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Jansen Savic is a resilient and thoughtful leader, proven daily in how he works to keep the underlying systems of WEX running smoothly, grows a world-class team, and takes care of his family. A consistent thread of empathy weaves throughout his persona, allowing him to connect to others no matter the distance between their paths or backgrounds. Perhaps, Jansen has gained this compassion for others by experiencing four different lives all in the span of his one short life: one in Yugoslavia (now Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia), one in a war zone, one in the US, and another raising his children. No matter the situation, Jansen’s willingness to take on new challenges remains a constant component of his character.
Jansen serves in a global role as the senior director of enterprise applications and leads a team of over 100 WEXers. His focus is on systems related to human resources, finance, sales, customer service, and marketing applications. “My role here at WEX is to find us the best-fitting technologies and long-term partners,” Jansen says. “My team examines the market and continuously integrates and implements new technologies that enable our business capabilities.”
Jansen and his team seek out technology partners who will become integral parts of WEX’s operations and with whom WEX will hold decades-long relationships. For this reason, Jansen stays knowledgeable about the latest technologies, software, and trends in the industry, always searching for new ways to keep WEX technology-forward. “Partnership is a key descriptive word for my role and for what my team does,” he says. “We build strong partnerships with internal stakeholders to find the right products for WEX and continuously improve how we operate. We also build strong partnerships with the product providers, as we rely on them to fulfill our operational needs.”
Jansen’s day-to-day role consists of empowering his team and focusing on what lies ahead, which in recent times has predominantly been artificial intelligence (AI). “It is the next frontier of business technology,” he says. “I focus a bulk of my time lately on learning how AI and generative AI can help WEX move forward.”
When Jansen began working at WEX six years ago, a business applications team did not exist. As the first employee on that team, he was tasked with expanding it and creating a center of excellence around business applications. “I recruit people who are flexible and agile enough to evolve as WEX evolves,” he says. “The needs of the business can significantly change as a company evolves.”
Jansen’s team contains a breadth of sub-teams focused on different business functions. These sub-teams include people who advise on, implement, maintain, and support the technology. “It’s not possible for one person to do everything themselves, which is why we rely on partners and employ a robust team,” he says. Jansen considers two important traits of his team members to be an excitement around learning new technologies and an openness to trying new things.
Jansen was born in Zagreb, the centuries-old capital of Croatia and a hub for neo-Gothic architecture. When he began his schooling, his family lived in a small city close to Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina. At the time, Sarajevo was part of Yugoslavia. He recalls how growing up in such urban environments as Zagreb and Sarajevo was exciting, and he also loved visiting the Adriatic Sea during family vacations. “Due to our location, we were influenced by a lot of different cultures,” Jansen says. “We were located between Greece and Italy, and at the same time were neighbors to Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. It was like the crossroads between Eastern Europe, Western Europe, and the Mediterranean.”
When Jansen was a sophomore in high school, a war broke out in Yugoslavia leading to his family’s immigration to the US, where they settled in New Hampshire. “When we immigrated to New England, we had to start from scratch,” he says. “I had to help my parents and younger sister at the same time as I was adjusting to my new home.”
“Education has always been something that is very important to my family, coming from humble upbringings,” he says. “We landed in the US in April and I started college in the early fall. That’s how important school was to me.” Jansen attended Keene State College, where he obtained a degree in computer science in just three years. “I was all about school. I took six courses a semester and some during the summer, and also worked a full-time job to support my family.”
Jansen initially thought that he was going to study mathematics in college due to his love for the subject; he was very skilled in it, as his high school education had a curriculum that focused on mathematics, informatics, and physics. However, after trying a few computer science courses, Jansen gained a passion for its difficult, complex concepts.
After graduating and working full-time for a few years, Jansen met his wife, whom he notes shares a similar background to him. She too was a refugee, immigrating with her family to the US to reside in Maine. Together, they moved to Boston, MA, where Jansen obtained an MBA degree and afterward they moved to Maine to start a family. “I love New England,” Jansen says. “The nature here reminds me of home. Although it’s a little colder than where I’m from, the green landscapes and outdoors are similar.”
When Jansen reflects on his youth, he has this advice to share with people entering adulthood: “Meet as many people as possible because every person carries a story that you can learn from.” As Jansen learns from other people’s stories, there is much to learn from his story too. His resilience as a refugee is inspiring, and his excellence in higher education and the workforce motivates younger generations to follow suit.
Jansen’s advice to his younger self is valuable, and reflects the core WEX values of being a positive force and staying open. Whether he is building business partnerships or engaging in leadership opportunities, Jansen keeps an open mind for the many things he can learn from others. WEX is grateful to have a kind and hard-working individual like Jansen, who shares and collaborates with others to meet communal goals.
WEX is a leading, global fintech solutions provider, simplifying payments and back-end business processes in the fleet management, benefits management, and corporate and travel payments areas. WEX values diversity and equity and is an equal opportunity employer. Search jobs on our careers site.
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