Jean Perry is the woman who keeps the trains running here at Den Aviary. She’s our fearless Digital Project Manager, Queen of Timelines, Ruler of Deadlines, and all-around on-point taskmaster. Read on for more about this animal lover, cancer survivor, and proud owner of a Blessed Purse.
You’re a Chicago native, right?
I’m from the western suburbs - a tiny little town called Winfield. I lived in Arizona and then Utah, then back to Chicago! I saw an ad on the CIMA website for this role at Den Aviary, which is how I joined the company. What’s funny is I used to work with Lee like 20 years ago–and then a year later he started here too!
What are you up to outside of work?
Well, I’m going back to voice lessons. I did it for a few years a while back, and I really loved it. So I’m trying to get back to it - my coach is awesome.
Since you’re a singer, I have to ask: what’s your go-to karaoke song?
“Killing Me Softly” by Roberta Flack, in the style of the Fugees. I slay it.
Where’s the farthest place you’ve traveled?
I went to Italy in 1987 with my dad. We spent most of our time in Rome and Florence. We visited Pompeii, Serrano, Naples… it was pretty amazing. Pompeii was especially fascinating. It was cool and creepy, but made you think about how we’re all connected. I’m a major history geek.
Tell me about your cats.
George and Gracie (brother and sister), and Zoe is the third (she’s George’s little girlfriend). I’ve had them all since they were kittens. They’re all over 12 now - time flies!
What’s the best food you can make?
The last dish I made was AMAZING. My grandmother’s Chicken Marengo recipe - she used to make it when we were kids and I loved it. My sister gave me her recipe book. It’s a white wine sauce, herbs, tomato, olives, lots of garlic… Mmmmm.
You battled cancer last year. Do you mind talking about that?
I was diagnosed last April (2016). My first appointment was the day Prince died. It was three days after the diagnosis and I’m sitting in the oncology ward with my sister watching Prince footage, holding my pink binder (everything they give you is pink). I went through surgery, chemo, and radiation - in that order. It’s been almost 9 months since my last treatment! These guys [at Den Aviary] were so freakin’ amazing about it, I can’t even tell you. It’s really a great place to work.
You’re such a boss, Jean. Congratulations on being free and clear!
List your pocket contents:
Eos lip balm, keys, wallet, Ventra card, earbuds And just yesterday, I pulled this crazy thing out of my purse: a vial of holy oil! When I was diagnosed last year, I got a little bottle of holy oil and a saint medallion (my sister’s mother-in-law is a wonderful old Irish Catholic lady). The oil had leaked in my purse, so I guess my purse is blessed now!
Guilty pleasure song:
“American Pie” by Don McLean
Best advice you’ve ever received?
I'm way better at giving advice than taking it. Whether you want it or not.
GIF: how do you say it?
Gif. Hard G. I think Brent does these things to be difficult.