Janet A. Simmons

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Janet A. Simmons
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army (Retired)
President, Global Resource Solutions Inc. (GRS)
Alexandria, Va.

A ninth-grade teacher’s negative comment made Janet A. Simmons resolve to be the best she could be. “I was one of a handful of Blacks in an high school honors history class and the teacher said I wasn’t smart enough and wouldn’t succeed,” says Simmons. Simmons graduated in the top 1 percent of her high school class and devoted more than 20 years of outstanding service to her country. She retired from the United States Army with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Simmons is a distinguished military, magna-cum-laude graduate of South Carolina State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and reigned as Miss South Carolina State. She has a master’s in administration from Central Michigan University. Her specialized training and skills in many facets of military intelligence led to many honors, including the Presidential Service Badge. She has commanded more than 3,500 soldiers and Army civilians and was a senior intelligence officer for a White House drug official.

Since June 2011, Simmons has been president of GRS, a service-disabled veteran and minority-owned management consulting company. She joined the company as a program manager and after four years, during which she contributed to the company’s unprecedented revenue growth, was named president. “You must be a servant leader and others will respect you and will always take care of you,” Simmons says, articulating the belief that has guided her since the military. “When you serve others as a leader, as opposed to having others serve you, you will be successful.”

She is thankful for the love and support of her husband, Ron, and daughter, Lauren, and remains inspired by her mother’s community service. The teacher who once expressed her doubts recently purchased a front-row seat at a major charity event in South Carolina to see and hear the guest speaker, Simmons.