Jan Gibson has had several remarkable careers - from life guard to entrepreneur, to library board president.  Serving as General Manager of the Genesee Theater is just the latest!  
 
 
We welcomed several guests this week, including 2016 scholarship winner Noe Arriaga and his mother Ana.  
 
Noe, a Wheeling High graduate is attending the University of Wisconsin this fall to study computer engineering.  Ultimately, he wants to earn his JD and become a patent lawyer. (Kids these days, amiright?)  Despite these dubious ambitions, we're confident Noah will represent our club well.  
 
Jan Gibson was our speaker this week.  Jan is the General Manager of The Genesee Theater.  The Genesee was built in 1927 and cost $1,000,000.  That price included a one-of-a-kind, $100,000 HVAC system.  The cool air it generated was a major draw during the hot summer months - it often ranked above the movies and stars on the marquee!  Though they have use modern, energy efficient system now, the old HVAC equipment is still maintained - you can see it on one of the many public tours theater staff lead.  
 
The theater hosts over 200 shows of all types each year.  They have Kid shows; comedy acts; country and hard rock bands; jazz and classical performers; dance troupes; and a few that defy categorization.  The theater is also available for private events when it doesn't have a show on it's calendar.  Jan showed some remarkable photos from weddings, office parties and the like.  The theater has seven lounges that can be used for smaller events as well.  
 
All this activity creates a hectic schedule for the theater staff who often have to clean up after one performance and prepare the theater for another completely different show the next day (heaven help them if it's a matinee!).  But that's where Jan really shines.  She made sure her staff stays in their lane and focuses on their expertise.  She also works to ensure the staff know they're appreciated and allowed to have fun.  She'll make impromptu ice cream runs or have late night pizzas delivered to help folks get through tough shifts.  
All in all the Genesee is a true regional gem and is helping Waukegan rebuild its economic foundation.  
 

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