Despite being a divorced mother living on welfare four decades ago, Janice Adams has led a life of accomplishment.
A graduate of the Community College of the Air Force, Adams joined the military in 1976, serving as an information manager with the Air Force. After training, she was stationed at Ramstein Air Base in Germany with the inspector general. She also served in Honduras with Joint Task Force Bravo and in Crete, Greece. Within the U.S., Adams served at Kelly Air Force Base (now Lackland Air Force Base) in Texas and, in what she described as a “significant moment,” worked with then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Colin Powell, as part of his staff. In addition to serving in these roles, she sang at the 1979 Anniversary of the Air Force Ball at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash.
After her retirement from the military in 2000, Adams pursued contracting work, beginning her new career with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). After working at the FAA for five years, and with the encouragement of a former client, she became an independent consultant by founding her own enterprise, JMA Solutions. Under her leadership, JMA has expanded considerably, growing from one employee in 2008 to 170 today, and from only consulting in air traffic control to “software development, engineering, program management, and training support,” as well. At JMA, she also employs a large number of Veterans. Currently, more than 40 percent of her management team is composed of former service members.
In addition to consulting, Adams and JMA have supported multiple non-governmental organizations (NGOs), donating more than $1.5 million to “charities, D.C. school programs, scholarships, and military organizations.” She has also supported her children and one of her granddaughters in the pursuit of their own entrepreneurial careers by investing in their business startups.
During her service in the Air Force, Adams received several awards, including a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, a Meritorious Service Medal, an Air Force Commendation Medal, and many more. She has also received awards for her post-service career accomplishments. Because her business supports NGOs, creates a family-like workspace and has an active leader, JMA has been named a top workplace by the Washington Post in 2016, has received the D.C. Chamber of Commerce’s Community Impact Award and has been recognized in countless other publications. Adams herself has also been awarded the D.C. Chamber of Commerce’s Chairman’s Choice Award and the Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Mid-Atlantic Region. In recognition of her contributions to the Washington D.C. community, she was inducted into the D.C. Hall of Fame in 2019. Adding to her list of accomplishments, she was named the President of Ideal Electric Supply in November 2021. Despite her numerous awards, however, her employment of many Veterans at JMA is still what makes her most proud.
Adams now has a large family, with two children, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
We honor her service.