Kathleen Simmons was born and raised in Sacramento. Both of her parents worked for the government at McClellan Air Force Base, so it was natural for her to migrate to an occupation in the government. She started out at the Sacramento Army Depot, then McClellan before coming to the BLM 28 years ago.
That wasn't her initial occupation. She started out studying cosmetology and is still a certified cosmetologist. "I felt I could always go back to that if I needed to," she said.
She didn't need to. She was hired as a staff assistant for the Branch of Biological Resources. She then moved to the Division of Administrative Services and became an expert in the administrative tasks associated with duty station transfers. It was a fun job, but she felt a need to move on.
"I wanted to be an administrative officer. That was my goal," Kathy said.
So she moved away from Sacramento for the first time in her life. All the way to Ukiah, to become the management assistant for the Ukiah District. A couple of years later, she became the administrative officer.
The biggest challenge was converting from a 3-tier district office to a 2-tier region and creating a regional support team.
"It was very rewarding," Kathy says. "It was very successful. The managers and staff came together to make it work. We made a name for ourselves."
As the Regional Administrative Officer, Kathy is an advisor to the six northern California field office managers and support team staff. "I feel like the mom of the group," she says.
Kathy retires March 3, 2004. She and her husband Bob, who retired four years ago, will relocate somewhere, she says. In the meantime, they have purchased a new motor home and plan on traveling a bit and attending more antique tackle shows. Her husband is a collector and antique dealer.
Kathy has two sons. Richard lives in Sacramento and Ryan lives in Fallon, Nevada. She has a step daughter, Erin, who works for BLM at the Ukiah office. Kathy also has two granddaughters, who she hopes to see more of.