News-Antique.com - Sep 18,2007 - BALTIMORE – Melissa Geppi Bowersox has been appointed executive vice president at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum at Camden Yards (a k a “GEM”). Previously, Bowersox served as director of Events & Special Promotions for the 17,000-square-foot pop culture mecca, providing critical expertise during the museum’s pre-launch and first year of operation.
In her new role, Bowersox will lead a team of experienced professionals in developing new programs and special events while at the same time overseeing both permanent and changing exhibits. Bowersox said an important goal is spreading the word to civic groups, schools and the travel and tourism industry that Baltimore has added yet another world-class museum to its atmospheric landscape – one that appeals to all ages.
“We have the location, the exhibits and the support of the community,” Bowersox said. “My goal is to raise GEM’s profile so it is recognized not only locally, but also on a national and international level as an outstanding destination for families, students and tour groups.”
Bowersox has had a lifelong passion for pop culture and her native Baltimore. The daughter of GEM’s founder and CEO, Stephen A. Geppi, she began working in the “family business” at age six. “In the early days, my dad had a comic book shop in the basement of a TV repair shop in one of the city’s suburbs,” Bowersox said. “I would go in on weekends, sweep up or count comic book bags, which used to sell for 100 for a dollar – someone had to count the bags. Even as I got older, I continued to work at his retail shops, eventually being ‘promoted’ to working behind the counter, handling subscription orders and assisting the customers.”
As her father’s commercial ventures grew and prospered, Bowersox was always there to pitch in and do her part, whether it was working summers in the back of the warehouse, collating orders for Geppi’s Diamond Comics, or later working as a receptionist for another Geppi firm, Diamond International Galleries.
Bowersox is particularly proud that she represents the first of the Geppi children to join her father’s businesses in an executive capacity. “I know that it was always my dad’s fondest wish that one of his children would want to be involved in his businesses, but he would not have thrust it upon anybody,” Bowersox said. “He wanted us to come to him and let him know if we were interested.” Bowersox recalled that the right moment came in February when she represented the Geppi companies at a major comic book industry event, the New York Comic-Con. “I saw all the people I recognized from my youth when I was working for my dad. I saw the excitement in their faces when they realized that a younger Geppi was involved now, and I realized the timing was perfect. I invited my dad to lunch and told him what I wanted to do, and he said, ‘This is what I’ve been waiting to hear. You’ve just made my day.’”