Kelly's career began with the oil and gas company Sunoco as an engineering associate (a select rotational program for recent graduates). This experience ultimately turned into a permanent position within the company's Logistics (pipeline and terminal) division as a regulatory compliance specialist. Over the years with Sunoco/Sunoco Logistics, Kelly's role morphed from compliance, to oversight of emergency management/contingency planning, to environmental management of a decommissioned refinery-turned-tank farm/trucking terminal/marine terminal. Kelly then turned to consulting, specializing in auditing at several types of industrial facilities throughout the United States, before entering the world of manufacturing.
Currently, Kelly oversees Clarios’s environmental programs at both its Battery Assembly plant and Distribution Center in Middletown, Delaware. Her work has helped Clarios (formerly Johnson Controls Power Solutions) grow in both its physical expansion and its relationship with the community. Kelly was the point-person when the company began discussions with town and state officials about a multimillion-dollar manufacturing expansion. As host of a public hearing with the state environmental agency, she helped turn a vocal group of concerned citizens into community partners who are supportive of the plant’s growth and environmental initiatives.
Kelly works with Clarios’s Operational Leadership Development Program (OLDP) to recruit and retain the next generation of skilled employees. She helps to train all OLDP candidates on environmental and regulatory learning targets and provides additional support to the program’s female participants, discussing issues such as career development, self-advocacy and finding the right professional/personal life balance. Kelly also serves as a mentor for the Lerner Executive Mentoring Program at the University of Delaware, a program that matches student mentees with executives whose professional backgrounds are complementary to the students’ career objectives.
Kelly volunteers with the local school district’s STEM Council to increase STEM activities and initiatives. As a volunteer, she judges the annual STEM Fair and consults on curriculum ideas. In addition, Kelly initiated and hosted a tour of Clarios’ manufacturing facility for local engineering educators and school administrators to develop project-based learning activities for high school engineering students. Kelly also works to bring Clarios into the classroom by coordinating teams of engineers to visit the local high schools and evaluate the projects and presentations of their engineering students. As vice president of the Appoquinimink Board of Education, Kelly enthusiastically supported the district’s decision to add a school of skilled and technical trades to their high schools’ careers pathways. Kelly is passionate about keeping the manufacturing trades alive and believes that offering trade-ready skills in school will produce confident and capable young workers who are prepared and eager to be a part of manufacturing’s future.
Kelly resides in Middletown, Delaware with her husband David, sons Gabriel (10) and Julian (5), dog Penny, and cat Fiona.