Paying it Forward

Paying it Forward

Mar 19
Marise Robbins-Forbes, ACES Director of Development, Crop Science and NRES
  

Never underestimate the power of a scholarship! I was reminded of this recently while attending the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA) Awards Night during which ACES alum Leo Kelly  humbly accepted the ILCA 2012 Man of the Year award. Leo (an ornamental horticulture alum ’80) richly deserves this award. Here on campus, we know Leo as a highly accomplished and well respected professional (owner of Kellygreen Design, Inc.), and a dedicated ACES volunteer—serving on the ACES Alumni Board and in a key role on the McFarland Carillon Garden team (among other projects). It was no surprise to learn that Leo has also has been an active, unflagging supporter of ILCA for decades (serving on the Education & Design Committees, and as ILCA President in 2000-2001). As Leo accepted his award we did learn something surprising—that Leo’s first connection with ILCA stemmed from a single horticulture scholarship awarded by ILCA during his senior year at University of Illinois, more than 30 years ago. 

“The work Leo does is second to none.  Everybody raves about the quality of his craftsmanship,” says ILCA Executive Director Scott Grams. “He puts that same amount of time and effort into his volunteer efforts, too.”