Long-time CMP Employee Kathy Williams Celebrates Retirement
December 12, 2021Civilian Marksmanship Program▸The First Shot▸Long-time CMP Employee Kathy Williams Celebrates Retirement
Kathy Williams, a respected employee of the Civilian Marksmanship Program for over 20 years, has announced her retirement – effective December 2021.
“It has been an awesome place to work and learn!” Kathy said about being employed for the CMP. “I couldn’t have a better group of friends or family.”
Kathy, who started with the organization in Ohio in 1999, arrived when the CMP was still young – formed to its current capacity in 1996. She began working in the CMP offices that, at the time, sat within the Industrial Park located next to the Camp Perry National Guard Training Facility (where the annual National Matches are held). In late spring 1999, Kathy and the entire workplace moved onto the training base, where Headquarters remains today.
From the beginning, Kathy has been instrumental in upholding a number of facets of the company while warmly aiding others along the way.
“Kathy has always been eager to jump in wherever needed to lend a helping hand,” said Dana Lynd, CMP assistant programs chief.
Lynd has worked alongside Kathy for several years and lent her praise for remaining helpful to customers – always going above and beyond to fulfill their needs. Lynd also recognized Kathy for being an essential part of growing CMP programs while remaining gracious to those around her.
“Kathy has the respect of her coworkers – they would do anything for her,” Lynd said. “She’s a very giving person and is a breath of fresh air. She knows how to put a smile on your face when you need it most.”
“Kathy will be deeply missed, but we all know it’s time for her to enjoy herself,” she added. “It’s been a great pleasure to work alongside her and to gain her friendship. We wish Kathy the best and hope she enjoys this new chapter.”
CMP program’s chief Christie Sewell, who has also worked closely with Kathy for many years, echoed Lynd’s sentiments.
“It’s hard to imagine our day-to-day operations at CMP North without Kathy Williams,” Sewell said. “We have a small group in our North office, where most people are cross-trained to help in all departments. Kathy is one of the first to volunteer, both within other departments as well as with her time and money, in order to help someone in need.”
Sewell explained how Kathy looks for ways to assist her coworkers in and outside of the office. Through her talents and compassion, Kathy has supported those around her through deaths, births, weddings, divorces, graduations and more – making blankets for children, dropping off food when others were on maternity leave, fashioning holidays crafts and countless other things.
“Kathy has often overlooked her own needs to help others,” Sewell said. “I know that Kathy will always be one of us, but not seeing her daily gives me mixed feelings. It makes me sad to not see her every day, but happy for her because I know she is going to enjoy her retirement and do all the things on her bucket list.”
“Kathy is one of the best people I know. I can’t express how much she will be missed here at CMP,” Sewell went on. “I hope her days in retirement are the very best because she deserves the very best of everything.”
Kathy was born in Sandusky, Ohio, and raised in the nearby Port Clinton/Gypsum area. She has two sons, Charles and James, and three grandchildren, Michael, Trent and Deanna.
A resourceful individual, Kathy has been involved in a lot of different career areas in her lifetime. Her first job was working as a car hop and then as a cook. She went on to employment at the town’s local movie theatre concession stand before it closed and even worked at a bakery, apple farm and fruit stand as well as in a factory.
“I have done a little bit of everything,” she joked.
Kathy started with the CMP through a staffing agency in February 1999 and was hired on full-time a few months later as a receptionist. Through the years, she took on more than customer service, assisting CMP programs like Camp Riflery, CMP Scholarships, Jr. Highpower Support and helping JROTC units join the CMP. She also worked in-processing for the Camp Perry National Matches for several years and coordinated the competitor receptions held before the awards ceremonies.
Her time with the CMP allowed her to grow. She began at the company with an Associate’s Degree but through the organization’s backing was able to return to school and obtain her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business in August 2012. Outside of finding education over the years, she was also able to find herself.
“When I started, I had just gotten over cancer and a divorce, and my self-esteem was zero. This place gave me the confidence to keep learning and taught me that I could accomplish almost anything if I tried,” Kathy said. “I have so many memories with CMP.”
One such memory is when she traveled to a Winter Snow shoot in Michigan. In tow with Kathy and a few other female employees was CMP’s Tommy Whitten, who was in for more than he bargained for on the trip.
“Poor Tommy with all of us girls,” she laughed. “We had a blast. On our way home, we had a flat tire, and Tommy had to unload the whole back of the Expedition to get to the spare. He even helped a little old lady that didn’t know how to put air in her tire.”
She also thinks fondly upon past CMP Christmas Parties, especially the ones with former employee Pete Macko, who always dressed as Santa Claus. After Macko’s passing, Whitten took over the role.
“We always had such good times,” Kathy said of her CMP experience. “I most enjoyed meeting people from all over the country and world and having a second family. We all could depend on each other for help with work or whatever we needed.”
In her retirement, Kathy plans on spending winters in Clovis, New Mexico, where her granddaughter lives with her husband, who is stationed there. Once summer hits though, she hopes to make it back home to Port Clinton.
“I plan on getting more into my crafts, especially sewing,” she said. “My dream is to purchase a quilting machine and start making quilts. I seem to never have enough time for them or to relax. I would also like to travel a little to see family in different states.”
“I’m going to miss everyone here. Everyone has a special place in my heart and in my memories,” she admitted. “But, I’ll hopefully be back for the summers!”
Good luck, Kathy, in all that you do, and thank you for your many years of kindness, generosity and support!