MCC’s Chris Kelly earns KC Chamber’s Supplier Diversity Ace Award

Chris Kelly (center) with MCC’s Clare Otto (left) and Pam Whiting of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

A Metropolitan Community College employee is being recognized for her commitment to diversity. Christine (Chris) Kelly, supplier diversity program coordinator, has been selected as this year’s Supplier Diversity Ace Award Winner by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

The award recognizes individuals who have “made a durable commitment to embracing diversity in their workplace and community, with a special emphasis on increasing their organization’s supplier diversity partnerships.”

Kelly, who has worked for MCC 10 years, is responsible for coordinating and executing expositions throughout the year that give business owners an opportunity to network and grow. The events are designed for minority-owned, women-owned, LGBTQ-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran owned and Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUB Zone) enterprises.

Hundreds of business owners typically turn out for these events.

“You have a real gem in Chris,”  said Ceil Lynch, owner of Superior Moving and Storage, earlier this year.

After Lynch attended MCC’s Procurement One-on-One Business Forum in 2017, her company landed contracts with the Federal Reserve Bank and FHLBank in Topeka.

“We haven’t gotten any work from Hallmark yet, but instead of just emailing someone, I now have a face — because of Chris,” Lynch says. “She’s so instrumental in this community. Hallmark, KCP&L, Sprint — all of the procurement managers at those companies I would assume are good friends with Chris.”

Chris Kelly being interviewed by the KC Chamber’s Pam Whiting at MCC-Penn Valley’s Carter Art Center

Kelly will receive the Chamber award at the 2018 Power of Diversity Breakfast on July 25. (To attend the 7:30-9:30 a.m. event, RSVP here. Cost is $40 for Chamber members, $50 for nonmembers.) She was interviewed July 9 at the Administrative Center for a video that will be shown at the breakfast.

“I am greatly honored to be receiving this recognition. It’s even more of an honor when your industry peers, community partners and your employer find value in what you have to offer,” Kelly says.

“Supplier diversity is a tough job. One must have a passion to do the type of work that it calls for. I am guided by the three P’s — prayer, persistence and perseverance.  I thank MCC for bringing me on board.”