West Hawaii Today has named Kelly Bolyard its new advertising director.
Bolyard started April 14. She and her husband, Jeff, wanted to come to Hawaii for “the quality of life.” The couple have long dreamt of moving to Hawaii — and visited often — but didn’t think it was possible until Bolyard saw the job opening, which she describes as her dream job.
Bolyard said she’s proud — even “a little bit jealous” — of Jeff, an IT consultant who is working remotely out of their Kailua-Kona condo for a mainland company and gets off at 2 p.m.
Born and raised in North Carolina, Bolyard went to East Carolina University. At 21, she moved to Augusta, Ga., and got into the home respiratory care industry. She worked seven years with Augusta Health Alliance, before starting her own business, Augusta Respiratory Care, in her garage and dining room. Within three months, Bolyard moved it out of her house and into an office in the medical community. It became one of the fastest growing home respiratory care companies in the southeast. In 1994, she sold the business to Lincare Inc. and worked under contract for that company for five years.
Facing a noncompete agreement, Bolyard opted to change industries. She started in 2001 as an outside classified sales representative at The Augusta Chronicle, managing large auto and real estate accounts. A year later, the newspaper promoted her to new business development, charging her with training ad representatives on selling online products.
Bolyard later became the online sales director for The Augusta Chronicle and Morris Communications. She successfully ran its first online-only sales blitz, earning the 2004 Digital Edge Award by the New Media Federation for best advertising program for circulation below 75,000.
Bolyard was next promoted business consulting director, providing oversight, leadership and expertise to 27 Morris Communications’ daily newspapers. She developed and implemented online strategies that helped these publications increase online revenue, opening the door to new avenues for their clients.
Bolyard also worked as the assistant vice president and digital development director for Paddock Publications, as well as the business development vice president for The Elkhart Truth in Indiana. She created Strawberry Fields Marketing Agency, which helped small and medium-sized businesses around Chicago “succeed in this rapidly changing commercial landscape through digital and traditional marketing services.”
Throughout her career, Bolyard has done business consulting and digital development, helping companies and organizations “stay in front of audiences” and “be relevant” while keeping up with technology advancements. She strives to “solve issues, create value, maximize growth and improve business performance.”
For West Hawaii Today, she plans to build on the existing foundation and digital initiatives, while implementing new ideas to drive success across all platforms. She understands small, mom-and-pop businesses are undergoing a “cataclysmic change” requiring a balance of print, digital and mobile ads to engage with customers. She strives to make their participation in this digital revolution seamless by showing opportunities and products to successfully market themselves and sustain a meaningful relationship with Big Island residents and visitors.
On her LinkedIn profile, Bolyard has numerous recommendations that praise her enthusiasm, energy and integrity.
Helen Levinson, Indigo Interactive Inc. chief executive officer, admires Bolyard’s consistent leadership style, endearing confidence and high energy, as well as her “unique ability to assess difficult situations and provide solutions to resolve them.” Levinson wrote, “She is an incredibly strategic thinker, connecting the skills and strengths of others to achieve organizational goals, and at the same time promote solid teamwork.”
Michael Romaner, a business owner and digital media professional, described Bolyard as “a tireless woman whose energy sucks you — whether friend, co-worker, business partner or customer — into her vortex every time.”
Besides helping local businesses reach their goals, Bolyard is excited about getting involved with the community and having Hawaii be her life. Her interests include tennis, bodyboarding and scuba diving. The couple has three adult daughters, a 20-month-old granddaughter, and a dog.