Whether she’s coordinating logistics for ships along the Eastern seaboard or motivating residents in retirement communities, Kelley Arredondo sees possibilities, not problems. This ability is why Arredondo, a long-time Marriott employee and a Lieutenant Commander in the United States Naval Reserve, has been selected to head The Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities “Bridges…from school to work” program in Philadelphia.
The “Bridges…from school to work” is the city’s leading organization for matching high school seniors with disabilities to entry-level positions. Since 1999, it has helped more than 200 young people find employment with 140 local employers.
For the past two years, Arredondo has volunteered for Bridge’s business advisory council, which helps with strategic planning and finding new business partners. “We have had great success with companies like Wawa and Starbucks,” says Arredondo. “My goal is to identify even more placement opportunities so that all of our students - we have more than 100 this year - get their careers off to a good start.”
During Arredondo’s 15 years with Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR), she has held operations and human resource positions at Marriott Family Restaurants and Marriott Senior Living Services. Most recently, she directed human resource policy and programs for 10 eldercare communities in New Jersey and Philadelphia. She has also been active in the U. S. Naval Reserve for the past 12 years during which her assignments have included resolving military cargo emergencies during the Gulf War.
A native of Pennsylvania, Arredondo graduated from Brigham Young University-Hawaii in Laie, Hawaii with a B.S. in business and hospitality management in 1987. She received a Masters degree in organizational development and training from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia in 1994 and a certificate in human resources from Villanova University in 1999.
The Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities, through its “Bridges…from school to work” program, has facilitated employment opportunities for more than 5,500 youth among more than 1,500 employers in six U.S. cities. In addition to Philadelphia, Bridges programs are in Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta, San Francisco, and the Washington, D.C., area. The Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities (www.marriottfoundation.org) was established in 1989 by the family of J. Willard Marriott to foster the employment of people with disabilities. Bridges is supported in part by grants from the U.S. Department of Education (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services) and the U.S. Department of Labor (Employment and Training Administration).