Director of Marketing and Operations

DobbinsGail WOD May 2014

Meet Gail Dobbins, Director of Marketing and Operations. Dobbins was introduced  to patrons and season ticket holders at an event March 20, 2014, in the Social Room of the Normal Community Activity Center at One Normal Plaza, also the home of Heartland Theater.

About Gail Dobbins:

Gail Dobbins has long been associated with Heartland Theatre, having served on the board of directors for over 19 years, volunteering her marketing and brand skills and working alongside her husband Mike Dobbins, Heartland’s former Managing Artistic Director who passed away last July. Gail continues to act as the theatre’s spokeswoman and media contact. Besides marketing and communications, she will also continue in fund development, database management and volunteer coordination for the theater.  She oversees grants and sponsorships as well as taking on responsibilities with business management, box office, budget, reservations and the physical space at One Normal Plaza. 

“Gail and Mike Dobbins created a formidable partnership. Although we faced a difficult road without Mike at the helm, we are happy that Gail has continued to utilize her many talents on our behalf,” said Wineburner.  “We created the position of Director of Marketing and Operations just for her, which was the “managing” part of Mike’s position, the business of Heartland.”

Gail Dobbins has served in a variety of management positions in ad agencies in central Illinois, as well as managing her own business Dobbins Graphic Design in Freeport, IL and Dobbins Strategy in East Peoria, as a healthcare marketing strategist with national and local clients.  She has worked in the non-profit arena for over 30 years, contributing her time and talents in theatre, healthcare and community non-profit organizations.  She serves on the board of directors as Vice-President for the Kiwanis Club of Bloomington and serves on the board of AART (Area Arts Roundtable). Dobbins’ undergraduate education is from the University of South Dakota in Fine Arts, with further study at the University of Northern Iowa in Marketing Communications. She has won numerous national and international awards for her brand development and direct mail campaigns.  She was awarded Outstanding Woman in Communications by the Association of Women in Communications in 2013 and is a 2015 YWCA Woman of Distinction in Arts and Entertainment.

“My passion is Heartland Theatre, as most people know. After we lost Mike, we faced many challenges, but the board really stepped up to the task.  We knew ‘the show must go on,’ and never thought for a second it wouldn’t.  After spending almost 20 wonderful years of my life growing and developing this theatre, I am happy to be an important part of its future,” said Dobbins.