Meet the Good Works Lab Team: Fundraiser, Kelli Kaberle-Mengebier

Kelli Kaberle-Mengebier is a perpetual optimist. Friends and colleagues recognize this disposition as an extension of her warm personality and the inner confidence she brings to her many endeavors. She joins Good Works Lab as a development specialist with love for the community and keen fundraising acumen. She is flattered to join the Good Works team she lovingly references as “Traverse City’s finest.” 

Kelli has worn many hats over the years, and even one crown. The former National Cherry Queen is an alumna of Michigan State University, mother to two amazing children, cancer previvor, MTV’s Punk’d casting producer, Nub’s Nob Bahnhof alpine racer, and a celebrated keynote speaker for the American Cancer Society. 

Optimism has served Kelli well over the years, and she cites this as a significant piece of her fundraising success during her decade-plus tenure with the American Cancer Society. As the Senior Director of Community Development for New York and New Jersey, she was directly responsible for bringing in over $100 million for the organization’s research, education, advocacy, and services.

Though her time in New York was professionally fulfilling, it could not compete with her love for Traverse City. In 2016, she returned to her hometown (growing family in toe) and immediately immersed herself in philanthropic and health advocacy projects as a major gift officer for Munson Healthcare Foundations. After 18 years of refining her development and fundraising skills, Kelli decided to forge her path, and in 2019, she launched her development consulting firm. 

Today, Kelli is at the helm of HKM & Associates, a Traverse City-based consulting firm specializing in development, communications, research, and analytics. As a managing partner, she and her esteemed colleague, Julie Hay, support non-profit organizations and public sector institutions’ fundraising and broader communication needs. 

An extrovert and skilled communicator, Kelli enjoys sharing her time and energy with philanthropic and community-centered efforts throughout the region. When not working, she can be found serving on the boards of the Grand Traverse Bay YMCA, The Watershed Center, and The Festival Foundation. 

Kelli enjoys cherries, shoes, and spending time with her family. 

When asked what accomplishment she is most proud of, she doesn’t hesitate to share, “My kids, my marriage, and helping make an impact on my community!”

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