Meet Kristin Koppen, newly appointed board chair at Pallottine Renewal Center. A St. Louis native, and human resource professional and a grandmother of eight. Learn about her vision, her passions and how she aspires to live her life.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am from St. Louis and, to answer the St. Louis question, I went to Kirkwood High School. I graduated from Willimas Woods College with a liberal arts degree. I was recruited to Monsanto and first moved to Decatur, Alabama, then Pensacola, Florida and finally back to St. Louis (Monsanto’s headquarters).
I worked in a variety of human resource positions for over 13 years. After a short stint at Boatmen’s Trust Company heading up the HR function, I started my own HR consulting and recruiting firm to focus on executive search, primarily in the Midwest. I specialize in academic searches am conducting work with universities in Illinois. My firm is now partnering with another firm and I am enjoying a little more work/life balance! My husband is Dale Emge. We are very blessed to have eight grandchildren, three sons and daughter-in-laws and a black lab.
How did you come to be board president Pallottine Renewal Center?
In 2010, I was retained to hire PRC’s first lay director. It was wonderful to work with Sister Gail Borgmeyer, Pallottine provincial, and Dave Creech, corporate treasurer, on this important project. The director asked me to be a part of the first board in 2011. I have served on the board for the last 3 ½ years, including as vice-chair.
I became more familiar with the Pallottine Missionary Sisters and their mission in 2011 when I had the opportunity to work with St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Maryland, to assist in the recruitment process for a new principal. I met the sisters and stayed at their convent.
The chair is a new role for me and I have very big shoes to fill! Sister Helen Collier, previous board chair, was an amazing leader with phenomenal expertise and experience.
What gifts do you bring to your service at Pallottine?
There is so much spirituality, faith and heart at the PRC. It is hard to talk about my gifts, but I feel that I can make contributions in the area of human resources, recruitment, business acumen and love of the mission and values of the center and, the sisters. Having recently converted to Catholicism, it is a gift to continue to learn more about my new faith through this work.
Why do you think Pallottine is important as a ministry?
PRC offers a wonderful and peaceful venue for the community to enjoy. It is a beautiful, well-run facility that provides retreatants time to focus on their retreat while enjoying the facilities (grounds, pool), warmth and hospitality, including great food.
What does Pallottine’s motto, “Refresh. Reflect. Renew” mean to you?
I think that is what life is about – how to keep pace with the hectic lives we all lead and stay whole spiritually, emotionally and physically.
What is your vision for Pallottine? How do you bring that to your leadership on the board?
We are at the next stage of our growth at PRC. How do we elevate our facility (physical plant) and provide even greater retreatant service? How can we spread the spirituality of the Pallottine Missionary Sisters and St. Vincent Pallotti? Our center is becoming well recognized with organizations, churches and schools returning after a positive experience, thanks to the executive director and wonderful staff.
What are your passions and aspirations?
To serve in this role with guidance from the board, the sisters, the executive director and my family in the best way possible. And to be a positive, generous and supportive person for my community, colleagues, family and friends.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Enjoy our grandchildren, reading, knitting, working out. I also am very involved with Alpha Chi Omega, my college sorority.
What is your personal motto?
“Do what you say you will do and treat others as you would like to be treated”