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Teresa Kelchner

Senior Marketing Consultant — Enrollment Coaching /

School Start-ups / Great Beginnings

Teresa was nurtured in the arms of Christian education; her father was a Seventh-day Adventist minister and principal.   Her mother, the school’s secretary, often would work for free so the school could have extra money for teachers.  She frequently moved around the United States as her dad helped turn around one Christian school after another. Teresa grew up seeing the impact her parents made in young lives. These early influences would strongly call her into service for Christian education. Medicine was a strong first love for Teresa.  While still in college, she was asked to lead a research team of professionals to study the relationship between a patient’s level of angina, contributing risk factors and coronary bypass surgery. The study was later published.  In college, she joined a podiatric medical practice where she streamlined billing practices and oversaw the expansion of the practice to another regional location. During her senior year, she was hand-picked by her Endocrinology professor to conduct male fertility research at the National Institutes of Health.  Teresa was invited to participate and successfully completed a clinical fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at the National Institutes of Health.  She uncovered something that was undocumented in her research and published this finding.  Teresa later joined a nationally recognized Reproductive Endocrinology private practice, helping infertile couples become parents locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.  Because information and education are so critical to any understanding, Teresa became actively involved in educating patients on what to expect during their fertility treatments and experiences.  She published a study on how sharing treatment expectations and information helped to decrease patient anxiety and result in a more satisfied patient.  She taught educational seminars for physicians and nurses.  She guided the educational seminar platform into a marketing strategy which grew the medical practice into three regional practice centers.  Teresa joined a burgeoning web-publishing company as VP of Sales and Marketing.  In the course of 5 years, she directed the sales of simple websites to high-end, complex database sites including several award-winning designs with seven-figure contracts.  Many of the sites included regional hospitals, national associations, auction; and both local and federal government web presences. The company grew from 3 employees to more than 25 in this short time.  She was an active part of the business which spun-off as an internet start-up providing marketing solutions for listing high on search engines using keywords.  This opportunity offered valuable experience in Venture Capital/Angel funding development. Teresa’s next professional challenge was with a 15 store chain pharmacy.  Here, as Specialty Sales Development Manager, she successfully designed, implemented and taught professional sales programs that delivered solutions in specialty medicines and medical equipment for patrons.  Many of these innovative niche practices were adopted by big- chain pharmacies.  When one of the country’s oldest long-term care facilities was in need of marketing, communications and strategic planning coordination, Teresa directed efforts for services that included long-term nursing care, sub- acute rehabilitation care, Alzheimer’s care, inpatient and outpatient hospice and the newly expanding field of palliative care.  Her efforts helped to brand this organization as a leader in the industry. Teresa took a career hiatus to focus on raising her family (Chief Mommy Officer) and gave her time to her community (Professional Volunteer).  In 3 years as a founding member of the FC Frederick Boosters Club, she led fundraising efforts to more than $150K.  She served as a substitute teacher in both Christian and public schools. Always an actively involved parent, Teresa wanted to make a difference at her children’s school. Her vision was to create programs that enhanced the development of the other side of the brain, complementing the academic rigor the students received and solving, “we have no money to do anything” problem!  She was challenged with the task to grow after-school programs and provide extras for students (funds for merit scholarships and financial aid). Her leadership efforts yielded after-school art programs; interscholastic championship level athletics; high value, high return fundraisers (>$100K); 85%+ volunteer participation; school and community outreach programs; enhanced communications and public relations; and the implementation of intervention and enrichment reading programs. The school incorporated the strategies taught by Grace Works Ministries into their outreach plan (yes, she was a client). Through the partnership with Grace Works Ministries, she facilitated enrollment growth of the school 18% in a single year, working one day a week.  The school began to experience steady growth adding Pre-K and later becoming an accredited junior academy. Teresa was blessed to serve as the Director of Admissions until her children graduated.  Joining the Grace Works Ministries team in August of 2012, she has worked to build capacity with several dozen Christian schools, both large (>1300 students) and small (<30 students).  She has worked to start up a Christian school, with independent Christian schools, ACSI schools, and entire conferences of Adventist schools (the 2 nd   largest Christian school system in the world).  She is currently writing her first book, ‘52+ Ways To Promote Your School At Church’, which will script a weekly message to minister to church members on the value of Christian education. Teresa feels strongly she is called by God to use her education and experiences to further serve the Lord in this ministry.  “I have prepared you for what I am calling you to do”.  Teresa has been married to Pete for more than 22 years.  Her daughter attends Andrews University and her son attends Spencerville Academy.  When not helping schools grow, she can be found growing fruit, vegetables and perennials in her garden.
Teresa feels strongly she is called by God to use her education and experiences to further serve the Lord in this ministry.