Janelle Schulenberg, a 1986 St. Thomas alumna and an active volunteer in Alumni Association activities, has been named senior director of Alumni Relations.
Schulenberg will begin her duties on Wednesday, Dec. 16, overseeing a nine-person staff and working closely with the 33-member Alumni Board of Directors.
“We are thrilled to have Janelle join the alumni staff as its new leader,” said Ryan French, associate vice president for advancement. “She brings a wealth of experience from a variety of sectors, including Fortune 100 companies and higher education organizations.”
French called Schulenberg “a diehard Tommie” who participates in the Student-Alumni Mentoring Program, regularly attends events on campus and served on the alumni board from 2005-2007. “She has deep ties to the alumni community,” he said, “and we will be fortunate to have her leadership.”
Schulenberg said she decided to leave the business transformation consulting business that she started nearly two decades ago to work at St. Thomas because she is “passionate” about her alma mater and wants to become more involved in its day-to-day life.
“It’s time to give back,” she said. “St. Thomas got me started on my career path 30 years ago, and I want to help the university by working closely with alumni, engaging them and helping them realize that this is their Alumni Association. We have an opportunity to increase alumni advocacy, interaction and partnership, and to serve a Tommie Network that is more than 100,000 alumni strong.”
Schulenberg is a graduate of Kellogg High School in Roseville and majored in marketing at St. Thomas. She was a resident advisor and Homecoming queen and served on the Planning Activities Committee (now St. Thomas Activities and Recreation) and the President’s Student Development Committee (now the Student Alumni Council).
Her first decade after graduation involved marketing positions, primarily in the financial services sector, with firms such as Green Tree Financial and AgriBank, both in downtown St. Paul. She moved into strategic planning before launching a consultant business in 1996.
“I loved what I was doing, and a mentor encouraged me to launch my own firm, proposing I’d gain work-life balance,” she said. “People often think running a consultancy means you get to set your own schedule and have more free time, but the truth is, you work longer hours because you wear more hats.”
Her firm, Tacet, is based in Minneapolis, and provides strategic growth planning and performance improvement services. Schulenberg said over the last 19 years, Tacet and its affiliated consultants have worked with 108 clients across 24 industries, including the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. She also has taken on full-time leadership roles, most recently with Verilux (2010-2011), Regis (2011-2013) and Best Buy (2013 until last April).
Schulenberg has been a guest professor in the John M. Morrison Center for Entrepreneurship at St. Thomas and at St. Mary’s University. She is on the board of Evans Larson Communications and is the co-founder of the Business Women’s Network. She is a member of the Minnesota Change Management Network, the Global Project Management Institute and the Minnesota chapter of the Project Management Institute.
Her certifications include CPPM (Certified Professional Project Manager) and CSM (Certified Scrum Master), which involves coaching an agile framework for completing complex projects.