NWA Women in Business: Kelly Kemp-McLintock

by Talk Business & Politics ([email protected]) 165 views 

Residence: Springdale

Education: B.A., broadcast journalism, Arkansas Tech University

Professional background: Kemp-McLintock has been chief advancement officer at The Jones Center for 12 years. In that time, she’s raised over
$40 million. As a certified fundraising executive, she maintains a certification less than 40 people in Arkansas have. Before her career at The
Jones Center, the Fort Smith native was anchor for the 5 News at Noon newscast at CBS affiliate KFSM-TV.


What led you into fundraising? In my early 20s, I was asked to join the Western Arkansas/Eastern Oklahoma Chapter of the National Alzheimer’s Association board of directors. Several years later, I became chapter president and was involved in hiring the organization’s first executive director, and later helped open a satellite office in Northwest Arkansas. I also helped with the organization’s first fundraising gala, Tinsel & Tails. Since then, I saw how rewarding and fulfilling volunteering for a nonprofit organization could be. Later, I sat on the Ozark Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Association board of directors and the early planning committee for the first Race for the Cure in Northwest Arkansas. I’ll never forget meeting the founder, Nancy G. Brinker, at a lunch the Ozark Affiliate hosted at Johnelle Hunt’s home.


Why work for The Jones Center? I personally used The Jones Center for fitness and computer classes and knew what a crown jewel in the community it was. I admired Bernice Jones for having the vision to open a recreation and education facility where “all our welcome.” I admire he and her husband Harvey’s philanthropic and entrepreneurial spirit.

How were you involved in the $30 million campaign for the center’s operational endowment? I worked very closely with CEO/President Ed Clifford and the Jones Trust board in identifying donor prospects and personally visiting with donors about the need to sustain the Jones Trust/The Jones Center for the long-term.


How successful was the center’s re-branding campaign? The re-branding campaign in 2010 helped us raise awareness of The Jones Center and become more focused in telling our story. It set the stage for establishing two very important annual fundraising events — The Golf Event and Big Night gala — and later laid important groundwork for a successful endowment campaign.


What changes did you bring to the program and administration during the 2012 reorganization? During this transition, we moved forward with three focus areas — youth programming, quality recreation venues and affordable meeting/conference space. We introduced day-use fees, a membership/scholarship model and key on-site collaborative partnerships to help us with programming. My experience in advancement and public relations helped move the center forward, while maintaining the community’s support.


What’s been your most successful year, and what were some of the projects? 2015. We not only announced the close of the $30 million endowment campaign, we also celebrated the 20th anniversary of The Jones Center at the Big Night — Bridging Northwest Arkansas gala, raising more than $220,000 for the center. We also upgraded our recreational venues and physical plant. The leisure/splash pool was renovated, and a new Zamboni machine for smoothing the ice arena was unveiled.


What’s the most interesting project you’ve worked on? The most meaningful and interesting project I’ve had the opportunity to lead is our collaboration with the University of Arkansas Special Collections Library. The Jones Trust recently transferred all of Harvey and Bernice’s papers, historical memorabilia, Jones Truck Lines business records, personal mementos and philanthropic documents to the UA to be catalogued in one special collection. The Jones Special Collection will be made public later this year.


How long did you serve as executive in residence at the University of Arkansas Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences? I served as an executive in residence during the spring 2015 semester. I taught broadcast media basics to junior and senior students. We focused on writing for broadcast style, voice delivery, videography, editing and produced several videos.


Who has inspired you the most? One is Bud Edwards, who worked as a consultant during my first two years at The Jones Center as we were laying the foundation for the advancement office. He was a true mentor. Second is Ed Clifford, Jones Trust/The Jones Center CEO/president. It’s been a wonderful experience to work alongside him.


Next big fundraising campaign? I’m excited about a capital campaign focused on the interior renovation of The Jones Center’s public spaces. This summer, we’ll begin renovating the north conference center wing. 

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