The Author


Growing Up With G.I. Joe’s, Janna tells of her growing up in mid-20th century Portland while her father was building and transforming his small war surplus store on the bank of the Columbia Slough into a multi-million dollar retail chain.

Janna was born in on the coast in central Washington state as her father was flying bombers in the South Pacific in World War II.   When he returned to civilian life in 1946, he began selling G.I. surplus on street corners in Portland, Oregon.  Soon after, he  was able to start a small war surplus store in Salem, Oregon.  That was the beginning of the involvement of Janna’s family with retail in the Pacific Northwest that lasted for over sixty years.

As a teenager, Janna found that she liked to write and went on to study at Stanford and at Portland State University.  She eventually started Nizam Media, a public relations and advertising business in Lake Oswego in the late 1980s, where she promoted clients such as the Lake Oswego Festival of Arts.

Prior to that, after moving back to the Portland area in the late 1970s, she returned  to G.I. Joe’s as manager of the Box Office.  That was the ticket sales outlet system that offered entertainment and sports tickets for sale in the Portland area stores.  Janna continued with the Box Office for a few years until going back to school to study advertising.

In 1996 she moved back to Southern California to be near her three grown children and their families.   In 2008, she wrote a short history of G.I. Joe’s and of her childhood by the Columbia River and put it online as a blog. Then, in 2012, she decided to expand the material into the book, Growing Up With G.I. Joe’s.

The book was published at the end of 2015 and was sold by Portland/Vancouver area Costco stores in the spring 0f 2016.  Growing Up With G.I. Joe’s is now available as a paperback at, at Powell’s Books, and the Oregon Historical Society.  Also, You can buy it as an e-book at

Janna loves being outdoors in all kinds of weather, especially at the beach, and enjoys activities with her 11 grandchildren.







1 Response to The Author

  1. John Nelson says:

    HI Janna. Just read about your book in the Stanford Alumni Magazine. I have downloaded it on kindle and I am enjoying remembering our neighborhood in the late 50’s and early 60’s (Gregory Heights and Madison).

    John Nelson MHS 62, Stanford Law 1969

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