Springfield, MO

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2014 40 Under 40 Honoree: Kristy Nelson

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Whether as an employee or volunteer, Kristy Nelson utilizes her marketing experience to educate and inform.

“I highly value education and always have,” says Nelson, director of marketing for Drury University’s College of Continuing Professional Studies and College of Graduate Studies. “My belief in the power of education has been ever present and is the cornerstone of my professional and civic achievements and engagement.”

After a stint in banking before earning her undergraduate degree from Missouri State University, Nelson spent four years at advertising and marketing firm Schilling Sellmeyer & Associates Inc., before moving to international student business program Enactus in 2006, the same year she received her master’s degree from Drury.

Also that year, Nelson joined the board of directors for Harmony House as the youngest board member in the organization’s history. She wrote and produced “Remember My Name,” a public-service spot.

“I enjoyed being able to use my advertising and marketing skills in a way that helps a community cause,” Nelson says. “The spot was intended to raise awareness of domestic violence by featuring the names and ages of more than 100 women and children who lost their lives to domestic violence. It was a 30-second moment of silence for those victims who may not have had a voice or chance to speak out and an encouragement to act to help prevent more deaths and abuse.”

In 2008, Nelson moved to Habitat for Humanity, where she worked in marketing and development and grew the nonprofit’s assets by more than $1 million. She helped 36 families move into homes, secured funding to rehab foreclosed Springfield houses and did community outreach to explain Habitat’s efforts to end poverty.

Nelson also was unexpectedly asked to step into the position of Habitat’s interim executive director, the youngest person to serve in that role. In the eight months she held the position, Nelson implemented procedures to secure Habitat’s finances and improve efficiency, and she worked to expand the service area to assist more families.

In her current role at Drury, Nelson is responsible for marketing for the university’s evening, online and graduate programs in 14 locations. “I have had the opportunity to meet some amazing people and help share their stories of how they struggled and how receiving an education has helped them overcome some of life’s hurdles and has given them hope for the future,” she says. “My constant message is to pursue an education, regardless of the degree, training, certificate or school.”

Nelson is involved in a variety of volunteer activities, including as a member of the Association of Women in Communication, and for the past three years, she has taught a class to potential Habitat for Humanity homeowners.[[In-content Ad]]


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