Kelli Johnson Holmes, director of development at the University of Montevallo, was honored among the Birmingham Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40 at a reception held, Feb. 21 at Mercedes-Benz of Birmingham-Irondale Campus. Holmes was one of the 40 finalists selected from more than 350 nominations for the 2019 list.
For this honor, the Birmingham Business Journal recognizes individuals who have contributed to company growth and success, are key leaders in their organizations, play a critical role in the community and will play a key role in the Birmingham business community moving forward.
In her role in the Office of Advancement and Alumni Affairs at UM, Holmes works diligently as the major gifts officer to set the course and direction for activities relating to fundraising for the advancement of the university. One of the highlights of her achievements in this role is working with donors to establish scholarships to help students earn their education. She has secured more than $400,000 in funding for the University Foundation, increasing the recovery rate of lapsed donors by more than 20 percent in her development portfolio.
During her time at the University of Montevallo, Holmes has greatly enhanced the programs offered and funding for scholarships and other university initiatives. “Kelli Holmes has been successful at any job or project she has taken on due to her hard work, diligence and dedication,” said Scott Dillard, UM vice president of advancement and external affairs.
Outside of the office, Holmes is actively involved in the community. She has been instrumental in fighting for equality in education throughout the state of Alabama, ensuring affordable mental health options in her local community and serving in leadership positions with organizations that support child-focused missions such as combatting human trafficking of children, providing services to children with disabilities, and helping improve the quality of life for children living in low socio-economic areas.
“Kelli is one of the most impressive women I know. She is a time-management wizard, excelling in her career, being a mom, earning her MBA and being active in the community,” said colleague Tiffany Bunt. “Kelli makes the world a better place and is someone you want on your team.”
Holmes has served as a board member for Easter Seals of the Birmingham Area and Easter Seals of Alabama, board member for the Leadership Shelby County Alumni Board, cabinet chair and divisional chair for the United Way of Central Alabama Leadership, volunteer for Blanket Fort Hope, board member and chair for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Shelby County and founding board member for Caroline’s Crusaders. She also created Opportunity League in 2010, Shelby County’s first baseball league for children with special needs.
“Kelli has served on numerous boards throughout Shelby County including the Leadership Shelby County Alumni Board. Her hard work and innovative ideas have contributed to the success of many organizations,” said Carol Bruser, coordinator of Leadership Shelby County.