and schedules made it difficult, but Kathy Horn accomplished the
task again. The gathering was important to her. It was so that on
behalf of the Lincoln Kroger store a check for $370 could be given
to the Together for Lincoln organization last week.
"It's a local
charity helping others in the community. How could you not help
support something like that," Horn said. Helping support and
encourage local charities, businesses and the community at large is
what this triple ambassador is all about.
Horn, a New Jersey native, came to Lincoln in 1960. The daughter
of Ambrose and Irene Mee, Kathleen Mary Mee went to school at LCHS
while working part time at the Kroger store.
She married and had six boys, including two sets of twins within
an 11-year span.
"For 14 years I stayed at home and ran a licensed day care
facility," Horn said. With six boys it can be thought that she would
have plenty of homegrown experience running a day care. "I watched a
lot of the teachers' kids at Carroll Catholic. And they taught mine,
so I guess we helped raise each other's children," Horn smiled.
When her children became older she went to work at Eagle food
stores, first in Normal and then in Lincoln. Five years ago, when
Eagle closed, she and seven others were hired at Kroger. "There were
eight of us who applied here at Kroger, and they hired all of us."
Horn considers her decision to apply and be hired by Kroger a stroke
of good fortune. "This is a great company to work for, and the
people here are all wonderful."
Although Horn's official job title at Kroger is assistant file
clerk, she wears as many different hats at the store as she does
throughout the community. "I change prices, but I also fill in at
cashier, and last year I was made the community ambassador for
Kroger," she said.
It is this role as community ambassador for Kroger that has
showcased Horn's commitment to the community. Lou Schick, assistant
manager at Kroger, says, "As our community ambassador, Kathy does a
great job of getting Kroger involved in community projects." He adds
that she works with countless local organizations and takes care of
all the donations and funds that Kroger has available each period to
assure that the store is involved with and supports as many
community events as possible.
Horn explained that Kroger Co. always has had a commitment to the
communities where their stores are located but has recently begun to
make that commitment better known to local residents. She mentioned
the ALS drive at the store this past summer that helped collect over
$600 for research. She and many of her Kroger family, as she calls
her fellow employees, also were involved with the ALS walk. She also
mentioned the Kroger commitment to the Lincoln Park District, the
local food pantry and Together for Lincoln, just to name a few
[to top of second column]
"Kathy has a lot of jobs around the store, and she handles them all
very well," says co-worker Richard Smith. "Whether it is dealing
with in-store things like pricing and product information, or
employee issues that she has to act on as the union steward, Kathy
takes every duty seriously and does all that she can to be helpful."
Horn's ambassadorship duties for Kroger are just one of the
duties that are important to her right now.
Five years ago, Mayor Beth Davis-Kavelman appointed Horn to fill
the Ward 2 vacancy left by Steve Fuhrer resigning. Horn decided to
run for the office when her term expired and considers her job as a
city alderman very important. "I had to run again," she said. "I
found out I really enjoyed the job."
Horn is bullish on Lincoln and believes the appointment of Joel
Smiley as economic development partnership director was a great
choice to help bring new industry and business to the community.
Often at ribbon-cutting ceremonies and special chamber events
Horn not only represents Kroger but also the city administration.
She might be wearing more than one hat -- or jacket, should we say
-- in her role as an ambassador.
Horn is active in the Lincoln/Logan County Chamber of Commerce
and is a chamber ambassador. Chamber staff members also have praise
for her attitude and efforts with everything dealing with chamber
activities. Those who work with her for the chamber of commerce say
that she is almost always on hand as ambassador for the chamber at
all their events, and they repeat other's praises of her, saying
that she will do all and anything she can to help.
City, Kroger, chamber -- Horn is a triple-play ambassador and a
positive role model for the community, and that's what makes her
this week's Personality of the Week.
See the front page of Saturday's Lincoln Daily News for a
of the Kroger presentation.
Nila Smith contributed to this report]