GTL is veryfortunate to have educational andadministrative professionals who are dedicated to its mission and the development of its participants. They have impressive backgrounds in their field and a story to tell. In this edition meet:
Christina (Chris) Smolen, Assistant Fundraiser, is the silent giant behind Gateway’s major fundraisers – the Fall Fest, the Holiday Bazaar, and past Winter Concerts. With her gifts of multitasking, meticulous organization, and resourcefulness all done from behind the scenes, she orchestrates and executes these events with precision and a whole lot of caring.
Chris’ association with Gateway started in 1989 when she and her husband, Bob, GTL’s current board president, attended Gateway’s Annual Dinner Dance. From that time on she immersed herself in the inner workings of Gateway first as a volunteer and then as a paid employee. Chris became a board member and soon became the Board’s secretary. After retiring from her teaching position with the Chicago Public Schools, she filled in as the GTL’s Adult Program Director and also as the secretary/receptionist when both individuals went on their maternity leaves. Wherever there was a gap in service, Chris was there to close it. With the fundraising events getting bigger and more complex, Chris’ role at Gateway became formal when she took on the position as Assistant Fundraiser.
When Chris is able to take a long breath, she’s travelling the globe with Bob, singing in her church choir (she took it down from singing in four choirs at one time to one choir!), and living life to the fullest. As this year’s Fall Fest will be Cheryl Hennelly’s final one as Executive Director, Chris invites all families and friends of Gateway to attend and to celebrate Cheryl’s tremendous contribution to their lives.