WILSON, N.C. — Kelly M. Thompson, Ed.D., vice president for external relations at Barton College, was recently named a recipient of the 2011 Women Extraordinaire Award by North Carolina’s Triangle-based “Business Leader” magazine. Dr. Thompson and other 2011 regional business and civic leaders were recently honored at the Women Extraordinaire Awards Luncheon held at Brier Creek Country Club in Raleigh.

Each year, “Business Leader” honors the top women leaders of the South through its Women Extraordinaire awards. Award winners are recognized as influential leaders within their companies or organizations, with an extraordinary impact on its economic success and forward-thinking strategies.

Criteria for nomination of this award included recognition as an influential leader within one’s company or business, with an extraordinary impact on its economic success and forward-thinking strategies, active involvement in the professional organizations and associations related to one’s industry, active involvement in one’s community by utilizing skills and/or time to promote philanthropic organizations or causes, and recognition as a mentor and role model for other women in one’s industry.

“I am very appreciative of this recognition, and I am pleased that Barton College was included among a number of influential firms and organizations represented at the awards ceremony,” shared Dr. Thompson.  “It is humbling to serve as a mentor and role model for others, especially aspiring women leaders, and I take that responsibility very seriously.

“I have been fortunate to have three significant mentors during my career: Dr. Norval C. Kneten, president of Barton College; Dr. Jim Scannell, CEO of Scannell and Kurz, Inc.; and Dr. Linda Tafel, professor at National-Louis University,” she continued.  “Norval has taught me the importance of creating a shared vision for the future and working patiently and persistently toward that goal.  Jim has taught me to love data, to rely on data, and to question data.  Linda has taught me to be grateful for every day as she battles a rare form of cancer with grace and dignity.”

Dr. Thompson added that she seeks to hire employees who are passionate about the mission and core values of the College. She looks for team members who will work hard, have a good sense of humor, and will come to work every day with a positive attitude.

Employed with Barton College since May 2007, Dr. Thompson serves as chief enrollment and advancement officer for the College. Her responsibilities include supervision of admissions, financial aid, institutional advancement, alumni and parent relations, public relations, publications, and web services.  In addition to serving as a member of the President’s Senior Cabinet, Dr. Thompson also leads the College’s Marketing and Recruitment Initiatives Team as well as the Board of Trustees’ Growth and Marketing Task Force.

Among her accomplishments at Barton, Dr. Thompson oversaw the College’s marketing research process and led the implementation of the “Inspiring Futures” brand for Barton.  She continues to oversee a comprehensive integrated marketing strategy that has resulted in increased private and public sector funding and new student enrollment.

A native of Chicago, Ill., Dr. Thompson completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre at the University of Illinois in Champaign, and earned a Master of Arts degree in Communications and Theatre at the University of Illinois in Chicago.  She completed a C.A. S. in Educational Leadership at National-Louis University in Chicago and earned an Ed.D. in Higher Education at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Prior to joining the Barton administration, Dr. Thompson served as group vice president for enrollment and marketing at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Mich.  Other professional appointments have included vice president for enrollment management at National-Louis University in Chicago, and Executive Director-Wisconsin Campus in Milwaukee for National-Louis University.  She also served in director roles at National-Louis University for Chicagoland Recruitment, National College of Education Graduate Enrollment, and Budget and Administrative Services.

Within the community, she serves on the Pedestrian Safety Initiative and the Wilson 20/20 Advisory Board, and is a member of the Wilson All American Kiwanis Club.

Her professional memberships include the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, Carolinas Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, National Association of College Admissions Counseling, and the American Marketing Association.

Dr. Thompson is married to Clarke Schneider, Ph.D. They make their home in Wilson.

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Questions?  Contact Kathy Daughety, director of public relations, at 252-399-6529 or email: kdaughety@barton.edu.

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