Jim I. Gabbe, senior partner, is a filmmaker, writer, editor, publisher and communications professional who has written for newspapers, magazines, the movie industry, corporations and the U.S. Army. He has also been a university lecturer in journalism, advertising and business writing, and is a professional photographer.
Educational forums for Jim’s documentary on China, Journey with the Giant, are currently being held in the U.S. and internationally to growing acclaim. Another documentary project, A More – or Less – Perfect Union, which explores the state of union/disunion in the United States, recently premiered and forums are being held at campuses and elsewhere across the United States. He is currently finishing the documentary project To The Mountaintops, which takes an in-depth look at the coming new nexus of global power – China and India, neighbors representing the world’s largest authoritarian and largest democratic states, and has begun production on Pacific Rendezvous, an exploration of the political, cultural, economic and social similarities/differences between the U.S. and China.
His historical work, The Universe of Union Square, was published in collaboration with Barnes & Noble booksellers. His other written works include the novel LaRue’s Maneuvers and MARCH, a dramatic play. His feature-length screenplay Duke was optioned by Twentieth Century Fox and later optioned and taken into development by TriStar. Jim participates in many educational forums and panels related to his documentary, book and theatrical work, having appeared at Brown University, Cal State Northridge, Cal State Los Angeles, Columbia University, Harvard University, London City University, University of North Texas, Northeastern University and Pepperdine University (in the U.S. and China), Shanghai-American School, among others, and at libraries, cultural centers, theaters and other venues.
Jim founded gabbegroup, a public relations, marketing and digital publishing firm, in New York City in 1980. gabbegroup works with for-profit and not-for-profit institutions and corporations in a wide array of industries. Among the many business organizations for whom his firm has provided senior-level communications are Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, McKinsey and Merrill Lynch. gabbegroup clients also include such educational institutions as Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University, UCLA, University of Texas and Vanderbilt University. He is the recipient of numerous communications awards for video/multimedia and print communications, including Questar, Galaxy, Telly, Astrid and Mercury Awards, and is the author of The Wyman-Gordon Way, a two-volume history of what became the world’s largest high-tech metals forging company.
Jim began his communications career as a correspondent for The Boston Globe and staff reporter for the Providence Journal-Bulletin. During his initial service in the U.S. Army, he was a Public Information Officer. Upon attaining the rank of captain, Jim was appointed a Military Assistance Command (MACV) Historian, writing a section of the Department of Defense Official History of the Vietnam War, for which he received numerous decorations including a Bronze Star Medal. He was publisher/editor of an award-winning chain of weekly newspapers and periodicals in Massachusetts and taught various writing courses at Northeastern University in Boston and Marymount College in New York.
Jim is active in various civic, business, arts and educational organizations. He served for many years as the president of the Union Square Partnership, the first Business Improvement District (BID) in the U.S. and serves on the boards of the New York Children’s Theatre and the Greenwich Village Orchestra. Northeastern University recently established the “Creative Leaders Scholarship” in his name. Jim serves on the Advisory Council of the Northeastern University College of Social Sciences and Humanities. He is a member of the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, The Wilderness Society and Vietnam Veterans of America. He was named an “East Side Hero” for community service by Our Town newspaper.
A magna cum laude graduate of Northeastern University, Jim holds an M.A. in history from Brown University, an M.S. in journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is completing an M.S. Ed. in educational psychology at Columbia University Teachers’ College.
Jill S. Gabbe, senior partner, has extensive experience in public relations, corporate and brand identity management, corporate/brand positioning, marketing communications and strategic media campaigns. Jill directs the firm’s public relations practice and as Senior Advisor to Finn Partners, oversees client services in education, health care and other fields.
Jill was formerly senior vice president and a member of the board of directors of Lippincott (formerly Lippincott & Margulies), a premier corporate and brand identity management-consulting firm. Earlier in her career, Jill was senior vice president of Carl Byoir & Associates, vice president of Newsome & Company, director of public relations for The Stop & Shop Companies, Inc., editor of Mirror Newspapers, an award-winning chain of weekly newspapers, and an editorial assistant for the Boston Herald American.
Jill is the recipient of a Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America, a Silver Quill from the International Association of Business Communicators, a Gold Astrid, a Bell Ringer from the Publicity Club of Boston and several other communications awards, including an Honorable Mention from PRWeek for Conoco’s IPO and split-off from DuPont. She is a member of the Arthur W. Page Society, the leading organization for senior corporate communications and agency professionals.
Jill served as chair of the board of the Vineyard Theatre in New York, one of a handful of theatres in the United States to bring new American musicals and plays to the stage, including the current Broadway hit and three-time Tony winner, Avenue Q, and [title of show], which ran on Broadway in 2008, and the last Kander and Ebb musical based on the historic pre-Civil Rights case, The Scottsboro Boys, which played on Broadway in late 2010 (nominated for 12 Tonys) and returned to major regional theatres in 2012. Its first play, Nicky Silver’s The Lyons, transferred to Broadway in 2012, running for about six months. Four of the Vineyard’s productions opened in London last fall, an extraordinary record for an off-Broadway theatre company.
As executive producer of CitizenArts, Jill has worked on the publication of The Universe of Union Square, a pictorial history of the Union Square area of New York City; and the production of the educational documentaries Journey with the Giant, an “under the radar” look at China’s stunning rise to global stardom; A More – or Less – Perfect Union, which explores the state of union/disunion in the United States; and To The Mountaintop, which takes an in-depth look at the coming new nexus of global power – China and India. During her 11-year tenure on the board of Childreach/PLAN, an international child sponsorship organization, Jill traveled to Ecuador with a PBS film crew for a series on sponsors and their “children;” and was involved with the marketing for the release of the movie About Schmidt, starring Jack Nicholson, featuring a Childreach-sponsored child.
A cum laude graduate of Suffolk University in Boston, where she received the Lawrence V. Rand award for outstanding senior and now serves on the Board of Trustees, she also holds an M.A. in English from Villanova University. A frequent speaker on communications topics, Jill has been a guest lecturer at Johnson & Johnson, Vanderbilt Owen Graduate School of Management, Rutgers University, Suffolk University and The University of Texas Southwestern.
Jeff Lewis, a partner at gabbegroup, works with clients on the full process of developing marketing communications elements, from concept through finished product. Jeff’s particular focus is on electronic media including video and film, web development and multimedia presentations; he also works closely with clients to develop social media programs.
Jeff is also a partner at CitizenArts and, as is the case with the entire CitizenArts team, wears many hats. He assumes the roles of producer, cameraman and editor for the organization’s educational documentaries, including Journey with the Giant, an exploration of China’s stunning rise to global stardom; A More – or Less – Perfect Union, which explores the state of union/disunion in the United States; and To The Mountaintop, which takes an in-depth look at the coming new nexus of global power – China and India. Possessing a deep appreciation and understanding of the creative process born of over 25 years of experience, Jeff’s desire to meet people, hear and communicate their stories and contribute to the dialogue about important events of our lives makes CitizenArts a perfect fit and he is proud to call it home.
Jeff is a graduate of Loyola University in New Orleans with degrees in communications and visual arts. When he’s not on the road for CitizenArts projects, Jeff enjoys spending time with his family, watching the Cubs in the summer, the Saints and LSU in the fall and cooking bbq all year ’round.
Bridget Gabbe is an associate partner at gabbegroup and producer at CitizenArts, where she is deeply involved in the creative and marketing efforts for the organization's work, including the dramatic work MARCH, and the educational documentaries Journey with the Giant, A More -- or less -- Perfect Union and To the Mountaintops. She is also a professional actor and public relations associate. Bridget’s marketing and public relations expertise and focus are particularly in health and education sectors. As an actor, Bridget has worked extensively in theatre, film and television, having recently appeared on CBS’s Blue Bloods and and The Following on FOX. Bridget also has a featured role in the upcoming film Big Stone Gap alongside Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson and Whoopi Goldberg.
As a professionally trained actress (she is a graduate of the famed Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, the FAME! school, and holds a BFA from the University of Michigan), Bridget’s work in front of and behind the camera and onstage has benefited gabbegroup/CitizenArts clients and projects tremendously due to her finely honed ability to understand and communicate content of all sorts to an audience in an engaging and entertaining manner.
Ben Gabbe is a partner at gabbegroup and a producer at CitizenArts. Ben is a well-known commercial photographer based in New York City and has worked with numerous corporate and individual clients as well as public relations, advertising and photo agencies throughout the US. His photos appear continuously in many local, national and international publications such as such as The New York Times, Time Magazine, US Weekly, Marie Claire and Vogue, and are also televised on various networks such as MTV, E! and Bravo. Ben is especially known for his photographs of high-profile individuals, including corporate executives, movie and theatrical celebrities and politicians. He is skilled in a wide range of shooting styles, notably high-visibility/high-pressure events, editorial, advertising, unit stills, studio, runway and product. His natural ability to see and figure out creative, compelling shots in even the most challenging situations and his professionalism and accommodating, affable manner have earned him a special place in the demanding field of commercial photography. Ben holds a BFA from Syracuse University’s School of Visual and Performing Arts and has studied photography and videography at the School of Visual Arts as well as The New School.
Wang Jian Ping
Wang Jian Ping – “Lily”, is associate producer and a translator for CitizenArts, where she plays a central role in creating the educational documentaries Journey with the Giant and To the Mountaintops. Lily is a highly regarded tour guide, leading people from many different countries on tours of Shanghai — where she lives — and throughout mainland China, Tibet and Southeast Asia. Her knowledge of Chinese culture and history are unsurpassed and make her particularly sought after by universities and other education-related institutions. Her inquisitiveness, spirit of adventure, love of food (particularly yak butter tea) and boundless sense of humor add so much to our team. Her dedication to CitizenArts’ projects and her coterie of friends and acquaintances far and wide constantly elevate our work to new levels of insight and experience. An honors graduate of Shanghai International Studies University and a professional interpreter for business, government, cultural and educational institutions, Lily is also a yoga devotee and world traveler.
Rohit Gehlot, CitizenArts India Associate Producer, and is a core member of the team for the educational documentary To the Mountaintops. He is a leading all-India guide known for extensive understanding of Indian history, culture, religion and politics. His relationships with people of all backgrounds and his special ability to understand their endeavors and to form lasting connections truly set him apart. He plays a central role in arranging all of CitizenArts’ India activities, works as a field producer and is adept in video camera work. One cannot speak of Rohit without a warm smile. He combines stoic determination and talent to do the best possible job with a joyful spirituality, humor and patience. No matter the challenges we might face in our India production work, Rohit smooths the way and makes the seeming impossible — like interviewing the King of Jodhpur in his castle! — all part of a day’s successful adventure. He lives in Udaipur, Rajastan with his wife, son, parents and other family members.