Janet Wohlhorn Ryder, friend and mentor to many, was a woman of grace and humility. Janet’s public image was as a strong and accomplished businesswoman; but there was a softness and a vulnerability that complemented the power of her achievements. That vulnerability came from empathy--understanding the need of helping hands. She had been a very young single mother with two young babies living in project housing in New York. With the intense inner drive and fierce independence that made her successful businesswomen in later years, she met her responsibilities to her young daughters, June and Linda head on. She went to work, educated herself while at the same time seeing to it that her family was safe, nurtured, educated and given their own opportunities to achieve all the while working herself up within the ranks of the banking and trust industry and corporate advertising and publishing world in New York City.
Janet enriched her life further by her marriage to Ted Ryder in her middle years. Then, like others who are determined to reach their ideal world, Janet gave up the corporate offices of the Big Apple in 1980, moved to Palm Beach County and purchased a Snelling Franchise. Janet took a small startup personnel staffing company and built into one of the most successful franchises in the national Snelling Corporation. She added the temporary division, a medical division and executive search. Her formal involvement with Displaced Homemakers as an avocation began when she became one of the first participants of the Women of Excellence workshops held at the Women’s Center of Palm Beach Community College (now Palm Beach State College). She also held leadership roles in Toastmasters, in the Better Business Bureau, in the Executive Women of the Palm Beaches, as well as active memberships in Rotary, professional trade organizations and the Executives Association of the Palm Beaches.
When Janet sold her burgeoning business back to the Snelling Corporation, she was looking forward to spending more of her time helping young women. She became chairman of the Crossroads Advisory Board at PBCC, taught classes on interviewing, and encouraged women to take charge of their lives and to believe in themselves. She also became a Guardian Ad Litem, working on behalf of children in Palm Beach County as an advocate in the court system. On the softer side, Janet was a great storyteller, loved parties, music and dancing with Ted, shopping for bargains and boasting about her daughters’ successes.
Established in 2000, the Janet Wolhorn Mentoring Scholarship Scholarship is awarded to a woman in Palm Beach County who has demonstrated academic achievement and community leadership.
The scholarship is awarded in memory of Janet Wolhorn, a former board member of Executive Women of the Palm Beaches. Janet died in 1999.
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