Des Moines Moms Movers and Shakers: Colleen Kelly


We are continuing our series on Des Moines area moms who are movers and shakers. These are women who are making a difference in our community through the businesses they own, organizations they are involved with, and work they do.

You might recognize the name Colleen Kelly from her popular morning radio show, Ken, Colleen, & Kurt in the morning on STAR 102.5Colleen Kelly: DMMB movers shakersTell us a little bit about yourself and your family.

My husband Justin and I have been married for almost 7 years. Our daughter Mia will start first grade in the fall and our son Rory is 2 1/2. We live in Clive.

What do you consider the biggest challenge of motherhood? Biggest joy?

Not being too tired to enjoy my kids. I get up around 3:45 a.m. every day. I’m still sleep deprived from labor and delivery with Mia! But that’s no excuse to not give them 100%. I find great joy in watching them explore and solve problems. 

colleen kelly family

How long have you been in radio? How did you get started and when did you start your current show?

I’ve been doing morning radio for almost 19 years. I’ve been in Des Moines with Ken and Kurt for over 17 years. Getting this job was mostly luck. I was looking for a new opportunity and Ken was looking for a new co-host. We worked for the same radio group in Springfield, Illinois, so we had some history. Ken was actually good friends with the guy I was dating at the time. The rest is history… like the boyfriend.

What’s the best part about your job?

It’s fun! Our goal is to help people get their day started. I love it when people tell me we made them laugh out loud. We’re having a great time, I sure hope people are having fun with us!

What’s the hardest part about your job?

The hours. I love that I can pick the kids up from school but surviving on 6.5 hours of sleep for almost 20 years takes a toll.

What advice do you have for moms who want to start a business?

It’s hard for me to answer this. I took a leap of faith on a new job when I was 24 with no kids. It’s tougher to take those risks when you have responsibilities. Hats off to the people who do it!

What have you learned?/Wish you knew when you started?

This is supposed to be fun, don’t stress so much. AND not everyone is going to like you, that’s okay (they clearly have bad taste, but that’s not your problem).

What’s the last show you watched, thing you listened to, or book you read?

‘Sneaky Pete’, ’13 Reasons Why’, and  ‘Reign’ were my Netflix binges last spring. I can’t wait for the next season of ‘This is Us’. And I still have HBO so I can watch the final season of ‘Game of Thrones’. The last book I read was ‘Enders Game’… that was 3 years ago (not proud). The most recent thing I listened to was the ‘Missing Richard Simmons’ podcast.

Why do you call Des Moines home?

To be very honest, my job is here. That aside, I love Des Moines. It’s ideal for families and I’m still close to family in the Chicago area.

Des Moines Favorites:

Favorite spot for a date night: Wasabi. I love a good sushi roll. And it’s close to home.

Best place to take kids: It’s on the other side of town, BUT my kids love Union Park. The few times we’ve been there, I can’t get them to leave!

Favorite summer activity: The Adel Aquatic Center, it’s a bargain.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be? At some point in my life, I’ll live close to a body of water. I’d love to fall asleep to the sound of the ocean… every night!

How or where do you relax? My 30 something self would tell you I go for jogs at Gray’s Lake or Raccoon River Park. My 40 year old self is more honest. I relax on my couch with the DVR or Netflix. Ideally I also have a glass of wine or a bowl of ice cream!

Check out other Des Moines Moms Movers & Shakers: 

Becky Pospisal, The Knotty Nail


Know a Des Moines mom we should feature? Let us know! Email [email protected] with details and we will be in touch. 


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