Ask an Owner // Kestra Kelly

Jessica Fasi | November 28, 2023

Collage of three photos of Kestra Kelly

Why did you become an engineer? My mom worked for an engineering firm when I was growing up, and she always encouraged me to pursue engineering as it’s a good career with a lot of opportunities. I ended up getting an internship in land development and have worked on land development projects ever since.

Do you have a favorite project you’ve worked on at BL? The Turnpike Interchange project is definitely my favorite project. The project includes three warehouse facilities on 170 acres, offsite transportation improvements, a public park, historic structures, wetland impacts – it truly involves a bit of everything we deal with in land development.

It was a very challenging project, with a lot of components and high-level permits, but the challenge made it even more satisfying to complete. I also happened to work on this particular site in 2008, prior to joining BL Companies. Getting to start off with the very beginning stages of the project and then seeing it all the way through construction now has been especially gratifying.

You’re heavily involved in the Giving Back Committee. What inspired you to get involved, and what are some of your favorite giving back projects you’ve been involved with? I’ve always found giving back to personally satisfying. There’s a lot of bad in the world, so it’s important to put good out there too. It’s definitely something I try to include my son in as much as possible.

I really enjoy more hands-on volunteering. I’ve been involved with Wreaths Across America, and my son and I work with a local group to make and hand-out lunches for the homeless.

I even try to incorporate giving back into my fun holiday time. I love hosting cookie decorating parties around the holidays and found a way to donate cookies to a program that hands out special homemade treats to hospice patients.

Also, given my personal battle with ovarian cancer, I’m involved with the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation and have been participating in their annual walk since 2011. I also recently hosted a drive for Hope Scarves and was able to collect over 600 scarves for people undergoing treatment for cancer. Hope Scarves collects scarves and stories from people who face cancer and then sends them on to others in treatment, like a sisterhood of the traveling scarf.

What do you like to do outside of work? I love being outside in nature, going for hikes and walks. I’ve also recently gotten into indoor plants and have enjoyed taking care of the new plants in my home. It’s so fun learning how to care for different plants, and I love seeing things grow.

Ask an Owner // Kestra Kelly was last modified: November 28th, 2023 by Jessica Fasi