Warner Juggles Alumnae/i Leadership, Work Abroad

July 28, 2006

Who:Kellie Warner, Mary Baldwin Class of 1990.

What:Newly elected president of the college’s vast and varied Alumnae/i Association.

When:Assumed the position July 1 — first official duty was to represent the association at the Board of Trustees meeting July 13.

Where:Lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Travels frequently to Asia on business.

Why:“It feels like a natural step,” she says.

Kellie Warner '90Warner and her new position go beyond the basic who, what, when, where, and why. She admits feeling a little like she is making up for lost time; during the first few years after graduation she said she was not a very connected alumna. Career opportunities with First Data and PricewaterhouseCoopers took her overseas to Hong Kong, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and South Korea. “When I moved back to Charlotte, I was geographically closer to Mary Baldwin for the first time since graduation. I didn’t even give a second thought to making the college a priority once again.”

Warner has served on the Alumnae/i Association Board of Directors for the past five years, the past two as vice-president, and looks forward to promoting engagement in Mary Baldwin alumnae/i far and wide. She recognizes that she is younger than most of the previous leaders of the organization, and said if her age has any affect on the role she hopes it is a positive one. “I am positioned to be on the fence between younger and older generations. I hope that seeing me in this leadership role will encourage younger alumnae/i to become more involved,” she said. Warner is also eager to help build momentum for the new Class Leadership structure, which started this year with an invitation to members of classes who graduated in years ending in 2, 3, 7, and 8 to elect class officers. Soon, all classes will be involved in the process, with the goal of engaging more alumnae/i with the college between Reunions.

An economics and Asian studies major while at Mary Baldwin, Warner said her appreciation for the knowledge she gained at Mary Baldwin blossomed in seemingly small moments, even when she was abroad. “I was living in Hong Kong when its sovereignty was transferred from the United Kingdom to China in 1997. As it happened, I remembered being in class with Dr. [Daniel] Metraux learning of the event and its history. There are so many of those times when my education came into focus,” she said.

Despite her Asian studies major, Warner said she did not expect to work overseas in any of her positions, not even in her current work with Bank of America. She is now thrilled, though, that she gets to employ that knowledge as she leads the company’s expansion for credit card processing technology in Asian markets.

As a student at Mary Baldwin, Warner served as class treasurer and a resident advisor, and she took photos for Bluestocking, an interest that she still fosters today. She also fundraises for March of Dimes and the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

Of role models in her life, Warner said one is clear: her mother. She admires her mom’s focus on her children — she has a sister — as a single parent and her determination to make them part of the first generation of college students in the family. “She had all of that responsibility, never gave up, and still made it fun for us. And, we were loved unconditionally.” Warner said. Others include many women and men she has worked with and met throughout her career. “I’ve been in the company of extraordinary people, and I try to take something away from each encounter.”