Kelly Schultz (Class of 2013) will continue her advocacy for children and families as the new director of policy and partnerships for the Missouri State Alliance of YMCAs (MSAY). 

Schultz, who is stepping down from her role as the director of Missouri’s Office of Child Advocate (OCA) at the end of the month, said the new position was an exciting next chapter for her career. 

“I grew up playing basketball at the Springfield Downtown YMCA with my dad being the coach,” Schultz said. “The Y is a vital provider of safety, health, and wellness for children and families across the state through its many programs and is often the community hub for services in more than 70 communities across Missouri. Joining the YMCA team was not only a natural fit for my career, it is like coming home.”

Schultz will join the advocacy team made up of Director of Government Relations Ken Hussey and Associate Director Stephanie Smith to tackle child protection, food insecurity, and safety program legislation, among other policies geared toward accessible child care options and healthy living programs

“I am excited to add Kelly to our team as we represent and advocate for the YMCA’s focus areas of healthy living, youth development, and social responsibility,” MSAY Executive Director Patricia Miller said. “Kelly will elevate our child advocacy and equity work at the statewide level and will build our capacity to advocate for a healthier Missouri.”

Schultz has served as the director of OCA since her appointment in 2011 by then-Gov. Jay Nixon. She previously worked in the state Capitol for more than a decade. Greater Missouri alumnae know her best as the “chocolate chip cookie” tour guide when speaking to the first session about how a bill becomes a law in the Missouri Legislature.

Missouri is home to 24 YMCAs serving more than 600,000 participants and members, according to MSAY. The nonprofit coalition advocates for legislative and regulatory issues on the centers’ behalf and educates policymakers on their community services. 

Published in the Missouri Times BY CAMERON GERBER ON NOVEMBER 22, 2021