After Gina Zambori lived in the Windy City for a few years, she opted to come back to her hometown, which is where her story as a local begins.
Zambori spent most of her life in Valpo before moving to Chicago and returned in 2014. The main reason is to be near her family, but something else drew her back.
“I love the feeling of this town,” Zambori said. “It has that small-town vibe but is thriving like the big city. I came back at the right time and it’s not just good for my future, but my kids' futures as well.”
Her love of Valpo is also tied to the community’s strong education roots.
“The school system here is phenomenal,” she said. “It is a large school system, but it also has that hometown feel to it. It feels like everything is personalized for each student.”
There were a lot of big factors coming into play for Zambori's return, enough to make any person question their choice of a new destination. She also had the chance to jumpstart her career here, now serving as a senior buyer with Discover Books. The company is dedicated to making literacy affordable for everyone. Zambori got her passion for this job when she was in Chicago tutoring. She was inspired to find a way to give back to her community.
“My job is so much more important than I think people even realize,” she said. “Having literacy accessible for everyone is so important. I love seeing how much the community appreciates the work that we do for them.”
One of the best parts of the job for Zambori is that she gets to work remotely from home, giving her that perfect work-life balance.
“I feel like I have separating work and life down to a science,” she said. “This way I never have to miss anything, and my husband is so great and can just jump in and help whenever needed.”
But with three kids at home, it can also get a bit chaotic.
“There was one time I was on a conference call, and suddenly my daughter came in and got sick,” Zambori said. “It left me in an awkward situation trying to switch back and forth between the call and tending to her. Thankfully I don't think anyone on the call noticed that something was going on.”
In her spare time, Zambori likes to read and write. Her favorite genre is non-fiction, and she can sometimes spend hours reading a book and lose track of the day completely. Her main travel venture is the Philippines, her mother’s native country. A dream is to take a sabbatical and spend two weeks wandering the country. When she does, she has the full intention of coming back.
“There isn't anywhere else I want to go. I think that I am in Valpo for life.”