Brianna GunterStory by
About this sponsorship: In honor of the 60th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary’s historic ascent of Mount Everest, Patch and Grape-Nuts are teaming up to highlight those who inspire people around them to climb their own mountains.
Red Cross Regional Communications Director Sam Kille has his hands full. The former U.S. Marine and police dispatcher has now been working since 2011 as the man responsible for public relations and overall communications strategies for the American Red Cross' work in the Greater New York region. In this responsibility-filled position, Kille oversees the organization's media relations and serves as a spokesperson for various events and in times of crisis, and also handles their social media efforts. He previously served as the public relations director Nassau County, first joining the Red Cross in 2007.
But for Kille, setting the right example for his children is equally as important. The busy communications director took some time out of his hectic schedule to answer a few questions for Patch about the challenges his role comes with and how he's using it to teach his two children good values.
1. What is the biggest challenge you've ever taken on?
Working for the American Red Cross over the past six years, I have responded to many disasters—tornadoes, fires, floods and hurricanes—most recently Superstorm Sandy. Before the Red Cross, I spent twelve years of my life with the U.S. Marine Corps. I also worked as a police dispatcher. All of these have been daunting, sometimes stressful roles. Yet my biggest challenge by far is being a role model for my children—Emily, 12, and Sam, 8. While they probably know more about the Red Cross and its mission than most adults do, it’s not always to afford them the time they’d like to spend with me. I can only hope that through my example they too will express an interest in pursuing a greater good.
2. What inspired you to take on this challenge?
My father spent 21 years in the Marine Corps, so I’ve probably always felt that life has more meaning when doing work in service of others. It’s very easy to moan and groan about any job—but it is much harder when you see the difference you make in the lives of others. I try to remind my children that they are very fortunate compared to so many others in this world.
3. Did you succeed? And/or what will you do when you succeed?
Success likely will not be known until my children are adults. However, my son always introduces me by saying, “This is my dad, Sam Kille, from the American Red Cross.” So, if his pride is any indication, I’m on the right path.