POWER USER Q&A: Dr. Janice Hooker-Fortman

“Always be an authentic and honest communicator.”

As we continue to highlight some of Symposium’s most dedicated users, this week we want to place a spotlight on Dr. Janice Hooker Fortman. Dr. Fortman is a speaker, published author, and a relationship expert. She is the author of The Little Book of BIG Behavior Interventions, a handbook of interventions for teachers who are confronted with the most common misbehavior problems in elementary school classrooms. She is also the author of How Not to Throw Mama From the Train, a book about the often challenging relationship between adult daughters and their aging mothers. Dr. Fortman found Symposium to be an easy way to restructure her business virtually when COVID-19 stay-at-home orders were first put into place. We held a Q&A with her to learn more about her.

  • What three words best describe you?

Dr. Jan: friendly, creative, and persistent

  • You are a relationship expert, what is the best piece of advice you can offer?

Dr. Jan: Always be an authentic and honest communicator.

  • What brought you to the profession of relationship expert?

Dr. Jan: I started out in the corporate and education worlds and I realized that my professional relationships were not what they should be.  I had the same issue in my personal life, including a strained relationship with my mother. She told me, “it’s the way you communicate.” I then decided to focus on improving my communication and that led me to be a relationship expert.

  • You are a member of Toastmasters International. How has that helped you?

Dr. Jan: Toastmasters has helped me to be a better speaker and to build my confidence in front of audiences. It has enabled me to step out of my comfort zone. 

  • What has been your biggest accomplishment?

Dr. Jan: My biggest accomplishment has been earning my doctorate degree in education leadership. It took a lot of focus, time and sacrifice such as losing friends because I did not have time to spend with them.

  • What do you like about using the Symposium platform?

Dr. Jan: I like that Symposium has helped me to reach more people,especially in current times when we are not able to attend presentations in person.

  • What advice do you have for other Symposium users?

Dr. Jan: I would tell other Symposium users to keep with it. It takes time to build your audience. It is also important to put on as many presentations as you can to continue to build your expertise.