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ConnectVA Spotlight: Kelli Lemon, Mama J’s Kitchen


Kelli Lemon, Business Manager, Mama J’s Kitchen, Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Spotlight Moderator

Kelli Lemon has created a name for herself as a “social entrepreneur” that can be seen and heard all over Richmond, Virginia! Kelli is passionate about creating events and opportunities for people to socially interact, whether through food, sports, education or the arts.

This year Kelli was honored as a Top 40 Under 40 by Style Weekly Magazine.  She will be leading the panel discussion during YNPN RVA’s upcoming event – The Top 40 Under 40 Nonprofit Spotlight with Style Weekly, which you can register for here by November 16th.

Recently, we caught up with Kelli to learn a little more about what she’s doing in RVA….

What are the top 3 things you want people to know about you?

  • I adore Richmond
  • I don’t do anything that I don’t love
  • I don’t stress because it’s overrated

What are 3 things you want people to know about your work?

  • I am the business manager for Mama J’s, a southern-style neighborhood restaurant in Jackson Ward. We offer outstanding service, in a relaxing atmosphere with a consistent product.
  • From 7 – 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays you can listen to me during the “Saturday Nite House Party” on 99.3 105.7 Kiss FM with DJ Drake and on iPower 92.1 with the Heavy Hitter DJ Lonnie B teaching a lesson in old school hip hop during “Sunday School”.
  • I host “Coffee with Strangers”, a new podcast series of webisodes dedicated to exposing how people “live Richmond”

How does your work help empower individuals, advance organizations and strengthen community?

I connect people in RVA socially through music, arts, food, sports and entertainment. These connections build diverse relationships that ultimately change the structure of the City.

I give back by serving on the Advisory Board for the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, mentoring for Art 180 and assisting the Richmond Chamber of Commerce Emerging Women in Leadership Committee.

What do you love most about RVA?

It’s growing and changing daily and people are welcoming the change with open arms. The city is small enough to have a home town feel, but large enough to give you a urban city life.


YNPN RVA, our local chapter of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, and Style Weekly have partnered to host an event that celebrates the nonprofit leaders and professionals selected for Style Weekly’s Annual Top 40 Under 40 List. Join us to hear from a panel of the current Top 40 Under 40 honorees in the nonprofit sector, moderated by 2015 recipient Kelli Lemon, and a keynote from a Top 40 Under 40 alumnae Beth Panilaitis, Executive Director of ROSMY . We’ll top the night off with a reception, networking, silent auction and prizes. All are welcome. Register before November 16th.

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