President and CEO, Stearns Bank
Member, Equipment Leasing and Finance Association
Member, National Equipment Finance Association
When taking on her current role of president and CEO of Stearns Bank, Kelly Skalicky believes the professional experience that most prepared her for the job was practicing law as both a litigator and transactional attorney for more than 20 years. As a lawyer, she had the opportunity to hone trouble-shooting skills and develop a strong ability to sift through and digest large quantities of information and documentation from a wide array of sources in order to identify the key issue and questions to be decided. Skalicky believes practicing law rounded out her skill set and gave her the opportunity to develop negotiation, detail and drafting skills as a transactional attorney, as well as the advocacy skills required to formulate decisive and well-supported positions.
VISION FOR THE FUTURE:
“I envision a gender-neutral business playground where men and women follow their curiosity and pursue their passions with the single-minded focus, intent and delight that is present in children. When we foster an environment where creativity or experiences are not defined by gender but passion, positive change becomes inevitable.”
Skalicky has also worked with extremely accomplished and extraordinary leaders over her 30+ year career. She had the rare opportunity to serve as law clerk to The Honorable Michael J. Davis and, before her promotion, worked side-by-side with the Stearns Bank team, which is, she says, “the most inspired and inspiring team I’ve ever been a part of.”
“Kelly is the definition of excellence in everything she does. She has a unique ability to digest incredible amounts of material, create actionable goals and execute them,” says Heather Plumski, Stearns’ chief finance and strategy officer. “She also has a profound ability to see hidden talent in young leaders and, more importantly, the ability to nurture and expand those talents beyond what one could have imagined for themselves.”
Skalicky believes deeply in helping Stearns Bank customers, employees and referral sources pursue and achieve their greatest ambitions, which not only creates more successful opportunities but aligns with Stearns Bank’s mission. She likewise strives to create an industry which increases and equalizes access to financing for all, as banking and finance struggle to close the disparity in access to affordable, fair and sustainable financing for women and minority communities.
Outside of Stearns Bank, Skalicky serves as a trustee on the Saint John’s University board of trustees, as a board member and officer of The Clara Foundation and on the advisory council for CentraCare’s Clara’s House.