Amazing Women of the Suncoast: Christine Jennings

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SARASOTA - If Christine Jennings was on that old TV show "What's my Line?", nobody would ever guess her occupation.

She is CEO of the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe. Nobody in the small town in Ohio just outside Cincinnati could have possibly predicted the amazing journey the beautiful blond's  career would take.

When she started out Christine  wanted to be a secretary, She went to work in a bank for a difficult, demanding, overbearing boss, and it was tough but she did her best. He was so impressed with her work,  he recommended her for the Management Training Program. She rose to be Bank Vice President, then moved to the Suncoast to get away from the cold weather.  When the President of a Manatee County Bank offered her the number 2 job in his bank she took it but what she really wanted was to be was President. So she got together a team of investors, board members and customers and started her own bank. And she was President. In 2003 they sold the bank and Christine went into politics. She ran twice for U.S. Congress against Vern Buchanan, losing to him by very narrow margins. The races were so close, it led to a change in the voting system.

Then 4 years ago, Howard Millman asked her to join the West Coast Black Theatre Troupe. And how do her former jobs qualify her for this? Because each required an expert fundraiser. And Jennings has come thru again.

Now the once struggling West Coast Black Theatre Troupe is on solid financial ground. And they even own their own building. And Jennings says her major payoff is to see the racial unity, and community diversity the theatre brings to the Suncoast.

Christine Jennings we salute you. You are truly an amazing woman.