Employee Spotlight: Kimberly Kochem

Kimberly Kochem began her United Way career over three years ago. As the Vice President of Community Impact, Kimberly designs and implements the community investment strategy. “I analyze data and work with local thought leaders and topical experts to ensure our strategy is as effective as possible.

Kimberly enjoys working with United Way’s community partners and volunteers. “We are uniquely positioned in the community to address the most critical local issues; it is by bringing all of our stake holders together that we can affect change.”

An accomplished runner, Kimberly not only “Lives United” as a United Way staffer, but she also “Runs United” having participated in past United Way 5Ks and 8Ks such as the General Montgomery Day Race and the Dutchess County Classic. “I love our work, it is so important to the community and I have the pleasure of working with a great team.”

Kimberly is also the proud mother of five-year-old Kyler, who inspires her everyday to be the best she can for her community. She even brings Kyler along to volunteer events whenever possible so that he will learn the importance of giving back early on.

During Day of Action, Kimberly was rushing to get to Poughkeepsie Farm Project to pick up her farm share and told Kyler they would not be able to make the volunteer project at the Potter House. This was unacceptable to Kyler. He told her “We have to go help the volunteers!” So, they picked up their vegetables and spent the remainder of the day clearing brush and raking the new Potter House property.

Kimberly hopes that through her work at United Way she will make the community a better place for Kyler to grow up.

Between her time spent in the office and with Kyler Kimberly stays pretty busy. Yet, she still finds time to volunteer outside of work.

Two years ago Kimberly became a crew coach for the Lourdes Rowing Association and the Hudson River Rowing Association.

Kimberly, in her time spent at Marist College, first as an undergrad majoring in psychology and then later pursuing her MPA, was a committed rower. In fact it was through rowing that Kimberly fell in love with the Hudson Valley. “Being out on the Hudson River is so peaceful and beautiful; I knew I would make the Hudson Valley my home.”

And she certainly did! Kimberly coaches 12 girls during the winter and spring rowing seasons and successfully led them to compete in the NYS championships. She is a leader and role model for them on the water and off. One of her past rowers received a substantial rowing scholarship for college, but  needed help addressing the everyday challenges of college life. Luckily she was able to count on Kimberly for advice on adjusting to living in the dorm and balancing her time between academics and athletics. “The girls have become a second family for me; their presence in my life means so much.”

Due to her limitless passion as a coach, her crew colleagues recognized her great work and have since asked her to sit on the Hudson River Rowing Association Board. “I find it incredibly fulfilling to advocate for the girls at practice and in the board room.”

Kimberly is proud to be both a United Way staff person and a volunteer board member for many community organizations. She hopes to encourage others to take up the call. “It is so easy to become engaged in the community and begin your volunteer story. Simply visit our Volunteer Portal at volunteer.uwdor.org!”

—Melissa Clark, Manager of Community Mobilization