20 Under 40: Alexis Kimbrough values listening with communication
Working as Grand County’s communications coordinator, as well as chairing the county’s 2020 Census Count, Alexis Kimbrough didn’t expect to have to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic on top of her daily duties. However, she was quick to jump into the fray by becoming the co-spokesperson for the county’s COVID-19 response team.
Her nomination notes that she’s dedicated not just to her job, but to her community.
“She has become an essential part of our community and her compassion for Grand County shows in everything she does,” Kimbrough’s nomination said.
In her first year on the job, Kimbrough redesigned the county’s website, logo, internal newsletters and began the process of building and implementing a new visual identity. She also continues to helm the county’s census efforts.
What made you choose to live and work in Grand County?
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My mom and my stepfather moved here when I was in college, so when I graduated, it was like I could stay in Oklahoma or I could move to this beautiful area. It was kind of a no-brainer for me. I moved to be closer to them, because … it’s really important to me to be near my mom.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I would love to see where government positions take me. I really enjoy being on the (COVID-19) incident management team because it’s helping people. But I guess I don’t have an end point because I’m more the person who rides the wave and takes opportunities when they come.
How has COVID-19 changed the way your industry does business?
I work more than I previously did. I’m constantly sifting through orders and laws and helping to simplify and explain them. The most challenging thing is that people interpret things differently and every person receives information differently, so utilizing as many methods and interpreting it in as many ways as possible is either the ultimate challenge or the dream.
Who is your hero and why?
Definitely, my mom. She didn’t have the best childhood, divorced my dad when I was very young, didn’t go to college, yet raised my brother and I, all while working. She worked her way up to the vice president of a bank, all without a degree, just really hard work, while being a single mom. When my mom got sick, it never affected who she was as a person or her character. That’s the one thing my mom instilled in me, it will never matter who you are or what you look like if you don’t have the character to back it up. My stepdad would probably be a close second, because at times, he would work three jobs to make ends meet.
What advice or encouragement would you offer a young professional trying to make it in the county?
To listen. Communication is not all about telling. If I was not to listen, I could communicate the entirely wrong thing. That’s definitely the No. 1 thing.
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