SkillsUSA Appoints Kelly Persons as Director of the Office of Business Partnerships and Development

Leesburg, Va. — Kelly Persons, previously with AARP Foundation, Lowe’s Companies, Inc., and Habitat for Humanity, became director for the Office of Business Partnerships and Development at SkillsUSA in Leesburg, Va. on December 10, 2013.

“Persons brings her passion to advocate for career and technical education and her extensive experience with fundraising, partnership development and community relations for other national non-profits to this position,” said Tim Lawrence, executive director of SkillsUSA. “I am confident, with Persons’ talented leadership, SkillsUSA will nurture and strengthen our current partner relationships and create many exciting new partnerships.  Her work will help more students and teachers to take advantage of the many personal and professional benefits of the SkillsUSA program.”

Persons is originally from Laconia, New Hampshire and received a B.A. degree from Wells College in Aurora, New York. Persons background includes more than 20 years of fundraising, special event coordination and leadership and management experience. Prior to joining SkillsUSA, Persons served as program manager, Housing Impact Area at AARP Foundation where she was responsible for the development and implementation of programs and scalable interventions to increase opportunities for older adults to secure affordable and adequate housing. From 2005-2012, Persons served as community relations managers for Lowe’s Companies, Inc., a FORTUNE 100 company operating more than 1,745 home improvement stores in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Her responsibilities included the administration of the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation and the management of an impactful portfolio of strategic national nonprofit partnerships.

About SkillsUSA
SkillsUSA helps students discover and grow their career passions. As a nationwide partnership of students, instructors and industry working together, SkillsUSA works to ensure America has a skilled workforce. It helps every student excel. The nationwide career and technical education student organization annually serves more than 300,000 high school, college and postsecondary students—and their instructors—in technical, skilled, and service occupation instructional programs. Career and technical education is learning that works for America. SkillsUSA has the active support of more than 600 corporations, trade associations, business and labor unions at the national level. Over 11 million people have been annual members of SkillsUSA since its founding as the Vocational Industrial Clubs of America on May 8, 1965. SkillsUSA programs teach leadership, citizenship and character development to complement technical skill training. The organization emphasizes respect for the dignity of work, ethics, workmanship, scholarship and safety. For more information, go to: