Kelley and her team at Louisville Water Company are a dynamite case study in branding, public engagement, research for the sector. Get your pen/paper/note-taking app of your choice and get ready to take some notes.
As fans of design thinking, Kelley’s team also demonstrates what design thinking practices look like in real life. If we want to build public trust, we have to follow her lead, get up, and get out in the community.
This Queen of Water Branding has an awesome mural on her office wall that we reference during our chat and we wanted to share with y’all.
Kelley Dearing Smith’s career revolves around out-of-the-box thinking and telling a story. Kelley is Louisville Water Company’s Vice President of Communications and Marketing. In her 20+ year career at Louisville Water, Kelley has developed strategic partnerships and communication efforts that build Louisville Water’s brand and highlight the value of something most people take for granted, high-quality and reliable drinking water. Kelley is a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team and directs internal and external communications and content marketing, brand development, education and outreach, public affairs and economic development. Kelley has authored a book highlighting Louisville Water’s history and oversaw the development of the “WaterWorks Museum” at the company’s 1860 original pumping station. Prior to Louisville Water, Kelley worked in television news. Kelley is Chair of the American Water Works Association’s Public Affairs Council and frequently speaks to utilities and businesses on best-practices for branding and communication. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism from Eastern Kentucky University. Kelley lives in Louisville with her husband Doug and daughters Katie and Kortney.