On the Spot with Kelly Stangel Martin

As the director of partner engagement at Goodwill Industries of Denver, Kelly enhances strategic partnerships and builds long-term relationships, all while cultivating crucial funds for Goodwill’s mission. She is dedicated to improving the Denver community and contributing to organizations that make a difference and drive impact.


  1. Why do you enjoy the Denver business scene?

The best part of working in the Denver metro business community is the people. Since moving here 25 years ago, I continue to be struck by the warmth, commitment to success and entrepreneurship in Denver. I value the important work ethic that exists, the power of the old west handshake that is still symbolic of a person’s word, and Denver’s small-town feel amidst its booming growth.

  1. What do you find most rewarding about working for a nonprofit? 

There are so many aspects to the nonprofit world that I enjoy, but the one that stands out the most is how Goodwill Industries of Denver has a culture of fostering collaboration and innovation. My daily work with internal and external stakeholders results in changing lives in our community. I am one of many that removed barriers for those less fortunate by providing training, resources or personal commitment to a hand up, not a hand out. I value the power of helping a donor or business partner make a life-changing investment that results in new connections.

  1. What is the best professional advice you have received?

I have had the privilege of learning from three very amazing mentors. The first piece of advice was to learn from those you respect and mimic their best qualities in your actions and your words, as it will become a learned behavior over time. Second, the value of my work is only as good as the servant leadership I have lived. If my clients, staff and family know that I have served them well or “washed their feet,” then I have lived my faith-based values authentically. Finally, it is important to be a hero maker. Every day I have the chance to be first, it takes an honest person to truly put others before themselves and promote them like crazy. When good work is completed successfully, it is important to be a raving fan. This world is filled with people that do just what they are told, so always go the extra mile.

  1. Can you share a fun fact about yourself?

I have often been called the human version of LinkedIn as I truly enjoy networking and bringing people together, knowing that their collaboration can fill an unmet need. I believe this compliment is a hyperbole because there are many others who are more connected than myself. I would love to have half of their contacts in my Rolodex. Even so, when asked, I work to connect people who want to change the world with the people who can.