Janie L. Mines was born in Aiken, South Carolina. One of two daughters of the Reverend W. L. Mines and Daisy Sheppard Mines, she graduated from Aiken High School in 1976 as class salutatorian. She received an appointment to the United States Naval Academy from the U.S. Representative Butler Derrick and entered Annapolis as a part of the first group of women to attend the Naval Academy. Ms. Mines was the only African-American woman accepted in that class and graduated in 1980. Later, she was awarded a prestigious Sloan Fellowship and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Alfred P. Sloan School of Business Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
During Ms. Mines’ military career, she served as a Supply Corps Officer, holding several logistics positions, including a tour at the Navy Annex to the Pentagon and aboard the USS Emory S. Land (AS-39). She held management positions of increasing responsibility in several corporations, including warehouse manager, logistics manager (training and safety for an 18-wheel truck fleet), finance manager, procurement manager, and an internal consultant responsible for implementing large-scale change. Most recently, Ms. Mines served as a Senior Vice President of Strategic Sourcing, in which she led a team of professionals in negotiating and managing agreements for real estate services, personnel services, consulting, utilities, and financial services, responsible for over $2 billion dollars of procurement funds. She currently owns her own management consulting firm, Common Cents Business Solutions, Inc., in Fort Mill, South Carolina, focusing on quality and productivity and is involved in a strategic partnership with Queen Associates, Inc. in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Ms. Mines attributes her own success to a strong family foundation that taught her to put God first in all that she does, crediting strong parental involvement with much of her success. As an untiring champion for youth, she believes that if young people are taught that they “can do all things through Christ”, they would find strength and lose the hopelessness that is demoralizing them.
To meet the needs of the community’s socio-economically disadvantaged adolescent boys, she founded a non-profit organization, Boys to Men Club, Inc. She communicates that all of our youth have a tremendous opportunity to be valuable, contributing members of society, and in order to achieve this, they must not look back at past difficulties but work diligently to prepare themselves for the future. She teaches that it is important that we learn from the past, let go of past negative situations, and move forward.
Her message to young men is to respect themselves and one another—that in order to get respect, they must first be willing to give it—to be confident of their own personal value and to avoid disruptive behavior in schools and society that will result only in severely limiting any opportunity to achieve their life goals. Finally, she feels that education is critical to their success and believes that bettering society comes from loving young people and teaching them to love themselves. This honoree is a resident of Fort Mill and the mother of one son, William.