the torch Winter 2015, Issue 4 - Page 22

STA FF profile GINA COMPTON Gina Compton’s husband, Adam, asked her recently one of those big-picture questions: If you could do anything you wanted, what would you do? Gina’s answer: plan events that raise money to fight cancer. As an officer for Baylor Health Care System Foundation, that’s exactly what she’s doing. Her event-planning role at the Foundation entails coordinating the logistics of quarterly board of directors meetings, as well as events, such as the annual Grand Rounds® Golf Tournament, where some 200 golfers help raise money to benefit medical education at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas. This is more than just a career, though. Raising money to find a cure for cancer is personal for Gina, who joined the Foundation this past August. She just celebrated 10 years living cancer-free. Diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma in 2005, Gina, then 18, spent the better part of the year going through 14 rounds of inpatient chemotherapy at Ronald McDonald Children’s Hospital at Loyola University. Reaching the 10-year, post-cancer milestone is huge for Gina, because Ewing’s sarcoma often recurs, and when it does, the prognosis is not good. Gina has worked for nonprofits in the past — including Sigma Kappa Sorority, which she pledged at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisc. — but Baylor provides her a unique opportunity to combine two of her passions: working for a nonprofit and planning events. “There’s such a focus on how we, as an organization, are serving the community around us, and 22 that’s not something that I’ve gotten to do in the past,” Gina said. Prior to joining Baylor, Gina was the creative design director for a Dallas-based event planning company, and, before that, she was a behavioral health counselor in Chicago. “In my previous jobs, there has been such a focus on sales numbers, profit margins and client satisfaction,” she said. “And while I definitely have to answer for my budgets now, it’s not the focus. It’s about celebrating Baylor’s accomplishments, or a generous donor, or raising money for medical education — and I really appreciate those pieces. There’s a passion and a reason and a purpose behind what we’re doing.” Gina said she has often gotten job leads throughout her career, but she would always pass them off to friends or colleagues who were looking for work. It was different when she learned about the opening at Baylor. “The Foundation was my opportunity to combine my professional skills in event planning with my passion to help pave the way so no other family has to hear the heartbreaking news that their loved one — whether it be their child, sister, brother, mother, father, or dear friend — has cancer.” GINA COMPTON