Staff Profiles

Get to know the brains behind KMAC!

Kelly MacLean
President and Founder

"I founded Kelly MacLean Achievement Center to help any student or player interested in attending college but unsure of how to make the best choice, get accepted, or get recruited."

Kelly MacLean is the president and founder of KMAC. Her unique background as a College Admission Representative as well as a high school varsity soccer coach provided the basis for the company. Kelly repeatedly witnessed high school students making mistakes in their college search; often resulting in missed scholarships, lack of acceptance at their choice schools, or ultimately switching schools or majors. As Kelly assisted her own players with their college searches, admission issues, recruiting, and ultimately playing in college, she realized how overwhelming this process is for most parents. Due to the success of her players, she was constantly approached by other students and parents to answer questions and help with their particular situations.  College Recruiting Specialists, LLC. was founded to make this service available to any student or player interested in attending college but unsure of how to make the best choice, get accepted or recruited. Over the past 5 years, we have found that 50% of our business is non-athletes trying to find the right school, scholarships and career path. With that in mind, we decided to rebrand as the Kelly MacLean Achievement Center in November 2019 to reflect our goal of helping ALL students, not just those looking for athletic recruiting.

Kelly is a featured expert contributor for Stack Magazine and Stack.com as well as  currently a member of OACAC (Ohio Association of College Admission Counselors), WISE (Women in Sports and Events), NCAA Compliance Forum, Rocky River Chamber of Commerce, Association of Sport Coaching Education, President of BNI Westside Connections Chapter,  previous board member for OFSA. As of 2018, Kelly is also a certified John C. Maxwell Coach, Teacher, Trainer and Speaker.

With that track record, it's no wonder that Kelly is called "The College Whisperer"!

Emily Balodis-Yaya
College Admissions Counsellor

"I saw students making the wrong decisions, asking the wrong questions, and ultimately choosing the wrong schools. My passion to help students and families make the best decisions about such an important financial investment is what brought me to KMAC."

Emily was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where she currently lives. She graduated high school with honors from Holy Name High School in 2010, and graduated from Notre Dame College magna cum laude in 2014 with her B.A. in AYA Education. She also played soccer for four years at Notre Dame College earning Academic All-American recognition as well as Athletic All-American recognition in 2013. 

She worked as the Associate Director of Admissions and Varsity Girls Soccer Coach at a local private high school for four years. During this time she worked with 8th grade students helping them choose which high school was the best fit for students. Additionally, she evaluated applications, essays, and conducted interviews as needed. As well as walking families through the financial aid and scholarship application processes. During her time working at the high school level she also aided in the college selection process for her athletes. Making sure they were taking the right classes, contacting the appropriate coaches, and putting themselves in the best place to be a recruited high school athlete. 

After four years at the high school level she moved on to college admissions. Working at a small private college she was immersed into every aspect of the college admissions process; applications, academic advising, financial aid, scholarships, and anything else that comes to mind when you hear ‘college admissions process’. Much like Kelly, she saw students making the wrong decisions, asking the wrong questions, and ultimately choosing the wrong schools. Her passion to help students and families make the best decisions about such an important financial investment is what drove her to the Kelly MacLean Achievement Center.

 Erica Papcum
Office Manager & Admin Assistant

Erica was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where she currently lives. She graduated with honors from Saint Joseph Academy in 2011, and graduated from Cleveland State University cum laude in 2015 with her B.A. in Psychology.

She now attends Kent State University's iSchool, pursuing a Master's in Library and Information Science. Erica is the mastermind behind the scenes, working on research, scheduling, advertising, and anything else Kelly asks of her. In her free time, she likes to go to trivia nights with her friends, do DIY projects around the house, and spend time with her dog, Milo. 

 

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