Gretchen M. Klein
AGE 38Big Brothers Big Sisters Match Support, Association for Education of Young Children Liaison, and Ketchikan Youth Court Fund Development
Your most memorable experience that could only have happened in Alaska.Here, it's OK to canoe up to someone's house, knock on their door and sit down for dinner.
Education: Parks and Recreational Management and Tourism Development, with an Emphasize in Business from Pennsylvania State University
Community work: Rotary 2000, Ketchikan Lions Club, Fraternal of Eagles, Delta Kappa Gamma, Big Brothers Big Sisters Big Sister (five years with Emily, my cool little sister), Ketchikan Running Club, Totem to Totem Run and Walk, Team Diabetes, Ketchikan Arts and Humanities Council
Family: Parents Karl and Joanne, children Karly-Joanne and Svend-Karl
Favorite lunch spot? Annabelle's. They have the best baked blue cheese halibut, cannery bread and salads.
Best stress reliever? Running and cocoa/whip cream. I have been running since I was 14.
Favorite place in Alaska? Prince of Wales. People are friendly, kind and take wonderful pride in their roads, and do a rock-out job on Prince of Wales Marathon, and no one beats their local shops. Also, Yes Bay Lodge, where you are treated like family and it's a great place to relax.
What is the strangest thing you've ever seen in Alaska? A man with a toilet plunger hanging off a stick over his shoulder walking down Ketchikan main street, and a baby bear in the Tatuadas grocery store eating food.
Name the person you most respect and why. Karen Wolfred has been a great mentor over the years. She always asks how you are, and no matter how busy she is, she takes time to listen. She is the most upbeat and positive person, and she has a great smile. Karen helped me a lot with cases at Youth Court, and later left to start the KGH Foundation. We reconnected at the KGH Foundation, and work to support the health care needs in our community. She continues to check in and make sure things are going smooth. She is a special gal.
How did you make your first dollar? I sold rhubarb from my family's garden in Moser Bay.
What did your pet or child teach you about business? It takes a lot of pennies for a cocoa or candy bar.
Favorite superhero? My parents worked hard all their lives to give us lots of love, shelter, food and an excellent education. They still laugh and smile, and care about their family, neighbors and community. Even today they worry about my sisters and me, and always put us first over themselves. Never once have I ever heard my parents complain about anything.
What is the best moral lesson learned from a character in a book? Have fun and celebrate! Tomorrow is a new day and new beginning!
What was your biggest challenge in life and how have you overcome it? My son had a sudden illness when he was 2. We spent a lot of time at Children's Hospital and on medevac flights, and my job allowed me to work remote at the hospital though it all. My board and volunteers all stepped up and supported us. The local hospital, Homehealth, and Dr. Rosenfield made it possible for us to come home and continue his treatment. It was such blessing.
Describe something you learned as a child that made a difference in your later years. Treat people as you would want to be treated.