Jack Chielli on Martin guitars, flying a fighter jet

Shawn Carey, Online Editor

Stepping into Jack Chielli’s office, the first thing that is seen is a picture of the Wilkes University Colonel sitting in a chair with a guitar. For Chielli it is the type of guitar that is significant and so special to him.

Chielli serves as the associate vice president of marketing and communications for the university. He has served at the university in his current role since 2005. Chielli graduated from Roger Williams University and received his Masters in creative writing from Wilkes.

In his role, he is responsible for all the ‘communication flow’ that goes to current and prospective students. He is responsible for overseeing all the production of fliers, pamphlets, TV commercials, and public relations for the university. He also serves as the Executive Editor for the ‘Wilkes’ alumni magazine publication.

“It can be a lot to handle, but it is great, I really enjoy it,” said Chielli, “I think one of the things I enjoy is that there is not a typical day,” he continued, “You always have to be prepared for the unexpected.”

With everything in the world of marketing and communications he does for the university, many might be surprised to know that he is an avid poetry writer and guitar player. Chielli says that he has been playing the guitar for thirty plus years. However, it is a particular guitar that Chielli plays.

“I have a Martin Guitar, it is a D35, and it is a beautiful guitar.” Chielli said, “It was bought for me when I was 21, my parents bought it for me and it has been with me ever since.”

The picture that hangs in Chielli’s office is one that is one of his favorites. It was an advertising campaign that the university was doing to show students where they can go in the Wilkes-Barre area, one of the stops being at a Martin Guitar Company.

“The staff knows that it is one of my favorite pieces,” said Chielli, “Martin Guitar happened to be one of the places we sent him and when I saw the picture, I said ‘I have to have this picture.”

For him, Martins may be his favorite guitar but he is also “the proud owner” of a Hofner bass guitar, a type of bass guitar that was made famous by Paul McCartney.

Now with such a passion for playing the guitar, there has to be a favorite song to play and for Chielli it is “Kathy’s Song” by Paul Simon.

Chielli says that playing the guitar is “just so much fun” because his kids and he are starting to “jam together.” He says his two boys are starting to take to the guitar more and having a lot of fun with it. His daughter is musical, but plays the piano. Chielli says that playing the guitar and being a musical family is something he can pass down to his kids as well.

“The songs definitely have to continue for sure.” Chielli said.

Although guitars and music are a big part of Chielli’s life, there are other aspects that he has experienced, that some of us only dream about.

Before entering the world of Marketing Communications, Chielli was a reporter for several newspapers and had many unique experiences because of it.

Some of the experiences he mentioned included deep sea shark fishing with the mayor and police chief of Linwood, New Jersey and flying an F-14 fighter pilot. All experiences that he enjoyed and was able call his work.

“It was one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life,” Chielli said, “We pulled 8Gs.” Chielli said it was a part of a feature he was writing a feature about fighter pilot competition and a top pilot in the field.

Chielli went to a full day of training to prepare for the flight and once airborne was able to do a barrel roll, fly over the Atlantic, and pulled 8Gs. However, Chielli was proud of one thing after the experience.

“I did not throw up,” he said, “I was a little afraid that I would, but I did not.”

Chielli said that although those experiences were not on his bucket list, he said now they are and he can cross them off. But there still are many things that are on his bucket list.

“I got to get to the Grand Canyon and Italy,” he said.

Chielli also wants to know the art to Chinese cuisine.

“Learn how to cook really good Chinese food,” Chielli said, “I want a trained Chinese chef to teach how to make a garlic sauce.”

Another thing on the list is something that resonates with many parents.

“I want to grow up and see my kids become successful,” he said.

Although Chielli has received great pieces of advice throughout his long career, the best piece of advice came from his father.

“My father told me never to give up,” Chielli said.

While accomplishing so much in a lengthy career, Chielli still has a lot to do.

“I concentrate on doing the best job that I can every day,” he said, “It is a job that you can’t be thinking of other things, I am really focused on that.”