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Mary Choi Kelly, PhD


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Mary Choi Kelly, PhD is the co-founder of the Women’s Hospitality Initiative, a Las Vegas-based nonprofit organization, a component fund of Nevada Community Foundation, committed to developing and implementing programs for women to grow and achieve leadership positions. Working in partnership with board members and strategic advisors, Ms. Kelly is responsible for leading the development and implementation of educational, mentoring and advocacy, and learning and leadership development programs to provide women in the hospitality industry the knowledge, skills, tools, and relationships necessary to excel and succeed in leadership roles.  Through these programs, she is responsible for building a robust pipeline of female leaders that are positioned for hospitality leadership roles.

A globally recognized expert and change agent with a personal passion for developing women in leadership and shaping the future of leadership, Ms. Kelly is the founder of MCK Leadership Talent Group LLC, providing services in the areas of Talent Management, Leadership Development, Change Management, and Speaking Engagements in Women in Leadership. 

Ms. Kelly is sought out for her expertise in leading large-scale organizational change and transformation for Fortune 500 companies as well as her deep talent management and leadership development expertise. Throughout her career, she has worked with C-level and other senior executives to assess, identify, and implement strategies to drive growth.  

With over two decades of experience working with leaders in global organizations, including extensive work with hospitality companies, Ms. Kelly has cultivated an impressive portfolio of experience and best practices in Talent Management, Leadership Development and Change Management for; most recently as Senior Vice President of Talent and Organization Effectiveness for MGM Resorts International, a role in which she led enterprise-wide change and transformation initiatives that impacted over 80,000 employees. 

Ms. Kelly has also served as Vice President of Human Resources for Bellagio Las Vegas and Las Vegas Sands Corporation; and has held senior leadership roles with Marriott International, Honeywell International, Mattel Inc., Bank of America, and Pacific Sunwear of California, Inc. Additionally, she led the growth of a global e-commerce company as the head of human resources during the internet startup boom.  

Ms. Kelly holds a PhD and Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology from Alliant University (CSPP) and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California Irvine. She is an active contributor to the field of Human Resources as an advisor, author and speaker; speaks Korean and basic French, and enjoys an active lifestyle with her husband and two boys. 

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