DENVER — John Kelly of Serve Colorado was named the 2022 Outstanding Commission Executive Director Award recipient at the virtual awards ceremony hosted by America’s Service Commissions (ASC) on September 22. The awards program is held each year to recognize the accomplishments of state and territorial service commission staff, commissioners, service programs, and champions of national service throughout the United States and its territories.
The Outstanding Commission Executive Director Award recognizes a commission executive director who demonstrates unparalleled leadership and innovative thinking to get things done in their state.
“I’ve been a long-time supporter of AmeriCorps programs for their innovative approach to addressing community needs and ability to inspire compassion and leadership in those that serve,” said Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera. “John takes the very best of national service and works to expand its reach so more people are able to serve and more communities are able to experience the benefits of Serve Colorado’s transformational programs. Under his leadership, Serve Colorado has rolled out several new programs including the award winning COVID-19 Containment Response Corps. The leadership he provides to his team and the state of Colorado is phenomenal.”
Nominated by both commission and service program colleagues, Kelly brings his 25 years of experience in the national social sector — including stints in the White House and with the federal AmeriCorps agency — to his work as Executive Director of Serve Colorado. Over the past two years in that role, he has helped build a diverse state service commission and has been instrumental in helping bring people from different backgrounds together to leverage partnerships and national service to improve quality of life for Colorado residents.
“John’s philosophy of working together as partners toward creative solutions — instead of creating silos and guarding bodies of work — is evident in his enthusiastically collaborative approach,” said Maria Fabula, President and CEO of Community Resource Center. “Under John’s leadership, there has been a heightened level of engagement in the Serve Colorado commission by state government officials, and an increase in the number of programs and AmeriCorps members serving in the state. Simply put, John has raised the profile of AmeriCorps State and National in Colorado.”
During his tenure at Serve Colorado, Kelly has developed public-private partnerships, designed innovative grantmaking strategies, promoted service and volunteerism, and engaged diverse communities with the goal of making meaningful and measurable impact. He has helped create many new programs, including the Colorado Tutoring Corps, the AmeriCorps Alternative Licensure Teacher Pathway program, the Colorado COVID Containment Response Corps — which won ASC’s 2021 Outstanding Service Program Award, the Colorado Healthcare Corps, and the first licensed apprenticeship AmeriCorps program in the state.
Guided by the Governor's Commission for Community Service, Serve Colorado administers the AmeriCorps program in Colorado and promotes community service throughout the state to build a culture of citizenship, service, and individual responsibility. Serve Colorado empowers community-based organizations to meet locally identified needs and statewide challenges through service and volunteerism. To learn more about Serve Colorado’s programs and serving with AmeriCorps, visit servecolorado.colorado.gov.
About America’s Service Commissions
America’s Service Commissions (ASC) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing and promoting the 52 state and territorial service commissions across the United States with the mission to lead and elevate the state service network. State service commissions are governor-designated public agencies or nonprofit organizations made up of more than 1,000 commissioners, private citizens leading the nation’s service movement and administering more than 75 percent of the federal AmeriCorps State and National funding to address pressing community needs. Learn more at statecommissions.org.