Kansas 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, an international humanitarian organization, and my current position for a company helps nursing students pass their licensing exam — 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).
- I’ve met Dick Vitale, who called me “Gee-nuh” throughout his media presentation. (My name’s pronounced “Ginn-uh.”)
- I’m related to the Kelloggs of cornflakes fame, but our connection is waaaaaay back in the family tree. (I’m big into genealogy, and it was fun to find how all the Kelloggs are related!)