Where are they now?

Gina Funk Nelson '04 (English)

Gina Funk NelsonMarketing Manager, Selland Family Restaurants

The next big thing is: Having coffee with people face-to-face with no electronic or media interruptions—like at Chocolate Fish. I love that place! I’m 37 and married with a kid so I kind of like mellow. Mellow is the next big thing! Sleep is really in too...

My favorite source for news is: I actually love to use my Facebook newsfeed for local news. For local events and local business and restaurant news, you really can’t beat it. The only TV I watch is The Mindy Project and Curious George. Ha! For more national or global news I use my Twitter feed and click on what’s interesting. In my car I like Capital Public Radio.

I’m a fan of: Facebooking everything from my phone.

I am so over: Facebooking everything from my phone.

One thing I learned at Sac State is: Take advantage of the student health services. Also, the English and French professors are amazing.

When I was at Sac State: I majored in English and minored in French. I graduated two classes shy of a double major, and I still want to go back and finish up that French degree someday! I adored my professors in both departments. Stephanie Tucker in the English Department and Nicole Buffard and Kevin Elstob in the French Department were particularly inspiring and influential.

I had transferred from Sac City College planning on double majoring in psychology and philosophy and took a few of those courses, (I had entered Sac State with some psych scholarships), but I took a couple of English lit classes and was hooked. Professor Olmstead’s “Lost Generation” course got me. And I had always loved French. I took it in high school and had spent a summer in Paris as a teen, so I just naturally gravitated to the things I loved to learn about. I was never much of a career planner, just took what I enjoyed and waited tables at night to pay for a shared apartment and for my classes. I took advantage of some loans and grants as well. I was a bit older (maybe 23-26 years old) when I went to Sac State, so I didn’t really have a typical student experience, but I’m glad I explored at the community college level first. It was a good path for me.

I’ve been in the restaurant business for over 20 years, since baking apple donuts at Apple Hill and working at cafes in high school. As I mentioned, I waited tables all through college, and so after I graduated Sac State, I was the manager at The Kitchen Restaurant for a few years before I went on maternity leave in 2009 and segued into the marketing department for all the Selland Family Restaurant--The Kitchen, Ella and two Selland’s Market Café locations. My official title is director of online marketing, but since I married into the family six years ago I kind of just do whatever is needed of me.

I started and built all the social media accounts and presence for the restaurants--mostly on Facebook and Twitter (although we are also on Pinterest and Instagram). I helped develop and now run our email marketing program with our newsletters and event updates while maintaining and growing our large email database. I also help maintain the websites, blog, develop promotions and collateral marketing materials, write copy, take photos, assist with charity and community involvement, and monitor our online presence and profiles on the search engines and review sites. I’m kind of all over the place, but we have a great team and I love my job.

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