Publicity/Newsletter Editor

Gina profile picKansas City (on the Kansas side) has been home my entire life. (I grew up in Prairie Village and now live in Overland Park.) I grew up assuming I’d attend the University of Kansas. It wasn’t because my folks talked endlessly about it (as I did with my son — a successful tactic, as he’s now a Jayhawk). Instead, I’d always wanted to be a writer, and KU had one of the best journalism schools in the country. Win-win, right?

I joined the Phi chapter of AOII in 1983. It was different from the others. We didn’t have a house (it was built the next year), so women in the chapter had to work harder to develop our sisterhood. But that extra effort gave AOIIs a different type of spirit and determination that set it apart from the other sororities. That difference made Phi feel more comfortable and welcoming to me, someone who’d never considered herself a “sorority girl.”

I took a break from AOII after college for a few years, focusing on my career in publishing. But I decided to get involved again when I was pregnant to make sure I kept some balance in my life with motherhood looming. Over the years, I took on the position of newsletter editor because it was a natural fit with my background. But I’ve also served as V.P. of Programs, on the Scholarship Committee, the Founders Day Committee and wherever else I could provide support.

I’ve maintained close friendships with AOIIs I met in college, and today I’m happy to have added more from those I’ve met in the alum group. And while my career path has meandered — a crazy assortment of communications and marketing positions in industries ranging from garden centers, materials handling, florists, golf course management, professional window washing, scaffolding, couriers, waterparks and senior-living facilities to my current position as editorial director for an international humanitarian organization — the one constant during all those years has been AOII.

5 random facts about me:

  • I won 2nd place in my 9th grade talent contest with two of my friends. I sang the lead on Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana” and my two friends sang backup while making funny gestures along with the song. We called ourselves “Kellogg and the Cornflakes.”
  • I am related to Carry Nation by marriage.
  • I collect Barbies. But not the ones you expect. I collect Barbies who are “selling” something (i.e., LifeSaver Barbie, Gap Barbie and DisneyWorld Barbie).