Jess Blinn is an International Program Manager at Chicago Sister Cities International. In this capacity, Jess manages volunteer sister city committees; coordinates exchanges that focus on cultural arts and tourism, international business and economic development, global education and government relations between Chicago and its sister cities; facilitates international delegation visits; and produces CSCI program-wide events.
A Florida native, Jess holds a BS in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism with a specialization in Event Management from the University of Florida. With ten years of experience in the events industry, Jess has managed a wide range of events and programs including meetings and conferences, galas, fundraisers, festivals, and weddings. Before joining Chicago Sister Cities International, Jess served as Manager of Special Events for Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts in Vienna, Virginia, where she oversaw the Foundation’s portfolio of fundraising, stewardship, and cultivation events including the Wolf Trap Ball, which raised more than $1.5 million annually. In this role she managed two Event Coordinators, developed and secured event sponsorships and in-kind donations, and executed events for board members and high-level donors. Prior to her work with Wolf Trap Foundation, Jess was the Events & Meetings Specialist at Meridian International Center in Washington, DC, working on private and mission-driven events and liaising closely with embassies and the diplomatic corps.
An avid traveler, Jess has visited 7 of Chicago’s 29 sister cities across 6 continents. Having spent a year living in Copenhagen, Denmark, she is conversational in Danish and has also studied French and Spanish.