By November 3, 2013 0 Comments Read More →

InterView – Kathy Halsey

InterView By Chris Murphy

ModestoView is all about creating civic pride and encouraging our citizens to get involved and make a difference. I am also very proud to be a Rotarian. My friend Royal Robbins asked me to join Rotary nearly 15 years ago. I met Kathy Halsey serving on the Modesto Chamber of Commerce Technology Committee when we were pushing for DSL expansion to Modesto. Kathy has always been focused on working with the public and being involved in Modesto and Turlock. Kathy went to work at Pacific Telephone in 1978, back in the days when you had to lease a phone and a special color cost extra. She ultimately grew with AT&T and became Director of Public Affairs until she “retired” a few years ago. Kathy and her husband Dave have been together for nearly 30 years, married in 1978. They have two kids, Karly and Dustin, that attend Pitman High. Now she is busier than ever serving with a variety of local organizations.  Kathy serves as the President of the Rotary Club of Modesto, also known as the “Downtown Modesto” Rotary.

ModestoView: You were in the corporate world and now you are busier than ever. How has life changed for you since you “retired”? Kathy Halsey: First year was very mellow and I took a year off. I was doing so much volunteer work, my husband suggested I get serious and get a job that included service. I had job opportunities and turned down some fabulous offers. I took a job with the Great Valley Center as Sr. Director American Leadership Forum, Great Valley Chapter, In fact, I’m leaving tomorrow to attend the national board meeting North Carolina. I also continue to work as a consultant for AT&T.

MV: You have always been part of the community and a volunteer, what drives you to be involved? KH: First time I got involved when I was 10 or 11. I put on carnivals for the local neighborhood kids. When I was in 3rd grade I did a fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy. My first carnival made $10.01 and mailed it to the national office. I have been fortunate to have jobs at AT&T that allowed me to be involved. I always wanted to represent the company with the public.

MV: Rotary International is an amazing organization. Do you think community knows what they need to know about Rotary? KH: No I don’t. There is a lot of good work in the community. There are a lot of people that do things behind the scenes. At Rotary, we don’t spend time telling people what we do but we probably should. We need to do more to educate the community about what we do and encourage people to be involved. At Rotary, it is “service above self”. We are involved in the Kettle Kick Off, we have the Rotary sock collection for the Salvation Army and we were instrumental, along with the other rotary clubs on the Virginia Corridor, Toys for Underserved Children and other special things coming up. We have just delivered dictionaries to third graders citywide and are beginning work on the Virginia White trail.

MV: What makes you the most proud to be a Rotarian? KH: The work that Rotarians do, no matter how small or large the project. From the local level, whether it is wheelchairs, water treatment, building trails or on the global scale with eradicating polio. The 2013 Rotary motto is “Engage Rotary Change Lives”

MV: How do people get involved with Rotary? KH: Anyone can be a party of Rotary. We encourage all Rotarians to ask others in the community to be involved. If you don’t know a Rotarian, you call the Modesto Rotary office at 209-578-9999 and we will make a connection to bring you into this amazing organizations.

MV: What do you think the people of Modesto could do to really make a difference? KH: Mentoring kids is a priority. There are so many kids that don’t have a good role model in their lives. There are numerous ways to do this . You really can change the future by working with kids and providing positive direction. I have a picture that that hangs in my house that reads, “The world may be little better since I was important in the life of a child.

MV: You wear many hats, tell us some of your other hats. KH: I am active in the Modesto Chamber of Commerce and am the past Chairman. I also serve on the United Way Women’s Leadership Council. I also sit on Turlock Chamber of Commerce Government Relations Committee and serve on Congressman Denham’s Academy Selection committee. There are so many very worthwhile projects.

MV: We talked about the importance of the Salvation army and the Modesto Rotary has a Kettle Kick off team for the big event on November 21. How can people contribute and why do you think the Salvation Army is so important. KH: Look at all the things that Salvation Army does. Take care of those that can ‘t take care of themselves. They feed and clothe the needy and provide much needed services. When you donate to the Salvation Army you are “Not just giving a hand-out, but a hand up”. The best thing you can do to assist the needy and the homeless is to give to organizations that help like the Salvation Army.

MV: You and your husband Dave like to explore our country, where do you like to go and how do you travel? KH: Our passion is motorcycling and we only own Harleys. We used to travel a lot before we had kids and now we are really busy. We are looking forward to getting back on the road again. There is much country here in California left to see and also the across the USA. My mom was an adventurer and I want to follow in her footsteps. I really think we need to teach our kids to be adventurers and to be curious about the world around them.

MV: Tell us something that people may not know about you. KH: We love going to the fair so much and even have a 100 year pass that we bought when the Stanislaus County Fair celebrated the hundred year anniversary.

MV: Beatles or Stones. KH: Oh that isn’t fair that I have to pick. I have seen the Rolling Stones 5 times but I listen to Beatles all the time and know all the songs. This is a tough one. I can’t pick.

Modesto Rotary Club of Modesto meets at the Doubletree on Tuesdays at noon.

 

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