Story & Photo by Lisa Anderson
Kelly McAtee broke the local Facebook algorithm with both her yard sale group and the community events page, but what she didn’t expect was how it would launch her back into the workforce. “Shortly after I created [Things To Do Ocala], I became a CEP partner. I presented, for the first time in front of people, at 1 Million Cups. After that, I ended up renting a space in the Power Plant as an entrepreneur business.”
This gave Kelly an office space for Things To Do Ocala, and after about six months, she received a part-time job offer with United Way of Marion County, as the community impact coordinator. When United Way offered her a full-time position, Kelly closed her office at the Power Plant.
She thoroughly enjoyed working for United Way and stayed there for three years. “I think it helped create who I am as a business person today.” She now works on her Facebook page at home.
In the meantime, Kelly became very involved in the CEP. They asked her to become an ambassador. “I started going to all the ribbon cuttings, and I really got to learn how the Chamber worked and how it benefited our community. It aligned with what I really enjoyed doing with Things To Do Ocala, which was providing the community with the resources and tools and a service where they could go to find things to do with their family. It would keep things local, money would stay local, our businesses in the community would grow and benefit from it. The goal became to bring the business world and the community world together. That has always been my goal for Things To Do Ocala. Now, for the past [several] months, I’ve been working at the Ocala Chamber as their Communication Specialist.”
Kelly is also on the board for Young Professionals Ocala. “I wear a lot of hats in the community, I would say. I didn’t do any of this intentionally, but it’s really interesting how it all worked out. And I absolutely love it!”