Janice Holly Booth, B.A., M.A.
Janice Holly Booth is the founder and CEO (Chief Experience Officer) of the Teambuilding KIT. With more than two decades at the helm of three national non-profits and a master's degree in Leadership, Janice has vast experience in leading and growing effective teams.
Her KIT programs were developed in collaboration with an organizational psychologist and are revered for their effectiveness and simplicity. From big companies to small groups, her KIT programs help people become better at one thing they rely on most: communication. Janice has delivered her KIT programs to civic groups, non-profit organizations, private and public companies and special-interest groups.
Janice is also a sought-after international speaker on the topics of personal leadership, building resilience and becoming brave.
Janice has won numerous awards for her non-profit and leadership work, including Woman of the Year and the prestigious Mutual of America Community Partnership Award. She is also an avid solo adventure traveler and a National Geographic author. Her true crime novel “A Voice Out of Nowhere” is an Amazon #1 bestseller.
Born in British Columbia, Janice Holly Booth spent most of her formative years exploring her little corner of Canada on horseback. It sparked a curiosity for nature and ignited a life-long desire to travel and discover more of the world.
Janice says it was during an early career in the criminal justice system where she recognized the racial and cultural inequities that sometimes landed otherwise promising young people in the juvenile justice machine, ruining their futures. Janice knew if she ever had a chance, she’d try to work in service of youth, helping young people develop resilience and self-worth before they started down wrong roads. After moving to New York State in 1985, Janice took her first executive director position for a national arts-in-education system that helped young people become more productive and confident through immersion in the arts. “I worked in some of the poorest, most crime-ridden neighborhoods in Buffalo,” she says. “And to watch these kids develop a positive self-image through music or painting or dance was so exciting. It gave them enough of a sense of self-worth that they could resist succumbing to gangs.” She was eventually recruited to North Carolina to run the Girl Scouts. “Helping build confidence and leadership skills in girls and young women was exhilarating,” says Janice, though there were often bumps and obstacles along the way. “The organization is mostly made up of volunteers. YOU try to keep 2,500 women happy at the same time!” she laughs.
Striving to keep a large staff and cadre of volunteers on the same page with the same goal was the impetus for the original Teambuilding KIT. “It made such positive difference in each individual and the many regional teams I had to manage,” she says. “Once they came together into a cohesive group, I was able to focus on leading and growing the organization rather than putting out fires everywhere.”
It was while running the Girl Scouts that Janice embarked on a 15+ year parallel career of solo adventure travel. “It wasn’t easy,” she says. “Some of these excursions were hard on me physically and mentally and forced me to face my fear of heights and the edge.” It was those experiences that helped Janice become a more authentic mentor and inspiration to the girls in her council. “It was an honor to have them tell me they wanted to be like me when they ‘grew up.’ Even when I told them I practically cried at every rappel!” It was because of Janice’s commitment to overcoming her fears and her considerable leadership accomplishments that she was chosen to be the keynote speaker in Pisa, Italy to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouts Overseas.
It was also the impetus for her leadership studies. “I became so fascinated by what it was, exactly, that allowed me to rappel down a cliff when I was terrified of heights. Did it mean I was brave, or was it something else?” Janice’s leadership thesis was entitled, “Leadership & Courage: The decision-making process in the face of fear.” She helps individuals and leaders embark on their own paths to becoming brave.
From canyoneering in the slot canyons of Utah, to learning the flying trapeze in New York City, to driving a team of dogs across the frozen lakes of Boundary Waters, to paragliding in South Africa and New Zealand, Janice has focused on adventures that force her to test her nerve, over and over again. Her last big trip (pre-coronavirus) was to Ecuador in 2019 where she had to ride a “sky-bike” 200 feet across and almost 700 feet above a deep canyon. “There was no cage or anything,” she says. “It was wide-open and people were backing out like flies! As I left the safety of the platform and made my way across the canyon I was astonished that my fear never materialized. I guess 20+ years of practice paid off!”
Janice’s final CEO position was for Classroom Central in Charlotte, NC where her organization made sure that children living in poverty got the school supplies they needed to be able to succeed in school. “It was a very fulfilling job,” she says, "but offering the Teambuilding KIT to others was just too much of a draw.” She now spends all her time teaching, training, and speaking. And until the pandemic is over, she’s taken up golf. “It may not test my nerve, but it sure tests my patience,” she explains. “Golf is really hard!”