Family and friends gather to commemorate the Sequim Civic Center being named after longtime Sequim city clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese, who was unable to attend the occasion due to being in the hospital. There for the occasion were, top left, Robb Reese, husband, Paula Swisher, Washington Municipal Clerk’s Association (WMCA) president; second row, Carolyn Gallaway, Jefferson County deputy clerk, Virginia Olsen, WMCA immediate past president; third row, Helen Kuznek, mother, Mary Bower, retired Clallam Transit clerk, Joanna Sanders, City of Port Townsend clerk; bottom row, Sharon DelaBarre, past chairman City Arts Advisory Commission, Alicia Neal, daughter, and Brody Neal, grandson. Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Family and friends gather to commemorate the Sequim Civic Center being named after longtime Sequim city clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese, who was unable to attend the occasion due to being in the hospital. There for the occasion were, top left, Robb Reese, husband, Paula Swisher, Washington Municipal Clerk’s Association (WMCA) president; second row, Carolyn Gallaway, Jefferson County deputy clerk, Virginia Olsen, WMCA immediate past president; third row, Helen Kuznek, mother, Mary Bower, retired Clallam Transit clerk, Joanna Sanders, City of Port Townsend clerk; bottom row, Sharon DelaBarre, past chairman City Arts Advisory Commission, Alicia Neal, daughter, and Brody Neal, grandson. Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Sequim Civic Center gallery named after longtime city clerk

Kuznek-Reese honored for her service, dedication to art

SEQUIM — Visitors to the Sequim Civic Center will enter the Karen Kuznek-Reese Gallery from now on.

Sequim City Council members on Oct. 28 unanimously renamed the entryway after longtime city clerk Karen Kuznek-Reese, 60, for her service.

Sharon DelaBarre, past chairman of the city Arts Advisory Commission, said Kuznek-Reese served as the staff liaison with the new art commission and helped bring in art and implement ongoing shows for local artists.

“Karen’s dedication to the concept was apparent as was her love for all artistic forms,” DelaBarre said.

“Her enthusiasm and support helped establish the Civic Center gallery as a major addition to our local art scene, DelaBarre continued.

“Her spirit and dedication stands as a shining example of what can be accomplished when we look at what can work and make it so.”

Kuznek-Reese served as Sequim city clerk from May 6, 1998 to Sept. 3, 2019.

Kuznek-Reese was unable to attend the ceremony. Her husband Robb Reese said she was at the University of Washington receiving treatment for complications with breast cancer through the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

Robb and Kuznek-Reese’s mother Helen Kuznek, daughter Alicia Neal and grandson Brody Neal were in attendance to accept certificates of appreciation and flowers from her colleagues.

Colleagues from neighboring municipalities spoke about Kuznek-Reese’s contributions to the city and clerk groups, such as the Washington Municipal Clerk’s Association.

Joanna Sanders, the City of Port Townsend’s clerk, said Kuznek-Reese shared in delights and challenges of being a clerk.

“There is a lot to know. You become an expert on anything and everyone in city hall,” Sanders said.

“Her knowledge will be missed. She loved her work with the city and frequently spoke with delight about her work with the arts commission.”

Mary Bower, retired Clallam Transit clerk, said Kuznek-Reese was a tremendous asset and she took the city’s message with her everywhere she went.

Susan Molin said she became friends with Kuznek-Reese after beginning to volunteer for the city.

“She was my rock; she always knew what I needed to hear,” Molin said. “She was a masterful people manager. It was an honor working with her.”

Some of the many accomplishments and duties for Kuznek-Reese with the city included, coordinating council meetings, managing records and volunteers, creating and structuring the City Arts Advisory Commission and coordinating the City of Sequim’s Centennial Celebration.

In a resolution, council members lauded “her caring nature, quick sense of humor, grit, steadfast reliability, and can-do attitude.”

The city Arts Advisory Commission recommended naming the gallery after Kuznek-Reese on Oct. 21.

For more information about art events at the Civic Center, 152 W. Cedar St., call 360-683-4139 or visit www.sequimwa.gov.

________

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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