Bio: Giese, Julie (2009)
Contact: R. Lipprandt
----Source: The Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, Wood Co., WI), February 12, 2009, Front page, Online Edition
When Russ Giese turns on the Daytona 500, he watches victory lane with a keen eye.
But he's not looking for the winner, he's trying to see who prepared and organized the entire spectacle.
Russ and his wife, Barb, of Colby have flipped on the television for the past four years and will do the same Saturday for NASCAR's first race of the season. When the Daytona 500 drops the checkered flag, he'll try to catch a glimpse of his daughter, Julie Giese, 31, standing in the background.
And she's not there for an autograph or to get covered in a driver's sponsorship soda that is predictably sprayed in the air. She's the Director of Communications for Daytona International Speedway, and one duty of many is organizing victory lane along with pre-race activities that are a long way from the farm where she was raised.
"We kind of look and can usually see her in the winner's circle," Russ said. "It's kind of neat to know your daughter got this whole thing rolling."
Giese, a 1995 Colby High School graduate who earned a degree in ag marketing communications from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, has worked at the world famous speedway since 2004. Getting there was about as tough as qualifying for the race. She spent time working for an advertising agency in Minneapolis after college -- Giese needed a job after getting rejection letters from nearly every major track in the country, she said.
Then a friend of a friend mentioned an opening at Watkins Glen International. She applied and finally found herself in the race world.
"My family watched races growing up and we would go to Elkhart Lake or the Milwaukee Mile, so I was always a race fan," Giese said. "When I went to college and saw different opportunities, racing became more intriguing to me because racing is so based around marketing."
The week leading up to the Daytona 500 is as hectic and fast-paced as the race. She maintains a "second-by-second schedule," she joked.
Giese's involved in so many marketing and organizational aspects that she takes a to-do binder with her everywhere -- even to sleep.
Of course, she doesn't get much shut-eye the night before. It isn't until after the race that she can relax for a minute -- before moving on to more marketing efforts for a track that holds races 300 days of the year.
"It's important to get the season started off right for NASCAR as well," Giese said. "It is a lot of pressure, but that's what makes it so fun."
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