By Angela Higginbotham
With a long family history in the Atlanta area, Kimberly Kalke and her family waited until retirement to move to St. Augustine only one year ago. Kalke admired the atmosphere and beaches of St. Johns County for many years of vacationing before the move south. A lifelong community advocate, Kalke is passionate about serving her community and making a difference. She was an active volunteer in a Georgia sexual assault center and decided to complete the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Civilian Law Enforcement Academy, which continues to open other doors for contributing to the community. Kalke has organized a successful neighborhood watch program with 233 members and eight block captains in St. Johns Golf and Country Club.
“The community is like a family,” Kalke said. “We can fight over things we disagree on but in the end, we all have each other’s back. I’m proud of the program and the community.”
Kalke thrives on being a civilian voice of the people and a liaison between law enforcement and the communities around the County Road 210 corridor. She and her husband of 20 years, Jay, have a daughter, Kara, a senior at Bartram Trail High School.
- What do you enjoy most about living in St. Augustine?
It’s so laid back and an easy, breezy lifestyle. We are enjoying life in the slow lane. The people are great. We moved right as Hurricane Irma was coming through and the neighbors came to help us with our furniture and ease our concerns. Everyone has welcomed us with open arms. It’s a melting pot of people and I’ve met neighbors that are also from the Atlanta area.
- What inspires you to stay so active in your community?
I just love people and making a difference. I have 20 plus years of experience in human resources and I believe that helps me tremendously in my everyday community activism.
- What would you consider your greatest accomplishment thus far?
There is nothing better than being a mom. The weight of that responsibility and then seeing how great they turn out is amazing. Also, I’m proud of the legacy that I’m working to leave behind. I’ve been cognizant of the roles I’ve held in my past and I’ve lobbied for change on several levels to benefit our children.
- What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I’m so immersed in my community that my volunteering takes most all of my time. Just staying engaged and working in the community is my passion. My daughter is looking at colleges right now, so I’m also busy doing college tours.
- What is something that most people don’t know about you?
I run a blog titled Beach Blogess. I compare my 20 years of marriage to I Love Lucy episodes and the blog is wildly popular in Norway. I have no idea why Norway, but it’s so much fun. I say that my husband speaks seven languages and none of them is “Wife.” It makes for some hilarious stories.
Photo courtesy Kimberly Kalke
Kimberly Kalke with daughter Kara.