Re-Imagineers: Jane Lodato

You are a great example of a career Re-Imagineer! You were a senior entertainment executive in Hollywood, then you moved into the tech/finance industry, and now you are in the Wellness Space as Chief of Wellness, system-wide at Mount Sinai Surgery in New York. Give us your secret skill set that allowed you to move seamlessly from one industry to another.

Thank you! I heard that one can leap off a mountain top (metaphorically) and “sprout wings.” The idea of trusting jumping off into the unknown resonated with me. I have always been one to take calculated risks, to take chances. It’s never easy, but I believed I could trust my gut and that I could always change my mind if my leap didn’t pan out. I was a marketing executive for 30 years. With study, one can apply honed marketer instincts and skills to different industries and products. Thus, I was able to move from sports to entertainment to tech and finance. My industry-switching leap into the wellness world evolved from my personal interest in pursuing mindfulness as a way of life.


In your 60s, you returned to study to become a certified mindfulness teacher and mentor and were accepted into a rigorous training program sponsored by UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. What inspired you to make this commitment and did you do it with a specific goal in mind?

I have practiced yoga and mindfulness meditation since college. Along the way, I discovered two teachers who inspired me—Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. When they joined together to offer a teacher training program, I applied. My goal was to simply deepen my understanding and skill set. I followed my passion as I intuitively felt that this training would be a wonderful next step in my life, not for a particular career goal. However, as I acquired the skills to teach, mentor, and coach, I realized that helping others was sorely needed in this world and opened my mind and heart to the possibilities.


You then completely re-imagined yourself. You moved to New York to take a new position at the Mount Sinai Hospital System. Tell us about your job and why it brings you satisfaction and fulfillment.

I was living in the West, working as a branding consultant. My story is one of pure synchronicity. We all have doors that open on occasion, whether professionally or personally, and we can listen to our own internal nudges. I was incredibly fortunate to meet the Chair of Surgery for the Mount Sinai Hospital System at an event. I was bold and simply asked if mindfulness was taught as part of the surgery residents’ curriculum and/or offered to the surgeons. He was interested in learning more, as was I, so we met. This was pre-Covid. Burnout amongst physicians was, and remains, a serious challenge in health care. I began teaching him and his surgical division chiefs for several months, flying between coasts. Shortly thereafter, I was invited to come on staff. (If you ever watched the TV show Billions, the role I was offered was essentially the surgery department’s own Wendy.) This was an incredible opportunity to make a meaningful difference, so I moved to NYC during COVID-19 to work in a hospital. Working one-on-one with surgeons, leadership, and residents to teach an evidence-based mental skill set is so rewarding. I have even branched out to work with private clients, which I hadn’t anticipated. I love my work as “Wendy.”

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