Janna Martin has worked at DELTA as an executive team assistant for two years, though for many around the office, it’s felt like much longer. Since joining the team in March 2018, Martin’s been vital in helping to make sure DELTA continuously moves forward and our staff have what they need to succeed.
Originally from Calgary, Alberta, Martin studied history at the University of Calgary and worked in finance and banking for five years after graduation. She then transitioned to non-profit work, supporting Calgary’s local science center and children’s museum in a number of roles including project and development coordination, operations and exhibit work.
After Martin and her husband, Bryan, moved to the Raleigh area, she was a project coordinator for PowerAmerica, an NC State institute located on Centennial Campus that uses grants from the Department of Energy and NC State to fund wide bandgap semiconductor research.
Martin now draws from these experiences to serve departments and initiatives across DELTA, ensuring that our teams and the clients we serve are successful.
How would you describe your position to someone unfamiliar with DELTA?
“I am first and foremost [Donna Petherbridge]’s executive assistant. I also support all of her directors,” says Martin.
This includes coordinating budgets, temporary staffing, travel and more for staff in Academic Technology Innovation (ATI), which includes about 80 employees. Martin also contributes to additional projects led by Petherbridge, DELTA’s associate vice provost for ATI, like the Women in Technology Interest Group and the Council on the Status of Women, of which Petherbridge is the chair.
The rest of Martin’s time is spent as project coordinator for the five WolfWare Governance committees, working with WolfWare Coordinator Martin Dulberg to keep each team organized and on task with key initiatives. She is also working with Media Production Services on their Mediasite instance retirement project and will work on other projects throughout ATI as needed. She is glad to have so many opportunities to use her skills in project management.
“No day is ever the same. And that’s one of the things I like about executive assistant roles in general as well as project management.”
What has been your favorite project that you’ve worked on?
Martin recalls her work to help the Council on the Status of Women secure paid parental leave for families at NC State.
“My favorite project that we’ve finished is the paid parental leave project. I helped Donna do research on different universities, what their various paid parental leave policies are and how they compared to ours,” says Martin.
In September 2019, the council saw their work pay off in a big way. Using the research Martin helped to collect, the UNC System passed a new paid parental leave plan granting eight weeks of paid leave to every eligible employee within the system, directly crediting the council for their advocacy and planning efforts. NC State previously had no paid parental leave benefits. DELTA Lead Information Architect/PHP Developer Jonathan Champ also serves on the council and worked to make the resolution a reality as part of a leadership project his team implemented.
Additionally, Martin enjoys playing a role in the Women in Technology Interest Group, an initiative started by Petherbridge in 2019 to bring women in technology leadership positions at NC State closer together.
“I made the website for that, and I manage the Google group and help with whatever else is needed,” she says.
What is your area of expertise?
“There are two really big key skills that I need in my day-to-day that I feel I excel at. One is being organized and on top of all the different projects that are going on,” says Martin.
She uses a variety of tools to stay on top of projects across DELTA’s many divisions. In addition to keeping a running task board for WolfWare Governance, Martin relies on to-do lists and techniques that cut through clutter.
“I heavily use calendars and organize my inbox in a way that I can see what’s still waiting on being done and what’s important.”
Martin excels in communication, a skill that is critical in developing positive working relationships with people throughout DELTA. She strives to make sure that everyone who supports ATI feels comfortable talking to her and can come to her for what they need. She credits everyone at DELTA for making her job special.
“I like the people the most. Any job I’ve had, it’s always been the people who have made the biggest difference. In any support role, that’s your main job, to support other people. Having people who you can rely on, who are friendly and cool to talk to, that’s probably the best part of the job.”
What do you like to do outside of work?
“My husband and I travel a lot. We’re big Disney fans.”
Martin is also an avid reader and enjoys sci-fi and fantasy titles.
When she’s not reading or spending time with her two cats, Cedric and Luna, you might find her studying. Martin is newly enrolled as a graduate student in the online Master in Applied Arts and Sciences program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
“I’m enjoying it a lot. I definitely was interested in online because of where we work, but also because I’m [working] full time and I have all of these other obligations outside of work as well.”
Martin is continuing her studies in history with focuses on conflict and change, human rights, and social justice. She also holds certifications in teaching English as a Second Language and yoga instruction.
What is something about yourself that people may not readily know?
Stemming from her years in Calgary, Martin is a seasoned hiker and backpacker. She’s no stranger to the outdoors and the many activities it offers.
“Pretty much any outdoor activity was available to us in Calgary. Everybody’s really outdoorsy up there. Camping is a big Canadian thing in general.”
Moving to the United States hasn’t stopped her, however. Martin and her husband have explored landscapes well outside of North Carolina, noting that the country’s smaller bear population as compared to Canada makes for more relaxing overnight trips.
“Last year we did a big multi-day trip in Arizona through Havasu that was 10 miles hiking in and 10 miles out.”
DELTA is glad to have Martin’s adventurous spirit on our team.