By Tim Cimbura, CEO of LuminFire
June 18, 2021
We recently got the news that one of our long-time clients Janie Jasin passed away at the age of 81.
I originally met Janie through the National Speakers Association (NSA). Over her 30+ years of speaking, Janie gave thousands of presentations, enthusiastically sharing wise words laced with laughter and joy that encouraged people to be the best they could be.
She was also the author of the popular book The Littlest Christmas Tree which sold more than 2 million copies.
When I first met Janie I was only working on Macintosh computers as a side business. My life has changed a lot since then. I left my corporate day job and started speaking and doing technology consulting full time. Today I’m the CEO of LuminFire, a digital technology company with more than 15 employees that is on the Inc. 5000 list as one of the fastest growing companies in America. Janie was there for me through all my big career and life changes, wisely encouraging me to balance work and family. I enjoyed every conversation we had together and I am so grateful to her for that.
Our company helped Janie with her computers and technology for 13 years. Personally, she looked at me like a son… and her computer hero. Technology can be tricky and intimidating for many of our clients, but particularly for the older generation, so we worked hard to give her the extra care and patience she needed.
I remember going through Janie’s speaking class, and encouraging her to continue sharing her important message with the world. We had deep discussions where she questioned her own purpose. She wrote “My current question to myself at this age of 75 is: ‘Have I done enough?’ Enough to serve – to love – to speak and to tell others they are good in and of themselves, and that God made them for such a special task, and they are so loved. You have always shown me that goodness, Tim.”
Janie had such an encouraging spirit, and was never short of praise when our company helped her. Here are some of her comments:
- “I love that you are so smart! I love that you are so much fun! I love that I know you! I love that you are willing to help my feeble brain learn new things! I love that you are in NSA and are a talker too! I love that you are a Mac person! I am just so glad I know you! Thanks for all you teach me and do to keep me current and rolling! You are the Apple genius but not at the bar. Thanks!”
- “Tim dearie… what an awesome job. If only there was a way I could have a brain infusion of your mind… your incredible know-how and the patience to use it. I remember the first Macs I owned and the fear of the mouse. Please know how overwhelmingly thankful I am as a pilgrim on this technology adventure.”
- “Your answer to this issue will get you a reward in heaven and a lot of gratitude on earth now.”
- “My heart is so filled with gratitude for you for taking on the fixing of my computer issues. You have been such a miracle for me to call upon. As the years make me less technical I am grateful for your presence and being able to call you. My heart is warmed and my fears less shaky. You have allowed me to send people words. My heart is filled with thankfulness that your smartness is out there. Blessings, prayers and gratitude for all you have given me.”
I will never forget a story that Janie recounted to me from 2013: “I was at a meeting in Waconia and met a young girl named Jillian who had a shaved head due to cancer having ice cream with her mother and sister in the restaurant. I sat down with her and read her The Littlest Christmas Tree. I gave the book to her mom, hugged her and said, ‘I will tell everyone to pray for you.’ The mother thanked me and said ‘you will never know what this meant to us.’ So The Littlest Christmas Tree lives on, and I knew at that moment that I was overwhelmingly blessed to have this little book with me to read at that exact minute.”
This story summarizes well what Janie was about, and what connected us on a deep level: faith, hope, love, encouragement, and laughter that comes from a grateful heart.
It was my honor to know and be inspired by you, Janie. You will be missed.