Thursday, June 7, 2007

Kelley returns to her Frederick roots

Account manager joins marketing agency

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Laura Kelley is glad to be back home.

Kelley, who grew up in Monrovia, has joined marketing agency Robin Jones LLC of Frederick to manage its expanding public relations division.

Previously, Kelley was manager of corporate communications at the Mills Corp. in Chevy Chase, where she managed public relations for 36 shopping malls across the country. Before that, she worked in marketing for The Washington Times.

‘‘It’s kind of nice,” Kelley said of returning to work in Frederick County. ‘‘It was a good experience at Mills for four years. And although I worked in marketing, it was exciting to see all the hubbub in the newsroom at the Times.”

Ellie Whims, managing partner at Robin Jones, said Kelley brings to the agency a solid background with public companies.

‘‘Laura is familiar with the compliance issues of the Securities and Exchange Commission, for example,” Whims said.

Marketing consultant Robin Jones founded the eponymous agency in 2000. In recent years it has expanded into ‘‘a full-service” marketing, advertising and public relations company with 11 employees, Whims said.

‘‘Everyone is fantastic that I work for and the company is great,” Kelley said of her new job.

She left Mills — which was recently acquired, amid financial struggles, by mall manager Simon Property Group of Indianapolis and a hedge-fund partner, Farallon Capital Management of San Francisco, for $1.64 billion — to join Jones for ‘‘a more diverse company,” she said.

‘‘Robin Jones has a stellar reputation and a good client pool,” Kelley said. ‘‘You work with a developer one day and a retailer the next.”

The privately held company does not disclose revenues or profits, Whims said. In addition to the Tech Council of Maryland, its approximately 25 clients include Engineering Systems Solutions Corp. and Greentree Homes in Frederick, Rodgers Consulting Inc. in Germantown and Conquest Technologies Inc. in Sykesville. The firm also has clients in Washington, D.C., Delaware, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The firm is in Frederick, Whims said, for easy access to Baltimore, the District, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and other mid-Atlantic cities.

That should please Kelley, who said she is a ‘‘huge” Pittsburgh Steelers fan. Her parents, who still live in Frederick County, were originally from Pittsburgh. In her spare time, Kelley, who holds a degree in communications from McDaniel College in Westminster, also takes dance classes in Frederick.