March 2015 – The Winners Circle, Naples Style

Sandra Lee BuxtonThe name Kelly can be used as a given as well as a surname. It has origins in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and England but overall the meaning is the same, “warrior.” Now if you equate warrior behavior with passion, then you know Kelly Cooper. Kelly is an individual who finds joy in everything that she does and she does it with great passion. She loves to participate in group activities, mentoring, fundraising, teaching, training, volunteering, and serving as an advocate. In addition to these admirable traits she is also a natural leader and with her eclectic background has the ability to incorporate all of those skills into her projects.

Kelly Cooper

Kelly Cooper

Born and raised in Michigan she had visited her grandparents in Florida for years before making Naples her home. As a young adult she expressed an interest in business and economics and her grandparents encouraged her to follow her dreams. She received her BA degree in International Relations from Michigan State University and a MA in International and Development Economics from the University of San Francisco. Her educational pursuits allowed her to study in Eastern Europe focusing on political and economic transition from a closed to open economy and in Belgium on the EU and NATO expansion.

Prepared for the workforce she began as a Quality Assurance Manager for the Federal Government, she found this to be enriching as well as challenging. Kelly interfaced and was responsible for areas within the FBI, DEA, FDA, FEMA and DHS just to name a few. During this time period new doors opened and she joined a financial analyst/consultant group working on the development of capital improvements programs, public infrastructure, with diverse areas such as utility rates. As her career progressed she served as a financial advisor conducting seminars on debt management, wealth creation including retirement planning. With the intensity of her passion in economics and finance it seemed as though her lifelong career was established, then it happened.

Her grandparents with whom she was very close became ill and she wanted to be there for them. She relocated back to Marco Island where they lived and moved in so that she could be there for them 24/7. Always a “student” she began to research their diagnosis and more importantly how to assist them. She states that it is hard to learn “a little” in healthcare without wanting to know “a little more” which she did. Putting her business and economic career aside she entered a RN program and became entrenched in nursing, wellness behaviors and healthcare.

She was pleased that what she was absorbing in school was applicable at home. This total turn of events has captured her heart and she is thrilled to be where she feels that she was always meant to be, a RN advocate. Kelly serves as the Clinical Supervisor in a Home Health Agency where all of her skills can be incorporated.

In Naples where she now lives, Kelly is a mentor at the Boys & Girls Club, in the Junior Women of Initiative program; she is a volunteer RN at the Neighborhood Health Clinic, proud member of the Latchkey League and Baby Basics where she was the Mistress of Ceremonies at their recent fundraiser walk.

Among other interests and participation is the Bayshore Cultural and Performing Arts and the Aging Gracefully committee, a woman’s wellness conference to be held in May sponsored by Ciccarelli Advisory Services. Kelly recently had the pleasure to address and encourage students at LWIT and the Immokalee Foundation.

We know the story about asking a busy person if you want something done and that certainly applies to Kelly. One more thing, she is happy to report that her grandparents are both doing well. Once again we have a new member to The Winners Circle Naples Style, congratulations Kelly Cooper.

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