Q&A with Sanibel Community House’s Jill Kobe
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
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.