Meet a Member: Bobbi Gigone

Long-time member Bobbi Gigone is another of our outstanding NFPW members. She has served in a variety of positions on the affiliate and national level, helping to mentor other members. She has always found a way to support the issues and causes she believes in. She is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member. Meet my friend, Bobbi Gigone.

Name: Barbara Gigone (Bobbi to my NFPW and CPW friends)

BobbieG

Bobbi Gigone

Hometown: Louisville, Colorado

Affiliate and leadership positions:

Colorado Press Women, 55-year member; presently Co-Vice President for Programs (with Marilyn Saltzman); formerly Scholarship Chair and also served as CPW vice president and president.

NFPW, 55-year member (this year!!), served as Regional Director, Contest Chair, Treasurer, Education Fund Board (serving as board chair at one time.)

Tell us a little about you:

I grew up in northern Illinois and thought I’d like to follow in Margurite Higgen’s footsteps as a foreign correspondent. No one in my family had attended college but I received a scholarship to Monmouth College and ended up co-editor of the student paper as a sophomore. This prompted me to drop out for a year to earn enough to come west to journalism school at the University of Colorado. My job that year was editing a newsletter (and learning to carry a big Speed Graphic camera on my shoulder) at the Naval Supply Depot at Great Lakes Naval Training Station. This ended up helping me obtain my first job out of college as reporter-photographer at the Boulder Daily Camera. (The other reason was likely because I could substitute for the women’s editor when needed!)

My job offered just about everything I had dreamed about on a daily including the assignment covering the Mother of astronaut Scott Carpenter when he made his space flight, meeting Senator John Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt and lots of old silver and gold miners with wonderful stories. But not one foreign correspondent assignment.

I did, however, meet my life partner (also coming up on 55 years), and when I was expecting our first child, I was also expected to leave the Camera news room (those were the days that really surprise young women I meet). I could freelance, however, and left the Camera for good when my son was 9-months old and the Denver Post asked me to be their Boulder correspondent—relaying stories by phone for Post reporters to type out. Our second son was born a year later, and the Post called (I was still in the hospital) and asked that I go fulltime. That one was turned down and I began an 8-year association with a weekly newspaper in Boulder, freelance, then news editor.

Bobbi Gigone

Bobbi Gigone

In 1976 I accepted a position as the first public information officer for Boulder County. This grew with the years, founding an employee newsletter, guides to media relations, a TV program, and then adding work with the Criminal Justice System, Community Corrections, and finally, 15 years as director of the County Community Services Department.

I retired in 2002 and after living west of Boulder in Four Mile Canyon for nearly 44 years, we remodeled a 1904 home in Louisville, just a few miles east of Boulder.

I still love to travel and have led tours and published travel newsletters with friends in two small endeavors called News Systems and Travel Systems.

For more than 50 years, my husband and I have hosted international students attending the University of Colorado. Many of them are still an important part of our lives, along with our two sons, their wives, and our two grandsons.   Since retiring, I have been volunteering with the Louisville History Museum and the Boulder Carnegie Library doing oral history interviews.

Any career advice you would give?

I found copies of some presentations I made in Montana and South Dakota when serving as regional NFPW director. I talked about the mentors, including an aunt, women I met in Boulder, college professors, and especially, members of CPW and NFPW, who meant so much to me in my early career. I also stressed attending conferences and entering contests—as well as being involved in your community—as necessary for growth and for new experiences. I believe this still holds true and we need to encourage young women to stay involved and find their own mentors.

What talent would you like to have?

Every time I travel, or meet new international students and their families, I wish I were proficient in other languages.

If you could live anywhere, where would you live?

I still love Colorado and the western mountains but wish the front range hadn’t gotten so crowded. My early dreams of living in the west haven’t diminished.

What are you currently reading?

I prefer non-fiction and just finished Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lousitania by Eric Larson and Eye On the Struggle: Ethel Payne, the First Lady of the Black Press

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I originally got my “nick-name” of Bobbi because there were three “Barbara’s” in a co-op house where I lived at CU.

Why are NFPW and your affiliate important to you?

I still look to CPW and NFPW for education, friendship and involvement in issues that are important to me.

Way to follow you on Facebook, etc.

I am on Facebook and keep up with NFPW and CPW sites, and on email way too many hours in the day!

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