Jeanette Gerger '05

In the nearly 20 years since graduating from Trinity, I’ve dedicated my life to the study and practice of marketing, working in the Food industry, and advancing women in the workplace. I earned a BS (’09) and MBA (’18) from DePaul University in Chicago, and have worked for and with some incredible Food companies over the years– Kellogg’s, Hershey’s, Campbell’s, and most recently with Barilla. I currently lead Foodservice Marketing for Barilla within the US market, and oversee everything from branding, innovation, PR/advertising, events/sponsorships, and digital marketing. It is most certainly a dream job - working in the pasta category with chefs to create and market dishes that you see in restaurants, hotels, and college campuses around the country!
Barilla is a family-owned company that started in Parma, Italy in 1877. Four generations later, it is a global organization operating in over 100 countries. While being the #1 brand of pasta in the US, it still has a familial and collaborative vibe that allows me to work with colleagues across the globe. One thing I love most about Barilla is their dedication to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I’ve become an active member of the Alleanza Employee Resource Group which works to promote diversity and inclusion for employees of color. Through Alleanza that I became more involved with the HACE organization. HACE stands for the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement. It is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to the employment, development, and advancement of current and aspiring Latino professionals. In the Fall of 2021, participated in their Mujeres de HACE program which focuses on providing an individualized and culturally relevant curriculum geared to empower high-potential Latinas.

It was a very enriching experience! HACE celebrated its 40 th anniversary in April during it’s Leadership Summit in Chicago. During the Summit, I was awarded their national Latinos 40 under 40 award. In partnership with Negocios Now, HACE set out to identify and honor young leaders from across the country representing a wide variety of industries.

This award means a lot to me. As the business world becomes more multi-cultural by the day, I feel it is imperative to showcase individuals that embrace their heritage, come to work as they are, and break barriers for those that follow. With HACE’s support and their amplification of these 40 under 40 Latino leaders, the next generation has the opportunity to see themselves reflected in the ones that came before - bringing hope, inspiration, and motivation to their journeys. The acknowledgement and recognition showcases what these leaders have accomplished thus far, but the spotlight also highlights a sense of responsibility. For me, it’s a signal to keep going and keep pushing. Build a bigger table and pull up a chair for the next Latina.

I currently live in Chicago with my boyfriend Mike and puppy Stella. I’m still incredibly close to some of my dearest friends from Trinity and see them as often as time allows. In my free time, you’ll catch me on the Peloton, checking out a new restaurant, enjoying a glass of wine or just dancing around.