Introduced by

Have you met Marcie Kelso?

She gave me an hour she probably didn’t have.

Hi! Have you met Marcie Kelso?

I first met her when I moved to Charlotte in 2004. I liked independent film and she was the Executive Director of The Light Factory. She gave me an hour that she probably didn’t have (a practice I pay forward to this day). Two years later she hired me at The Light Factory, and now we work together again at Kelso Communications. I can safely say she is not only my business partner, but she is my mentor and one of my best friends.

Marcie founded Kelso Communications in 2012 with her husband and business partner, Marty (whom I also love and adore). Together (and with a bunch of other people), we comprise a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm. We do pretty much everything for a host of different clients, but what I love most is we help people tell their stories.

We love to work with passionate, idea-driven people who are so good at what they do, they need us to toot their horn for them. Great people are like that – speaking of… back to Marcie.

Through her experience running the Virginia Film Office, and then the Charlotte Film Office, and then The Light Factory, and now KComm, Marcie has taught be how to be a good leader and a better friend. She makes any workplace feel like a family, and our clients sense that support and kinship. Learn more about Marcie, and I know you will love her as much as I do.

Top 9 things I learned from Marcie Kelso:

  1. Make sure you are not “replying” when you mean to hit “forward.”
  2. Related lesson: if you screw up, fess up.
  3. Sometimes it’s OK to not let things go. If something is worth fighting for, or right is right, then it’s worth challenging.
  4. Disagreement is not a sign of disapproval.
  5. Collect good people. When you find someone awesome keep in contact with them, and if possible employee them. If possible employ them twice (or more).
  6. Make time to play on Facebook and YouTube. Sharing funny things with your co-workers or getting their take on an interesting article is time well spent.
  7. There is always a way. Even when someone backs out at the last minute, or someone has too much to drink and punches someone else, or the sprinkler system comes on in the middle of your event, all hope is never lost. There is always a way to fix it.
  8. Tell the people you love that you love them, even if you’re mad at them.
  9. Friendship is forever.

I asked her 6 questions. Her answers are below.

What are you most passionate about?

Living a life that matters; having my voice heard; my husband and children; movies; Virginia; and travelling.

What would you like to see happen in Charlotte over the next 5-10 years?

I would like to see more bottom up rather than top down social and community movements. In my almost 20 years in Charlotte, I have been continually chagrinned by the attempts of the powers that be to impact creativity from the top down. It just doesn’t work that way…

What frustrates you more than anything?

I’d like to see Charlotte become more comfortable in its own skin. It drives me crazy when we try to be like Austin, Nashville, Portland…insert name of a city on the rise here_____.

What’s your favorite to place to eat in Charlotte and why?

My favorite place to eat in Charlotte is Lupie’s on Monroe. Total comfort food, it’s the hippi dippie atmosphere I love—makes me feel like I’m home in Charlottesville.

If you could spend a day learning from anyone in history who would that be any why?

No questions—Golda Meir ( She impacted our world while sticking to her values, raising a family and taking no s&&t from anyone- terrorist or political foe. A close second is Alan Alda (after Marty, the love of my life.)

If you could BE a cocktail what cocktail would you be and why?

Vodka martini straight up—strong but adaptable—a couple of olives if you’re feeling serious, some lime and cranberry juice if you want it fun and sweeter.

Get in touch with Marcie at Kelso Communications.

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