People of Point Park: Kim Payne '79, Talented and Sweet Tuesday, December 20, 2016
Name: Kim Payne
Hometown: Hershey, Pa.
Now living in: Wesley Chapel, Fla.
Job title: Communications Director
Employer: Florida Hospital Center Ice
Degree earned: B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication, 1979
Campus activities and awards: WPPJ Radio, The Globe, Phi Kappa Theta, William J. Thomas Journalism & Communications Scholarship Award, Point Park College Student Government Association "Outstanding Senior" Award
The sweetest place on earth is even better with a special influence
"I grew up in Hershey, Pa. I always tell people I grew up with the aroma of chocolate in my nostrils and syrup in my veins. It truly was an idyllic existence growing up there with everything at our disposal and within walking distance. It's a remarkable place and I feel truly blessed to have been born and raised there and spent the better part of my adult life there."
While Hershey, Pa. was the greatest place to live, Payne had a very special person that made Hershey the best. "My mom was a special person, but she died very young. She was a wonderful person, not that my dad wasn't. My dad was amazing, too. He was the one who directly impacted my decision to pursue a communications career. I think my mom was the one that instilled a lot of my values. To lose my mother when she was 56 at the age of 22 was a devastating blow. To this day, she and my wife remain my true heroes. My wife and I have known each other for 44 of our 60 years."
A person of many talents
By day, Payne is a director of communications for the Florida Hospital Center Ice, and by night he is a National Hockey League off-ice official for the Tampa Bay Lightning. "I played hockey through high school, but we didn't have college hockey at Point Park." That didn't stop Kim's interest in hockey. "I've been around hockey my whole life because we had a professional hockey team in Hershey for almost 80 years. I worked as an off-ice official for the American Hockey League team - the Hershey Bears - for 32 years."
Networking helped Payne land a job with the Tampa Bay Lightning. He moved to Tampa in 2010 when he contacted a previous colleague about getting involved with the team. Once his name was on the list, it took five more years to get the official call to work the 2015-2016 season. "I'm one of the league-designated spotters for concussions. I love being an off-ice official because I grew up around the game of hockey and am passionate about the sport. I always said, we would attend the games anyway, so why not get paid for doing something that we love?" Now in his second season, Payne has handled duties as a goal judge, commercial coordinator, and one of three rotating Time on Ice staff.
Another career where Payne is able to do what he loves is teaching. He is currently an adjunct professor at Saint Leo University. "I always wanted to teach when I began mentoring young people early in my career. It's something that I've been passionate about. I wanted to pay forward my own experience, as Professer Vincent LaBarbara's influence is the very reason that I chose to attend Point Park. When I received my M.B.A. from Saint Leo University in May 2015, and learned I could apply to be a member of the University's adjunct faculty, I was very excited!"
When he is not writing, officiating or teaching, he is busy being a proud grandfather to his granddaughter, Nolah.