Jessica Green's life is a classic example of the old adage, "It's not what you know, but who you know."
Not that she's unskilled. An experienced business manager and events organizer, Green has been operations manager for The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagers-town since January.
Looking for something to do this weekend? Find what you need in our Weekend Entertainment Guide newsletter.
As theater manager, Green can incorporate her skills and interests in music, marketing and family activities.
But it was courtesy of personal contacts that Green found her way to the theater. And to her family.
A head for business
Green, 30, was born in Frederick, Md., and grew up in New Hampshire. She called herself a tomboy — "I never wore a dress," she said — and in high school played soccer, lacrosse and tennis. She was a lifeguard during high school. She attended Marymount University in Arlington, Va., on a lacrosse scholarship.
In college, her interests developed. The former tomboy became interested in fashion merchandising. Not the artsy-designy side of the fashion business, Green said — the business side of fashion.
"People who think of fashion merchandising often confuse it with sewing and fashion design," she said. "I studied the display and the sales of fashion — how to sell, how to merchandise. In college I started working local fashion shows. Like when Nordstrom's would have a trunk show. I worked behind the scenes."
She got an internship with L'Oreal USA, the cosmetics and fragrance company. Green oversaw merchandising and sales for L'Oreal's outlet division. She was based at then-named Prime Outlets in Hagerstown. Green said she was thrilled to land a job in her field and near her family.
"It's even harder in Hagers- town, Maryland, to get something in fashion. I should have been going to New York City or L.A. or something, but I'm not a city girl," she said. "Plus, my dad's parents are here in Hagers-town."
Green traveled to L'Oreal locations, overhauling stores to increase sales. But then she married her husband, Corey, owner of Corey's Construction in Hagerstown.
"Corey grew up two houses down from my grandparents. So my grandma played matchmaker," Green said with a laugh. "I was still going to college down in Arlington, and she would tell me to come home for a dinner party that weekend, and I would come home from college and there would be nobody here but Corey. We didn't really have a choice. But it all ended well."
When Green gave birth to a baby girl, Halie, she decided she wanted to be a mom for a while. She stayed at home with the baby, then took a job at the newly opened Little Gym at Longmeadow Shopping Center in Hagerstown.
"The Little Gym was just a stay-at-home-mom kind of thing. I did gymnastics for 13 years growing up, so that's how that came about," Green said. "Then I wanted to continue my career."
Flexing her business savvy
A parent Green met through the Little Gym was Greg Weaver, owner of Antrim Way Honda in Greencastle, Pa. He hired Green to help get the dealership's gift shop established.
"So I got hired part-time to help him with the gift shop, and it evolved and evolved," she said. "And five years later, I was the operations manager of the dealership."
She was also the mother of a second child, a son named Cooper.
But Green wanted to get back into her field, merchandising and event organizing. So she worked her contacts. One person she spoke to was Benito Vattelana, president of the board of directors for The Maryland Theatre.