Janice Kapner, Hall of Femme 2019

EVP, communications and community engagement, T-Mobile

What would you do if you weren't in PR?
Anyone who knows me knows I love animals – especially my three crazy dogs, aka my fur babies. If not PR and communications, I would tap into my personal passion and work with animals every day – either go back to school and study to be a veterinarian or maybe build and run a dog rescue shelter. They say animals are good for the heart and mind, and I agree.

Talk about the last time you experienced a fist-pumping victory moment.
At T-Mobile there is a fist-pumping victory moment almost every day, and there are also often fist-pounding moments. If I have to choose one, it’d be the April Fools’ ideas consumers tell us they actually want to purchase – my team consistently raises the bar each and every year delivering new and amazing ideas. We’ve grown from a small, scrappy team of 20 to over 150 kickass people. Being nominated for Best In-House PR Team from PRWeek was a huge honor and a testament to the amount of hard work and hustle this team has done over the years. From crisis management to Un-carrier events, every day this team makes me fist-pump. 

When was the last time you endured a real "agony of defeat" moment? What did you learn from it?
In PR, and especially in wireless, it’s important to take risks and pursue big, bold ideas – and at T-Mobile, we take a lot of risks. An inevitable outcome of this can be failure, but that’s an important part of getting better. We’ve got wipeouts all the time, and every one of them is a learning opportunity. Whether we pitch some news no one decides to care about or just miss a huge story opportunity, we pick ourselves back up and learn how to get better, smarter, and faster for the next time. The key is staying resilient – if you haven’t failed, you really haven’t tried. 

How long ago was the last time you took the time to recharge your batteries? What did you do?
Last September, my husband and I went to Bora Bora to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. There is no better way to recharge than with someone you love: the sunshine, a good spa, beautiful beach, and a hut over the ocean. I highly recommend it.

When have you seen this industry or your organization really shine?
Putting all competition aside, T-Mobile and many others really shine when working to support communities that are adversely affected by natural disasters. Our employees step up and deliver in heartfelt and meaningful ways, and it’s truly amazing to watch. In Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, our teams delivered generators to help power the island and also let the airport use the generators to land planes. We put crews on the ground in California for aid during the wildfires, deploying relief trucks to offer necessary supplies to keep residents safe, healthy, and connected to their loved ones. We also offer text-to-give during natural disasters to make it easy for everyone to support relief efforts. I could go on and on about how T-Mobile comes together to support communities in need. These are just a few examples to show how this organization and all our employees kick into high gear during times of need without any prompting or pressure. It makes me so proud.

Words to live by?
Don’t settle for the status quo and learn to embrace taking some risks. Learn from everything that works and that doesn’t work – and, most important, make sure you can find a way to have fun. Life is meant to be embraced and enjoyed, not endured.

Favorite drink?
I love a great classic, Arnold Palmer. And to celebrate special occasions, a glass of Veuve Clicquot with a couple of raspberries.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
Don’t worry about where you start – what will influence your future the most is what you do with even the smallest opportunity. Be bold, fearless, and confident. Stay strong and take pride in proving the naysayers wrong – I guarantee you’re going to do a lot of it. 

Finish the sentence: To ensure career advancement and pay parity for women, I will...
Coach and support other women, lift them up instead of tearing them down, and encourage our male allies while pushing for my colleagues to do the same. I will ensure there is a focus on mentorship opportunities for women and encourage them to take the leap and chase after what they want. I believe in all types of diversity: in thought, gender, race, background, and experience. It is so important to appreciate the contributions of each unique individual.

If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say to you as you enter?
The beach and your furry friends are that way. Enjoy.

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