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 enterprise 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 various real estate entities. As a member of the Boler Company Board, as well as the audit committee and the investment committee, Jana and her fellow Board members provide oversight of family businesses and investments in a manner consistent with best practices and the family’s laudable values and standards.
Perhaps Jana is best known though as a preeminent authority on affordable housing and community development. Currently, Jana is a Senior Advisor to April Housing, a Blackstone portfolio company, providing strategic and substantive input in connection with April Housing’s affordable housing initiatives as well as the low-income housing tax credit program. Jana was previously a Senior Advisor to Blackstone directly, providing substantive support in connection with the launch of the Blackstone and April Housing affordable housing businesses and the acquisition of 90,000 affordable housing units by Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust. Prior to joining Blackstone, Jana was a partner at Dentons, the largest law firm in the world, where she founded its nationally renowned affordable housing and community development practice. While at Dentons, Jana advised leading financial institutions and insurance companies in connection with affordable housing and community development equity investments. She was instrumental in the creation, operation and management of affordable housing portfolios comprised of 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 the 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 Dentons, in 2022, when the Firm presented Jana with the Inaugural WomenLead Lifetime Achievement Award, and by Corporate Counsel and InsideCounsel magazines when they awarded her the 2019 Women, Influence & Power Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2017, Jana was also presented with Linkage’s Women in Leadership Executive Impact 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 is a Life Director of Thresholds reflective of her 30-year commitment to Thresholds and its mission.
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 where she majored in Art History and graduated with honors. She also attended the Stanford Graduate School of Business – Director’s Consortium, is an alumna of DirectWomen and regularly participates in advanced courses for Board members. She is the mother of two accomplished daughters and lives in Chicago and Kentucky with four dogs, four barn cats, too many horses and her remarkably patient husband.