The Journey Team
JANET WAKEFIELD, MA, CYC-P
Founder and Chief Exploration Officer
Janet brings her heart and soul into the field of youth development and is the ultimate supporter of those who serve our young people. With over 40 years as a youth worker herself, Janet knows the importance of taking care of yourself so you can bring your best self to the field. Based upon the belief that the best way to provide quality services for youth is to have the highest quality youth workers in the field providing those services, Janet created the Journey Fellowship Programs to renew, connect and inspire Executives, New Professionals and Students in the field of youth development.
Janet is an experienced facilitator, trainer, and consultant who has worked with community groups, schools, parent groups, faith-based groups and human service organizations. She has served organizations such as the Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana, Academy for Educational Development and the National Crime Prevention Council. She is also a co-author of widely used curricula such as Youth As Trustees, Youth In Governance, and Youth As Philanthropists. She is also the author of the children’s book, What If Everybody Gave?
She received her M.A. in Executive Development and Adult Education from Ball State University and a B.A. in Social Work from Indiana University. She is a Child and Youth Care Professional and serves on the boards of the Association of Child and Youth Care Practice and FICE USA.
When not on The Journey, Janet enjoys traveling, dancing and spending time with her two grand-daughters and husband who is a retired high school principal. Janet has a side gig helping people have their best years at The First Year Of – check it out at https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFirstYearOF
TOM PLAKE, MSOD
Co-Creator and Chief Experience Officer
For over 30 years, Tom Plake has worked extensively as a speaker, coach, facilitator, and provocateur for: corporations, foundations, churches, universities, not-for-profits, state, local and federal government associations, community organizations, and schools. In 1992 he formed his own leadership and organization development consulting firm, Creative Resources, Inc. to help “people and organizations grow.”
Tom joined Janet in 2002 to create The Journey and began to design the award-winning programs and experiences that would bring a more intense level of personal and professional development to youth workers in Indiana. Using his design and facilitation skills, Tom ensures that all Journey fellowships and programs are “wow” experiences.
Tom holds a bachelor’s degree from Wabash College and a M.S. with distinction in Organizational Development from American University/AUNTL. He is also a graduate of CoachU. He has been a member of the International Association of Facilitators, The Graduate School of Coaching, The National Human Services Assembly, The OD Network and The National Staff Development and Training Association.
When not on The Journey, Tom tries to keep up with his wife and two teenage sons while working in a little traveling, reading, and music playing.
MELINDA BOWMAN, MS, CYC-P
Chief Organization Officer and Director of The Journey Fellowship For Students
With her background in education, service and non-profit management, Melinda is a natural at both making people feel welcome AND ensuring the important work of The Journey is organized and efficient. She is the Director of the Journey’s program for college students, where she is a natural coach and mentor to young people exploring whether youth work could really be a career for them. Melinda ensures all the Journey programs, fellowship and initiatives are well-planned and successful.
Prior to her work in The Journey, she served with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps as a tutor and trailblazer, worked as a fourth-grade teacher in a resource-challenged elementary school in Charleston, SC and ministered to students at Ball State University in Muncie, IN.
Melinda received her BS in Elementary Education from Ball State University and her Masters in Leadership Development with a focus on non-profit organizations from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
When not on The Journey, she spends time traveling, camping, crafting and hanging out with her dogs. You can get one of Melinda’s own handmade scarves from Roundabout Journey at www.etsy.com/shop/RoundaboutJourney.