Jack Schmidt

Jack_SchmidtCouncil Bluffs, Iowa

Inducted as a Fellow: 2005

Your earliest memories of the Institute?

Signing up for a student membership as an undergrad at Colorado State College (Now the University of Northern Colorado), encouraged by Dr. Welby Wolfe, chairman of the Theatre Department.

After graduation, lost track of the Institute until I joined Strong International (now Strong Entertainment Lighting) as spotlight sales manager, and went to the Oakland Conference in 1986. I began to be really involved at and after the 1989 conference in Calgary.

Favorite USITT memory?

Visiting Fallingwater with Rick Stephens, Joe Aldridge, hosted by David Will after the Pittsburgh (1997) conference, the board meeting in Nashville in 1993, I think, and an informal bull session in Wichita (1993) that should have been taped for the gender issues forum.

Short list of career highlights:

  • MA, University of Northern Colorado, 1970.
  • Technical Director, Omaha Playhouse, 1970-73.
  • Designer/Production Manager, Omaha Ballet 1974-84.
  • Product Sales Manager, Spotlight Division, Strong International, 1985-2005
  • Member IATSE Local 42, Omaha - Fremont - Council Bluffs - Sioux City 1979-present. Current First Vice President.

Short list of your involvement in the Institute:

  • Appointed to the USITT Board by Sarah Nash Gates to represent exhibitors
  • Member of the board 1992-94
  • Board member of TDA/ESTA, served as a liaison between the two organizations
  • Served on various committees including conference site selection

If you were to make a short list of the memorable USITT characters that have made a difference to you, who would they be?

Will Bellman, Van Phillips, Dr. Doom (Randy Davidson), Gino Montgomery, Sarah Nash Gates, Rick Stephens, Joy Emery, Dave Will, Carolyn Satter - the list is endless

Anything you want to say about being a Fellow?

A humbling honor, which I'm still trying to live up to.

Anything you'd like to add about what the USITT means to you personally?

I don't know where to start. A forum for meeting the most fascinating, involved and involving, passionate people I can imagine. A place to make the best friends a person could possibly have.

Contact: See Membership Directory & Resource Guide