Kelly Martin can trace her connection to the James Irvine Foundation back to her childhood, when she spent time with a friend on the Irvine Ranch in Southern California. While a coincidence of sorts, it is no coincidence that Kelly later established a successful career in the nonprofit sector.
As early as high school, Kelly could be found volunteering for local nonprofits in her Orange County, California community. While earning her degree in Community Studies from UC Santa Cruz, Kelly was actively involved with the student co-op movement, working at a food co-op and helping run the bookstore and student café. After graduation, Kelly moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and easily made the transition to working for CompassPoint Nonprofit Services, a management training and consulting organization. Responsible for developing and presenting workshops and conferences, Kelly received valuable post-college work experience and a great introduction to the Bay Area nonprofit community.
Equipped with this knowledge, Kelly applied for a grants management position at the James Irvine Foundation www.irvine.org (a funder of CompassPoint) and successfully demonstrated that her meeting planning and organization skills were transferable. Over the past seven years, Kelly has received four promotions at Irvine and earned a Masters in Public Administration from Cal State East Bay along the way. Most recently, Kelly was promoted to Director of Grants Administration where she oversees the grants management department and its staff of three. “I am so honored and appreciative of the support and confidence that the Foundation has in me and my work,” Kelly said. “The President has been an incredible champion of mine and I would not be where I am today without him.”
Kelly is currently serving the second year of her first term on the Grants Managers Network’s Board of Directors. She is the co-chair of the Membership Services Committee and played a critical role in the Salary Survey released in February 2008. She also volunteers as a funding committee member of the Mockingbird Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports music education for children.
Kelly and her husband recently had their first child, Viola May -- proudly born at home on April 13th. However, their first baby is actually a 9-year-old Ridgeback mix, Porter. In her spare time, Kelly enjoys hiking and camping with her husband, daughter, and dog. She also enjoys reading, photography, gardening, and cooking with locally grown, seasonal organic foods. Traveling is another favorite pastime—last year Kelly and her husband spent three weeks in Vietnam and Cambodia and are already planning a possible vacation to Croatia with Viola in October.
Currently on maternity leave, Kelly looks forward to returning to her new role at Irvine in mid-October.