Kim Dinsmore: Sharing His Passion for Life, Music, and Service

Sunset Air Dinsmore 2
Kim Dinsmore is the only third generation Rotary president in the Olympia Club.

“Without community service, we would not have a strong quality of life. It’s important to the person who serves as well as the recipient. It’s the way in which we ourselves grow and develop,” said activist Dorothy Height. That sentiment embodies the life – and work – of Kim Dinsmore, executive vice president of Lacey’s Sunset Air.

Born into a military family, Kim Dinsmore settled in Olympia when his Army father retired here. He joined the Sunset Air team in 1977 as employee #7.  Over the past 38 years, he learned the business from the ground up. “I swept floors, ordered material, took old furnace systems to the dump, followed [company founder] Peter Fluetsch like a puppy dog to job sites, took classes on heating and cooling, learned how to bid and design heating and cooling systems, and learned how to sell,” explained Dinsmore. “I did this until about 1985 and Peter asked me to step up and oversee the commercial side of our business. Brian was doing more of the service side and the residential side by that time, so we really stated to grow our commercial Business. I have continued since that time more on the commercial side of Sunset Air and am the executive VP, but like any good company, you always do whatever it takes to succeed. I still work some in residential and in service, as well as helping to grow our engineering and full mechanical capabilities,” said Dinsmore.

The Sunset Air mindset of making time for things that matter – like family – has carried over into Dinsmore’s recreational life, too.
The Sunset Air mindset of making time for things that matter – like family – has carried over into Dinsmore’s recreational life, too.

Dinsmore’s passion for the company and its mission is strong, even after almost 40 years. As he explained, “One of the cultures I am most proud of at Sunset Air is the importance we place on people’s families. I was always able to attend my kids sporting events and music concerts. We make a point of making sure employees families are a top priority. Sunset Air has grown to become one of the premier energy services companies in South Western Washington – something I am very proud to have been a part of.”

The company’s reach extends well beyond its Lacey headquarters. Dinsmore and the Sunset Air team have worked on projects for the Ocean Shores Convention Center, Raymond Elementary and High Schools, schools in Nasalle and Willapa, the Shelton Municipal Building, the Squaxin Tribe Natatorium, an expansion of the Clearwater Casino in Suquamish, and the Silverdale YMCA.

The Sunset Air mindset has carried over into Dinsmore’s recreational life as well. “Our founder, Peter Fluetsch, instilled in many of his employees the need to give back to the community you live in. It is a foundation of everything he is about and he wanted all of us to get involved. One of his favorite things to say was, ‘you take care of your community and your community will take care of you.’ Rotary’s motto is ‘service above self.’ My Dad was also a member of the downtown Olympia Club, which is the original Rotary Club in Thurston County, founded in 1921. One thing lead to another and I was asked to be on the board of the club, and a few years later elected to be president for the 2002-2003 year. My father was the president in 1977-1978, and my grandfather was President in 1940-1941. I am the only third generation Rotary president in the Olympia Club.”

Kim Dinsmore has exmplified the Muhammad Ali quote, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth,” through his love of the region, its people, and his many philanthropic efforts and service to the local community and beyond.
Kim Dinsmore has exemplified the Muhammad Ali quote, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth,” through his love of the region, its people, and his many philanthropic efforts and service to the local community and beyond.

On November 22, the nine Rotary Clubs of Thurston County will host the 13th annual Cool Jazz Clean Water event.  This fundraiser benefits Rotary clean water initiatives around the world, youth leadership training, and the purchase and repair of more than 500 musical instruments for local school music programs. This year’s festival will begin by hosting 12 local high school and middle school bands at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. The musical portion of the day is a free family event. Later in the evening, the Center will transform into a wine tasting event where for $50 guests will receive a complimentary wine glass, 10 samples from more than 70 wine selections (along with handcrafted brews from Three Magnets Brewery), and the chance to bid on silent auction wines donated by Rotarians. Music in the evening is provided by local jazz great Syd Potter and his Tentette.

Monies raised during the event will be divided three ways, with 40 percent of the proceeds going toward the Rotary’s Clean Water Project. “Over the past 12 years Rotarians have finished three major water projects – two in Malawi Africa and one in Kenya – that are now providing clean water to over 30,000 residents of those countries,” explained Dinsmore. “This year’s project will be in Honduras. Rotary’s water mission is to fund projects that are sustainable, educational, and provide a sanitation element. The other 40 percent of the proceeds are used to buy new and refurbished musical instruments for local school districts. The final 20 percent goes to fund a ‘Youth Summit.’ This one-day event is a day of seminars designed to help non-profits that work with youth. Participants are able to learn things like nutrition, how to work with at risk youth, how to learn to identify kids that may be facing abuse, listening techniques and so on.”

Muhammad Ali said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” Kim Dinsmore has exemplified this famous quote through his love of the region, its people, and his many philanthropic efforts and service to the local community and beyond.

 

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