Jana Barbe is an accomplished and highly regarded director of both public and private companies wielding a keen and perceptive understanding of boardroom dynamics, a strong background in governance and a sophisticated business acumen. With a particular expertise in real estate and capital markets, and a deep sense of social responsibility, Jana is a multifaceted contributor to boardroom discussion with a comprehensive perspective thoughtfully expressed.
Jana currently serves on the Board of Directors of Invitation Homes, Inc. (NYSE: INVH), the nation’s largest single-family home rental company, operating 80,000 homes across 17 markets. A member of both the audit committee and the compensation committee, Jana is well-versed in risk management oversight, financial reporting, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) principles, talent management and incentive compensation at a public company. Having joined the Board shortly after Invitation Homes completed its IPO, as well its transformative merger with Starwood Waypoint Homes (NYSE: SFR), Jana has proven herself able to deftly navigate a dynamic business environment.
Jana also serves on the Board of Directors of The Boler Company. The Boler Company is a family office and a holding entity for a variety of family-owned subsidiaries including Hendrickson International, the leading global producer of medium and heavy-duty truck and trailer suspensions and related components for the global commercial transportation industry, and Anchor Harvey, an aluminum forging company primarily serving the aerospace industry. As a member of the Boler Company Board, Jana moves nimbly from addressing the supply chain challenges facing Hendrickson to assessing the sophisticated and innovative investment opportunities available to the family office.
Jana is best known though as a preeminent authority on affordable housing and community development. Currently, Jana is a Senior Advisor to Blackstone, the largest private equity firm in the world, providing strategic and tactical input in connection with Blackstone’s affordable housing initiatives. Prior to joining Blackstone, Jana was a partner at Dentons, the largest law firm in the world, where she advised leading financial institutions and insurance companies in connection with affordable housing and community development equity investments made within an intricate tax regulatory framework involving billions of dollars of risk and thousands of units of low income and workforce housing.
Jana is also an impassioned advocate for women. A trailblazer, Jana was the first woman appointed to Dentons’ Global Board where she served as the only woman for six years, and the first Global Vice Chair appointed from the U.S. region. As such, Jana effectuated groundbreaking and lasting change for women in the legal profession, as recognized by Corporate Counsel and InsideCounsel magazines when they awarded her the 2019 Women, Influence & Power Lifetime Achievement Award. Jana is the Chairperson Emeritus of the Board of Advisors of Catalyst, Inc., the much acclaimed international women’s advocacy organization, and currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Association, a global organization of and for extraordinary women modeled on the Young President’s Organization (YPO).
Equally committed to serving her local community. Jana is a past Chairperson of the Board of Thresholds, Illinois’ oldest and largest provider of supportive services and housing for individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Jana has been involved with Thresholds (serving the broader Chicagoland community) for over 30 years.
A woman of diverse pursuits, Jana is the CEO of Kentucky-based Henley Farms, Inc., her family’s thoroughbred-breeding business. In that role, she oversees bloodstock, investments and sales.
Jana is a graduate of The University of Chicago Law School and Northwestern University. She also attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business – Director’s Consortium and is an alumna of DirectWomen. She is the mother of two accomplished daughters and lives in Chicago and Kentucky with three dogs, three barn cats, too many horses and her remarkably patient husband.