Kenosha Innovative Neighborhood President Kelly Armstrong leads with passion for economic development

Kelly Armstrong has assumed the reins as president of the Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood.

Armstrong, who moved to Wisconsin from Louisville, Ky., most recently served as vice president of economic development for the Greater Green Bay Chamber, before being named in late April to her current role.

The Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood is a non-profit organization that aims to develop a neighborhood-centric site for residents and visitors to live, work, learn and play. It is located where the Chrysler engine plant once stood, between 52nd and 60th streets and 30th and 23rd avenues.

What made you pursue the Kenosha Innovation Neighborhood?

I’m passionate about economic development, community building and building collaborations, and that’s also what KIN is about, so it’s really a perfect alignment. It’s an honor and a privilege to be able to work in something that you’re very passionate about.

When did you decide to pursue this type of work? I had had some experience in the community. I was working for a public power utility company, and I decided that I really enjoyed the work. I was on a board for a chamber economic development organization, and I really enjoyed that work. And there was a piece of my work that aligned with that as well that I was doing, which was a corporate key account and economic development work through the utility.

I found what I was really interested in, and I made a very intentional focus to go after economic development.

When first drew you to Wisconsin?

When I came to Wisconsin, I came to work for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and I was sector strategy director, focusing on manufacturing cluster development. So industry cluster development work is what really drew me to Wisconsin in the first place. Green Bay at the time was really looking to make some impactful changes and move forward in a strategic direction, and that the body of work sounded really exciting to me.That’s why I moved to Green Bay, and it was a great learning experience.

Do you have any goals in your new role?

The first, obviously, is to create opportunities for Kenoshans. Another goal is really to create this unique regional destination that’s a competitive experience to other urban markets. (Also, there’s a focus on) really supporting the recovery and development of sustainable and resilient neighborhoods.

Read more at the Kenosha News.

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