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8 Questions for Aviva Gibbs, Political Junkie, Theater Buff, Target Lover

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Aviva, doing it all

After graduating from the University of Michigan with a theater degree, Aviva Gibbs landed a development job at the Goodman Theater. As a hobby, she volunteered for political campaigns; then, one afternoon, she got a tip from a friend about a job opening as Chief of Staff for an Illinois State Representative. She wrote an email to Rep. John Fritchey, convincing him that her theater degree qualified her to be his Chief of Staff.  After three years in Rep. Fritchey’s office, Aviva made the jump to the corporate world, becoming a Senior Account Executive at Resolute Consulting, a public affairs and communications firm.

But she didn’t leave her theater degree too far behind.  Aviva can be spotted performing at bars all over the city, singing jazz and bluegrass music.  With what’s left of her free time, Aviva is pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from DePaul University.

So, if you too have charted your own course in life, wish there was a mute button for unruly shoppers, or enjoy Sunday brunch at The Bagel, Aviva Gibbs is a Jew You Should Know!

1. What did you want to be when you grew up?
For a while, I wanted to be a lawyer. Or rather, my grandparents wanted me to be a lawyer. Then I wanted to be a performer. And then a politician. But I repeat myself.

2. What do you love about what you do today?
I work with smart people and learn something about something from every project; no two days are the same which keeps me on my toes. My job also allows me to take a giant step back from a usually-complex situation and see several points of view, which is a unique and disarming place to stand.

3. What are you reading?
I keep restarting  The World is Flat , but get distracted by about nine newspapers and 17 blogs every day. I read it when it came out a few years ago, and think he issued a “3.0” update which I bet is pretty darn good.

4. What's your favorite place to eat in Chicago?
There are too many favorites to choose from. I like the popular, rated restaurants – the Fronteras, the Petterino’s – but I always fall for the neighborhood spots. Feast for brunch, Sola for shortribs, Nandu for empanadas, Club Lucky for dinner, and the S&G Restaurant for the best Sunday morning skillets in town. And that was just last weekend.

5. If money and logistical reality played no part, what would you invent?
This is going to sound harsh, but a remote that could mute screaming children would be amazing. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like kids, but sometimes a girl just wants to go to Target in peace, you know? Come to think of it, let’s make it work on adults too.

6. Would you rather have the ability to fly or the ability to be invisible?
Invisibility, so I could actually be that fly on the wall.

7. If I scrolled through your iPod, what guilty pleasure would I find?
It might run the gamut, but I’ll stand behind everything in my iPod! Then again, I'm Jewish, and we feel guilty about most things, right?

8. What's your favorite Jewish thing to do in Chicago – in other words, how do you Jew?
It’s a toss up between The Bagel and Wrigley Field. Nana never wrote down her recipe for brisket (or many things, for that matter) so until I can figure it out, I’ll go to the Bagel. As for Wrigley, let’s just say it’s taught me a lot more about faith than my seven years of Hebrew School.

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