By Roosevelt Gant
Some people are going to reject you, simply because you shine too bright for them. And that’s okay. Keep shining. That’s Gail Gant’s favorite quote by author Mandy Hale. And Roy and Dora Finley’s youngest daughter has taken to heart those words and it’s proved to serve her well throughout her life.
Born in Fremont Ohio, Gail was raised and lived all of her life in Toledo. Growing up, her father taught his daughters to hold their head up, shoulders back and walk with pride, he even made them walk with a book on their head so they would look straight ahead. She attended Rogers High School, but graduated from Libbey High School in 1973, after her family moved, prior to her senior year.
After graduation, she accepted a position at Sears, eventually being given her own department, the Junior Bazaar. That experience was a springboard to a 40+ year career that included working for some of Toledo‘s most notable corporations and non-profits such as Owens Illinois, HCR ManorCare, The United Way of Greater Toledo and The Frederick Douglass Center. It was at these organizations, that Gail honed her skills in areas such as marketing, administrative support and event planning.
After retirement from the corporate world, Gail put on her entrepreneurial hat and focused her attention on construction, landscaping and real estate development, alongside her husband, Roosevelt Gant. “I wanted to learn about the industries that he was involved in which was
Construction and real estate developer. “
She took a course through Assets Toledo, which teaches you how to start and operate a business and then took a course regarding construction through the Lathrop Company. Gail also became a Master Gardner through the Ohio State Cooperative Extension program.
Some of Gail‘s other interest include community service “I’ve been involved for a number of years in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and served as the food chairperson for the race.”
“ My mother died of cancer, and while it wasn’t breast cancer I thought that this was a great way For me to get back to the community.”
In 2017, Gail happen to find out that children had to pay to swim at the City of Toledo swimming pools. “When I was growing up we could swim for free.” So she and her husband, long with The Toledo Journal initiated a campaign to raise money so that all youth 18 and under could swim the entire summer for free at Roosevelt and Wilson Parks Pools. She also participated in the Distinguished Clown Corp in the annual downtown Christmas parade.
Gail is proud of the fact that we now have a black woman vice president of the United States and soon will have a black woman on the US Supreme Court.
She has a strong belief that a woman can compete for, and complete anything that she wants to. But Gail points out that the difference between the words compete and complete, is the letter L. And that L should stand for Life; Your Life and what you make of it.
Take a chance on your dreams whether it’s getting your GED or going to nursing school; be of the attitude that “yes I can”.
And remember, “Women Keep Shining!