When Cohort XV came to Cambridge for their opening session in early December, they had the chance to meet a special alumnus: Jane Cage (Cohort XI). Jane is chairman of the Joplin (MO) Citizens Advisory Recovery Team and was a tireless volunteer in the aftermath of the EF-5, multi-voretx tornado that ripped through Joplin hard on May 22, 2011. The tornado killed more than 150 people and injured more than 1,100. It caused almost $3 billion in damage.
What distinguishes Jane as a meta-leader is not just her efforts in the immediate aftermath of this horrific event–many people in the community stepped up and worked hard. It is her sustained commitment to Joplin and a much broader set of communities that can benefit from the lessons learned.She compiled a volume of essays on response, recovery and resilience, Joplin Pays It Forward, to share what Joplin learned. For the five-year anniversary of the tornado, Jane led the organization of the Joplin Disaster Recovery Summit that brought together community leaders from around the country to learn from each other.
“Among our NPLI alumni who received the Meta-Leader of the Year award, Jane Cage is the first who does not work for a government agency,” said NPLI Founding Co-director Dr. Lenny Marcus.. “As a volunteer and committed leader in Joplin, Missouri, Jane was a force to bring the community together in the immediate aftermath of the Joplin tornado in 2011. Seeking to spread the lessons learned to other communities across the country, Jane organized the “Joplin Proud” conference five years later. An extraordinary example of meta-leadership in action, the conference shared lessons and experiences on recovery, resilience and leadership with a national audience that she convened in Joplin. The NPLI is proud to have Jane Cage among our graduates and as one of our Meta-Leader of the Year recipients.”
Congratulations, Jane. Thank you for your service.