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Spiro man rides whirlwind to White House, beyond

November 8, 2013

The Kimmel family, Rod, Chris and Carla visit with First Lady Michelle Obama during a visit to the White House earlier this year.

The past couple of years have been a whirlwind for Spiro native Chris Kimmel. His adventure has taken him all over the world and has taken him from a part-time job of picking up trash in Spiro to working in the White House.
It all unfolded after his 2011 graduation from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.  Kimmel, a 2007 Spiro High School graduate, was offered an internship at The White House in the office of the First Lady. Chris was assigned to the Press Office where he was responsible for drafting press releases, providing Michelle Obama and staff with daily news clips, authoring briefing memos for the First Lady, and coordinating logistics for local and national press outlets to cover First Lady events.
Following his internship, Chris spent the next year working all across the country for different political causes. Kimmel has worked on the planning committees for the 2012 Democratic National Convention and the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, managed Get Out The Vote logistics for the campaign of fellow Oklahoman Elizabeth Warren, and organized logistics for the President’s speech celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington.
Following the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, Kimmel returned to work with the First Lady’s office as an advance associate.  As part of the advance team, Chris has had the opportunity to travel across the country and the world, planning and executing events with First Lady Michelle Obama. 
In recalling his recent two-year journey, Chris reports, “I am so blessed to have been involved in so many amazing experiences. These last few years have been a wild ride taking me all over the country and world doing the things that I love. Looking back, I can’t help but be amazed that a kid from small-town Oklahoma, has been fortunate enough to go from working on a trash truck to traveling the world on behalf of the White House.”
Kimmel explained, “This ride all started with an internship in the First Lady’s office. The wonderful people I was lucky enough to work with in the East Wing exposed me to great experiences and opportunities that have guided my career ever since. Giving credit, I also have to look back long before I moved to DC.  I could never have pursued these dreams without the amazing mentors and teachers I had growing up in Spiro and in college at the U of A. My opportunities and success are simply a product of the wonderful people I’ve had supporting me all along the way.”
In early September Kimmel made another big move, beginning an all-new adventure.  He recently began his studies at Harvard Law School.
While in high school at Spiro, Chris was a four-year letterman in football and baseball, playing quarterback for the football team and infield on the baseball team. Kimmel was valedictorian of his graduating class, 2007 Mr. SHS, and a recipient of a $3,000 Marcella P. Moore scholarship from the Spiro School Education Foundation. 
In college, Chris served for a time as worship pastor at Spiro First Baptist Church and later at TheBod.tv Church in Roland. While in college, he worked for two years on a part-time basis picking up trash in Spiro for John Redwine Sanitation.
Chris is the son of Rod and Carla Kimmel, both teachers in the Spiro school system.  Rod coaches baseball and football and Carla is a reading lab instructor.  His younger brother, Corey, is a junior at the University of Arkansas, Fort Smith, majoring in Business.  His maternal grandparents are L.D. and Martha Johnson of Spiro and paternal grandparents are the late Louis Kimmel and Pauline Kimmel of Fox.

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