Kay Kelley Arnold is an advocate for change and loves a good fight when important issues are at stake, especially social justice and environmental issues which are at the top of her list. As vice president of civic and social responsibility at Entergy Corporation, she practices her love of philanthropy, volunteerism, grassroots politics and policy making. She manages the foundation and grants program ($20 million annually given, leveraging $62 million additional)) as well as the employee volunteer programs (over 85,000 hours donated last year valued at $1.8 million) and leads a team of employees who are charged with finding solutions to the problems low income citizens face. In addition Kay manages the employee political action committee, a national grassroots network of thousands of employees, shareholders, retirees and other interested citizens and a strategic issues management process that identifies trends, identifies stakeholders and projects outcomes. She is a fan of the Conscious Capitalism movement and subscribes to its Credo that “business is good because it creates value, it is ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, it is noble because it can elevate our existence, and it is heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity. Free market capitalism is the most powerful system for social cooperation and human progress ever conceived. It is one of the most compelling ideas we humans have ever had. But we can aspire to something even greater…”
Early in her career, Kay served as the first director of the Arkansas Nature Conservancy as well as a member of then Governor Clinton’s staff and a member of his cabinet, leading the Department of Arkansas Heritage, which includes six state agencies responsible for rare and endangered species, rivers, historical museums, historic preservation and the arts. She was then appointed to the Inter-American Foundation by President Clinton and reappointed by President Bush where she served 10 years. She also was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Board. She has received awards from the NCCJ, Nature Conservancy, Audubon, the Arkansas Sierra Club, the National Wildlife Federation and the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission for her public policy accomplishments. Kay currently serves on the board of the Conservation Fund and as a member of the National Wildlife Federation’s President’s Advisory Board.
For almost 50 years Kay has been an active volunteer, serving and leading on more than 45 Boards of Directors for non-profit and governmental agency advisory boards at the local, state, national and international levels. From her first political campaign in 1964 and her first volunteer assignment of picking up trash around the lake in her home town at age 10, she was struck by the power of a group of individuals willing to work for change. A mentor once challenged her , whenever possible, to “ say yes when people ask for your help, especially if the cause looks difficult, in part because it is your duty and in part because of what you will learn and the joy it will give you”. Another advised her to “keep showing up, because if you do, you ultimately will be in charge”. This year she ends her 10th year of service to the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport Board as the Chair. She is the incoming Chair of the Foundation for the Mid-South. She serves on the board of the Public Affairs Council and Lyon College. She is an Episcopalian and is the widow of Richard Sheppard Arnold. She has a BA and MA in Communication and a JD in Law from the University of Arkansas.