Columbus, Ohio USA
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C.G. Jung Association of Central Ohio
After nearly 20 years at the helm, Gina Peacock steps down as director
by Margaret Marten
January/February 2018 Issue
Bringing it all into focus, Gina Peacock, 2001
Photo © Kaizaad Kotwal
Gina Peacock stepped down from her longtime position as executive director of the C.G. Jung Association of Central Ohio, effective December 31, 2017.
The organization has been based in the Short North since its founding 28 years ago – on E. Lincoln and E. Russell streets before moving to West Third Avenue in 2004. JACO provides educational opportunities for personal growth and development oriented to the insights of Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung and various post-Jungians. An art gallery, library, bookstore, analysts offices, and programs are available at W. Third Avenue.
Peacock was appointed director in 1998. She first became involved with JACO as a volunteer upon the suggestion of friends, after a divorce and move to Columbus from Marion, Ohio. While volunteering, eventually it became apparent to the organization that they needed someone to lead JACO, so they asked Peacock to consider it. She was reluctant at first.
“I didn’t want to make a commitment,” she said. The part-time director job was not exactly what she had envisioned for herself after earning a master’s in counseling from the Methodist Theological School in Ohio. On the other hand, it spoke to her in a way she was finally able to accept and appreciate.
“I thought I was going to go into counseling and into taking care of people and doing work inside treatment centers, and what happened is that I found myself talking people out of hiring me,” said Peacock.
She recalls JACO’s board chairman Richard Sweeney reassuring her that she was free to change her mind at any time, even if she became director. She admits she had “nowhere to go” after that statement, so she relented and they devised a six-month trial to gauge whether it was a good fit for everyone. Her six-month experience was positive. “Everything just started flowing so naturally,” she said. “I remember going in and talking to the board about it, and I said I think that the Jung Association is good for me and I’m good for the Jung Association.”
One of her friends and mentor who encouraged her to first volunteer and later to become director was Claire Hagan Bauza, founder of the JACO art gallery, who served as co-director with Linda Thompson prior to Peacock’s appointment. Bauza knew it was a favorable move. “Gina was always ready to laugh at herself,” said Bauza, “and at the ways the human condition reveals itself.”
What began as a volunteer opportunity turned into a 19-year commitment for Peacock. “Gradually, without really realizing it or knowing it, I was just making it all my own,” she said. “I was creating my own position.”
She wore many hats, noted John Hume, current chairman of the JACO Board. “Gina is a warm and engaging person who offers a welcoming and caring attitude with our members, visitors, presenters, and program participants. Our board greatly respects Gina and will miss her
enthusiastic, detail-oriented service.”
Jung’s concept of individuation, the journey into becoming ourselves as fully as we are capable, necessitates much inner guidance. Peacock said she spent time looking inward, “sort of noticing what’s going on inside and then realizing that it was time to move on.”
When Richard Sweeney said she was free to change her mind at any time, he meant it. Her plans for the future are sketchy, however. “I kind of live myself into the answers and see where they go,” said Peacock. “I’m pretty comfortable with that, and I can tell by looking back on my past. It’s trusting the process and seeing where it goes. I think it’s a tried and true thing for me.”
© 2018 Short North Gazette, Columbus, Ohio. All rights reserved.
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