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Monday January 28, 2019 
Happy New Year!  Welcome to the 25th edition of the Jane Network News.  This issue features JAZZ – Dance & Cooking – all good things to consider for 2019.  Join me tonight at Kiki’s Bistro for some good company in a cozy atmosphere and some fine French bistro fare.  Kiki is celebrating 50 years in business this year.  Stop by during the next few months to say hello and congrats!!


It is never too late to learn something!  As youngsters growing up, some people were fortunate to have the opportunity to take dance or music lessons or both.  Others could not afford lessons or have the chance. If you have a talent there is no time like the present to share it!  Reach someone and teach someone, it will be a gift you will never regret. Growing up in my family meant you had to become a teacher.  With our family dance studio in the Wisconsin area, we all took our turns being dance assistants in our family dance studios. My brothers and sisters and I also operated dance schools to fund our college education.   Learning that skill set from my parents has served me well. Today, I am still a teacher.

My good friend, public relations colleague and professor of everything at DePaul University in Chicago is Jill Stewart.  Jill teaches advertising, public relations, writing skills and basic life skills. On discussing the career of public relations and the role of a teacher, we agreed on the subject of an obituary.  No matter what ones does for a profession, the word teacher will always be prominent in ones’ final epitaph.

 Jill & Jane

I began my 28th year of teaching Special Events & Promotions at Columbia College Chicago this month.  Channeled into the Business & Entrepreneurship Department from the defunct Marketing Communication department, I still focus my class on communication; verbal, written, learning to spell and to read.  I tell my students to never apologize for being a student – you need to learn something every day. The day you stop learning is the day you die, and heaven knows what we learn after that.

One of my first clients as The Eventors was the DuPont Company and my assignment was to demonstrate and hopefully sell a new line of cookware at the International Housewares Home + Housewares Show at McCormick Place.  In 1976, DuPont introduced a new non-stick Teflon cookware called Silverstone®; and it was artfully displayed with the skills of our part-time Eventors special event designers. Buyers from all over the world came to Chicago and toured the show, traversing the decorated booths and miles of aisles to learn about the newest and latest products on the market.  A semester as a High School Home Economics Department trainee in Lodi, Wisconsin prepared me to demonstrate how to make a frittata that would not stick to the pan. A few stints as the cooking demonstrator taught me that I would rather be a “behind the scenes” event coordinator rather than a product demonstrator at a trade show. I found some well trained replacements and moved behind the curtain to take on the overall event exhibit orchestration.  

The Eventors began a long-standing promotional contract with the DuPont Company and a special shout out to a wonderful late and great sales marketer in Jordan R. Jacks.  Mr. Jacks was in Sales & Marketing for the DuPont Company and he was an early mentor, believing in my overall event production skills despite my not so great cooking skills.  I read that he passed away almost a year ago at age 92. “I can bring home the bacon, I just don’t want to cook it!” My first check from the company was for $267.00 and with that The Eventors were cooking and on the map!


Cooking up some more Jazz in a Chicago winter was the opportunity to promote JAZZERCISE.  Utilizing my skills as a dance teacher and a dance recital promotion and PR specialist, my staff and I were naturals to promote the Jazzercise Marathon for Breast Cancer Research for Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s in Chicago.

Hired by Diane McKeever, now the Senior Vice President-Philanthropy and Chief Development Officer of Rush University Medical Center, The Eventors coordinated a one-day Jazzercise Marathon that took place simultaneously in twelve locations.  The event drew over 2,000 participants from locations in Chicago and suburbs from Chicago Heights and Joliet, Lake Zurich and Rockford. The four-hour dance program pushed donations to over $125,000 with pledges for $25 and $25 donations. The Marathon offered various intensity levels over a 57-song repertory.  Many participants were breast cancer survivors and supporters.

Jazzercise, a program of aerobic exercise with dance steps incorporated into routines, can be an intense workout, especially for four hours.  The Jazzercise Marathon passed the $1 million mark in 1992 in funds raised for various medical causes. The Eventors coordinated public relations in addition to the overall event logistics and event coordination.  My associate Carolyn Cannady Earley presented the project to the Publicity Club of Chicago Golden Trumpet Awards and we were honored with a Golden Trumpet for Excellence in June of 1993.

Dianne Chapman was the guiding force of the Jazzercise Marathon for Breast Cancer Research at Rush.  We worked with her staff to further the mission of breast cancer research through the event and its participants. Dianne passed away in July 2015 of metastic breast cancer.   She was a nurse practitioner and genetic counselor in the Division of Hematology and Oncology caring for women with breast and ovarian cancer. A wonderful colleague and friend, she was woven into the fabric at Rush.  Donations can be made in her memory to Rush University Medical Center for cancer patient assistance.



Jazzercise celebrates their 50th anniversary this year and founder Judi Sheppard Missett has some strong Chicago connections.  Missett was a teacher for the renowned Gus Giordano and his popular dance school while attending college at Northwestern University.  As the aerobics boom was beginning to take off, Missett realized that students were not returning to class, so she “jazzed” up the classes to keep up the interest.  More engaging dance routines and music helped create a new Jazzy “Movement” that is still moving today!

In October 2017 Judi Sheppard Missett received the inaugural Gus Giordano Legacy Award at an event hosted by the Gus Giordano Foundation.  Gus’ daughter Amy presented the award that honored the contribution of Sheppard Missett has made to the dance community but also raised funds to support young dancers.

Dedrick "Deddy" Gray

I'm Dedrick "Deddy" Gray.  I'm originally from Joliet, IL. Since I was a child, I've also had a passion for the arts, especially dance and I would spend a lot of my time watching music videos, award shows, and concerts. After graduating high school I took interest in pursuing my dreams in becoming Choreography and Creative Director.  I got accepted into Columbia College Chicago, started out as dance major and I switched my major to marketing communications. During my time at Columbia, I stayed committed to my dreams of becoming a professional choreographers, so I made a commitment to myself by auditioning for faculty and student dance performance for their yearly concerts. This allowed me to stay connected with the dance department.  I also was the Co-Marketing Chairman for the CUMA organization at the institution. Every year we would put on a production called The 90s Show, portraying pop, Hip-Hop, and R&B artist from the 90s era. I worked as a Co-Director and Head choreographer for the production in 2013 and 2014.

 Currently, I work at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago in the Education and Youth Programs Department. After office hours, I spend time developing my career in dance as a choreographer, working with a some amazing artists and dance companies such as, JSun Howard, Ground Rhythms Dance Project, BraveSoulMovement, and Muntu Dance Theater. In the fall, I will be returning to school to attain my MFA in choreography and performance at Florida State University.

Contact Info:

Join us!
Monday, January 28 from 5:30pm to 8:00pm 
Monthly Social Media Social Hour and Jane Network Night at Kiki’s Bistro 

Kiki's Bistro 
900 N. Franklin Street
Chicago, IL 60610

Graduating this year? Planning your next career move? Want to maintain your personal and professional connections? Let Jane help! Email us your story and we'll help connect you to the right person, who can connect you to your future! 
Looking forward to seeing you soon! 

Jane E. Canepa
President, The Eventors, Inc. 
312.217.JANE (5263)
Copyright © *2019* The Eventors, Inc.*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
3180 N. Lake Shore Drive, #23E, Chicago, IL 60657

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The Eventors, Inc. · 3180 N Lakeshore Dr · #23 D/E · Chicago, IL 60657 · USA

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