By David Markham
A Prairie Village man with a background in journalism and nonprofit marketing has been tapped as JCPRD’s new marketing & communications manager.
Kellen Jenkins stepped into the position on June 26, filling a seat left vacant when Richard Smalley retired in late March.
“We feel Kellen will be an amazing addition to JCPRD, bringing a fresh perspective and new ideas,” said Deputy Director Rhonda Pollard. “Kellen brings over ten years of experience in journalism and nonprofit marketing and he understands the importance of telling JCPRD’s story to our community leaders, patrons, and partners. We’re excited to add him to the team!”
“I have a great appreciation for public parks and the immense value they can bring to any community,” Jenkins added. “So, when I saw this opportunity with JCPRD, a national leader in parks and recreation, I immediately jumped at the chance to join their team. After learning more about JCPRD’s mission, values, and work culture, I’m excited to join the team and help enrich the lives of Johnson County citizens.”
Since October 2018, Jenkins served as marketing and communications manager for Habitat for Humanity of Kansas City, Mo., Among his duties there were: developing a growth-focused, data-driven marketing and communications strategy; collaborating with the organization’s leadership team to create organizational communications processes and templates for consistent branding and messaging; and executing a media outreach strategy that more than doubled Habitat KC’s local TV, print, and radio coverage.
Earlier, Jenkins was marketing and communication manager for Youth Volunteer Corps in Kansas City from April 2017 to September 2018; a visual journalist with The Wichita Business Journal from October 2013 to April 2017; and an editor and camera operator for Berkley Square Media Inc., in Topeka from May 2011 to August 2012.
Jenkins holds a bachelor of science degree in sociology with a minor in journalism from Emporia State University. He served on the Prairie Village Tree Board from 2020 to 2023, and earlier this year became a member of the Prairie Village Arts Council.
“I take pride in building relationships through effective and engaging storytelling,” Jenkins said. “I see a lot of opportunity to continue that work with JCPRD and I’m excited to get started! I’m most looking forward to working with the marketing team to continue to build on their success. JCPRD does a fantastic job of communicating with Johnson County residents and I see a lot of opportunity to reach out into our community and build a meaningful relationship with even more people.”
Jenkins also commented on challenges and goals for his new role at JCPRD.
“A large challenge we will always face is continuing to connect with our community in a meaningful way,” he said. “JCPRD is a great organization that has so much to offer Johnson County residents and the surrounding counties. As our community changes and grows, we need to be intentional about innovating and adapting our work to ensure that we’re still providing the quality services and programs that JCPRD is known for. As I take on this new role, my biggest goal is to learn as much as I can as quickly as possible so that I can support the marketing team as we create creative and engaging work that tells our story and meets the needs of our community.”