Spotlight On…Michael Kelly, Event and Volunteer Manager
What’s your role at Mazzoni Center and how long have you been in it?
I started working at Mazzoni Center in January 2017, when I was hired as Event and Volunteer Manager. My focus is on maintaining and growing relationships with donors, event committees, and folks in the community who fundraise for Mazzoni Center independently. I also coordinate logistics and communications related to Mazzoni Center's fundraising events.
Out of all the jobs out there why one at Mazzoni Center?
I’ve been aware of Mazzoni Center for years. When I first moved to Philadelphia from Pittsburgh in 2011, I became a patient of the medical center and had a great experience. Mazzoni Center has provided important medical care to friends of mine who did not have insurance. I specifically looked for a job here. I love working in an environment where I’m encouraged to show up as my whole self.
I believe that Mazzoni Center has so much potential beyond the great work we already do, and I enjoy working closely with other staff to shape a vision for our future. I’m proud to be a part of that work and to be able to use my own privilege to help create space for those who have not been given the same opportunities that I have been given.
As Event and Volunteer Manager you played a large role in Justice in Action, our annual fundraiser which benefits Legal Services. This year’s fundraiser was the most successful JIA to date, attended by 200 people and raised $65,000. Can you tell us what it takes to plan and execute an event like that?
It requires a lot of attention to detail, stamina, and effective communication with event committees. I appreciate my friends who remind me to I take time for myself and step away for a break. I think this event was so successful because I’m surrounded by dedicated folks, from the lawyers and staff in Legal Services, to the Communications and Events teams. It’s easy for a fundraising event to shine when it amplifies the amazing work that is being done day to day.
I know you’re an artist—and you play piano. Tell us a little about your creative side and the role in plays in your life
I went to school for art, and thought for a while that I couldn’t be happy in a job that wasn’t focused on my own personal creative expression. However, the marketing and development world leaves a lot of room for creativity, from graphic design to making decorations for events to outside-the-box logistical problem solving. Being creative on my own time helps me recharge. I do still draw a lot; I am generally inspired to draw portraits of anonymous people. I have an Instagram dedicated to my art (@michaelekellyart) and every once in a while I’ll update my website (michaelekellyart.com). I’ve had a few art shows in the past couple of years and hope to keep it up.