Donating to Pickleball For All Makes Her feel Like Santa Claus
Jan Kindl, Chicago resident and Naples seasonal resident, is a dynamo. She is CEO of a multi-million dollar company, Teksoft Ventures in Chicago. She has a busy life: she runs two homes, has a restaurant entrepreneur boyfriend, plays pickleball and still finds time to help others.
Jan started Teksoft Ventures in 2001. The company implements software to large corporations and then trains hundreds of their employees on how to use the software. She oversees her own twenty-five employees as well.
As a humanitarian and a professional, she feels that it’s important to give back to the community.
“Every business owner has choices: where they fund from a social responsibility. I want mine to have a big impact,” says Jan.
She is involved in several charities in Chicago including Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Hospital. She has compassion for helping people who need help. She realizes that she is fortunate that she is in a financial position to give and fulfil her compassion to help others.
She realized she needed more exercise and fun
But all work and no plan…..well, you know the rest. In 2006 Jan realized that she needed an extra-curricular activity, something to get her away from her desk and computer, something active and fun.
“In 2006 I spent the summer in Southwest Florida. And I was bored,” she says. “So I googled it. I found badminton and went out and bought a racquet and went to a center in Ft. Myers to play. While there, someone told me about pickleball and I tried it. I never picked up the badminton racquet again. Pickleball is more social, requires less running to get at an adequate skill level and takes less time than golf. You’re standing by the net and when you get hit there’s no impact – so it’s not as fearful as tennis.”
She found her thing in pickleball and is now a high-rated player, playing as often as she can.
She decided to help the AMI Big Cypress Kids
When Jan learned about AMI Big Cypress Kids, an educational and vocational school for children convicted of non-violent crimes, she had to reach out to them. She donated money for a basketball court to give them something physical to do with all their energy.
“I wanted to see them get off the couch and get away from television and video games, to do something fun and constructive,” says Jan. “The center is out in the middle of the Everglades so there’s not a lot they can do out there. Plus another concern of mine is childhood obesity, so they go hand in hand.”
Then she learned about Pickleball For All
When she learned about Jim Ludwig’s Pickleball For All project at Avalon Elemementary School in East Naples, she offered a donation to help pay for the equipment and asked Jim if he could reach out to AMI Kids. She asked Jim if they could also use their basketball court for pickleball. Of course he said ‘yes and yes.’
“I wanted the residents at AMI Big Cypress Kids to have more use of the basketball court,” says Jan. “They fell in love with pickleball. They can plan basketball AND pickleball on their court, so it’s a multi-use court now.”
“Her donation allowed me to be able to purchase new paddles and wiffleballs and leave them behind when we introduce the sport to schools and groups,” says Jim Ludwig. “Previously we had been using donated, old paddles, sometimes wooden ones with broken handles. I didn’t want to take those to the kids,” says Jim.
“It has worked out extremely well. I hear the kids at AMI Big Cypress are still very enthusiastic about pickleball. When I see that basketball court out in the middle of the Everglades…it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
“When you help others, you feel like Santa Claus,” says Jan. “It’s a great feeling.”
Watch her video below