Emergent Communicator Award
The Emergent Communicator Award recognizes a member under the age of 40 who has demonstrated exceptionally high degrees of skill, professional ethics and dedication to the GardenComm mission and values. Self-nominations are welcome. Only one award winner may be named each year. Self-nominations are welcome.
Kelly Reilly is a freelance writer and director of marketing at the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Her work has been featured on Better Homes & Gardens’ website (BHG.com), EatingWell.com, and many local and regional publications and programs.
At the Botanical Garden, Kelly marries her passions for gardening, nonprofits, and compelling storytelling by connecting people with the Garden’s mission of exploring, explaining and celebrating the world of plants. In her two years in this role, Kelly has spearheaded a website redesign, launched a blog and mobile app, more than doubled the number of followers on the Gardens’ social media platforms, led an on-the-fly corpse flower campaign, and taken the helm of Bloom, the Garden’s award-winning member magazine. In addition, she oversees the Garden’s membership engagement, guest experience, private rental, retail, and volunteer functions.
As a freelancer, Kelly focuses on fresh, digital-first content that makes gardening approachable and achievable, especially for millennials who are unfamiliar with and intimidated by gardening. Recently, her main focus has been on contributing to EatingWell and Better Homes & Gardens’ Plant Your Plate program, which provides readers with the tools and strategies they need to not only grow their own food, but also incorporate it into delicious recipes.
Kelly launched her garden writing career in 2013 as an editor for BHG.com, where she focused on gardening in addition to beauty, style, health, family, pets, smart home, the BHG.com homepage, e-newsletters, and special projects. She has also served as a senior content manager for MXM (Meredith Xcelerated Marketing), producing content for lifestyle brands such as Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and GE Appliances. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa with bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Mass Communication and English, and also holds a law degree from the University of Iowa.
Kelly lives in Des Moines with her husband and two sons: Henry, 3, and Connor, 1.
|Award Recipient||Year Honored|