Kelly is this year's chair of Women United (formerly WLI). Read more about her connection to Women United and our community below.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for fun?
My husband, Eric, and I have two young children, Lauren (4) and Cole (1). We also have a 6-year-old rescue dog named Kinnick. Growing up on a farm in north central Iowa I learned the value of hard work and the importance of a strong community and giving back. Professionally, I began my career with the State of Iowa Division of Banking. Fortunately, after working for the State of Iowa, I joined U.S. Bank and have been there for nearly 14 years. U.S. Bank is passionate about giving back to our community which allows me to be involved in various local nonprofits.
For fun, we spend most of our time playing with the kiddos and when possible, we are outdoors! We love watching University of Iowa football and basketball, as well as my alma mater, the University of Northern Iowa. We look forward to traveling as the kids grow older, likely transitioning from traveling to Iowa football games to Disney and the Wisconsin Dells. If I am not with my littles, I am spending time with friends and family, biking, or binge-watching TV!
What’s something unique that people don’t know about you?
At the age of five, I played in the boy’s tee-ball league, because the girl’s league didn’t start until age seven. Apparently, challenging the status quo has always been a part of who I am!
What causes are you most passionate about?
I’ve heard that you can’t dream when you are just surviving, so I am passionate about anything that provides sustainable support for families. Once people can dream, I believe education is what turns those dreams into reality. Regarding education, I believe two things:
Providing support for families to remove hurdles that don’t allow them to focus on education.
People inherently have good intentions, and when given the right circumstances, they will work hard to provide for their families.
Why are you involved with United Way's Women United?
Women United aligns with my passion of helping families dream and reach their potential. Our recent support of care coordinators excites me. This initiative goes beyond treating symptoms and instead uncovers underlying issues (mental illness, chronic illness, abuse, lack of food or shelter, etc.). Women United connects women with amazing resources in our community. In my opinion, this takes our mission from short-term fixes to long-term solutions for these local families! How exciting is that?!
Do you have any advice for others who want to be more active in the community?
Start with what you are passionate about and give whatever resources you have, whether it is time, talent, or treasure! In our community, we are incredibly lucky because it is easy to find local nonprofits and organizations that match your passion! Part of what makes our community so great is the generosity of those who live here, and it is energizing to be a part of it!