Kelly Raley became Executive Director of Helping A Hero on May 1, 2017. Kelly began volunteering with and supporting Helping A Hero over a decade ago. She is pleased to have the opportunity to continue championing its nonprofit mission serving wounded veterans as its Director. Before joining Helping A Hero’s staff in November 2014 as the general counsel, she conducted pro bono legal services for veterans, assisted with a large scale military sendoff and welcome home, and attended many Helping A Hero groundbreakings, welcome home ceremonies and fundraising events. She has participated in the Texas legislative process on behalf of wounded veterans and has volunteered at an annual women veterans empowerment exposition. Over the years, Kelly has been privileged to get to know many of the wounded veterans served by Helping A Hero, and their families, and through them has learned about their daily struggles, challenges and triumphs.
Volunteerism, patriotism, and community service have always been an important part of Kelly’s life. She has sat on the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Houston, the Board of Stewards of Chapelwood United Methodist Church, the Advisory Board of Helping A Hero, and the Advisory Board of 4th Wall Theatre. She was on the initial steering committee of the Memorial Villages Independence Festival, the steering committee of Gracewood's capital campaign, and the initial steering committee of Venture Crew #641 of the Boy Scouts of America. She has served on Houston Rotary Club’s Distinguished Citizen Award committee, The Immunization Partnership of Houston special project committee, American Diabetes Association Sweetheart Ball committee, and co-chaired the 2016 Helping A Hero gala. Other volunteer endeavors include having been a Big Sister in the United Way Big Brother Big Sister program, teaching citizenship merit badges courses at BSA Troop 641, teaching numerous Sunday School and Vacation Bible School classes, serving on mission trips, coaching basketball league teams of her children for seven years, and being a television spokesperson on numerous on-air PBS pledge-drives. She has been an officer in the Houston Mother’s Club of Kappa Alpha Theta, and an active and sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston – through which she taught newborn care to teenage mothers at Ben Taub Hospital and made weekly telephone contacts with elderly shut-ins in the greater Houston area. Other affiliations include the Houston Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi and Houston Aggie Moms.
Kelly was Phi Beta Kappa, Outstanding Senior and Homecoming Queen of the University of Oklahoma. She moved to Texas in 1985 from Scotland with her husband, John, who was serving there as a Rotary Scholarship Ambassador. After graduating from the University of Houston Law Center in 1989, she began her legal career in the Intellectual Property and Technology Litigation section at Vinson & Elkins, LLP. Before becoming General Counsel at Helping A Hero, Kelly was a litigation attorney at Raley & Bowick, LLP where she was honored to assist the pro bono legal team which helped exonerate a wrongfully convicted man who served 25 years of a life sentence in prison before being proven actually innocent. She and her husband have three adult children.« Back to the list of Helping a Hero Leadership