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Leadership and Changing the World: The Best Lessons I’ve Ever Learned

Friday, August 12, 2022 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 am

Presented by: Kelli Smith, CFRE
Chief Development & Engagement Office, John Ball Zoo
Chair, National Association of Charitable Gift Planners Board

When I entered the fundraising world, I was provided with tools but not much modeling. I learned how to do things by reading books, seeking mentors, and emulating the habits of successful people. Eventually, I realized I had to carve my path and discover what worked for me. I will share lessons about ambiguity and uncertainty and the great reward of embracing it to do the seemingly impossible.


Kelli Smith, CFRE Chief Development & Engagement Officer, John Ball Zoo Kelli Smith’s career in philanthropy spans more than two decades in health care and academia, serving in organizations whose missions closely align with her passions. Kelli is the Chief Development and Engagement Officer at John Ball Zoo, leading the strategy and vision for the Zoo’s development, marketing, community relations, and government affairs. She is responsible for deepening relationships, inspiring the care and conservation of wildlife and wild places, and uniting the community through education, culture, and transformational legacy. Kelli is the Chair of the National Board of Charitable Gift Planners. In addition, she is active in her community, serving on the East Grand Rapids Schools Foundation and Children’s Advocacy Center of Kent County boards and the Grand Rapids Chamber’s Create Great Leaders Council. Kelli holds a master’s degree in Health Services Administration and is pursuing a Chartered Advisor of Philanthropy certification.


Friday breakfasts are back in person at the Holiday Inn Downtown GR! 

Breakfast is $12.95 plus gratuity and payable at the event.


Please contact Kent Vanderwood at kvanderwood@timothygroup.com with questions.


Friday, August 12, 2022
7:30 am - 9:00 am
Event Category:


Holiday Inn Grand Rapids Downtown
310 Pearl St NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504 United States
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(616) 235-7611