Kim Gillenwater: Providing through creativity

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In just about everything she does, it seems, Kim Gillenwater’s creativity shines through.

In her work, of course, where her creativity sustains her.

But that creativity also shines through in her personal life. When she needs to unwind, she doesn’t just curl up with a book or walk around the block. She takes her dog, Gypsy Lulu, a schipperke, and goes on “adventures” to locations where it’s sometimes hard to be found.

And when she decided it was time to get healthy, she didn’t just start using the Cardinal Greenway every day, or join a gym. No, she turned on some music in her bedroom and hula hooped.

“I make a choice every day to stretch my creative bounds,” Gillenwater said.

An Albany native and Delta High School graduate, Gillenwater went to Ball State University as a business major. While there, someone suggested she take some graphic design classes.

“It was something I had a passion for,” she said.

Gillenwater eventually changed her major to graphics arts management, with a minor in business administration.

In high school, Gillenwater designed and produced T-shirts, an early sign of her creativity.

After graduating from Ball State, she has done a variety of design jobs on her own, as well as holding down different design positions with Meridian Health Services and, currently, Mutual Bank.

In recent years, she immersed herself in the community through major events. At Meridian, she carried a heavy load of responsibilities in its Rialzo fundraising event in 2016. For the Muncie-Delaware Chamber of Commerce, she took on many marketing responsibilities for the 2017 Chamber Cup.

She also uses her gift to help groups and agencies, including the Muncie Animal Shelter, Muncie Downtown Development and many more.

“I want to help those non-profits,” she said. “I think it’s really important for people to have marketing that looks good and is eye-catching.”

Gillenwater no doubt takes a little satisfaction from walking the streets of Muncie and seeing her work on display.

“It’s humbling,” she explained. “But it’s also a pride thing, seeing something and knowing I created that, and it was appreciated by others.”

The lifelong Delaware County resident has a fascinating explanation for why she still lives in the community where she grew up.

“I get to see all the people who supported me, and who love me,” she said. “I have this fantastic network of people here.”

She extends that network – repays it, in some cases – by treasuring local businesses. She’s known for buying treats at one local business and delivering them to another local business as a surprise.

“I have a real appreciation for the people here,” she said. “This is a place full of really great people.”

What she says:

Favorite spot in Muncie: “Somewhere with Gypsy Lulu. We go on adventures, to the other side of the river, to a spot where I can let go of things.”

How would you describe yourself: “Deceptively intelligent, and frighteningly clever.” (originally how a friend described her, but she embraces the description)

Where we are most likely to find you on a Saturday morning: “The Caffeinery, and the Farmer’s Market.”

One thing about you that most people don’t know: “I like to hula hoop in my bedroom to funk music.”

One unusual thing you keep in your work space: “I have a mustache made out of pipe cleaners that can hang from my glasses. It was made by my friend/co-worker/officemate Maddie.”

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