Campus News

UK Alumni Association announces new officers

Left to right: Jill H. Smith, Robert "Rob" Crady III, Thomas K. Mathews and Kelly Sullivan Holland. Photo by Scott Hayes.
Left to right: Jill H. Smith, Robert "Rob" Crady III, Thomas K. Mathews and Kelly Sullivan Holland. Photo by Scott Hayes.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 1, 2024) — The University of Kentucky Alumni Association recently announced its 2024-25 Board of Directors’ officers during its annual Summer Workshop held June 20-22.

This year’s officers are Robert “Rob” Crady III, president; Thomas K. Mathews, president-elect; Kelly Sullivan Holland, treasurer; and Jill H. Smith, secretary. All positions are effective today, and officers will serve until June 30, 2025.

Robert “Rob” L. Crady III, of Louisville, Kentucky, was elected president of the UK Alumni Association. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from UK in 1993. During his time at UK, he served as a member of the Freshman Representative Council and various other positions with the Student Government Association. He was also a member of Phi Kappa Tau fraternity. To further his financial education, Crady studied for and received the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor designation from the American Bankers Association.

After graduation, he began his career with Fifth Third Bank’s Trust Department in Lexington, later moving to Louisville to work in the Trust Departments of Stock Yards Bank and National City Bank, before returning to Lexington to manage National City’s Lexington Trust Department.

Crady is a Director with RW Baird (formerly Hilliard Lyons) and a founding member of the Wealth & Family Office Group. He has served on the board of directors of the Bingham Child Guidance Center, as president and treasurer and is currently on the Board of Directors of the Cabbage Patch Settlement House and Nativity Academy at St. Boniface. Crady serves on the Planned Giving Committee of the Center for Women and Families. He is married to Holly Harris Crady (’97 BE) and has two children, Robbie and Abby Crady.

Thomas K. Mathews, who resides in Cypress, Texas, was elected president-elect of the UK Alumni Association. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UK in 1993, having attended as a Commonwealth Scholarship recipient. The Louisville native is the president of Industrial Solvents Corporation, a member of the Houston Chemical Association and previously worked as Compliance Manager for Blue Grass Chemical Specialties.

Mathews is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association, served as secretary and president of the Greater Houston UK Alumni Club, and organized fundraisers for DanceBlue and the club’s local scholarship fund. At UK, he was a resident advisor and hall director at Holmes Hall, a member of Collegians for Academic Excellence and an RHA council representative.

Mathews received a master’s degree in liberal studies from Bellarmine University in 1999 before relocating to Texas in 2001. He has worked as a community volunteer at Career Gear Houston and is a regular blood donor to the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center. He has also volunteered as a youth coach in the Cy-Fair Sports Association and assisted in collecting and sorting donations at the Houston Food Bank. He is married to Tonya Williams Mathews, and they have two children, Shelby and Pierce.

Kelly Sullivan Holland of Lexington was elected treasurer of the UK Alumni Association. The Danville, Kentucky, native earned two degrees from UK: a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1993 and a master’s in kinesiology and health promotion in 1998. While attending UK, she was an Otis Singletary Senior Award recipient, Phi Beta Kappa and Homecoming Queen. She served as president of Chi Omega sorority and secretary of Omicron Delta Kappa. In 2005, she was inducted into UK’s Greek Alumni Hall of Fame.

After graduation, Holland represented UK as an admissions counselor and later as the director of recruitment, associate director of undergraduate admissions. She was a board member of the Kentucky Association of Secondary and College Admission Counselors where she received the Most Outstanding Admissions Professional Award in 2000. She is the first alumna to be honored with the Joseph Burch Young Alumni Award, receiving it in 2004 and in 2010 she received the UK Alumni Association's Distinguished Service Award. She began her work with the Alumni Association serving as president of Fayette County Young Alumni and later as president of the Fayette County UK Alumni Club. Her service continued with the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

In 2012, Holland was appointed as a University of Kentucky Alumni Trustee serving a 6-year term. She served as a committee chair and secretary of the Board of Trustees during her term. She was selected to the 2021 Class of Leadership Kentucky and led UK’s Women & Philanthropy as network co-chair in 2023. She volunteers as a trustee of the Central Kentucky American Heart Association. For 22 years, she has been employed by Merck & Co. Inc. in sales and account management roles, where she has been awarded the prestigious Hall of Fame distinction. She serves as an associate director, national pharmacy accounts. She is married to Darin Holland (’93 AS) and they have a son, Jacob.

Jill H. Smith, of Lexington, Kentucky, was elected as secretary of the UK Alumni Association. She earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from UK in 2005 and a master’s degree in career, technical and leadership education from the University of Kentucky in 2011. She began working at the UK Alumni Association in 2006 as a program coordinator and held four other positions at the association before becoming executive director in February 2020. She also serves as associate vice president for stakeholder engagement at UK.

Smith has been an active volunteer with the Council for Advancement and Support of Education at both the state and district level. She is an advisor to the Delta Rho chapter of Delta Delta Delta and a 2022 graduate of Leadership Kentucky. She is a Life Member of the UK Alumni Association, a UK Fellow, Women & Philanthropy Member and serves on several university committees. She and her husband, Ryan, who is a UK Martin-Gatton College of Agriculture, Food and Environment graduate, have two children, Tanner and Emmy.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.