New Member Introduction | Kristin Kuenz-Barber
This week we were happy to welcome a smiling face that has becoming familiar to many of us after attending as a guest for several weeks. Get to know more about Kristin through this introduction, read by her sponsor Marybeth Beall.
Kristin grew up with her family in a small suburb of Oklahoma City and eventually attended Oklahoma State University where she graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Family Relations and Child Development with an emphasis in Sociology/Gerontology. She was named one of the top ten Senior Women at Oklahoma State during her last year when she graduated with a 4.2 GPA. Kristin has a passion for service that started at OSU, when in her sophomore year, she became a Friendly Visitor Mentor (aka.. ”Big Sister”) for a child that was assigned to her through the Stillwater Department of Human Services. She spent an hour of quality time every other week with this 9yr old little girl who was living in poverty, struggling with the death of a father, anger management, and poor school attendance. Kristin supported her for three years and helped her with building relationships, learning, and being responsible for her actions. After college they remained connected and still have a blessed relationship to this day.
After college Kristin began a career in social work and took her first position with a non-profit organization working with severely and persistently mentally ill clients in downtown OKC. This transitioned eventually into working for other non-profit organizations doing case management for the underserved populations of the city. Kristin did marry after college and thus in 2002 followed her then husband to Salem, Oregon where he took a position in the wine industry at Willamette Valley Vineyards.
Upon coming to Oregon, she settled in Keizer and is still there to this day. Kristin began employment soon after moving to Oregon, at Salem Hospital where she initially worked as a discharge planner on the orthopedic unit. Kristin continued growth in the Case Management Department and eventually became a Social Services Counselor on the Cardiovascular Care Unit. After ten years at SH, an opportunity to do something a little different presented, and she took a position at Willamette Valley Hospice where she spent seven years as a Business Development/Education Liaison. In October 2017 she was contacted by a recruiter at NWHS and decided to take a leap of faith in combining her social services and business development learning experiences and accepted the position as the Strategic Partnerships Manager. Kristin is involved with several community and organizational projects at this current time and thoroughly enjoys the meaningful relationships that have formed over the past few months. She looks forward to many more years of service at NWHS.
Kristin is now currently remarried to her junior high sweet heart (3 years) and has a beautiful 10yr old daughter, Eliana, who is the light of her life – and is a very active soccer player and competitive swimmer. Kristin is active in church activities and spent Spring Break of 2017 on a church sponsored mission trip to the Dominican Republic where she was able see lives changed (including her own)in the work that was done there. She is now excited to be a part of the Affirming Business leadership group that has formed through Salem Alliance and looks forward to learning and growing in the years to come. Kristin loves sports and is such a big fan of the OKC Thunder basketball team, that 2yrs ago she and her husband even named their new puppy “Thunder”! Kristin is also an avid runner and last year had a goal of completing 17 runs in 7 months in 2017. She did accomplish her goal and her grand finale (and greatest accomplishment by far) was completing the Inaugural Salem Rotary Sprint Triathlon/Duathlon where she had fabulous overall time and finished first in her age group.
And if you are wondering, yes, she will be back out there again this year and hopes to see some of her fellow Rotarians join in the fun!