Meet Janelle Touma, Summit’s Marketing Manager. She interviewed at Summit Group two weeks before she graduated from college and received an offer soon after. Obviously when she accepted it, she did not realize that she would stick around for a decade (plus a few months)! When asked what keeps her around, she commented that she loves the people she works with and what she does, so the years went by rather quickly. In fact, she is still friends with many of the people she first started working with!
Here at Summit, Janelle divides her time between Business Development, assisting Program Accounts with their marketing, managing the logistics for trade shows, developing content for social media and so much more. The list goes on!
Aside from her duties at work, Janelle enjoys doing various things outside of the daily grind. She loves volunteering in her community. Her true passion is working with children and spends one night out of the week at a DC Shelter where she helps children improve their reading skills, work on craft projects and play until they literally can’t play anymore (because kids have to go to bed at some point!).
She recently started taking dance classes at a studio near her house. She was looking for something active, as well as a good stress reliever, so she enrolled in Ballet. But, this technically isn’t her first dance class. When she was young, her Grandma had “dance lessons” in the living room while singing a variety of different songs, one being Four Tops’ “I Can’t Help Myself” (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch”). Her Grandma only knew the chorus and would mumble the rest. Ever since then, it has been one of Janelle’s favorite songs!
Janelle shared another favorite family memory with me, involving her grandpa. He loves the sound rain makes when it hits a glass window, so the two would occasionally go on walks and listen to the rain pitter patter against the umbrella.
We wrapped up the interview with a fun fact some may not believe. Janelle was 21 when she went on her first flight, which happened to be to Scotland for a Study Abroad program. It was there that she was immediately bit by the travel bug (and bed bugs thanks to her hostel) and has been on the go ever since! She commented that her three favorite trips have been to Iceland, Tanzania and Patagonia. Her trip to Tanzania was by far the most challening, as she traveled there alone and didn’t know a single person in the country. It is a trip she says she’ll never forget!
One of her favorite quotes that she tries to live by is “Someday is not a day of the week”. She says, “If you want to do something, make a plan to do it! One day you may not have the opportunity and will regret you didn’t take the chance”.
Thanks for all you do here at Summit, Janelle!