Meet Kimberly Gonzalez, the museum's new manager of development and partnerships.
Kimberly Gonzalez's is deeply entrenched in her love for supporting the military and veteran community.
When she applied to become the Ormond Memorial Art Museum's new manager of development and partnerships, it was the museum's dedication toward local veterans that drew her. Gonzalez is an Army wife; her husband is stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas, though he belongs to a unit in the Orlando area.
“The fact that the museum has a connection to the military community, and honoring veterans, that is my passion," Gonzalez said. "That is my heart.”
Gonzalez comes to the museum with a bachelor's degree in education and psychology from Brewton-Parker College and a master's degree in teaching and learning from Nova Southeastern University. She has worked as a teacher in both public and private schools, as well as held positions with the American Red Cross and the Department of Defense. Gonzalez recently moved to Holly Hill from Gainesville, Georgia, with her two dogs.
This is the first time she is working in the museum world, and she's learning about art and the museum's various forms of outreach. At the same time, in her new role, Gonzalez is also helping the museum further connect with the community to allow its influence to grow. She is responsible for making sure the museum has funding available for art scholarships and encouraging community support and involvement. She's also been instrumental in extending the art scholarship opportunities beyond service members and veterans to their spouses as well.
There are people in the community that aren't aware the museum exists. Gonzalez used to be one of them, and now is working hard to get the word out. It's one of her favorite parts of her job.
“I love having the opportunity to talk to people about the museum, and help people when they come into the museum, telling people to come to the museum — it’s the interactions," Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez is no stranger to the area. Growing up, she spent every summer in Daytona Beach, and when she's not relaxing by the shore, she's probably at Disney World.
Her mom was a teacher back in their Georgia hometown, and as soon as school let out in June, her family took off to the Sunshine State. She even remembers eating dinners at Julian's in Ormond Beach, and said her heart aches to see it gone.
“I have so many precious childhood memories of Julian’s, and so seeing that part of that history chip away, but yet seeing all the growth that has happened, it’s bittersweet," Gonzalez said.
The museum is entering a new era, as it recently entered into a 50-year lease agreement with the city to allow OMAM to qualify for state and county grants for its upcoming $2.8 million expansion, which involves adding a 5,000-square-foot-building.
“It’s going to be a team effort," Gonzalez said. "Very exciting. I can’t wait.”