By Per Peterson
The City of Tracy’s 90th Box Car Day’s celebration this year will be Kimberly Roggatz’s last one as the city’s Chamber of Commerce executive director.
The former Miss Tracy candidate, who started working in Tracy in September 2013 will be stepping down so she can work on the family farm south of Amiret.
Roggatz said giving up her post was a tough decision to make.
“I enjoy a lot of aspects of the job, and I’m going to miss it, but my kids are growing up too fast and I want to be more a part of the farm life. It was time.”
Roggatz’s biggest time commitment as chamber executive director is easily Box Car Days. She said planning for the celebration is a job in an of itself.
“Especially leading up to the 90th — we wanted to get some bands, we needed to do fundraising and booking bands, sending letters for the parade, booking people for the parade, the carnival, Miss Tracy starts in May — it is kind of a year-round thing,” she said. “We also have the car show in the summer (which is coming up this weekend), the city-wide garage sale, and we have a night golf event in the summer.”
Roggatz said by the time December rolls around, the planning shifts to the Women’s Expo and Sportsman’s Show, which will be taking on a new twist in 2018.
A 2002 graduate of Tracy Area High School, Roggatz was the 2002 Miss Tracy second runner-up and recalls when she looked ahead to someday serving the public in Tracy.
“At the annual banquet in 2002 I said I’m coming back to Tracy and taking Bob Gervais’ keys, because I always wanted this job,” she said. “I did that.”
Roggatz said she simply loves planning events and recalls thinking the Chamber post would be a fun and satisfying one.
“I love a lot of parts of this job,” she said. “It’s definitely a lot more work than anybody realizes — but in a good way.”
Her advice to her successor:
“They need to love the community like I do,” she said. “You have to work well with others.”
The City is toying with the idea of combining Roggatz’s position with that of the EDA director, as current EDA director Tara Onken will also be leaving this fall to assume full-time duties in Marshall. The idea was introduced at a recent meeting between the EDA and City Council. The idea merely has been introduced and will be discussed at future meetings.