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2018 Class of Rising Star Shelly Doucet

Shelly Doucet is currently the director of development at the University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Education. She has both a juris doctorate and a master’s degree in social work, but her passion is serving as a fundraiser for non profits. While Shelly has lived in Our Town, she has been the development director at SAFEHOME, Académie Lafayette and Starlight Theatre. “When she meets with donors, she often wears ‘multiple hats’ as she considers how she can advance the mission of several organizations,” said Jennifer Ingraham, University of Missouri–Kansas City Foundation. “She constantly sees potential community connections – encouraging cross-collaboration between non profits, philanthropists and businesses.” 

Shelly is a founding board member of Show Me KC Schools and served as the chairman of the Schoolhouse Trivia event. Said Tricia Johnson, Show Me KC Schools: “Four years ago, I had an idea to launch a non profit that would help families find the right school for their children in the heart of our city. Shelly immediately identified the strengths and agreed to support the mission as the organization’s first board member.” According to Tricia, Shelly helped write its 501(c)3  application and bylaws, organized the first fundraiser and identified several potential donors. In addition, she has co-authored multiple strategic plans, served as chairman of three major fundraisers and increased Show Me KC Schools’ budget from $925 to $500,000. “Shelly is a Kansas City leader who also makes great contributions to the spirit of our community. She hosts parties where she asks guests not to bring a bottle of wine or side dish but to donate to non profits,” said Tricia.  

Shelly is board president of the MidAmerica Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, directing a team of 17 volunteer board members and 260 associate members. Said Rachael Steele: “Shelly and I often talk about the satisfaction derived from blending our personal passions with our volunteer service. Shelly does this effortlessly, with exceptional skill, great enthusiasm and a genuine spirit of compassion and giving back. Michelle Davis, IFOPA; joined the board of the Association of Fundraising Professionals as vice president of programs in 2016. “I watched Shelly prepare for her role as president by taking a sincere interest in each member of the board and committee co-chairmen. She learned about the work we were each tasked with, but also got to know us as individuals.” 

Shelly is a graduate of the Greater Missouri Leadership Challenge. “Shelly has become an engaged alumna. Each new class takes a visit to Kansas City to learn about urban issues, diversity and race relations,” said Jennifer Ingraham. “She participates in the planning of the three-day session and uses her insight, experience and connections to deliver an enriching experience for each new class of female business leaders.” 

Shelly also volunteers as a CASA Advocate and is a graduate of the Central Exchange AHEAD program. “She is a confident and poised leader, always shedding the spotlight on others,” said Rachael Steele. “Although her impact on the Greater Kansas City community is already evident, Shelly is indeed a Rising Star to be watched, listened to, and, more importantly, being put in leadership positions where she can have maximum impact.”Added Tricia Johnson: “It is understandable why Shelly is often nominated to leadership positions. Organizations recognize her hard work, her professionalism and her willingness to always be a part of the team. But as a leader, she demonstrates humility at every opportunity, celebrating and holding up contributions of others.”

In addition, as a mother of two Cub Scouts, Shelly will happily ask you to buy a wreath every winter! Though she self-identifies as a “certified Cajun” from southern Louisiana, Shelly now considers herself an integral part of Our Town. “I enjoy investing my time to make this adopted home of mine the best place to live and raise a family. Being part of the Rising Stars program has been an honor. I love learning about the good work of others who are equally committed to this wonderful city.”

Also featured in the September 15, 2018 issue of The Independent
Photo Credit: Tom Styrkowicz
By Ann Slegman


Nominate a Rising Star

The Independent invites you to nominate an individual making a difference in Kansas City for our 2019 Class of Rising Stars!
Deadline to submit: November 16th

Nomination Form


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