Get to Know Kim

Growing Up

Kim was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and spent her childhood years living in Louisiana and Texas.  At the age of 19 she joined the LDS Church, and a year and a half later served a mission in Boston.  During a special Patriots Day celebration there, she witnessed reenactments of the battles of Concord and Lexington and was deeply impressed that she stood on hallowed ground where people gave their lives at the dawn of the American Revolution and the birth of our great nation. 

Education/Early Career

Kim received degrees in Sociology and Psychology and a Certification in Criminology from the University of Utah, as well as completing graduate coursework in Addictions Counseling. Her work in social and behavioral science included residential training of adults with severe disabilities, and inpatient residential treatment of adolescents with severe mental health disorders, child and adolescent sex offenders, and substance addicted youth.  She also opened two treatment facilities, navigating the strict hurdles of insurance and accreditation compliances and government regulations.

Family and Civic Engagement

Kim married Joel Coleman 22 years ago and together they have been blessed with 5 incredible children.  Although she put aside her successful career to raise a family when her first child was born, the elimination of a drug house on her street pulled her into a life of civic engagement.  She boldly invited the perpetrators to her neighborhood meeting to discuss the surveillance data and photos of their activity.  They quickly moved out, but not without first leaving a token threat on her doorstep.

In her next neighborhood, Kim started a Neighborhood Watch program after an attempted child abduction.  This endeavor led to identifying and eliminating a meth house, as well as creating some fun activities and increasing neighborhood unity through one of the most successful Night Out Against Crime events in West Valley City.  Kim was invited by the city administration to provide training for other Neighborhood Watch groups, which in turn led to a key role on the city’s 5 Year Strategic Planning project, where she chaired a committee on neighborhood improvement. 

Shortly thereafter, Kim was appointed by the West Valley City Council to serve as a Planning Commissioner.  During that time, she became concerned about the many large bonded city projects and the growing city debt, as well as certain philosophies about community growth and development that didn’t reflect her conservative values about government and property ownership.  Her husband Joel recalls returning from work one day and Kim saying, “I’ve had enough.  One of us is running for City Council, and since I just had a baby, it’s going to be you.”  Joel served two terms.

Education Odyssey

Over the next few years, Kim experienced challenges with her local school and school district that largely centered on limitations of parental rights, ineffective curriculum and teaching, and unreasonable policies.  Finding no recourse, she decided to build a charter
school.  Now, after eight years, Monticello Academy has been a successful choice for many families, with excellent test scores and having closed the achievement gap among ethnic and economically disadvantaged subgroups in only its first three years. 

Kim pioneered a type of financing for charter school facilities that has now become a model for charter school construction.  As a result, the days of charter schools renting space in a strip mall or an abandoned building are over.  This unique financing stream has saved millions of public education dollars and has positioned Monticello Academy to be one of the most fiscally sound charter schools in the state. 

Perseverance and Leadership 

In early 2009, Kim endured a painful personal event wherein her rights as a citizen had been denied.  It gave her first hand experience with abuse of government power.  And after questioning whether such things could actually happen in America, she decided once again to take action.  The first thing was to avail herself of the consititutionally established third branch of government, to seek justice and enforcement of the rule of law through the courts.  Her involvement in this litigation has provided her with an increased insight into the operations of public education and state agencies that has increased the value she brings to public service.  

Meanwhile, this was a period of time in America when much political discourse shifted to the threat of an out of control federal debt and deficit and a federal government growing in size and scope.  Kim became an active organizer in education and advocacy surrounding these issues.  She also decided to use her talents to seat excellent policy-makers in public offices.  As a successful consultant and campaign strategist, over the next few years she guided the campaigns of many Republican lawmakers at every level of government. She also rolled up her sleeves and volunteered with the Republican Party.  Kim was elected as a precinct chair, delegate, senate chair and County and State Central Committee member and has served on several ad hoc committees.  She is a co-founder of West Side Matters Republican Club.  She has also been a successful fundraiser for the party.

Kim is knowledgeable of and comfortable with the legislative process, having offered testimony in many Legislative committee meetings and helping draft bills and amendments on such critical matters as local parental control of SITLA funds, whistle-blowing issues, school district legal compliances, and Utah public lands transfer. 

Kim is a leading political technology advisor, having adopted data strategies and analytics tactics years before most Republicans understood its importance.  She has been a key speaker on political/campaign technology at events like Politicopia, Real Women Run, the Civic Involvement Project, The Utah Legislature and You, and for influential Republican clubs.  She currently volunteers as the Technology Coordinator for First Lady Jeanette Herbert’s  non-profit organization Uplift Families.  

 

 

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