Meet “the tree lady:” Jane Myers is TreesCharlotte’s new executive director

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TreesCharlotte is excited to welcome Jane Singleton Myers as its new executive director. Jane’s impressive career has spanned the arenas of sports, corporate and non-profit. She brings a sharp financial eye, love of Charlotte and infectious enthusiasm to the role. We asked Jane a few get-to-know-you questions:

Give us a quick career backgrounder.

After graduating from Guilford College, I interned with NationsBank during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. The following year, I moved to Charlotte to work for Raycom Sports and later to  UNC Charlotte in Alumni Affairs. 

For the next 14 years, I was able to strengthen and diversify my business acumen at Bank of America in finance, investment banking, human resources, marketing, communications, and corporate services (supply chain, corporate real estate and sustainability), among other areas.  Bank of America provided a rich career development environment. 

In 2015, I moved into nonprofit work as Executive Director for The First Tee of Greater Charlotte, where I could apply extensive business knowledge in a new arena that was a passion to me: empowering youth through golf.  It was an incredibly rewarding and successful tenure as we grew the chapter into the top 10 in the country, out of approximately 150 chapters.

Today, I am thrilled with my new mission that combines my love of trees and nature with relationships, business and advocacy. What a humbling mission to be placed in my care.

What drew you to the TreesCharlotte job? 

My family was in the timber business as a child so tree advocacy, growth and sustainability were heavily impressed upon me in my youth. Also, I have lived in Charlotte almost 25 years so I consider myself a naturalized native. The tree canopy is the first thing I picture when I think of Charlotte.  Having traveled a great deal for work over the years, I learned that our reputation as “The City of Trees” is widely known throughout our country. It is a treasured aspect of our city.

Where do you hope to jump in first with TreesCharlotte and its goals to grow and preserve the urban canopy?

I am most looking forward to all I will learn from the talented staff, board and volunteers! I plan to start with evolving our strategic plan by incorporating the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan with TreesCharlotte’s accomplishments and future impact, particularly in underserved communities.

With approximately 100 people moving to Charlotte each day, navigating the rapid rate at which Charlotte is expanding is critically important. This mission is key to not only the health of Charlotte’s people but the city as well. We must preserve and grow The City of Trees!

What do you see as the biggest challenges to accomplishing these goals?

Continuing to raise awareness and engagement with all the new construction around our fair city is mission critical to our success, as well as planning for the natural life span of the oldest trees that are so dear to the canopy.

Now, a few tree questions! What’s your favorite tree species? 

“I could no sooner choose a favorite star in the heavens.”  So I choose:

  • The smell of Pine,
  • the peace of Willow,
  • the strength of Oak,
  • the sentiment of Wax Myrtles and Palmettos (my hometown and state: Myrtle Beach, SC),
  • the fun of the Magnolia (climbing in grandparents’ yards),
  • the Poplars for the Underground Railroad assistance at Guilford College,
  • the Ginkgo for roots, longevity and faith (Christ Episcopal Church), and
  • the simple yet varied beauty of red and Japanese Maples.

Can you share a treasured tree story from your life?

I loved climbing the Magnolia trees at both grandparents’ homes as a child, so I was thrilled when my first house in Charlotte had a huge Magnolia. It gave me similar warm memories as my nieces and step kids climbed it with me when they were young.

Are you ready to get dirty and plant trees with us?!? 

Bring on the boots, gloves, dirt and mulch!

At The First Tee, Jane sometimes became Snag Man, which young golfers tried to hit with special velco balls. It only hurt sometimes, Jane swears. We think she’ll love Rooty.

And now some personal questions, rapid fire:

How long have you lived in Charlotte: Since 1997

Age: Older than a seedling and younger than a Myers Park Oak

Tell us about your family: My family is very special! I just got married for the first time four years ago to the most amazing man. And I am now blessed with two brilliant and fun step kids (daughter 15, son 13).  My stepdaughter has already dubbed me “The Tree Lady” and they are both thrilled with my new mission.  You will surely see all three at varying events supporting us.

Surprise us with something that makes Jane unique: Totally random facts – I played three sports in college (soccer, tennis, lacrosse), my “go-to” karaoke song is “I Love Rock ‘N Roll” by Joan Jett, and at 7 years old I competed in a greased pig contest. I caught him several times but wasn’t strong enough to pick him up and put him on the truck bed.  So sadly, I did not get to bring him home.  My mama was relieved that we did not get a new pet pig!