By Cathy Cruise
“When Kelley is around, nothing falls through the cracks.”
That’s the ringing endorsement about Kelley Shillingburg given by Elizabeth Torrens, operations manager at the George Mason University Enterprise Center. Shillingburg is a fiscal manager at the center, and Torrens said the energy and professionalism she brings to her job allows the center to better serve the small businesses and new innovations it supports.
Shillingburg is tasked with ensuring the center and its programs are financially sound and self-supporting, training staff on essential job functions as they relate to finances, and offering human resources liaison support.
She also served in the hiring of many new staff members during what Torrens described as a period of upheaval in the past six months.
“Her dedication has resulted in a smooth and sustainable transition,” Torrens said.
Shillingburg was also instrumental in coverting the Loudoun County location of the Mason Enterprise Center to QuickBooks. According to Gina Hildreth, assistant manager of the center, Shillingburg spent many hours learning the software and the type of reporting the center needed, as well as completing data entry to get the center up to speed.
“This also involved commuting to our site in Leesburg for onsite training and collaboration,” Hildreth said. “I’m amazed at what she could accomplish.”
Renee Younes, regional manager of the Fauquier County location for the center, said Shillingburg takes the lead in initiating new procedures, tasks and systems to improve operations, and makes sure deadlines are met and tasks are completed on time.
“She always makes herself available for questions and assistance, including after hours and on weekends,” Younes said. “It only takes one request for Kelley to arrange her schedule and travel to Warrenton!”
Shillingburg is dedicated, well-organized and adept at sharing her knowledge with others. Anna Urman, director of the center’s Procurement Technical Assistance Program, said Shillingburg has helped her interpret federal regulations, state policies and university procedures. She has written position descriptions, created budget document prototypes, organized outdated filing systems and helped Urman keep her program compliant.
“She has a great in-depth understanding of the needs and requirements of running a complex organization, and is a tremendous asset to the university,” Urman added.
For her part, Shillingburg says her job has enriched not only her work life, but her private life as well.
“Working at the MEC has been a great experience for me both personally and professionally,” she said. “I am grateful to have such wonderful co-workers who appreciate me the way they do.”
She will be formally presented with this award by President Ángel Cabrera in his office on the fifth floor of Merten Hall at 9:30 a.m., Monday, Nov. 2. Her family, co-workers and friends are all encouraged to attend the ceremony.