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Born and raised in Newark, Ohio, Kelli relocated to Florida after graduating from The Ohio State University in 1992. After earning a Master's degree in Human Resource Development from The University of South Florida, Kelli spent the past 25 years in business with a focus on Leadership Development. Kelli has been a life-long animal advocate and rescuer, serving on two national animal disaster rescue teams, aiding victims of hurricanes, puppy mills and animal hoarding. She has volunteered with various shelters and rescue groups for the past two decades in many capacities including fostering, fundraising, and public speaking on behalf of animals.  

Kelli founded The Dog House of Safety Harbor, a local pet boutique aimed at raising money and awareness for animal shelters and rescue groups. She and her husband, Steve, have adopted more than twenty animals and fostered as many. Their current furry and feathered family includes three dogs (Jaxson, Nikki, and Hope), two cats (Ally and Genny), one bird (Jim) and a squirrel (Julia).  When not covered in fur, whiskers, and wagging tails, Kelli enjoys hitting the pavement running (albeit slowly), having finished 22 half-marathons and one full, or being buried in a book (her favorite is A Dog's Purpose, naturally).