagine that the people are that are chosen are very excited to be part of the Olympics. Is that it considered a big honor?
Yeah, it's a very, it's a very big honor in a country like Zambia, because, you know, in the past, we've only, we've only managed to qualify a few, a few athletes, you know, six, five, because this is the first time in 35 years that we have a team of about 30 athletes. Yeah, because the last time we had this was in, in Seoul, 1988. So, from that time up to now, though, we've managed to win two medals between this period, but the representation hasn't been that much compared to how we are being represented at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games.
Can you talk to our listeners a little bit about the funding for for this program? I mean, there's training, transportation, uniforms, all kinds of things. Where does the money come from to support your Olympic team?
Yeah, so for the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, they do have partners in the country that work with, on a local level. I'll give you an example for training. We do have what we call the OYDC Sports Development Center. It was the center, it was actually set up by the International Olympic Committee, yeah, back in 2010. But that took transition from being an entity under the International Olympic Committee, to being a private entity ran by a management board instead. And we are quite nice. So that's where we take our athletes for competing. They use different facilities from that place. And these are some of the partnerships that we use, but on a bigger scale, the NOC mostly benefits from programs that are offered by Olympics OAID when it comes to having athletes ready for multi-sport events and medal games. Yeah. So, we do have local partners on a national level but also partners on the Olympic worldwide family. I'll give an example. The Norwegian Olympic Committee. The Norwegian Olympic Committee is one of the partners that has helped the National Olympic of Zambia in so many ways: athlete development, governance issues, sports development. So, they just sponsor different kinds of activities that are run, activities and programs that are run by the NOCZ. Yeah, but most of the funding comes through the programs that are offered by the Olympics. Yeah.
Okay. One of my favorite parts of the Olympics is to see the Parade of Nations. And it is just so optimistic to see all the countries come together in harmony for for one short period of time. I have, well, you know, I looked up the order, and I was expecting Zambia that starts with Z or Zed to be near the end. But no, Zambia is number 77 out of 205 nations. And that's because it's in alphabetical order by the host country's alphabet. So, if you're watching for Zambia, don't wait till the very end. They're, they're right before the middle. So how do they have athletes feel about being in the Parade of Nations? Do they get that same sense of pride and excitement? And then the flag bearer has been chosen? And um, who was he? Or she? And how did that all come together?
Yeah, so the athletes were really excited to be going down what we filmed as the Olympic Games and walk down the aisle at the Olympic Games. Yeah. So, they were they were excited about that. And now flag bearers, we have two, male and female, we have Tilka Paljk who became the first athlete, swimming athlete to be a flag bearer for Team Zambia at the Olympic Games. Since the history, like from the time we started participating in the Olympic Games, never a swimmer to be a flag bearer and we had Tikla Paljk was also accompanied by Everisto Mulenga, a young, promising boxer, who was actually ranked fifth in the world, 57kgs, going into the Olympic Games. So, these are young athletes that the nation is looking up to, and they are given a responsibility to be to be flag bearer for the country, of which they was their (filters) must be with honor and they are so happy to be named. And up to now they are still excited, because you can see the posts on social media, how the event went, and how they just felt being given it was a huge honor to carry the Zambian flag at the biggest multi-sports event for both of them. And they are really excited. And yeah, we are happy for them. Very happy for them.
Oh, that's fantastic. Now, it's been in the news that there's a COVID outbreak in Tokyo. So, what special precautions do your athletes have to take as being part of the Olympics in Tokyo? What are they doing there?
Yeah, so we do have our COVID eyes on that side in Tokyo and the athletes that we've been receiving, you know, getting our athletes should conduct themselves that against, there's been a reduction in the number in the movements that athletes need to do in a day. Yeah, they're being confined to their rooms, and their training centers. Yeah, in an observed and observed and observed situation where they need to be, they need to be seen what they're doing away from their rooms, because they need to be in just needed basis to avoid interactions, much interactions and engagements with the other athletes. So, they are being encouraged to take their, take care of themselves, because they need to protect the next person. It is not just about them, but just so the next person. So, they are really abiding to the precautions that have been set by our COVID diagnosis. And as of now we've not recorded any COVID-19 positive case from the delegation that traveled to Zambia and then 95% of the delegation is fully vaccinated. Yeah. We only had about one I think one person, and he's not an athlete, who did the first dose of the vaccine. He has to finish a second dose, but 95% of the athletes have been vaccinated, fully vaccinated prior to the Olympic Games, so now they just need to take care of themselves that said, and make sure they're not passing the virus to the other teams.
Well, I'm really glad they're taking care of themselves. But, you know, part of the idea of the Olympics is that athletes from one country can get to know athletes from another country and this year, that's not possible because of isolation. Yeah. When, when your athletes come home, what will be the public reaction? Is there a celebration? Do people recognize the athletes? Are they considered heroes? What happens?
Yeah, so I think for us one thing that we've managed to tell the public and make sure the public understand is, that the Olympic Games, the idea of just, one, qualifying for the games is a big achievement, such that whatever the outcome, whatever results athletes get when they go to the Olympic Games should not determine how they should be received, because them qualifying to the games is a big achievement. And we celebrate that achievement, because the Olympic Games are a once in a lifetime, you know, experience for athletes. Some people go to Olympic Games once and they never go back. So, they need to enjoy that moment.
So, we celebrate with them. And we guide them, despite the results that you get that said, you've achieved the ultimate goal any athletes looks forward to. So yeah, they're celebrated as champions, you know, we say with these young athletes, and I'm sure once they are back an event will be organized to celebrate their outing. And if they come with a medal, that's one good. If they don't come with anything, medals and whatnot, we still celebrate the athletes because these are ambassadors on the Zambian stage. The point there, the good exposure, which will act as motivation, and also we encourage them to do better themselves to learn from the experience. And if they have a chance, going back to the Olympic Games, they'll perform better than they did last time.
That is that's wonderful. You talked a little bit about qualifying for the Olympics. But I guess my question is, I want to go back to, to younger people, to the youth. Is it, for various sports do the youth participate at a, certainly an amateur level, but at a youth level in some of these sports? The football, the swimming, track and field, things like that?
Yeah. Yeah. For what I understand from what you've said, is, just to clarify, if you say from a youth level that's an amateur level, like, I'll give an example, soccer players then I would say, only the (finest, from the shadow destiny) to play outside the country, most of them playing the local leagues. Yes, they play in the local leagues. These that are just starting out, you know, the government is trying to put in minders to make sure that the league is competitive or whatnot, but they're just starting out yeah. But they still managed to achieve making it to the Olympic Games. Yes, I think one of the things that influences most young people when they come to sports, and we have a good number of people young and emerging athletes that participate in sport, at an amateur level, is very, very low level because that's one of the extracurricular activities that our children in the country, young people take by teams, so sports is one of the activities that most of our boys participate in. That's why you find that even they mention sports. Like you mentioned Teqball. Teqball is a new sport and people have shown interest to be vital teqball, because they...
Back up, what is teqball and this TEC BALL, right? [correct spelling is TEQBALL]
So explain this sport? I've not heard of it.
Yeah, so Teqball is a football-based sport.
Yeah. So what I mean is they use the ball, that ball is used to satisfy football, but they played on a table while I gave versus a table tennis table.
And they have a paddle?
It's like, no, they use their feet.
Their feet on a table? Oh, my grandmother would be very upset.
So, it's an emerging sport in the world right now. And it's, it has applied for recognition by the IOC. Yes. So, we will, we will see it at the 2023 Asian Games as a demonstration sport. It will be there as a demonstration sport and people get to see what this sport is made of, what happens in the sport. Yeah, it's quite an inventive sport, if you see videos, I'm sure you like it.
I'm gonna have to look it up. I'm sure it's on YouTube, so I'll have to, I'll have to check this out. Um, you know, Sew Powerful is very involved with especially children living in poverty. Are there opportunities for children who don't, you know, don't have the money for sports uniforms and athletic equipment, how can they participate in athletics in Zambia?
Yeah, so from the National Olympic Comittee of Zambia point of view, there's a project under the IOC called OlympAfrica project. So, the project involved NOC's like Zambia, out in a center, a community center where athletes, young people want to join sports can go to benefit from the different facilities that are provided. And that the Olympic Committee, they can do. So, for Zambia, we are located in an area called (spike dam en dayway), and they have a densely populated area is a big community of where we provide the center to young people, they use the center on a daily basis from eight hours up to up until 4pm. Well the services are free, they just come in, join a gym, if you want to start playing volleyball, if you want to start playing basketball. So, we just help them grow through this sport so that when they reach a certain level, they move to more competitive sports. So, for us, it's more like a foundation space for them. We do have athletes from the age of from 10, up until 18. So, after 18, that's when they move on to the bigger professional team.
So, I can say that we have about veteran sports that athletes come through to benefit from Yeah, we have field and die sports and also in the sports. And it's it's a project that has been running for quite some time, we have a good number of athletes that have passed through the system to the OlympAfrica system and gone on, they've gone on to perform at the highest level. For example, football, we have some guys that are going to big international men's team right now that have been through the center through the system. So the idea is just trying to help young people stay away from other vices, they have something they can carry on something they gain consideration out from whatever they're doing, just to help themselves also develop into better people. Yeah,
Well good that that's good to know. Okay, here's my final question for you. Do you see any parallels between the goals of the Zambia National Olympic Committee, and what Sew Powerful is trying to achieve in Zambia?
Felix Manyika 33:06
Yeah, so I've been taking a look at what you guys are doing in Zambia. And I think it's quite commendable, you guys are doing a very good job. Just that I was so surprised that I didn't know about what Sew Powerful does, until you mentioned it to me. So, if there isn't anyone to check out what you guys do, and I think I've gotten people that have benefited from programs that are still benefiting from a program benefiting from programs, but I just didn't know that this is under Sew Powerful. Yeah.
Felix Manyika 33:57
So as part of the things we are trying to achieve at the National Olympic Committee of Zambia, and then not just on focusing on sport, but also away from sports, trying to improve the livelihoods of the people that are around our center, the communities. I think we have so much in common and we can work together to achieve this because away from sports most of us are trying to help community members in terms of (HSE) classes, you know, social business ideas, something that can just keep them busy. You know, to have things running, we also have classes for different things. We are trying to revamp our library so that they can be accessed by an increased number of people. Trying to bring in computers because right now the technology edge is taking over. So, someone needs to be computer literate in this age. So we are trying to do that through different programs.
Felix Manyika 34:35
Yeah. So, we use the Center for different programs that assist not just the athletes but also their parents, their siblings, different programs that we are still trying to work on things. Just make something big and I think Sew Powerful is one of the organizations that we can work with in order to achieve that. Yeah, because, you know, I'll tell you something that's really sad with the COVID-19 vaccine, the COVID-19 situation in the country. You know, because we had to close the center to the people that are accessing the center because no large gatherings, no sports activity during a short period of time I think between 2020, June, March when we closed our center, up to January 2021. Eleven of the girls that were attending our center fell pregnant during that period, and after doing the research, it was found that they didn't have things to do, they didn't have something to keep them busy. So, they had to resort to such things that it's really sad for us because we're trying to help them but because of their circumstances, it's more like a draw back in their own development and also and their career development away from their personal life. So, I think if we have more partnerships and initiatives coming on board, we can help the community and just try to build a better future for Zambian children, young people, especially for the females, because I think they are mostly the victims in such a scenario. If we don't try to make partnerships with people at the new sports organizations then we are failing not just ourselves but also them. So, I think Sew Powerful is doing a very good job and I will take this opportunity after this conversation to reach out so now we can work together to make things work.
Well, Felix, thank you so very much for your time today. And I've learned so much about athletics and the Olympics and Olympics in Zambia. And we look forward to talking with you soon. So listeners please check out the website for the the Zambia National Olympic Committee and be sure and root for the Zambia team as we watch the Olympics.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.