Julie Giese grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin but her track to becoming president of Phoenix Raceway took a few twists and turns.
“I grew up on a dairy farm, agriculture is what I knew,” Giese said. “I was an animal science major and realized that sitting behind a microscope in a lab all day long was definitely not what I wanted to do.”
Giese grew up in a family that watched racing every Sunday and eventually decided to chase a career in the racing industry. Giese applied to several positions at several race tracks but received many rejection letters.
“I kept those rejection letters,” Giese said. “I think the race fan in me really appreciated the fact that I had a letter from a race track with a logo on it.”
After some rejection, Giese finally got her foot in the door at Watkins Glen International and moved to upstate New York to begin an entry-level role in the racing industry.
“I’ll never forget that first day of driving into the race track and thinking, ‘wow this is real,'” Giese said.
Eventually, Giese moved from New York to Florida to continue her career at Daytona International Speedway as a part of the marketing team. In her final two years in Daytona, Giese transitioned to a project manager role for the Daytona Rising Project. This position meant putting on a hard hat and leading the charge for Daytona International Speedway’s $400 million renovation project.
Her final two years in Daytona prepared her for her position as the track president of Phoenix Raceway. Now her focus is on improving the fan experience and turning Phoenix Raceway into a top entertainment destination.