With a vivacious spirit and the tenacity to handle life’s toughest battles, Janene Haynes charted a path of excellence at Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC). As an Office Administrator, Janene joined VSEDC in 2017 through the Greater Avenues for Independence (GAIN) program where she displayed dynamic skills that eventually resulted in a permanent position.
Starting each day by strategizing with the executive team, Janene plays a pivotal role in ensuring that economic development resources pour into South Los Angeles. And while she enjoys the wide-range of programs and services that she’s tasked to help facilitate, the Los Angeles native holds one VSEDC program particularly near to her heart.
“Our Youth Entrepreneurship program is my favorite,” Janene shared. “When we are younger, we are often told to go to school and find a job to be successful. That’s not always true. Entrepreneurship training provides an alternative that is different from the traditional approach.”
When asked what makes VSEDC such an essential component of the community’s success, Janene offers a bold vision that matches the dreams of so many Angelinos across multiple generations. “Working for 40 years and then looking forward to retirement is admirable,” she said. “But a lot of people want to be their own boss and have greater control over their lives, especially young people. Their ideas are our futures.”
As a mother of 8-year-old twins, Janene knows first-hand the challenges of mapping out a plan to make big dreams a reality. Although she enjoys her
VSEDC position, she is also a proud VSEDC client having launched her own lemonade business. Thanks to the business plan and entrepreneurship support that she has received, she is well on her way to blazing a trail in the beverage industry.
“I am grateful that VSEDC supported me in starting my own business,” she said. “Sonny’s Lemonade provides specialty lemonades, teas, and detox waters available online and also available for special events like baby showers, prom parties, and more.”
When thinking about Janene’s duties as an employee, her goals as a business owner, and her responsibilities as a mother, many may wonder how she gets it all done. “If you’re hungry enough, nothing will be able to stop you,” she said. “If you have a passion for it, you can do it. If you want to own multiple businesses you can. Don’t let anybody sway you from that.”
Along with spending time with her kids, Janene enjoys meditating, sage, and nature walks. While she has achieved so much in the early stages of her career, there is more to come. Vermont Slauson proudly salutes Janene Haynes for giving her all and representing excellence at its finest.