#GENEROUS
The Sigrists

November 7, 2022

CHARACTER TRAIT: GENEROUS

DEFINITION: showing a readiness to give more of something, as money or time, than is strictly necessary or expected.

There are countless uncommon places in St. Joseph that help make this city uniquely awesome. Key word, “help.” Creative, quirky, historic and just plain fun parks, buildings, businesses and restaurants are great, but it’s the people that make the difference. It’s the people that come up with the ideas. It’s the people that run these businesses. It’s the people that take the lead and build something worth bragging about.

Meet the Sigrists – two phenomenal examples of people in St. Joseph that have taken the lead and are helping build something worth bragging about. Robert and Kimberly Sigrist have been in St. Joseph since 1989, their freshmen year at Missouri Western State College (now MWSU). Known locally by many as Doc and Kim, the Sigrists are high school sweethearts who grew up in nearby Troy, Kansas. St. Joseph was their source of entertainment growing up and is where they shared their first date. After finishing their degrees at MWSC, it was a no-brainer for the Sigrists to plant their roots in St. Joseph.

Fast forward over 30 years and Robert and Kim would be proud to tell you St. Joseph is still their home. Robert’s career in education as a teacher and now administrator has taken him to multiple area school districts over the years. He is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Business and Operations for the St. Joseph School District, overseeing the budget and operations for the district. Kim’s heart for service has taken her to several local organizations throughout her career including Heartland Health System, Pass the Power, American Red Cross and the St. Joseph School District. She is currently the Director of the Center for Service (fitting, we know) at MWSU, engaging the students in volunteer opportunities and working with community partners to create those opportunities.

Robert and Kim’s careers would be enough to feature this couple as exemplary people in our community. More than 30 years in education and service is impressive, but the Sigrists weren’t satisfied with just their careers. Over the years they have been involved in numerous community organizations focused on improving St. Joseph for all. Robert is currently on the United Way Board, volunteers with the St. Joseph Sports Commission, is a MWSU Gold Coat Member and a past president of the MWSU Alumni Association. Kim is currently a United Way Volunteer, MWSU Gold Coat Board Member, MWSU Ambassador and serves on the Beautify St. Joseph Steering Committee.

When asked why they support the organizations listed above, the Sigrists had an easy answer. “The United Way is a great supporter of our community,” Robert said. “The Sports Commission is leading the way to bring new and exciting events to St. Joseph. Beautify St. Joseph is a true grass-roots organization that is improving our community one event at a time. We are both proud to be members of a variety of MWSU organizations and remain involved in our alma mater.”

In an era where moving jobs, and even cities, is the norm, you know you’ve got something special when you come across a family who’s stayed put for 30+ years and planted roots this deep.

“There is a tremendous amount of history in our community, but there is also a great number of people who are excited to see St. Joseph move forward,” Robert told us, when asked about what makes St. Joseph so special. “We both grew up in a small town, but St. Joseph has a lot of benefits of a city with the close-knit feel of a small town. It truly is the best biggest small town around.”

“We would love to see St. Joseph become a forward-thinking community and be an example for other communities,” Kim added. “We would love to see it be a place that young people want to stay and raise their families.”

Lucky for us (that means all of us, St. Joseph), the Sigrists are as invested in Missouri Western as they are St. Joseph. Ever since their freshmen year in 1989, Robert and Kim have had a passion and love for Missouri Western that is nearly unmatched. As you could probably guess from their involvement mentioned before, the Sigrists are out to make Missouri Western a better place as well.

“We hope that the community continues to embrace the positive things going on at MWSU and realizes what a gift we have to have a university in our community,” Kim told us. “We hope that the city, school district, and community as a whole continue to find more ways to partner and benefit from the presence of MWSU.”

Holy cow. Are you inspired yet? You probably are, but just in case, here’s our favorite quote from our discussion with the Sigrists: “People like to say, ‘somebody needs to do that.’ We want to be the ‘somebodies’ and help our community be the great place that we know it can be,” Kim stated. “A small effort by many can make a huge difference.

There are some truly uncommon and great things happening in St. Joseph, thanks in large part to people like Robert and Kim Sigrist. For just over three decades, they have poured their heart and soul into our community, and we thank them for their investment. If you know someone who has poured into St. Joseph like the Sigrists have, let us know! We want to share as many stories as possible about the great, uncommon people in St. Joseph.

#APPETIZING

There’s a lot of history, hard work and tradition packed into the Barbosa’s restaurant legacy in St. Joseph.

#ESTABLISHED

When visitors and locals visit historic Hall Street in St. Joseph, they usually look up. A lot. And then they stop and stare. They take pictures and walk very slowly. They usually return, because this neighborhood known as “Millionaire’s Row” tells the story of St. Joseph’s turn-of-the century wealth and opulence like nothing else.

#SUCCESS

What does it take to turn a business idea into a thriving reality? In St. Joseph, the formula for success is well-defined: The spark or “drive” to make it happen; the willingness to make a plan; and the expert-level guidance from the Center for Entrepreneurship, a unique initiative of Missouri Western State University (MWSU).

#INSPIRING

Dwayne Blakely just has a way. A way with football. With fitness. And with inspiration.

#WANDERLUST

Starting in the 1910s organizations, communities, and even private individuals began developing the first paved highways to connect metropolitan areas which would collectively become known as the National Auto Trail system.