Janyne Peek Emsick, Ph.D

Executive Clarity Coach, Consultant and Keynote

Janyne brings nearly three decades of experience coaching leaders and their teams through the hard places, the resistance and conflict that comes with implementing large-and small-scale change, the conflict that comes from role confusion, misaligned goals, unclear processes and unmet expectations. From the C-Suite of the Fortune 100 to the micro-enterprise and non-profit executive, Janyne has helped a multitude of leaders around the world.

Janyne has delivered her message on five continents, including professional development initiatives and graduate programs in Germany, the Philippines, Burma, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo. From the executive team through the IS and HR teams and to the plant staff, her holistic approach taps into individual and organizational potential for increased integrity, aligning intent with action to build trust.

Janyne holds a Ph.D. in leadership from Trinity International University, and continued her executive studies at the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation. Janyne teaches on change leadership in Creighton University's MBA program, as well as teaching the doctoral seminar ‘The person of the Leader” for Tyndale University’s Doctor of Ministry Program.

Early Career

My early business career followed in my father's footsteps as a recruiter and later in training and organizational development. 

I pursued graduate studies in Organizational Development and Religious Education, and then earned a Ph.D. with research in the relationship between adult transformational learning and subsequent transformational leadership, answering the question "Now that they know, what do they do?"  The challenge of turning learning into action serves as my bedrock commitment to designing learning experiences that result in changed behavior. 

Master Teacher and Community Servant

Today I  serve as adjunct faculty for Tyndale Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program and for Creighton University’s MBA program, teaching on the formation of the leader and change leadership.  A founding board member of “Congo Initiative,” a not‐for‐profit collaboration between leaders in the newly‐formed Democratic Republic of Congo and the United States, I helped launch a bilingual university, the Université Chritienne Bilingue du Congo, in the war‐torn DR Congo.

I continue to be delighted and honored to provide strategic community and non-profit leadership as an Omaha Business Ethics Alliance Trustee, as founder of Professional Women Connect, as co-founder of Young Professional – Executive Dialogues, and as a founding board member of OmahaLeaders.com, the city-leader partner of the annual Global Leadership Summit attended by nearly a half-million leaders around the world each year.


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How it all started. 

The story goes, Mom went into labor at Jones Beach in NYC. . . on her 25th birthday. 

Originally, if a girl, the plan was to name me Jacqueline.  The plan changed when, while in labor, mom heard a nurse named Ja-neen paged over the intercom.  Choosing to avoid her daughter having the same name as all the other girls being named after First Lady Jackie Kennedy, she left Brooklyn Lutheran Hospital with her new baby girl, Janyne.  To this day she has no response to why my name is spelled with a 'Y.'  And mom and I share the same birthday.  

Today, I attribute my curiosity and fast tempo to my early years, just a Staten Island Ferry ride away from the Big Apple.  

Actress, Musician, Artist

At 10, my family moved from New York to a home on a small lake in the Chicago suburbs.  I remember being able to figure out how to play any instrument I picked up. . . except the drums.  

After graduating from Barrington High School, I moved to Texas and studied Theatre Arts at Baylor University.   My freshman year, while working on a set, I put my left hand through a table saw, resulting in three fingers on my left hand being reconstructed and ending my stringed-instrument career.  

During my early 20's I performed professionally in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and Chicago. 

Trajectory Changers

In the past decade, two major life-events re-focused the alignment of my trajectory.  

In 2009, I moved from my Sweet Home Chicago to Omaha, Nebraska and married . . . for the first time. . . at nearly 50!  In 2012, my architect-husband, Mike and I launched the commercial design studio Emsick Architects, which has been featured in regional publications for its smart growth and engaging culture. As Managing Principal, I have the opportunity to walk my own talk and practice the principles I've taught for nearly 30 years. 

Marrying for the first time at nearly 50 developed in an unexpected valuing of partnership, patience and trust. We're as different as night and day, and Mike is my "home." 

This wedding photo captures me dancing to ABBA with my youngest niece, Munchkin 1, who became the catalyst of my second trajectory change.

It's Cancer

In January 2016 I recieved a two word text from my little brother in Chicago. 

It's cancer.

My just-turned-12-year-old-niece, Munchkin 1, was diagnosed with rare, advanced stage cancer. Life for all of us changed immediately. 


Within 48 hours I was in Chicago.  Mike remained in Omaha, and we committed to supporting my 12-year-old "Warrior Munchkin" niece and her family through a 7-month treatment process no child should endure. 

The treatment was a success and Warrior Munchkin is thriving as a high school student. 

One day, as her hair and eyebrows were starting to grow back,  I told Warrior Munchkin how much I'd learned from her courage.  She replied, "Aunt Nynee, it wasn't courage.  I didn't have a choice."  

She was too young to comprehend all of the choices she actually had as she responded during her battle against pediatric cancer. 

For at least a decade, while teaching and speaking on change leadership, I've shared Diane Coutu's definition of change-hardy resilience.  

"More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. 

That’s true in the cancer ward, it’s true in the Olympics, and it’s true in the boardroom.

Resilience is neither ethically good nor bad.  It is merely the skill and the capacity to be robust under conditions of enormous stress and change."

If a 12-year-old can negotiate the confusion, the pain, the frustration and fear of looking cancer in the face, certainly adults can do the same as they negotiate leadership challenges. 

Lesson learned - from a 12 year old. 

"“Janyne makes it her business to get to know your business and the individuals with whom she is working. We reached out to her for the knowledge she brings to organizations. What makes her most special is...""

Praise From Kathy Bachner
VP of HR and Administration Mitsubishi Electric Automation, Inc.

"“I would recommend Janyne to anyone who is going through a transition — technical or mergers or combining companies — anywhere there is...""

Praise From Frank Shannon
President/Owner Synergy Home Health Care Former Virtual Disaster Recovery Executive

""She’s got a personality where you are immediately comfortable. I think that is really important for people in this role. She can very quickly establish trust with...""

Praise From Ashley Clark
Director of Strategic Development and Communications, LandDesign


Learn some fun facts about Janyne below.

Janyne’s favorite Alexa command: Alexa, play happy music from the 70’s.

Favorite fiction author: James le Carre

Janyne’s favorite color: Purple. They called me "Peek the Purple People Eater" as a kid.

Janyne’s favorite place: Anywhere warm, near a large body of water with sandy beaches.

Favorite team: Da Bears!

Favorite sport: I’m much more of a fan than athlete, but Mike and I really love walking a round of golf at Field Club of Omaha, the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi. The clubhouse features photos of Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Perry Como golfing there in their hey-day!

Favorite tradition: Mike and I moved into the family home he and his 8 brothers and sisters shared.  It was built just after the Civil War, in 1885. With 9 kids, the Emsicks are a whopper sized family and our home is steeped in family memories since the early 50s!   Each Christmas we host a Children’s Christmas Party which 75 or so family members attend. Its nuts! The kids decorate ornaments, create their own pizzas, and we have a Christmas program where the youngest share the Nativity Story and sing classic Christmas Carols. Then Santa ho-ho-hos from the attic and “surprises” the kids with presents. For the rest of my life I will smile at the memory of all of the kids squealing for Santa!

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