Staff Spotlight

Nicole Kirksey: Executive Assistant

What is your role and what do you do at Shalom Austin?
I am the executive assistant to Rabbi Daniel Septimus, our fearless CEO. My role is diverse and covers many facets of the organization, including administrative support primarily for Daniel but also for the senior executive team, the board of directors and several standing committees, staff support for the Jewish Foundation and office management for the administrative building. Essentially I do my best to keep things moving.

What is your background and what brought you to Shalom Austin?
My background is actually in art, primarily photography, and before I landed at Shalom Austin I co-owned a portrait studio here in Austin. I photographed well over 300 weddings before I decided to retire from the business. I still love photography and do it regularly, but it now fills a more personal space in my life.

What do you feel has been your most rewarding experience so far?
I think the most rewarding experience so far has been planning our staff holiday parties. It is really great to see everyone come together and celebrate. Everyone is so appreciative and has so much fun. If you are a staff member and have not attended one yet, you really should consider joining us. I throw a good party.

What is your favorite part about working here?
The sense of community that Shalom Austin brings to my life. I always look forward to seeing my colleagues and our lay leaders. Each is their own shining light and gives so much of themselves to make a difference in the world around them. It is beautiful to be a part of that work.

Describe any exciting programs or projects in the works?
Hello, Generations! It is a very exciting time for Shalom Austin and the Jewish community right now. There is so much potential on all fronts. If you somehow missed the memo and don’t know about Generations, please ask. Anyone on campus would be happy to tell you more about it.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about getting involved with Shalom Austin?
What are you waiting for? There is something for everyone here and the community and staff are amazing. Everyone is welcome! ■

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