Women in Business: RJL Business Services

Founder Jen Loftin balances work with RJL, other businesses while also welcoming a new baby in her 40s

Jen Loftin and baby
Jen Loftin is founder of RJL Business Services and is also president of Novitas Data, LLC. Courtesy of Jen Loftin

This September, Vancouver-based RJL Business Services celebrate their 10th anniversary. The accounting and bookkeeping business was founded by Jen Loftin in 2012, and in January of 2021, Loftin said they added tax preparation to their portfolio of services.

“We made it through our second tax season this year smoothly and are gaining momentum as we continue to grow this department,” Loftin said. “Our bookkeeping and consulting departments continue to flourish as we’re gearing up to celebrate 10 years in business.”

These days, Loftin is involved in a lot more than just her founding role at RJL Business Services. In 2019, she was promoted from VP of accounting and administration to president of Novitas Data, LLC. This company provides litigation support services.

“During the pandemic the courts placed trials on hold and therefore we were affected by the slowdown in our industry,” she said. “To keep our business alive we tightened our belts and rode out the pandemic storm for almost two years. At the end of 2021 many court cases became active again and we’ve seen a significant rise in hosted matters. Novitas’ CEO Rob Oliver and I have been working together for many years and together we persevered under those challenging circumstances. We’re proud to say we are thriving again in this very competitive market.”

Jen Loftin
Courtesy of Jen Loftin

In addition to everything else, Loftin also recently went into business with Rob Oliver, starting Avant-Garde Partners Holding Company, LLC. Together they are purchasing a commercial property in Southeast Portland where Novitas Data will occupy their new space.

Earlier this year, Loftin and her husband Rob welcomed their fifth child.

“Giving birth in my 40s wasn’t as easy as giving birth to my children in my younger years but we’re both healthy and doing great,” she said. “I remain a dedicated president of Novitas Data and founder of RJL Business Services. When the pandemic started both companies put a work-from-home policy in place. This policy is still in effect and allows me to be both a mommy to my younger children and a busy woman in business. All of which I am very thankful for.”

In addition to the businesses she’s involved with, Loftin is also still a co-founder of Game Changers Global Network alongside her best friend Kareen Mills. When the pandemic changed in-person networking, Loftin said Game Changers was able to adapt to the changes quickly, moving their meetings to virtual meetings. She said they decided to continue their weekly lunch meetings virtually in combination with in-person mixers the last day of the month to support small businesses in the Vancouver community.

Loftin said that her husband has been managing the RJL Business Services firm in order to allow her to focus on her executive position at Novitas. However, she said she is still greatly involved with the company’s growth strategies, client retention and relationship building. RJL has had clients in Oregon and Washington since the conception of the business, but they have since expanded their reach to Colorado, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, Idaho, California and Nevada. In 2021, the company received the Vancouver Business Journal Business Growth Award for Fastest Growing Company in Business for 5-10 years.

“We contribute our success to forming strong relationships in our community, using our financial data to make meaningful business decisions and staying humble,” Loftin said. “Our group appreciates the support we have by other business owners and our amazing clients. Rob and I have built our business upon valuing those around us. We have a saying, ‘Never get too big for your britches.’”

Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.