By Ken Gillespie
After Kelly Altosino-Sastre and I spent an hour talking in her Nocatee home I first came away at a loss for words as to how to capture her essence. To get around temporary writer’s block I turned to the classic reference book “Roget’s Thesaurus.” The book’s pages indeed triggered a number of word choices that best describe her persona: liveliness, animation, vivacity, spiritedness, bubbliness, and effervescence. Slang terms would be pizzazz, pep and moxie. All these characteristics power a purpose-driven individual with a clear focus on mission and goals.
Altosino-Sastre currently serves as founder and president of the Rotary Club of Ponte Vedra, which is Florida’s newest club. Altosino-Sastre and husband Aristides relocated to Nocatee from Coral Gables four years ago to be near their three adult children and six grandkids. Also, Altosino-Sastre’s 97-year-old dad lives nearby in Del Webb. Altosino-Sastre has long worked with nonprofits and presently has her own consulting business working with nonprofit executive boards on strategic planning.
Q: What things are you most proud of in your life?
I got married when I was 18, went to college and earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree while raising three children, working, coaching and running a soccer league, and serving on several nonprofit boards. I am proud of the countless Rotary projects that I have worked on to make people’s lives better. I am most proud to have wonderful children whose life’s work is service: Aris is a family medicine physician; Cameron works with students with disabilities; and Stacci is a deputy with the St. John’s Sheriff’s Office. They all have amazing families.
Q: Tell us about your involvement with Rotary.
I was invited to join The Rotary Club of Coral Gables in May 1996. At that time there were not many women in the club of 170 members; women were not able to join Rotary until 1989. I quickly jumped in by serving on just about every committee, and then over time was appointed to serve as chair of those groups. I was elected president for the 2003 – 2004 Rotary year. I have also served on leadership teams at the district level as well as an instructor for All Florida Rotary PETS (Presidents-Elect Training Seminar)
Q: What are some principles you live by?
Be good in the world … be honest and authentic … make things happen … always have a Plan B … be resilient.
Q: Anything on your Bucket List?
Three very different items. 1. To hear Andrea Bocelli sing “Sogno” (Dream) in the Teatro del Silenzio in Tuscany, Italy. 2. l love photography and sports, and would like to take an award-winning soccer photo, not for the award, but to capture an incredible moment in a game for others to enjoy. My love of photography was instilled in me by my father-in-law. I started photographing my children as babies, at their sporting events, then moving on to flowers and nature. Now I take pictures of my grandchildren. 3. To raise a million dollars for my Rotary club’s foundation so we can continue doing good both locally and globally.
Photo courtesy Kelly Altosino-Sastre