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Janice Flemming-Butler, Top 25 Women in Business 2022 Honoree

Janice Flemming-Butler Employer: Strategic Outreach Solutions Title: Founder & CEO Check out all of the WIB honorees here!
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Growing up in a housing project in South Hartford, Flemming-Butler began organizing and advocating in 1998. Through her work and from her own personal history, she has developed a unique perspective on the limitations of political power in minority populations.

It is this perspective that she uses as a lobbyist, working to connect corporate clients with residents in the community to address problems of common interest. Strategic Outreach Solutions is the only Black female lobbying firm in Connecticut.

Q: What is your biggest professional accomplishment so far?

My biggest accomplishment so far is the safe spaces I’ve created, like my Lobbying Training Institute. There, we teach women the negotiation and advocacy skills they need to access spaces that have historically been closed to them and empower them with the tools they need to bring lasting change.

Q: What’s the next big goal you want to accomplish professionally?

My immediate goal is to continue to break barriers in Connecticut and ensure that others who look like me and come from similar backgrounds know they have a place in the Capitol and in the lobbying space.

Q: What’s one of the biggest professional challenges you’ve overcome?

In a field dominated by white men, it is often challenging to be authentically myself and not compromise on any aspect of my identity to fit in. I’ve made a commitment to myself that I won’t change how I do things just because it’s not how things have been done.

Q: How has the COVID-19 pandemic forced you to adapt as a leader?

It’s helped me realize that Zoom makes it easier to connect my corporate lobbying clients with individuals in the communities that are being impacted by their position on legislation. Lobbying doesn’t happen in a vacuum, and it’s critical for business and corporations to create relationships with everyday people to solve problems of common interest.

Q: What legacy do you want to leave after your career is over?

We need more women of color in the lobbying space both in Connecticut and nationally, and I want to break those doors wide open and empower women to enter and stay in these spaces.

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