Regent Kendra Neely-Martin to Receive ‘Unsung Heroine’ Humanitarian Award


Neely-MartinCAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 6, 2014 – Ms. Kendra Neely-Martin, vice president of the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents, will receive an “Unsung Heroine” Humanitarian Award from the St. Louis chapter of the Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., (TLOD) May 17 in St. Louis.

The award will be presented at the St. Louis Chapter’s Annual Status of Women Humanitarian Awards Luncheon at the Double Tree Hotel St. Louis Westport.

Neely-Martin will be recognized for her outstanding commitment to community service.

Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., is an international, professional, humanitarian, 501(c)(3) organization with more than 25,000 women members who have dedicated their talents, skills, and resources to serve communities through five major thrusts:  top teens of America, status of women, senior citizens, community beautification and community partnerships.  TLOD also partners with NCNW, NAACP, and UNCF, as well as provides support to the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Diabetes Association, and Sickle Cell Research and the March of Dimes.

“We are extremely proud of Kendra Neely-Martin’s ceaseless dedication to her community and the region,” said Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “This is not the first time Kendra has been honored for her volunteerism. Over the past two decades, she has dedicated herself to working with at-risk African-American girls in St. Louis, and for the past two years, she has given of herself as a public servant as a member of the Board of Regents of Southeast Missouri State University. Her input and guidance have been invaluable to this institution, and we congratulate her on being named a Top Lady of Distinction ‘Unsung Heroine.’”

The St. Louis Chapter of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., was chartered on Jan. 28, 1973.  Since 1976, the St. Louis Chapter has presented the Status of Women Awards Luncheon to outstanding local women in recognition of exemplary service in the five major thrusts.

The annual luncheon also serves to generate funds to provide leadership training and scholarships for teens, enhance the status of women, improve the quality of life of senior citizens, beautify the community, and form community partnerships with corporations and other organizations that serve youth and adults.

Neely-Martin was appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in November 2011 to a six-year term on Southeast Missouri State University’s Board of Regents expiring Jan. 1, 2018. She is a pharmaceutical sales specialist with Astrazeneca.

Neely-Martin also is the recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service recognizing significant contributions to her local community through volunteerism. She was recognized for her work with at-risk girls in St. Louis through Delta Sigma Theta (DST) Sorority. Serving as a mentor for at-risk African American girls, she has worked tirelessly for the sorority for 20 years. As chair of the educational development for the St. Louis Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter of DST, she oversees the Delta Academy, a national program created to provide health and wellness training as well as instill the values necessary to build a solid community.

Neely-Martin graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Webster University with a Master of Arts in marketing.