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Her Calendar's Full With No Agenda

Keeping Up With Karlys Kline

Heading to the tropics to relax for retirement isn't this petite powerhouse's idea of fun. At the age when many are slowing down, Karlys Kline says, "Without a doubt, my life is busier today than it was 20 years ago! I pack my days full, as much as possible, except for Sundays. Those are reserved for my husband, Tom Lynch.  I think I'm at full stride now. I sometimes joke that I will soon learn to say 'no,' but I just don't see it happening!"

Life certainly is full for this amazingly energetic woman. If you have not had the pleasure, and I do mean pleasure, of meeting Karlys, you are missing out on pure sunshine. People gravitate toward her, and with good reason. Rarely is she seen without a smile on her face, and the truth is she has never met a stranger. In fact, you may have seen her out and about on her daily 'meet-ups.' As a regular at Café Nola, Karlys can scarcely make it to the ladies' room without hearing a multitude of greetings from around the room from both new and old friends.

It is strange to think that Karlys once was a stranger in town. Following her heart, and an article she had read about Frederick, she moved here in 1989. Without knowing anyone, she threw herself into getting to know the community and determined that she would begin by eating at a different restaurant every day.

She says, "I didn't know anyone, not one person, to invite to join me. But I would often see familiar faces, and we would chat. It was a great way to get to know downtown and the energy of the people!"

Through work, Karlys met Ann Burnside Love, a longtime Frederick resident who owned the marketing firm now known as Love and Co. Ann encouraged her to become involved in community service and opened doors for her, one of which was sponsoring Karlys for The Rotary.

She says, "Ann was solely responsible for my initial immersion into community service, and I am forever grateful."

Not at all intimidated by power or position, Karlys followed Ann’s advice by seeking ways to connect with others and to serve the community.

"As the saying goes, 'we're all just people.' I had no preconceived notion as to who was prominent or influential. I met most people initially in a non-business setting. I genuinely think that people in Frederick don't get caught up in their positions, status, or financial wealth.

Karlys, believing we have the power to choose our own contentment and happiness, says, "I am genuinely happy almost always. A gigantic reason for that is because life with Tom makes my heart sing. Many years ago, I made a conscious effort to eliminate negative people that were draining my good energy. I think attitude is the key to happiness, and I am grateful for everything in my life. Some people say that I'm lucky, but I say it was hard work and mainly the right attitude."

It was hard work at the start. Karlys realized that there were many amazing women in Frederick, but they didn't seem to know one another. She came up with a creative idea that left a legacy of deep friendships.

"About 20 years ago, I had the idea of having quarterly dinners and tickets to the Weinberg Center for eight female community leaders that weren't necessarily friends. Each dinner consisted of eight different people. The bonding and connecting were invaluable. Additionally, in 2001, I started 'Celebrate Women', which was essentially a party for no reason other than friendship. We had the final one in 2019 with over 400 in attendance," says Karlys.

Arguably one of the most well-connected people in Frederick, Karlys, has a full calendar with no agenda. With an open heart, she fills her week with diversity.

"A typical week will be jam-packed. The majority of the weekdays I am 'connecting the dots' by having breakfast, coffee or lunch with new people. I will participate in business/nonprofit meetings, attend evening events, fit in a walk with friends, and just be a part of the community," says Karlys. "I have no motive other than wanting to make the community better and to give back."

Her heart is in serving the community. That's what drives her to get up in the morning. Her husband, Tom, has said that Karlys' job is to spread joy and do good. Isn't that great? There couldn't be a more perfect job description for her! Ask anyone. They'll say she is excellent at her' job' and regularly has a waiting list of those hoping to get onto her calendar.

"It's satisfying when a connection comes together perfectly. When I meet with people, I typically say, 'Tell me about you' because I want to learn about people. Then I ask, 'What are you currently working on, and how can I help you?' I love to connect the dots with businesses, jobs, nonprofits, couples, etc." she says with enthusiasm. "I love what I do! I can't resist stepping up when I see someone or something that I feel could use help."

Because of her commitment to service, Karlys has volunteered and served on countless boards, committees and organizations. She's currently serving on the Board of Directors for Frederick Health Hospital, serves as Council Chair for Frederick Health, is Chairperson of the Board of Directors for Homewood of Frederick and is on the Board of Trustees for Homewood. Her newest board position is with the Frederick Arts Council, and she is a member of The Rotary Club of Frederick. Karlys adds that her most significant accomplishment, by far, was the founding of the Women's Giving Circle, which has raised nearly $3 million. It's no wonder that Karlys has inspired countless others to service.

It appears that slowing down isn't going to be an entry on Karlys' calendar anytime soon.

In her effervescent way, Karlys says, "What comes next, I don't know. I embrace each day as it comes, and I want to make the most of it. In the meanwhile, I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing. I find joy in that!" 

"I think I am at full stride now"

 "I embrace each day as it comes"


 

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