C. Kelly Ottman, PhD
Professor - Rader School of Business/Owner , MSOE/Leadership Portals, LLC
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
email ottman@msoe.edu
LinkedIn Profile
Global Executive Coach and Leadership Consultant. International expertise in China and India. Builder of organizational cultures aligned with mission and values to promote employee engagement and organizational health. Driver of Purpose Governance and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Board Profile

The intersections of Dr. Kelly Ottman’s professional accomplishments, educational history, service experience, and personal mission position her to make a positive difference to the health and success of a corporation. As an executive, she successfully led complex organizations. For the past 25 years, her focus has been on developing leaders, often executive teams. Her multi-disciplinary academic leadership training includes a two-year executive development fellowship. An understanding of board functions emerges from her serving on various professional, educational and not-for-profit boards, as well as reporting to and consulting for boards. Dr. Ottman’s knowledge, skills and experiences center on the growth of individuals, teams and organizations. Key areas of expertise and impact include leadership and team development, mission and value clarification, strategic planning, organizational culture, diversity and inclusion, employee engagement, global mindsets and business with China and India.

Board Experience


Service ON Boards

  • International Leadership Association – 2018-present
    • Executive Committee, Leadership Development
  • FIRST Robotics – Wisconsin Advisory Board – 2011-2015
    • Executive Board Member and Chair of VIP Events
  • ALPS (Accelerated Learning Programs) Charter School, Oshkosh School District – 2005 – 2008
    • President of Board
  • Oshkosh Lighted School House, Oshkosh WI – 2009 – 2012
    • Board Member
  • Team Based Learning Collaborative (International Professional Organization) – 2009-2014
    • Board Member and Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Chair
  • Wisconsin Visiting Nurses Association Professional Advisory Board – 2001-2008
    • Board Member
  • Wisconsin Forward Award – 2001-2003
    • Board of Examiners
  • Association of HealthCare Executives – SE Wisconsin – 1989-2001
    • President, VP, Chair of Education, and Chair of Membership
  • Wisconsin Bio Ethics Network – 1993-1996
    • Board Member
  • National Therapeutic Recreation Society – 1986-1990
    • Board Member and Chair of Membership

Service TO Boards

As a consultant, Dr. Ottman has advised board of directors in mission development, strategic planning, and board roles/functions.  Below is a select list of clients.

  • Wisconsin Center for Performance Excellence
  • Waukesha County Economic Development Corporation
  • Wisconsin College Admissions Councilor Association
  • Wisconsin FIRST Robotics
  • Oshkosh WAVE Robotics

Professional Summary


As an independent consultant, Dr. Ottman works with local, national and international executive leaders, management groups and boards of directors from an array of industries and professions. These range from executive steel workers to executive nuns.  She has conducted on-site consultation and education with Asia-Pacific leaders and teams and facilitated strategic planning for businesses and professional organizations.  As an Executive Coach, she assists individuals in the areas of leadership and career development.  She is known for having courageous conversations, based in empathy, to drive effectiveness.  Clients have included Brady Corp, Charter Steel, Direct Supply, Johnson Controls, Marquette University, Medical College of Wisconsin, Michigan Tech, National Business Furniture, Schneider National, Sensient, and Wauwatosa Public School District.


  • MSOE University, Milwaukee, WI – 2007-present
    • Professor, Rader School of Business
      • Teach MBA, Master of Science in Engineering Management, and MBA Educational Leadership and Undergraduate Honors students in the areas of leadership, organizational behavior and management.
      • Developed the Doing Business with China Program, 2009-2019. Partner with over 25 corporations and engage over 100 leaders locally and in China.  Signature is Servant Leadership Library Project in rural China.
      • Conducted research in China with government, state owned and multi-national executive leaders.
      • Taught at Lubeck University in Germany on the topic of Business with China, 2018.
      • Serve(d) as Chair of University committees to include University Mission and Values, Faculty Development, Promotions, Faculty Grants, and International Servant Leadership.
  • University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI – 2000-2008
    • Full-Time Instructor, Lubar School of Business
      • Taught in undergraduate and graduate programs and the Executive USA and China MBA degree programs.
      • Conducted leadership seminars for industry leaders from around the world.
      • Awarded the University Outstanding Teaching Award for Academic Staff.
      • Selected as University Center Scholar for Teaching and Learning.
  • Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI – 1995-2000
    • Full-time Lecturer, College of Business Administration
      • Taught EMBA, MBA and traditional undergraduate leadership and organizational behavior courses.
      • Design Team and Faculty, College of Professional Studies
      • Served on design team for the College of Professional Studies.
      • Taught adult learners leadership, ethics, organizational behavior and team development.


  • Horizon Home Care and Hospice, Milwaukee WI – 1991-1996
    • Vice President of Administrative Services
      • Assured profit margins and increased growth ($12 million budget).
      • Facilitated health system integration (47% increase in system admissions in one year).
      • Developed and evaluated programs and services to meet client needs (1,100 total active clients).
      • Lead state and federal survey processes.
      • Facilitated multiple reorganization processes.
      • Lead self-managed teams in multiple hospital settings.
      • Interacted with Board of Directors.


  • Ph.D. – Adult Education with an emphasis on Organizational Leadership, University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • M.P.A./M.A.  –  Public Policy and Administration and Health Service Administration, La Follette Institute of Public Affairs at University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • B.S. – Therapeutic Recreation, University of Wisconsin – La Crosse

Recognition & Awards

Executive Coaching

  • Top 19 Coaches In Milwaukee in 2022 by Influence Digest https://influencedigest.com/coaching/top-coaches-milwaukee-2022/
  • Named Executive Coach for WE Empower UN SDG Challenge  World Region: Greater Middle East and North Africa.  Named through International Leadership Association, 2021-22

Teaching Awards

  • University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Outstanding Teaching Award for Academic Staff, 2005
  • Concordia University, Outstanding Teaching Award, 2000

Service Awards

  • Library Project, Hunan, China, June 2017
    • Recognized by The Library Project, a non-profit organization that donates books and libraries to under financed schools in China and Vietnam (http://www.library-project.org), for providing Servant Leadership in China since 2010.
  • Rockwell Automation Asia Pacific (RAAP)
    • Received the Friend of RAPP Award on Sept 22, 2015.  The award was given to “An individual who has supported the RAAP objective of Learn, Share, Empower by going above and beyond in their contribution, to bring value to Rockwell Automation and employees through partnering with RAAP.“


Kelly is a proud mother of two children (21-year-old and 28-year-old). She has a passion for exploring different cultures through travel and believes in diversity and inclusion from multiple perspectives. She host international students in her home on a regular basis. She rejuvenates herself through gardening, yoga, camping, kayaking, and hosting gatherings of friends. Aligned with Servant Leadership, she has been transformed through coordinating/engaging in local and international service projects. Locations have included China, Mexico and Vietnam. For over 25 years she has coordinated a Christmas Eve program for the homeless in Milwaukee, WI.

Additional Documents



Healthcare/Pharma/Med DevicesIndustrial/ManufacturingNon-for-profit/EducationProfessional Services

Company Revenue

Up to $50M

P&L Responsibility

Up to-$25M

Level of Expertise



Diversity, Equity & InclusionEnvironmental, Social, and Corporate GovernanceInternational BusinessHuman Resources

Board Experience


Leadership on Board

AdvisorCommittee Chair