Kelly Villar, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Staten Island Urban Center
Kelly Vilar is the founder and CEO of the Staten Island Urban Center--a community development through community involvement organization in pursuit of cultural equity, thrivability, self determination and independence of our most marginalized and vulnerable communities. She was named Top 100 Most Powerful People on Staten Island in City & State Magazine 2022. She was honored as the 2022 Citywide All In For NYC awardee by Citizens Committee of New York City. In 2019 Kelly was appointed to the NYC Council to the NYC Waterfront Management Advisory Board helping to author the 2030 NYC Waterfront Plan. She has served as the vice chair of the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, a multidisciplinary center for global afro descendent culture integrating arts, education and activism. Kelly is a former member of Community Board No. 1 where she chaired the Youth Committee helping to move forward an agenda for Staten Island’s youth. In 2015, Kelly formed the Let’s Rebuild Cromwell Community Coalition and authored the proposal to develop a Maritime Education, Recreation & Cultural Corridor aka MERC on Staten Island's waterfront. She also co-founded the Brighton Heights Reformed Church Youth Orchestra in 2010 with Yvette Washington Wheatley.
Kelly has been the recipient of several recent awards including the 2019 Alice Austen & Gertrude Tate Award For Community Service, 2020 Staten Island Women’s Political Caucus Elizabeth Connelly award and the 2018 SI NAACP William A. Morris Humanitarian Award. In 2018 was named one of the Top 25 most influential people in Staten Island’s African American community by the SI NAACP. Kelly earned her Master’s Degree in Urban Policy & Planning from the New School for Social Research and has extensive experience in youth and community development. Additionally, Kelly has over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry.