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I’m privileged to nominate Kimberly Eberlein for a 2013 Woman of Achievement. I met Kim some years ago, via our work with the St. Louis Symphony Board. Her genuine warmth and kind demeanor, coupled with her outstanding capabilities and extensive and diverse volunteerism continue to enrich our community.
Kim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and a Masters in Public Health Services Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. Her impressive professional background included key administrative positions, which certainly have paved the way for her leadership roles within numerous organizations.
Kim moved from Boston to St. Louis in 1999 with her husband, Tim, and son, Justin, and immediately began volunteering, focusing on the arts, women’s health and well-being, and race relations.
Her beginnings as a crisis line volunteer for Safe Connections (an agency providing education, counseling and support for domestic violence and sexual assault victims) eventually led her to becoming their Chairman of the Board. During her years with this agency, Kim raised funds as well as awareness of domestic violence as a public health issue; met with donors, and represented the agency to United Way panels. She was a strong spokesperson and advocate for education and services to decrease the problem of partnership violence. With her characteristic compassion and understanding, Kim made it her priority to help women in one‐on‐one situations as they dealt with critical issues and crises.
Following her work with Safe Connections, Kim was a founding member of Women’s Initiative for Health & Safety, a group of women which identifies and addresses high priority health issues for St. Louis women. She continued her efforts to concentrate on the issues of domestic violence along with reproductive health, and forged close working relationships with many local agencies who specialize in these areas. Kim helped to provide funding for programs such as education about partnership violence; legal assistance, interpretive services, temporary housing, and funding for STD and cancer testing.
Because of her involvement with Safe Connections, she was able to establish connections to these local agencies and served as a liaison to them for funding needs.
Kim’s other passion, music, led toward leadership board positions on the boards of the Community Music School; The St. Louis Symphony, and Opera Theatre. Her numerous initiatives with the Symphony, including a series of board/musician/staff and formal gatherings, helped to promote personal interactions and communications. She helped launch Doctors and Scientists for the Symphony, which has generated increased funds and closer connections with donors.
At Opera Theatre Kim worked with audience development among several other key duties. When the opera of a Korean composer had its U.S. premier here in 2012, Kim reached out to the Korean community, which resulted in their strong presence on opening night. Additionally, she often invites individuals to attend dinner and the opera for the first time. These include young professionals and representatives of diverse groups who are not well represented at the opera.
Kim continues to devote time and work with the Women’s Society of Washington University; a group of 600 + who contribute talent and funds for the School. She served as president, and, while increasing diversity, Kim initiated Composing a Life; a program featuring women sharing life lessons with women students.
Kim’s belief in the power of women to affect a social change led her to also co‐found the St. Louis Women’s Group on Race Relations. This group of 180+ women is committed to reaching across racial and ethnic barriers to increase understanding, friendship and action to make St. Louis a more integrated and welcoming community. Kim and her two co‐founders started with (town hall) meetings of their friends and colleagues, and they have since reached out to include even more women. Their educational sessions feature speakers who describe not only issues within our community, but also discuss successful efforts by many other organizations, to be more inclusive. They sponsor various outreach events and have partnered with groups such as Focus St. Louis; Regional Business Counsel, YWCA and the Diversity Awareness Partnership.
Indeed Kim’s passion, vision, commitment and work for numerous causes and organizations profoundly impact the lives of so many, and continue to greatly inspire all who know her. I’m truly proud to nominate her for your kind consideration.