Lakeland associate wins GEICO Volunteer of the Year award

LAKELAND, Fla., Dec. 6, 2017 – Many would think a working single mother of three would barely have time to breathe, let alone give her time and energy to myriad causes and organizations. But giving back has become second nature to Kelli Elliott, the 2017 John Thorne GEICO Corporate Community Citizens Volunteer of the Year Award winner. She accepted the award last week at GEICO headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Rarely does a week go by when the Lakeland telephone claims adjuster is not lending a helping hand. Some days she's making home deliveries for VISTE (Volunteers in Service to the Elderly); on others, Kelli is passing out hot meals or taking part in outreach activities in disadvantaged communities throughout the Greater Lakeland area. She can always be found pitching in—quite literally—at Lakeland Highlands Babe Ruth Baseball League practices and games; Kelli is head pitching coach for the 5- and 6-year-olds.

At an early age, Kelli, who began working at GEICO in January 2014, discovered that volunteering brought her great fulfillment.

"I started doing outreach ministries through drama at age 11," she said.

Faith remains a central part of her life. At her church, Highlands Church of God, Kelli teaches a weekly class for boys and is an active member of the drama ministry, camera crew and nursery team.

Kelli says her sons—Kelan (9), Kobi (4) and Kaden (2)—inspire her to be the best that she can be. Her own personal journey also motivates her to do all she can to help others.

"My parents were not really present when I was growing up, so I know what it is to struggle," Kelli said. "That is why I strive to help others. God has brought me very far in life, and it's only right to give back."

Kelli's devotion to community—and to her job—is well known among her fellow GEICO associates.

"Kelli is a friend to all and excels on the phone while interacting with customers. She is persistent and devoted to all endeavors that she embarks upon," said Melanie Kimler, Kelli's supervisor.

Each year, GEICO honors a full-time associate who best epitomizes the spirit of volunteer service in his or her community with the John Thorne GCCC Volunteer of the Year Award, which is named for a former GEICO human resources director who helped build GEICO's volunteer programs.

GEICO associates are invited to nominate co-workers who are active in educational, charitable, civic and/or public service organizations for the award.

Winners—who are selected by a committee—receive a $500 cash award for themselves and a $1,000 contribution made to a nonprofit organization of their choosing. Elliott selected the SPCA. In addition, winners, and an immediate family member, are treated to a fun-filled weekend in Washington, D.C.

GEICO Senior Vice President Seth Ingall presented Elliott with her award.

"Kelli epitomizes the spirit of so many of our associates by balancing her daily responsibilities and community service," he said. "We are pleased that our associates freely give their time, money and other resources to myriad worthy causes."

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