Janice Bryant Howroyd

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Janice Bryant Howroyd
Janice Bryant

(1952-09-01) September 1, 1952 (age 67)
Alma materNorth Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
OccupationFounder and CEO, ActOne Group
Years active1978–present
Net worth$520 Million (2018)[1]
Spouse(s)Bernard Howroyd
ChildrenBrett Howroyd Katharyn Howroyd

Janice Bryant Howroyd (born September 1, 1952) is an entrepreneur, educator, ambassador, businesswoman, author, and mentor. She is founder and chief executive officer of The ActOne Group,[2] the largest privately held, minority-woman-owned personnel company founded in the U.S.[3][4] Howroyd is most well known as being the first African American woman to build and own a billion dollar company.[5][6]

Early years[edit]

Born September 1, 1952 as Janice Bryant in Tarboro, North Carolina, the fourth of 11 children in her family.[7] As a teen, she was one of the first African American students to desegregate her town's previously segregated high school.[8][9] Howroyd was educated at North Carolina A&T State University, where she earned a degree in English.


In 1976, Howroyd moved to Los Angeles, California, and worked as a temporary secretary for her brother-in-law Tom Noonan at Billboard magazine.[10][11][12][13]

While at Billboard, Noonan introduced Howroyd to business executives, celebrities, travel, diversity in the workplace, and decision-making in ways she had not previously been exposed to.[10]

Armed with industry experience and knowledge, and with little more than $1,000[14][15] Howroyd continued to focus on employment services and launched her own company, The ACT•1 Group, in a small Beverly Hills, California office in 1978, with Tom Noonan as her first client.[16]


According to Bloomberg L.P., "ActOne Group, Inc. provides employment, workforce management, and procurement solutions to Fortune 500 organizations, local and mid-market companies, and government agencies."[17] ActOne Group companies include AppleOne, All's Well, AT-Tech, ACT-1 Personnel Services, Agile-1, ACT-1Govt, ACheck GLobal, which provide personnel and recruiting services to different industries, and DSSI, which provides document management services.[18][19]


Howroyd is an ambassador of the Department of Energy's Minorities in Energy Initiative,[20] a board member to numerous organizations including the United States Department of Labor's Workforce Initiative Board,[21] Women's Business Enterprise National Council, WeConnect, National Utilities Diversity Council, Harvard Women's Leadership Board, California Science Center, Los Angeles Urban League and a member of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Services and Finance Industries of the U.S. Trade Representative and the United States Department of Commerce. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.[22]

In May 2016 Howroyd received a key presidential appointment by President Barack Obama as a member of the President's Board of Advisors on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.[23][24][25] In 2017 she joined the Diversity Committee of the FCC.[26]


Howroyd, according to the National Association of Women Business Owners, is "an individual who has had a significant impact on the well-being of her community and who has had the foresight and generosity to recognize that her success is best savored when she pays it forward."[27] Via scholarship funding and personal service, she supports universities[28] (Harvard University, University of Southern California,[29] California State University, San Bernardino and her own alma mater, North Carolina A&T),[30] women's support organizations (WBENC,[31] WPO, The Trusteeship[32]), Minority serving organizations (NMSDC, Urban League, LAEDC, NUDC[33] and more), and is a mentor to others through personal work and media engagements.[34][35][36][37][38]

She is a member of the International Trade Advisory Commission Board, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporate Board, and the Women's Leadership Board of the Kennedy School of Government/Harvard University.[39]


Howroyd has been a contributing writer for publications such as Forbes and HuffPost [40][41], has recorded several audiobooks, and written two books.

The Art of Work – How to Make Work, Work for You![edit]

Howroyd released her first book The Art of Work in July of 2009. The book focused on advice for finding and keeping the right job. [42]

Acting Up – Winning in Business and Life Using Down-Home Wisdom[edit]

Howroyd released her second book, Acting Up, in 2019. In Acting Up, Howroyd tells more of her personal life story and shares her advice for entrepreneurs.[43]

Acting Up met positive reaction by critics and press upon its release from publications such as Fast Company and Black Enterprise.[44][45] Inc. (magazine) included the book as one of their “8 Books For Entrepreneurs Who Insist On Doing Things Differently”.[46][47][48]

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ "Janice Bryant Howroyd & family". Forbes.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  2. ^ "About ACT•1". ACT•1.
  3. ^ La-Keya Stinchcomb. "Janice Bryant Howroyd: First black woman to own billion dollar c - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports". Wtoc.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  4. ^ "ACT•1 The Largest Certified Woman-Minority-Owned Staffing Agency in the U.S". Act-1.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  5. ^ "Meet Janice Bryant Howroyd, the first African American woman to run a $1-billion business". Los Angeles Times. February 11, 2018.
  6. ^ "Janice Bryant Howroyd becomes first African American woman to run a billion-dollar business". ajc.
  7. ^ "Entrepreneur Mom: Janice Bryant Howroyd". Working Mother. 2008-10-28. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  8. ^ "From Beyonce to Janice Bryant Howroyd, 14 black women who changed business and finance". Cnbc.com. 2017-02-14. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  9. ^ "Janice Bryant Howroyd facts, information, pictures | Encyclopedia.com articles about Janice Bryant Howroyd". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  10. ^ a b "Janice Bryant Howroyd: The Boss". Her Daily. 2016-07-03. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  11. ^ Uwumarogie, Victoria. "Women Of Black History: 5 Things To Know About Janice Bryant Howroyd". Madamenoire.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  12. ^ "How Janice Bryant Howroyd puts humanity in human resources at Act 1 Group - Smart Business Magazine". Sbnonline.com. 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  13. ^ James Flanigan (2009-10-14). "Being the Entrepreneur of Your Own Career". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  14. ^ "25 Black Women Entrepreneurs". Essence.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  15. ^ "Janice Bryant Howroyd facts, information, pictures | Encyclopedia.com articles about Janice Bryant Howroyd". Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  16. ^ "janice bryant howroyd interview". Makingittv.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  17. ^ "ACT.1 Group, Inc.: Private Company Information". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  18. ^ "Staffing | temporary employees | Temporary Staffing | temp-to-hire | personnel staffing |". Act-1.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  19. ^ "ACT•1 Talent & Technology". Act-1.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  20. ^ "Janice Bryant Howroyd". United States Department of Energy.
  21. ^ "Layout 1" (PDF). Hks.harvard.edu. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  22. ^ "ACT•1 Group". Act1group.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  23. ^ "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts". Whitehouse.gov. 2016-05-05. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  24. ^ "Obama Appoints Our A.G. Gaston Award Recipient". Blackenterprise.com. 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  25. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-12-23. Retrieved 2017-02-25.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ Eggerton, John. "FCC Names Diversity Committee Members". Broadcasting & Cable.
  27. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-04. Retrieved 2017-01-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  28. ^ Janice Bryant-Howroyd. "Janice Bryant-Howroyd: Executive Profile & Biography". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  29. ^ "Janice Bryant Howroyd Gives $10 Million to USC College > News > USC Dornsife". Dornsife.usc.edu. 2005-03-01. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  30. ^ "Janice Bryant Howroyd, Board Of Trustees Member And Entrepreneur - North Carolina A&T State University". Ncat.edu. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  31. ^ "WBENC Presidents Report February 2017 by WBENC". Issuu.com. 2017-02-22. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  32. ^ "Janice Bryant Howroyd Member Spotlight – January 7". The Trusteeship. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  33. ^ "National Utilities Diversity Council - Janice Bryant Howroyd". Nudc.com. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  34. ^ "ACT•1 Talent & Technology". Act-1.com. 2005-01-12. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  35. ^ "PhD Project Elects Janice Bryant Howroyd, Act•1 Group Chairman and CEO, to Its Board". Business Wire. 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  36. ^ "NSLS speaker broadcast features Janice Bryant Howroyd | UVa-Wise". Uvawise.edu. 2016-02-23. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  37. ^ Henderson, Jarrad. "Push to get more African-Americans into tech leads to SXSW". USA TODAY.
  38. ^ Caslin, Yvette. "John Hope Bryant addresses cringeworthy $8 net worth of Blacks".
  39. ^ "Janice Bryant Howroyd | White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities". Sites.ed.gov. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  40. ^ Howroyd, Janice Bryant. "How Blockchain Could Create More Efficient And Effective Workplaces". Forbes.
  41. ^ Howroyd, Janice Bryant (June 26, 2010). "Temporary Work Is a Permanent Solution". HuffPost.
  42. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Art-Work-How-Make-You/dp/0615292984
  43. ^ https://www.amazon.com/Acting-Up-Winning-Business-Down-Home/dp/154450456X
  44. ^ Howroyd, Janice Bryant (September 25, 2019). "Empowerment advice from the first black woman to start a billion-dollar company". Fast Company.
  45. ^ "This Black Woman's Business is on the Cusp of $3 Billion in Revenues. Here's How She Did It". August 26, 2019.
  46. ^ Hammett, Gene (September 25, 2019). "8 Books for Entrepreneurs Who Insist on Doing Things Differently". Inc.com.
  47. ^ "Videos". FOX 11 Los Angeles.
  48. ^ "The ActOne Group Founder & CEO Janice Bryant Howroyd on Her New Book 'Acting Up'". October 4, 2019.
  49. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-01-04. Retrieved 2017-01-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  50. ^ "2015 Class of Inductees/Past Inductees - National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame". Nbcahof.com. 2015-10-30. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  51. ^ "Billion Dollar Businesswoman Receives Top Award". Blackenterprise.com. 2016-04-22. Retrieved 2017-02-28.

External links[edit]