Kelly Jo Kennedy is the founder and executive director of The Kennedy Consulting Firm. She is the lead consultant in charge of business operations and relationship management, and concentrates on strategic communications for food, nutrition and public health organizations. Kennedy’s proven success and unique experience in food, nutrition and health policy and promotion make up the foundation of the organization.
Kennedy’s drive and determination as a seasoned public relations expert have suited her well in the launch of her new firm. She is currently working as a consultant with leading organizations in the food industry, expressing her passion in the public health arena and ensuring that nutrition is a focus for American consumers.
A central Illinois native, Kennedy had a successful career in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before returning to the area. She served as deputy director of the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion at the United States Department of Agriculture, where she helped introduce the MyPyramid.gov campaign that is currently used by schools and nutrition advocates across the nation. In 2006, Kennedy received the USDA Secretary’s Award for her leadership in development and promotion of the MyPyramid Food Guidance System, and the year before, she received the USDA Leadership Award for the creation of a public-private partnership program to promote MyPyramid.
In addition to starting and running her own consulting firm, Kennedy helped to create Anonymous Impact, a new nonprofit group aimed at improving the lives of people facing adversity in the local community. She currently serves on the board of directors and as the organization’s treasurer.
Kennedy is a well-respected professional, but her most treasured role is as a new mother. Her multiple commitments have demanded great discipline, as she gave birth to her first child, moved back to central Illinois and started a successful PR firm all in the same year.
Kennedy is a member of the Society for Nutrition Education and the American Public Health Association. She is chief newsletter editor for the local Shriners organization, and received the 2010 Shriners International Top Newsletter Award. Kennedy volunteers with Metamora girls basketball and was recognized as one of WEEK’s 25 Women in Leadership earlier this year. iBi