Winston Kelley is the executive director of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Prior to joining the interactive, entertainment attraction in 2006, Kelley served in a wide variety of managerial and executive capacities at Duke Power and Duke Energy.
He has a lifelong background in NASCAR and an immense enthusiasm for the sport. Born into a racing family, Kelley’s passion for NASCAR began after he attended his first race in 1964, the Daytona 500. Kelley attained one of his dreams when he became a member of the Motor Racing Network (MRN) radio broadcasting team in 1988. To this day, he still reports and serves as MRN Radio's lead pit reporter.
The Charlotte resident gives back to his community through a number of civic organizations including the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, North Carolina Motorsports Foundation, the 600 Festival Association’s executive committee, the North Carolina Motorsports and Automotive Research Center Advisory Board, and the Governor’s Motorsports Advisory Council.
Kelley graduated magna cum laude from North Carolina State University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in business management and economics.
Q&A with Winston:
What is the best lesson from college that still applies to your job? It is the people that you meet and go through life with that matter the most. And you can get good results and have a good time if you budget your time and prioritize wisely.
What is the best career advice you ever received? Do a good job at the job you currently have and future things will take care of themselves.
What is the accomplishment you are most proud of? Anytime people I have worked with and/or hired are successful and enjoy what they are doing.
What is the best part of your job? The people – our members, guests, fans, staff, partners, NHOF inductees, the NASCAR industry, local community – ALL of them.
Why did you choose your current career path? I had a great job and career with Duke Power Company, now Duke Energy. To have the opportunity to showcase the incredible history of NASCAR and work with my childhood heroes was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
What has most impressed you about JHE? The JHE team has a unique ability to think and plan strategically and then provide exceptional execution at the tactical level. Most companies can do one or the other very well, but not both like JHE.
What is your best tip for success? Choose an occupation that you will enjoy and then apply yourself and put your best into it every day.
Six things you may not know about Winston:
I spend the majority of my weekends… at race tracks working for Motor Racing Network and the Hall of Fame.
I’m inspired by… people who have overcome significant adversity and see the positive things in life.
I start my day by… reading a daily devotional from Our Daily Bread and a prayer I found at my mom’s house after she passed away.
My favorite quotes are… “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” – Winston Churchill and “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Theodore Roosevelt
My runner-up career was… my first career at Duke Power Company, now Duke Energy. I spent 27 years there and literally had four different careers within one great company.
I relieve stress by… going to the mountains or riding my motorcycle. Enjoying the two together is a great combination.
Keep up with Winston on Twitter at @WinstonKelley.