Kelly Thompson

Current Location: Springfield, IL
Hometown: Glenwood, IL

UIS Degree: M.A. 2002 (Communication)

Certifications: Certified Association Executive (CAE), Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), Certified Volunteer Administrator (CVA)

Current Position
Chief Executive Officer, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Illinois

Career Highlights 
2017 Athena Award nominee, 2015 recipient of the Professional Communicator Award from the Association for Women in Communications Springfield Chapter, 2013 Non-Profit Director of the Year from the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, worked to pass Smoke Free Springfield and Smoke Free Illinois legislation, Recipient of Loren Reid Award for Best Senior Performance at the University of Missouri Columbia, Winner of Vice Chancellor Award for Excellence at UIS while employed as Director of Volunteer & Civic Engagement Center.

Memories of SSU/UIS 
“My favorite class at UIS that I took while receiving my masters was Gender & Communication with Dr. Hazel Rozema. We had lively debates in class between the men and women! She was so engaged and energetic about the class that you couldn’t help but feel the same way.”

How did UIS change or prepare you? 
“UIS has prepared me for the careers I’ve had since graduating in 2002. I definitely believe where I am today would not have been possible without my advanced degree. It expanded my understanding of the field and also helped me develop communications skills which have been extremely important in all the positions I’ve had.”

Favorite Book/Inspiration 
“My favorite business management book is First, Break All the Rules. I highly recommend it and follow many of the same philosophies. The person who has most inspired me in my life is my father. He would regularly write me letters and notes with my favorite being ‘Women can be anything they set their mind to!’ He helped me learn to believe that life is full of possibilities if you work hard and are persistent. His favorite quote was ‘Be like the sun and shine on everyone’, and he said it to me every morning while I was growing up. I now have those words hanging on a plaque in my office, which is a reminder to try to stay positive no matter the challenges you are faced with.”

Posted on July 22, 2014