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Katie Drebert: “It’s great to be a part of the community!”

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Katie Drebert is all about community, family and traditions. As the marketing director for Lincoln Center and a native Stocktonian, she continues to keep local traditions alive and honor the community.

It’s not uncommon to find Katie Drebert walking the rows of shops in Stockton’s popular and always-busy Lincoln Center as she places event posters throughout the center, repositions picture backdrops or talks to customers and merchants. As the marketing director for Lincoln Center, This busy professional’s job consists of a range of responsibilities including communicating with merchants daily, coordinating the logistics of your favorite Lincoln Center event, keeping the community updated through Lincoln Center’s social media and promoting and helping facilitate any special events that merchants might host, all the while never overlooking the smallest details. It’s hard to keep up with Katie, as her tasks vary from day to day, yet one constant is the value she places on her community and keeping Lincoln Center’s traditions alive.

Katie recognizes that Lincoln Center has served as a hallmark of Stockton since 1951, and many who frequent the center are there not just for shopping but for creating family traditions that include taking photos in front of the Christmas tree or visiting Santa during the holidays, to dining at one of the many local restaurants while celebrating a milestone. It’s a frequent affair to find regulars taking photos in front of the various backdrops the center displays throughout the seasons, and Katie recognizes the center as a cornerstone in the Stockton community. “It’s great to be a part of the community,” she affirmed. She admits how amazing it is to see families return annually, establishing their own traditions and making memories, especially during the holiday season. “We’ve helped create different traditions over the years and I love that I get to be a part of the team to keep the traditions going,” she said. “It’s special to watch families return year after year. We get to share in their growth.”

Even Katie has experienced this specialness with her own Lincoln Center memories, purchasing her wedding dress from Bliss Bridal and spending the days before her wedding in Lincoln Center with her bridesmaids and family. As a teen, she would frequent the local shops and hangouts, and she worked at Beyond Pots and Pans, now a retired store, for a brief time during the holiday. The history in the center is a big part of the Stockton community. For Katie, being a part of Lincoln Center has felt like family, yet if you had asked her in her early years, she would have never envisioned these nostalgic memories would translate into a career in marketing.

Finding Her Calling
As early as she can remember, Katie recalls having a knack for aesthetics and presentation. “My mom would always say I had to have a theme for every birthday and I had to take a part in all planning and decorating,” she remarked. During holidays, she would help with arranging large to small details, especially during the Christmas season. As she attended Brookside Elementary and St. Mary’s High School, she continued her love of decor but never considered marketing as a career path.

After high school, Katie wasn’t clear about what direction she would take. Like many newly graduated students, she sought to explore various possibilities and attended San Joaquin Delta College and later she transferred to San Diego State University, where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice though she never pursued a job in the field. Still searching for her path, she would remain in San Diego for another five years; during that time, she found an opportunity to get involved in residential leasing. This would move her to San Francisco. It was here she would reconnect with her Stockton roots and meet her future husband, Garrett Drebert, also a native Stocktonian. Both had family connections in the Central Valley, and she joined Garrett in Stockton, where they married and made their home.

By this time, Katie looked for other career possibilities. In 2010, she was hired by the American Cancer Society as part of their fundraising department. The job required her to connect with a range of organizations in the community, and it was here she recognized the integration and partnerships established. She tapped into hidden skills she hadn’t realized she had, and her outgoing personality and organizational skills were a perfect match; she found great networking and partnerships with the businesses in the Central Valley. “I feel like it was such a great learning experience. I was so engrained into the community and learned what our community was all about,” she recalled. Over the next five years, she continued with ACS and led major fundraiser events such as the Annual Moonlight Gala and the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer 5K walks in Stockton and Modesto, furthering her experience with fundraising, development and marketing.
Katie’s credentials grew and, in 2016, caught the attention of Lincoln Center. This is where Katie found her calling and began working in marketing and design. “I say it all the time, I don’t think there is anything else I want to do. It’s such a special community here in Lincoln Center,” she remarked. Katie recognizes that her job really brings to life the unique features of the center and she’s appreciative of the opportunity to make it happen. “I’m grateful for where I am in my life, for my family and the work I get to do daily for our community.”

Looking to the Future
Now in her sixth year as director, she continues to serve as a support to the center, carrying on projects from customer favorites such as the dueling pianos, music on the Brick walk and sidewalk sales to bigger events such as the Wedding Walk for new brides and managing the advertising on “Big L” that Stocktonians can see all the way down Pacific Avenue. She also helps Lincoln Center’s part in supporting the greater community by giving back to non-profit projects, as well as hosting blood drives with the Red Cross and Kids Taking a Stand.

And of course, a huge component of her job is her support for the merchants. “Being a small business owner is not easy and they do it all! I’m honored to be a part of the center and to be able to help the greater community,” she affirmed. Katie recognizes that each merchant has unique goals, and her job is to help each stand out while drawing in new customers. “The marketing department is really here to assist the merchants in anything they need,” she said. And Katie has made her job a family affair. Her daughters Gracie, eight, and Elle, five, are Lincoln Center’s biggest fans; they look forward to attending every event and love helping mom wherever they can.

When Katie’s not working, she finds herself back at the center with her husband and daughters, making memories and visiting merchants. With so many stores that lend variety, there’s so much to offer. “Whether it’s shopping for the holidays, a date night, celebrations with friends or your everyday tasks of grocery shopping and working out, it’s my favorite place!” she exclaimed.
As 2022 comes to an end, Katie’s excited about what projects she sees for the future and looks forward to using her extraordinary talents to keep the spirit of Lincoln Center thriving. “We are always working on new and exciting additions to attract our community; stay tuned,” she said.

If you’d like to connect with Katie Drebert, learn more about the many merchants or holiday happenings, you can visit the two regions that merge between the intersection of Pacific Avenue and Benjamin Holt Drive, visit the Lincoln Center website at and follow them on Instagram and Facebook @lincolnCentershops.