Southeast Regent Honored for Professional, Community Contributions


by News Bureau on Thursday, Mar. 15, 2012


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., March 15, 2012 – Kendra Neely-Martin of St. Louis, a member of the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents, received the 2012 St. Louis American Young Achiever Award Feb. 23 during the Salute to Young Leaders Networking Awards Reception. She was recognized as one of 20 young leaders/professionals age 40 and younger from the St. Louis region for professional and community accomplishments.

Neely-Martin was honored for going above and beyond in both her professional performance and community involvement. She also was recognized for being committed, compassionate and generous while making a positive impact in the community.

A committee of seven African-American professionals selected the 20 recipients from more than 130 nominations. Neely-Martin and the other winners were featured in a commemorative special section in the “St. Louis American” newspaper and were honored at the Salute to Young Leaders Networking Awards Reception.

In addition, Neely-Martin is scheduled to receive the 2012 St. Louis Gateway Classic Outstanding African American Citizen of the Year Award on March 17. The African American Citizen of the Year Award recognizes and pays tribute to individuals in the Greater Metropolitan St. Louis Area who symbolize excellence and have made significant contributions to the community or their respective areas of work. Former Southeast Regent Sandra Moore received this award in 2008. T

“I am both excited and humbled by the acknowledgment of my efforts, as I strive to create a generation of socially responsible citizens through programs that provide support for young people age 5 to 24,” she said. “These programs are intended to promote heightened self-esteem and positive self-awareness, provide exposure to the arts and cultural influences, advance better health and wellness, improve academic achievement and develop career knowledge and business acumen.

“The recognition provides a platform that allows me to address the disparity that exists in the areas of literacy and wellness while inspiring others to take on an active role in identifying solutions to the underlying factors, in addition to providing exposure for programs and services that are available in the St. Louis Area. However, the greater sense of accomplishment is the realization of the success of others. I can’t wait for my mentees/program participants to come back and say, ‘I did it too,’ as the validation of a leader is the development and realized success of another leader.”

Neely-Martin says she is especially proud these awards recognize her community involvement as much as her professional achievements. She encourages others to dedicate themselves to public service and mentoring with the same commitment and zeal they put forth in their professional lives.

Neely-Martin was appointed by Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon in November 2011 to a six-year term on the Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents expiring Jan. 1, 2018. She is a pharmaceutical sales specialist with Astrazeneca. Neely-Martin was 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, Inc. She has worked tirelessly for the sorority for two decades as the Educational Development Chair St. Louis Metropolitan Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., (2006-current). Neely-Martin oversees the Delta Academy/Delta GEMS Program, a national program designed to provide support for girls 11-17 years of age by addressing academic failure, low self-esteem, exposing youth to career exploration, leadership development and health and wellness training, as well as instilling the values necessary to build sustainable communities. A primary goal of the program is to prepare young girls for full participation as leaders in the 21st Century. She serves as the mentoring chair for the St. Louis Chapter of the National Sales Network, and created the nationally recognized Backpack to Briefcase Mentoring/Scholarship Program. Neely-Martin graduated from Webster University with a Master of Arts in marketing and Southeast Missouri State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.