Janelle Lester

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Janelle Lester
Chief Compliance Officer
Forex Capital Markets LLC 
New York City
Age: 34

Janelle Lester is driven by an obligation to succeed, instilled in her by her parents who sacrificed much on her behalf. She takes nothing for granted and seeks to rise to any challenge with a sense of courage. Lester began her career at Forex Capital Markets LLC as an administrative assistant and quickly garnered professional accolades and promotions to upper-management positions. In addition to God and her family, she attributes her success to the partners at Forex. “They have pushed me to deliver. They also molded me for senior roles in the firm that I wouldn’t have sought on my own,” Lester says.

In 2005, when she was managing director of operations, Lester was asked to spearhead the launch of a branch office in Texas. As branch manager and operations managing director, she spent two years in Texas and helped to successfully develop the Texas offshoot. She returned to New York in 2007, at which time she transitioned to a role in Compliance, and was ultimately promoted to her current position as chief compliance officer in 2012.

Lester continues to challenge herself by pursuing a law degree at Rutgers University School of Law and expects to graduate in May 2015. She already holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York–Stony Brook. “The worst thing that can happen is that I’ll learn something new from the experience,” she says. Balancing a demanding career in business and an education in law can be quite difficult, but Lester handles it all through time management, traveling to faraway destinations, and recharging with family and friends. Lester calls these elements “essential” to maintaining a positive attitude and healthy balance.

Lester continues to strive for excellence in her positions and encourages future minority business professionals to keep their companies and bosses in mind and think about “what it would take to exceed their expectations.”