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Q&A with Sanibel Community House’s Jill Kobe

By Staff | May 20, 2010

Jill Kobe is the new Executive Director at the Sanibel Community House.

Jill Kobe is the new Executive Director for the Sanibel Community House.

Kobe fell in love with Sanibel years ago and decided to make a home and life


Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

What brought you to Sanibel?

My mother has lived on the Island for the past 15 years, so I would come out

here on vacation. I fell in love with Sanibel on my first visit and always

thought it would be an ideal place to raise my children,  but never dreamed

it possible.  When life circumstances changed, I suddenly found it a perfect

time to take a risk and trade in corporate life for Island life. It’s been

working out fantastically.

What do you enjoy most about living on the islands?

Where do I begin? I was first drawn to Sanibel by the idea of island life,

warm weather, and the beaches.  But the longer I’m here, the more I’m

realizing that it’s the community that is at the heart of my love for

Sanibel. I continue to be impressed by the warmth of the people I meet daily

at The Community House and throughout the island.   I’ve lived in a lot of

different places, and I can say for certain that it’s rare to find a

community such as Sanibel where residents  are so emotionally invested and

supportive of each other.  It’s clearly a great place to live.

If you could change one thing about life on the islands what would it be?

I’m still trying to learn how to deal with all the mosquitos and snakes.

I’m not a fan of either.

We hear you are the new manager at the Sanibel Community House. When did you

get hired? What drew you to the position?

I accepted the position of Executive Director at the end of March. It’s

actually a new position that was recently created by SCA. I began on a

Friday night, where my first official function was to simply enjoy an

evening of Doo-Wop.  How great was that?

I believe whole-heartedly, like so many others, in the mission of The

Community House and the importance of its role and history on the island.

When the opportunity presented itself with a position that would allow me to

utilize my background and skills with a personal passion, I was beyond


What changes can islanders expect to see at the Sanibel Community House?

Islanders can expect to see many of the same traditions at The Community

House with a continued focus on seeking new ways to enrich Sanibel through

additional educational, cultural, and social gatherings. I am particularly

interested in our rich historical tradition of bringing people together for

all forms of social gatherings. It’s safe to be say that The Community House

has been home base for many Sanibel celebrations and we will continue to

find new and unique ways to honor that tradition.

When you are not working what do you do for fun?

When I’m not working, I can be found spending time with my children and

enjoying island life.  Lately, in the evenings,  I have been spending time

crocheting blankets.  They are quite a hit with family and friends. In fact,

I have a waiting list.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I ride my scooter to work almost every day. It only goes about 25 miles per

hour, so I let the cars pass on by. The ride to work just puts me in a good

mood for the remainder of the day. Where else other than Sanibel could one

do that?

What is your family life like?

I’m a single parent, so family life can be very hectic. I’m always seeking

ways to find balance. Thankfully, I have my Mother to help out.

What are your long/short-term goals?

Short term goals are looking ahead for next season by working closely with

The Sanibel Community Association Board of Directors to dovetail off the

successful 2010 season and seek new ways to expand the ways in which we

reach out to our membership.

Long term goals…  well there is really only one and that would be to

ensure that The Community House in some way or means has impacted all

islanders in a special and personal way.

You seem like an optimistic soul. To what do you attribute your happiness?

Like everybody, I’ve seen my fair share of ups and downs, but it’s never

been in my nature to be anything other than optimistic.