Bob Kellam’s Transformative Leadership as an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer


In 2005 Bob Kellam, retired from the U.S. EPA and managing his small urban farm, became an Extension Master Gardener Volunteer (EMGV) in Wake County. Since then, he has provided local leadership to the EMGV Wake County program, as well as leading the statewide EMGV Association. He has also chaired the NC EMGV endowment.

In addition to his direct service and leadership as an EMGV, Bob has served on the Wake County Extension Advisory Council and the NC Cooperative Extension Agricultural Programs Foundation.

Bob’s leadership has been transformative. He led the state association to host their meetings via webinar enabling volunteers across the state to participate in decision making. He switched the quarterly newsletter from a document that was printed and mailed to an electronic tool distributed via email. This transition enabled the inclusion of color images and more articles as well as the repurposing of hundreds of dollars traditionally spent distributing the newsletter.

As Chair of the Endowment, Bob led the effort to have an EMGV license plate approved and was instrumental in selling the initial 300 plates required to put the plates into circulation. Bob also led the initial county campaign to raise the funds required to have the endowment established.

At every level Bob’s creative leadership, generosity, wisdom and attention to detail bring out the best in everyone around him and ensure outstanding achievements for the entire team that he guides.

Many thanks to Bob Kellam for choosing to share his knowledge, experience, and skill through the NC Cooperative Extension Program.