Boomers & Beyond: Kathy Dirks leaves no stone unturned
Dixie sits down with the retiring Grand Junction figure
Recently, Dixie sat down at the Dream Café to chat with this baby boomers as she greets 2013 with new plans and new found freedom to carry out those plans after a full and very successful career.
Upon hearing that Kathy Dirks, Grand Junction Downtown Partnership Marketing and Communications Director was retiring and knowing of her longtime Powderhorn career , it was time for coffee and conversation, to learn more about what we think we know and what we don’t know about this energetic and talented lady.
“After working many, many years, I’ve decided it’s time to have a little more flexibility," Dirks said.
A high school love story meant a lifetime partner and eventually, a move to Grand Junction.
“It’s kind of one of those sappy stories," remembered Dirks. "He was the football captain and I was the pom pom girl.”
An unthinkable and tragic loss for the young Dirks family resulted in Kathy’s 30 year dedication to volunteering for a cause that will always be with her.
“We had a daughter that died from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome in 1973. So, that was a tough time. Dave (her husband) was in medical school. We were in Denver and at least had the support of our families through that difficult time. But I felt that I needed to do something for her and because of her, I got involved with the SIDS organizations, not only at the state level but I was on the national board. And then I wound up being on the international board as well," said Dirks.
Along with raising a family, Kathy’s skied her way to her professional life at Powderhorn!
“To be able to work in a field that you love so much, it was sort of a dream come true for me,” she said.
After that, downtown Grand Junction for a part-time career with a major construction project in the near future? Not to worry, she loved every minute of it!
“I knew absolutely nothing about construction, but I know a lot more now!” She laughed.
Kathy says she was just a member of the team but I found out she was known as the “glue” in the communication plan during construction that won an award.
“The communications plan for the downtown uplift won an award and I was so honored to be a part of it, but I truly was only a part of it because that we had with the City of Grand Junction, really, it was a joint effort. It truly was.”
And what else might we not know about her?
“After we took down our Christmas decorations, we sort of put up a shrine to the Broncos over our fireplace!”
Her future plans include following her mantra as always… “… to leave no stone unturned.”
Another passion of hers led to our bonding...
“I love to cook! The other thing that I make every single year is a chocolate Kahlua cake.”
As we leave her, I wondered: what’s her vision for the valley?
“Any time that you actually put energy and financial resources into a place such as downtown, I think that that only makes it more attractive to businesses that might want to locate here. So, I think that there’s a bright future not only for downtown but also for the Grand Valley,” said Dirks.
Well, I think you can say there’s more stones to be turned in Kathy’s future.
And if that Chocolate Kahlua Cake sounds good to you, well, she shared her recipe:
Kathy Dirks Family Famous Chocolate Kahlua Cake
One Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake Mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup kahlua
Beat all together for 5 minutes – add 1 cup chocolate chips
Bake in Bundt Pan at 350 degrees for 1 hour – cool and then dust with powdered sugar.
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