Kelley McCall is dedicated to community service, from serving on the United Way Community Impact Council to volunteering at FeedMore and Junior Achievement, to mentoring Richmond Public School students.
But in a transformational moment after summer 2020, she created a program called the Shared Values Summit, centered around the work the Chamber aspired to do to strengthen the economy and our community. “We’d just come off COVID starting, and the George Floyd murder, and I wanted to focus on how the business community could rise and meet the moment,” she remembers.
Their inaugural event attracted over 500 participants and brought together 25 local and national speakers over a series of three conversations about the aspirational work needed to shift mindsets and internal practices, act collectively to support change, and measure progress toward inclusive growth. “Because of Richmond’s history and legacy, national speakers wanted to be in conversation with us. It was really powerful.”
In response to the pandemic, the Chamber had received a generous donation from Meta and McCall led the program that deployed the resources to small businesses still waiting for their government assistance to come through. “It was a stop-gap measure to help small businesses, but we had to act quickly. We have to figure out what the community and our members need from us, so we know what our role is in these issues of the moment. The key is sustaining the momentum and recognizing smaller, quieter wins because they build confidence and keep you going.”
McCall, mother to 7- and 9-year-olds, feels fortunate to have a work position that aligns so closely with her values. The juggling act is real, but the Chamber is a flexible place to work, she says. “And work doesn’t feel like work, it feels like doing the right thing.”