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Janna Severance, Presbyterian Homes & Services
Janna Severance, Presbyterian Homes & Services

In-House Counsel 2022: Janna Severance

Even though her legal career has reached the three-decade mark, Janna Severance has no plans to retire just yet.

“I’d like to work as long as I can,” Severance says. “It’s a worthwhile endeavor, and the people here are wonderful to work with.”

As in-house counsel for the nonprofit Presbyterian Homes & Services, a long-term care provider based in in Roseville, Severance advises clients on business law matters, including corporate finance.

In that role, she advises on issues specific to the long-term care industry. She relies on a deep well of experience and leadership in the areas of finance, contract and regulatory law. Severance has played a key part on a leadership team that has built or bought thousands of new senior apartment homes over the years.

“We do a lot of financing through tax-exempt bonds,” she says. “We use that to build senior housing and provide other services for seniors.”

Last year was a busy one for Severance, her 16th at Presbyterian. She either led or helped on the closing of more than $330 million of new financing, creating 832 new units of senior housing across Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin.

A graduate of Carleton College, Severance earned a master’s degree in communication disorders, going on to work for several years in a special education facility with children and young adults with severe physical and mental deficits.

After earning a law degree, she went on to work at five Twin Cities law firms, making partner at three of them.

“I never wanted to be a litigator, and business-related courses were always my favorite in law school,” she says.

Severance had served on the board of Presbyterian Home & Services, so joining the organization in 2006 wasn’t a hard decision.

“I work on general business and contract issues, and some regulatory work,” she says. “The less exciting it is, the better.”

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