Every March, we celebrate Women’s History Month where we honor women’s contributions in American History. This is a time to celebrate actions big and small that have led the way for progression. The theme for Women’s History Month 2023 is Celebrating the Women Who Tell Our Stories. These women might be podcasters or news anchors, authors or movie stars but they all have one thing in common: they’re storytellers. Making a difference is part of the way forward and having someone to share the story of success and triumph takes us even further.
In the spirit of these female storytellers, Valley’s Women in Business program is passionate about telling the stories of our members who make an impact and are making history in their industries.
We’re proud to share the story of Kelly Jordan of Clearwater Marine Aquarium.
Kelly Jordan is the Chief Development Officer at Clearwater Marine Aquarium where she provides leadership direction and coordination of fundraising strategies and activities that enable CMA to make critical investments to ensure that the institution remains a leader in marine life education, research, rescue, rehabilitation, and release.
Empowered as a woman in business
Motivation fuels the success of so many women in business. Kelly is motivated by her daughters who are constantly on her mind as she makes life decisions. “I want to set an example for them, I want them to know there is no limit to what they can do as women, and that they can accomplish anything.” Kelly herself has accomplished so much in her career and her time at Clearwater Marine Aquarium. She attributes her years of hard work and dedication to her success and embraces the feeling of empowerment that comes from being a hardworking woman in business. “I’m very proud of where I’m at in my career.”
A source of inspiration
While Kelly works hard to be a source of inspiration for her daughters, she herself is inspired by the people around her: her friends, family, and colleagues. And, prior to working at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, she spent 8 years working at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC where she had the honor of working closely with Holocaust Survivor, Nesse Godin. “Her story is incredible and what she has done with her life post WW2 is inspiring. Nesse specifically credits women who looked after, protected her and advised her on how to survive the war,” says Kelly. Nesse has taught her many lessons but one that really stuck with her was something she said often: “We cannot change what was, but we can change what is and what will be,” Nesse commented.
Kelly hopes to inspire other women around her to elevate their success. “Being real, speaking the truth and being positive are some things that I hope translates to other women who know me.”
Kelly knows the future is bright and the sky’s the limit in her career. She’s currently working with her team on new species coming to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, updated rescue and medical practices, innovative conservation efforts, and unique stories to tell. “I’m beyond lucky to have been a part of local history with the expansion of the “little aquarium that could”. I continue to take pride in the work we have accomplished. Shining a light on that is well deserved.”