Q & A with Emily Kelton - Colorado School of the Mines
What is your current role at your institution?
I wear two hats at the Colorado School of Mines. I lead the Corporate and Foundation Relations Team at the Foundation and I co-lead the Office of Industry Relations (OIR) initiative. OIR is a joint initiative with the Foundation and the University to develop a one-stop shop / holistic approach to our work with industry.
How did you hear about NACRO, and how long have you been a member?
I heard about NACRO when I attended the CASE CFR conference. I have been a member for almost 3 years; Atlanta was my first conference.
What do you enjoy most about your NACRO membership?
I have had a long career focused on creating partnerships with companies, but my Mines role is my first in academia. I love that I have a national peer group that I can contact when I have that “Is this situation I have encountered at Mines similar at other universities?” question. Volunteering on the Professional Development committee has also helped me get to know more members better; they are a fun and helpful group!
So far, what has been your greatest Corporate Relations success? What has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest success has been to convince Foundation and University leadership to invest more into the CFR team and to support the development of the Office of Industry Relations.
During my tenure, my team has grown from 3.5 people to 5.5 people and my team continues to be noted as an example of how to build relationships on and off campus. Prior to my team, there had been no interaction with the office which works with our corporate partners on research contracts, for example. I am also proud of our OIR efforts – without even marketing our website, we were able to generate $200k for the university through leads through the website.
My greatest challenge has been balancing the demands of developing and maintaining relationships with companies and foundations while trying to improve our processes and procedures in an organization that was created to serve individuals. Yes, I know you all understand!
What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I summited Mt. Kilimanjaro – when I was younger and fitter! HA!