After 16 years of building corporate communications teams for organizations and nonprofits around Kansas City, Kelli Christman is taking the lead as the Senior Marketing Communications role for the health care division of 3M and in her own strategic communications consultancy. And Central Exchange is a vital part of her life, professionally and personally. “Kansas City is such a fantastic community,” Kelli says. “If you’re not from around here, it’s a good idea to find networking organizations like Central Exchange to open up opportunities you wouldn’t normally have to interact in the community.” Meet Kelli.

Her path to CX:

After graduating from the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Centurions Leadership program, Kelli had been searching for a Kansas City organization that would help her professional development and enable her to network with a group of diverse people outside her industry. “I had a couple of conversations with staff and members of Central Exchange and decided it was the organization for me,” Kelli explains. “Central Exchange is worth the investment because making the investment in yourself and your professional development is always worth it.”

Central Exchange’s impact on her career:

With tools she gained at Central Exchange, Kelli is able to evaluate what her true values are in her professional life. “In every interaction I’ve had, whether one-on-one or in group sessions, CX members challenge each other to be better and think differently,” Kelli says. “That’s something everyone can benefit from.” With the respect and encouragement of fellow members, Kelli sees a true environment of collaboration and diverse conversations that represent multiple perspectives and experiences.

Central Exchange’s affirmation of diversity and inclusion:

The supportive, collaborative environment of Central Exchange touches every area of Kelli’s life. “The Courageous Conversations series was wonderful to witness,” Kelli says. “Everyone brings such diverse backgrounds and personal experience to the table.” With a variety of ways to connect and interact with other members, Kelli enjoys a wide range of conversation and learning.

“Central Exchange is the only organization I’ve seen be able to execute collaboration and diversity in action in this way,” Kelli notes. “It’s encouraged me to continue to foster that kind of environment in my professional life for my team and my colleagues.”

Final word:

Ultimately, Kelli describes Central Exchange as empowering. “Because of the support and encouragement from this diverse group of female professionals, I feel more empowered to stay true to my values professionally,” Kelli says. “I’m constantly challenged by how I can continue to do better for my community by supporting other women. c.”

Challenge yourself to develop professionally and personally. Central Exchange is a collective of women ready to support and uplift you. Come and achieve your full potential! Register for one of our many upcoming programs.