PF Peeps: Hangin’ with Jane Wise

By Nancy Ball, September 10, 2015 // Inside PF

[About a 5 MIN read]


PF Peeps is our special way of spotlighting individual Pathfinder personalities at work and play, an avenue to discover things about our peeps. We all have unique personalities – and believe ours warrants sharing!

Jane is a whiz at digital processes, statistics and analytics, perhaps best described as our own Inspector Gadget.It is obvious after observation that her talents were not all learned at once – but are continually tweaked and improved. And – the best part for us is that she willingly makes us more knowledgeable and improved if we ask.

At Work

Most admired in your co-workers?

They are extremely passionate, smart about digital, and are driven to always do the right thing for our clients. And, they forgive me for my flaws and put up with my lame jokes and teasing on a daily basis.

What do you absolutely have to have in your workspace?

This cat was a gift to my husband by the owner of a favorite Chinese restaurant. I adopted “Lucky Cat” and keep her in my office workspace.


What is your favorite tool . . . and why?

Well, I have two go-to tools, Trello and Unfuddle, which help me keep my sanity on a daily basis. Trello is hands-down a must for team collaboration and project management at my desk. Unfuddle historically tracks website code changes and gives us an excellent quality-control feature for website-issues tracking and changes.

Why does being a Digital Specialist interest you?

Well, I can’t do a Rubik’s cube at work, so researching and solving digital puzzles and mysteries is longer-lasting and more intriguing. It is also fun to have a great group of strategic thinkers around that are able to align the information, insights, and recommendations into a great digital strategy for our clients.  Just like a Rubik’s cube that has been solved – everything aligns perfectly.

What is the activity you most enjoy with your Pathfinders team?

Digital team happy hour – hands-down!


At Play

What is your favorite media?

Pastels on paper! I enjoy doing landscapes in the open air and often can be seen taking my supplies along when the twins and I head to a beach.


What is your favorite color?

The color of Lake Michigan just before the sun dips beneath the horizon at the day’s end.It’s a beautifully indescribable color.

What are your favorite books?

I love to read books like Krackauer’s “Into Thin Air” or Zuckerman’s “Buried in the Sky: The Extraordinary Story of the Sherpa Climbers on K2’s Deadliest Day.”  The decision between saving yourself or risking your life to save another – this brings out the best and worst in individuals.

Are you a mountain climber?

I have a fear of heights, so I find that reading about it is a way to enjoy the experience without the trauma. To feed my adventurous side, I enjoy walking and kayaking in the Northwoods of Michigan with my family. It is our time to unplug, enjoy nature, and hear loons in the distance every now and then.

What one thing would you take to summit K2?

As a climber, I would take a cook stove over a camera just in case things don’t go as planned.  As a digital project manager, I make sure my clients have a cook stove as well.


You May Not Know…

How did digital become your calling?

In 1996 I attended a class taught by Lynda WeinmanDesigning for the Web. I was hooked on designing and developing for the Web from then on. Lynda was not only influential in my early career as a designer, she continues to influence designers today. She wrote one of the earliest books about designing for the Web in 1995 and she is co-founder of, one of the most successful companies in online education today. 

Are there any special insights you can give us regarding raising twins?

Since I had identical twin brothers, one thing I noticed was the competitive nature of twins. When we were blessed with a boy and girl set, we made a point of buying one of each toy so they would have to share. An example of this idea’s success is a push toy that was enjoyed when our daughter pushed our son around to the enjoyment of both. Today, as nine-year-olds, they enjoy shared building projects in Minecraft.


Your daily routine?

My daily routine is pretty hectic between working at Pathfinders and getting the kids to their various after-school academic and sports activities. A great way for me to relax is to listen to opera music while reading a book.

Your major in college and first occupation?

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a major in Drawing and my first position was as a Graphic Designer.

How did the recent move from a rural area to suburbia affect your family?

Interestingly, our suburban neighborhood has more trees and animals than our home in the country. We enjoy the front porch and converse with our neighbors by greetings across the yards or refreshment on the porch. It turns out that our new suburban neighborhood is actually a better fit with our love of trees and nature than our country abode. Plus – we rescued a senior set of former hunting beagles, and now Jo Jo and Ben enjoy being housedogs and guarding a smaller yard.


What is your Motto?




Nancy Ball

We'd be lost without Nancy, who’s our Office Manager and Company Mom. She handles our monthly birthday celebrations. She cheerfully explains HR policies, insurance programs, 401(k) plans, and other paperwork-filled issues. She takes care of our office supply inventory. And she makes everyone feel welcome and brightens everyone's day with her ever-present smile.

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