Stories of Service


Kate Kelly of ServeMinnesota Awarded National Leadership Honor

Kate Kelly

 For immediate release from America’s Service Commissions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Kate Kelly of Plymouth, Minn., and chair of the ServeMinnesota Commission was announced as the 2018 Outstanding Commissioner at a reception tonight in Arlington, Va. as part of America’s Service Commissions (ASC) Innovation and Leadership Awards. The awards program is held each year in the Washington, D.C. area to recognize the leadership and accomplishments of state service commission staff, commissioners, and service programs throughout the United States and its territories.

Kelly is the regional president for PNC Bank in the Twin Cities and has 30 years of experience in the banking industry. She has been a dedicated member of the ServeMinnesota Commission’s board of directors since 2007, and is currently its chair. Kelly was awarded this honor for being a tireless champion for AmeriCorps in Minnesota, devoting countless hours a week to this cause. One of her first contributions was pulling together a group of Minnesota business and community leaders to raise more than $1 million, which was the catalyst for the Minnesota Reading Corps’ growth and replication across the country.

“We’re pleased to present Kate Kelly with this honor,” said Kaira Esgate, CEO of America’s Service Commissions. “Kate’s visionary leadership has benefitted not only Minnesota, but the greater AmeriCorps and state service commission network as a role model and advocate for service.”

It was also Kelly’s entrepreneurial vision that prompted the ServeMinnesota Commission to create a new AmeriCorps program model to focus on the emerging need of early learners to gain critical math skills. She was then instrumental in securing the necessary funding to make this possible to ensure that more young Minnesotans are prepared and able to pursue STEM careers. Kelly also regularly travels to Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Minnesota’s congressional delegation to advocate for ServeMinnesota and the impact its AmeriCorps programs are having on communities across the state.

“I have never seen a board member who dedicates as much time and energy to their nonprofit work as Kate Kelly,” said Audrey Suker, CEO of ServeMinnesota. “Even with the demands of her high-pressure job, she’s always the first one to respond to requests from our organization, from contacting elected officials to encourage site visits to setting up a meeting with her college alma mater to build brand awareness for AmeriCorps. Kate is truly an inspiration to her colleagues.”

2018 ASC Innovation & Leadership Award Recipients:

Friend of America’s Service Commissions: Senator Roy Blunt (Missouri)

State Service Leadership Award: Governor John Hickenlooper (Colorado)

Outstanding Commissioner: Kate Kelly (Minnesota)

Outstanding Commission Executive Director: Scott McFarland (Illinois)

Outstanding Commission Staff: Caitlin Brooking (Mississippi)

Outstanding Commission Staff: Ia Moua (California)

Outstanding Service Program: YWCA of Central Alabama AmeriCorps (Alabama)

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About America’s Service Commissions

America’s Service Commissions (ASC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing and promoting the 52 state service commissions across the United States and territories with the mission to lead and elevate the state service network. State service commissions are governor-appointed public agencies or nonprofit organizations made up of more than 1,000 commissioners, private citizens leading the nation’s service movement and administering 80 percent of the federal AmeriCorps funds to address pressing community needs. Learn more at

About ServeMinnesota

As a catalyst for positive social change, ServeMinnesota moves research to practice and deploys the people power of AmeriCorps to meet critical needs in Minnesota. It recruits and supports thousands of individuals to improve the lives of Minnesotans by offering transformative service opportunities that focus on education, affordable housing, employment, the environment, addiction recovery, and police-community relationships. ServeMinnesota’s commitment to evidence-based practices, continuous program improvement, and strong community partnerships ensures national service is positioned to make meaningful contributions to our state.  For more information, visit

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