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Kelly Rohder-Tonelli receives community service award from Project Acclaim

Award named in honor of the organization’s founder

Kelly Rohder-Tonelli was recently honored with the Reverend James E. Allen Award for Service to the Community.

Through the award, Project Acclaim in Joliet “recognizes individuals or organizations who: show selfless devotion of community by direct action, perform actions that have a community-wide impact, and perform actions that have enhanced the best interests of the community,” according to a news release from the organization.

Rohder-Tonelli, executive director of communications and marketing at Joliet Junior College, was selected for her “sustained community involvement and mentorship,” the release said.

She earned rher bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from the University of Iowa and her master’s degree in organizational leadership from Lewis University, the release said.

Rohder-Tonelli worked as a communication and media specialist at JJC from 2007 to 2011 and then as director of communications and external relations from 2011 to 2016, the release said.

She currently leads JJC’s communications and marketing division in institutional branding; website content; print, digital, and social media communications; media relations; public relations; establishing and maintaining federal and state governmental relations; and implementing and leading crisis communications activities, the release said.

Rohder-Tonelli also serves as JJC’s spokesperson and is a certified public information officer through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Incident Management system, the release said.

In the community, Rohder-Tonelli is a member of the board of directors for the George Werden Buck Boys and Girls Club, the Joliet Area Historical Museum and the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce, the release said.

She is a member of the Joliet Public Library board of trustees and has served in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Will & Grundy County Mentor 2.0 program, the release said.

Rohder-Tonelli also served as the chair of the Will County Center for Economic Development Higher Education subcommittee in 2014 and as the co-chair of the Rialto Marquee Advisory Committee in 2015, the release said.

She lives in Joliet with her husband, Rodney Tonelli, the release said.

Allen (deceased) started Project Pride (later renamed Project Acclaim) to “pull people out of the doldrums,” his wife Nancy Allen said in a 2016 Herald-News story.

“At the time there was high unemployment, and we had seven murders in the city over the summer,” Nancy said in the story. “He was trying to get people to cooperate and be productive for their city.”

In 2014, Project Acclaim created the Rev. James E. Allen Award for Service to the Community in honor of a man who received numerous awards for his own service.

For more information, visit projectacclaim.org.