Atchley follows untraditional road to Hollywild

Kim_with_Siri (1)

Kim Atchley with Siriana “Siri” Nyeff, an extremely rare Syrian brown bear cub. The cub was three months old when this photo was taken.

Kim Atchley’s career has been anything but normal. She started as a middle school science teacher, switched to freelance writing, co-authored a book and now shares her love for animals as marketing director of Hollywild Animal Park. She is another unique and unbelievable NFPW member

Name:  Kim Atchley

City and State:  Pauline, South Carolina

Affiliate and any leadership positions:  Media Women of South Carolina (MWSC) Affiliate President, High School Communications Contest Director

Years a member of NFPW:  14 (I think)

In a paragraph, tell me a little about you.  

Personally, I’m 45, a wife and mom of 3 with my kids 23, 16, and 11.  Life is NEVER dull on the home front.

Professionally I consider myself as having a non-traditional career path.  I taught middle school science and ‘came home’ after our second child was born, picking up my passion for writing and starting to freelance.  I became a stringer, covering the arts for our local paper.  The journey into caregiving for my parents led me to write many articles on the topic and co-author When Your Aging Parent Needs Care.  After my parents passed, I slowly picked up more freelance work again.  I also became a speaker and blogger for senior and caregiver advocacy issues.  I’d never in my wildest imaginings saw myself as a speaker, but it has become a very natural progression of following where God led me.  Still freelancing, I picked up a contract with Hollywild Animal Park that has led to a position with them as Director of Marketing and Public Relations.

Any career advice you would give?

Never be afraid to try something new and learn a new skill.  I love what MWSC member Charlotte Babb once told me – that with technology you’re never more than four months behind (because it changes that fast) so don’t feel bad about where you are.  Technology can be daunting, but if it looks interesting, just jump in!

Which talent would you most like to have? 

Paint or draw I guess.  I see many things in my head that I just can’t share.    So I’ve just settled for drawing stick figure type illustrations for examples or more often just talking with my hands!! HaHa

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?  In April I learned that the home of my heart is where my family is, but the home of my soul is on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.  So I’d have to say Ireland, but only if I could bring my family!

What book are you reading?  I’m re-reading the Outlander series on audiobook as I drive to work.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I learned to kayak on the ocean when I was just about to turn 40.  Nugget learned:  to start kayaking, do so in much calmer water!  Reward for stepping out:  After drifting away from the group and willing myself not to panic, a big sea turtle came up right beside me offering great encouragement – #memorablemoment!

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

MWSC and NFPW have provided an incredible professional network for me, one that I feel is truly unique in today’s networking culture.  Both organizations transcend the “who can do what for whom” networking model.  Through NFPW I’ve definitely found a group of professionals who want to make a difference in the lives of others in any way they can. That really resonates with the way I’ve approached every aspect of my own professional and personal life.  Both organizations have created an environment where I can find support (professionally and personally) in an instant which is an incredible gift.   Whether helping me learn new technologies in a seminar, sharing personal/professional challenges over lunch, brainstorming ways to make a stronger impact on a special project, or even being a last minute on-call tech support when I’m pulling my hair out, I have a network of true professional friends that stretches across the country.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, etc.

Blog:  http://www.whentheagingneedcare.com

Website: http://www.kimatchley.com

Facebook: Kim Atchley

Linked In: Kim Atchley

Work: Hollywild Animal Park http://www.hollywild.org

Twitter: HollywildParkSC   Facebook: Hollywild Animal Park

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3 Comments on “Atchley follows untraditional road to Hollywild”

  1. Michelle Fisher Says:

    Kim is truly a wonderful and beautiful person. She has been a real blessing in my life.

  2. rediwpa Says:

    You go girl, you just keep right on moving forward and enjoying what life has to offer. So happy for you!

  3. Kay Stephens Says:

    I just looked at some of the photos of Hollywild. Wondered if NFPW members will get to see and pet some of those loveable creatures if we get to the South Carolina conference. That would be a draw for animal lovers. Nice presentation, Terry and Kim.


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