Kristen Kelly

Account Director

What I do at Proofpoint

As a member of the Client Success Team, I’m a main point of contact but also an ally and partner to our clients. I lead and mentor Proofpoint’s project management team, ensuring the utmost level of client service, and teaching our Project Managers the way of the Jedi. 

I’m also heavily involved in agency operations, from process to profitability. Solving problems and implementing systems that scale is my jam.

Why you should consider Proofpoint

I have 18 years of marketing experience. Joining the Proofpoint team was the first time my employer’s values aligned with my own. 

The benefits are amazing, especially for someone like me who wants a fulfilling career but also carries the dual title of Mom.  The remote setting keeps me close to home, and unlimited time off gives me the flexibility I need. But beyond that, the culture of transparency and empathy encourages each teammate to bring their whole selves to the table, supporting the highs and lows both inside and outside of work.

My professional background

The first decade of my career was spent within the Baltimore, Maryland ad agency scene, and I worked in shops that were both small-and large-scale. While my primary growth path involved progressing from project management to senior account leadership, I also had the opportunity to wear a lot of informal hats along the way (Copywriting! UX! Creative Management!). It’s made me a versatile teammate, and extended my leadership abilities.

I eventually made the transition from agency to client-side, spending a few years in a senior account management role at Under Armour’s Baltimore headquarters. I had the opportunity to lead GTM planning and execution for the brand’s full portfolio of Team Sports verticals, as well as hyperspeed the growth of my operations skills. 

I decided to re-evaluate my career in 2015. Agency life and the overall intensity of my trajectory had started to interfere with my ability to be a present Mom to a young daughter and maintain mental health. I set up shop as a consultant, focused on parenting, and gave myself space to figure out my next move. 

Enter Proofpoint. I came in as a Digital PM wanting to get back to my roots, and have since transitioned into a team Director. All the hustle without the toxicity, and it’s a beautiful thing.

Things I like to do outside of work

Outside of work, I love spending time with my husband and college sweetheart, Steve, my 10 year-old daughter, Reagan, and our Boston Terrier, Moxie.

Reagan is the goalie of a club soccer team, and while her schedule keeps our family quite busy, we love watching her play and spending time with the other soccer parents who have become like family. 

I’m also a foodie–I love to cook, bake, and try new restaurants. Dessert is an essential food group and there is always a treat in my kitchen.

As a manager of people, I care about...

  • Doing what you say you will when you say you will.
  • Taking initiative.
  • Honest and direct communication.
  • Asking for help when you need it.
  • Your words: what you say and what you write matter. 
  • Making sure your experience at Proofpoint is work/life balance in practice.

Things you can expect to learn from me

One of the key differences between a junior project coordinator and an experienced project manager is the level of poise and confidence amidst a full client roster and ever-changing priorities.  

As you begin your project management career, you can expect me to give you a solid foundation and level-up your basics:

  • Business writing
  • Time and people management
  • Prioritization
  • Processes and systems
  • Analysis and problem solving

Advice for candidates

Several traits are inherent in great project managers–things that can’t be taught. An ideal candidate likes a fast-paced environment and is naturally attentive to detail. Those are the table stakes. 

You’ll thrive here if you’ve got a strong sense of initiative, possess excellent organizational and task management skills, and have a genuine interest in learning.

You’ll have a leg up if you’re already a great communicator. Our hiring process involves a Skills Assessment–insider tip: I place a lot of weight on your writing.

Most importantly, be yourself! I can’t wait to meet you!

Stay humble. Stay hungry.

Kevin Plank

Fast Facts About Kristen:

Alternate Titles:

Wife, sister, Professional Soccer Mom

Favorite TV Show:

Schitt’s Creek
(Eww, David!)

Lives Rent Free In My Head:

So many 90’s rap lyrics

I Take My Coffee:

Black

Favorite Podcast:

We Can Do Hard Things with Glennon Doyle

Favorite Food:

Dessert is an essential food group

Kristen's Proofpointer User Manual

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