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Jani Yates, today is only the beginning.

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

RETIREMENT DOESN'T CHANGE WHO YOU ARE, IT ALLOWS YOU TO BECOME MORE.


“I’m the same person now as I was before I retired. I know we often refer to ourselves in reference to the work we do – probably because we spent a whole lot of time doing that. So, when I began to plan for my retirement, I thought about how I was going to evolve.”


This was the opening statement from Jani Yates in the first ever NEXT CHPTR Chats podcast. Jani is a firecracker in constant motion. She is a force that addresses life, and its challenges, head on with a committed sense of determination.


JANI IS JUST BEGINNING. AFTER 40 YEARS, SHE CLOSED THE CHAPTER ON HER ADVERTISING CAREER AND IS REACHING OUT FOR NEW ADVENTURES.


Jani has officially closed the book on a career in Canadian advertising spanning more than 40 years, the past seven as Chief Executive Officer of Ad Standards. Jani walked into her role at Ad Standards with a clear mandate and end-date in mind – she was a change agent that had seven years to help create a modern, compelling rebrand for the 60-year-old industry organization that included shifting focus from traditional media to encompass a new digital reality.


“When I started my role at Ad Standards, I gave them my best before expiry date. I am retiring May 1, 2023, the day I turn 65. With no elephant in the room, we started planning my succession from the day I joined.”


Just before retirement Jani was inducted into International Council for Ad Self Regulation (ICAS) Hall of Fame as recognition for her contributions to advertising self-regulation at the 2023 global European Advertising Standards Alliance (EASA) meeting in Istanbul, Turkey.


“Over the last couple of years, I did receive some side-eye when I talked about ‘when I’m 65’, after all I was drawing attention to AGE. Ageism is rampant in the advertising and marketing industries; it starts in your thirties. I wanted to personally promote that I am 65 and proud of it. And that I am happy and eagerly waiting for my next chapter.”


AGEISM IS REAL BUT BY BEING UP FRONT ABOUT IT, IT REMOVED THE ELEPHANT FROM THE ROOM.


“I did take steps to ensure that I addressed the three pillars of a successful retirement: health, community, and passion. I’m a planner, so with this in mind, over the last year I earned the ICD.D designation from the Rothman Institute of Corporate Director Education Program. Over the years I have also taken on several board roles, including chairing Nabs and the AdClub of Toronto. I also am serving on the board of governors for ACTRA Fraternal Benefits Society. I plan to continue serving on both paid and voluntary boards in the city. I’m also a Captain for Toronto ‘Cultural Affairs’ as a way to give back to this city I love.”


MY COMMITMENT TO HEALTH AND MOVEMENT ARE AT THE CORE OF WHO I'VE ALWAYS BEEN. THAT IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE WITH RETIREMENT.


“My commitment to health and movement are a core of who I am. I have many friends and belong to several groups through my sports.”


“The privilege of aging is something very dear to me. I was forty when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I had started running initially to ‘Run for the Cure’ for her and others. When she died, I was in my mid-forties. I decided to channel my energy into a big goal – I was going to run marathons. And I did, I ran ten marathons around the world. I started in Toronto, ran in Boston, Berlin and I would have continued but a torn hamstring sidelined me just before the Tokyo Marathon in Japan.”


“Staying physically active is so important for me, it’s what allows me to do the things I want to do. Yoga has been a part of my life for a long time. I love the practice and I love the community of going to class. That had been a core part of my life until COVID happened. During the pandemic I started relying on live streamed classes for community and chatting after the class. It’s not the same. I love going in yoga retreats with Andréa Robertson. In retirement, yoga is part of my daily routine.”

“I took up kayaking when I had to let my leg heal. I still spend a lot of time on the water. I’ve gone back to running but now its 10K community runs. I enjoy chatting on the run with friends. My running women are all retired. It was their council that helped me define what my retirement was going to be like. Their advice was to start doing something gently and see where it goes. It’s not a job, you need to figure out what is going to bring you joy, community and happiness.”


“Another piece of advice I would give to everyone, if you are given the opportunity for an executive coach, take advantage of the offer. Executive coaching was part of my contract with Ad Standards. We knew the task of changing and leading an organization would be a very lonely position. Having a coach to bounce ideas off is invaluable.”


There is much more to learn. Go to https://sites.libsyn.com/477528/planning-for-fun-and-challenges-with-guest-jani-yates to listen to the full podcast.

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