Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: Kellie Parkin, MBA Orlando’s Executive director

By : Lu Muller-Kaul, MBA Orlando President
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Lu Muller-Kaul

Kellie Parkin is a friend, supporter and the best employee I could have hoped for. In title and job description, she is responsible for running MBA’s operations, but she adds volunteer time for the One Orlando Alliance and other projects.

Kellie has also been working with founding MBA members, most importantly Debbie Simmons and Michael Thomas, to connect MBA’s past of now 25 years to a successful future, always ensuring equality through economics for our business members and the whole LGBTQ community of Central Florida.

Winning “Chamber of the Year” this year and receiving a grant for our RED Group program last year at the NGLCC (National LGBT Chamber of Commerce) conferences were entirely due to her hard work.

When we first got to know each other in the spring of 2016, Kellie’s résumé and first introductory emails looked promising, and I loved that she had already been executive director for the Cedar Key Chamber of Commerce. Very valuable were also her connections from nonprofit work in Orlando, and the ease with which she navigates local politics. I find it remarkable how she stands by her beliefs while supporting others to do the same, even or especially if they contradict hers.

What stands out the most is Kellie’s enthusiasm for the LGBTQ community. As a bisexual woman with a lesbian daughter, Kellie is a fierce advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion. She works a lot more than the hours approved for her position and I feel honored to know her. I’m grateful that I was asked to write this profile because I see how Kellie has already changed the MBA into a much better organized, sustainably growing organization.

Watermark’s recognition and appreciation for her as a remarkable person in our community are very well deserved.

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