In 2001, a group of scientists from the stem cell industry contracted Kellen to establish an association that could support their growing industry. They needed help appointing a Board of Directors, developing member resources, and creating a vision for growth.
Under Kellen’s guidance, a legal and governance structure was established alongside an aggressive business plan. The newly appointed Board of Directors relied on Kellen to identify sources for membership, create and market the membership proposition, plan and promote the first annual conference, and build relationships with related organizations, vendors, media, funders and government organizations.
Over the next ten years Kellen’s team worked with the Board of Directors to establish the society as the leading community and voice for researchers. Today, the organization has more than 3,500 members worldwide. The annual meeting features a 100,000 square foot exhibit hall and attracts over 3,500 attendees. Meetings have been held in North America, Australia, Asia and Europe. Kellen also oversaw the launch of the society’s journal, award-winning website, scholarship program and distance education platform.
The organization’s executive director travels the world representing the society and building relationships that add value to the research community and advance the society’s mission. In 2013, the organization realized its goal of establishing its own stand-alone office, built around the staff Kellen appointed and trained. Kellen was recognized by the organization at its 2012 annual meeting for its contributions to the growth of the industry.