Jen L. Kelley

Director, Finance

North Carolina

You can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe."- Leymah Gbowee

Areas of Expertise

  • Capital financing
  • Financial reporting, budget analysis
  • IPOs
  • Human resources
  • Corporate governance, audit support and financial compliance
  • Equity stock option accounting
  • Operational management and development of policies and procedures
  • Contract negotiation and vendor management


Jen is the AESARA Finance Director who has over 15 years’ experience in financial and management operations. Jen’s entrepreneurial spirit has included several startups from opening restaurants to building a biotech company. Her first foray into the business world was a Mediterranean restaurant where she led the day to day business operations. From this experience, she joined Heat Biologics, a five-person biotech company, where she led the accounting and operations management. She supported the growth of the business by her involvement in raising capital, acquisitions and partnerships with Big Pharma and Cancer Prevention Institute of Texas. She supported a successful 2013 $27 MM IPO along with continued growth to 30-person company with an operational laboratory.

Jen is an accomplished ballet dancer graduating from the School of American Ballet in NYC and later performing with the Dutch National Ballet, Amsterdam. Jen currently teaches Ballet in her free time at the Ballet School of Chapel Hill.

Key achievements

  • Successful Heat Biologics 2013 $27MM IPO
  • Two restaurant start-ups in Wilmington NC and Chapel Hill, NC


  • LEIDSE ONDERWIJSE INSTITUUT in Leiden, Netherlands, 2000 – 2003
  • Education Institution of Leiden – business management, project management, statistics and  accounting fundamentals
  • SCHOOL OF AMERICAN BALLET, School of the New York City Ballet, graduated 1990  

My letter

I am the behind-the-scenes guardian, the analytical thinker who prepares for outcomes yet unknown. I listen, take notes and then keep precious information safe. Mu is derived from the Egyptian hieroglyph for water. Mu is used in academia as a measurement for dynamic viscosity. I associate with Mu because water is almost everywhere but very often not noticed until it is gone or has been tainted. I can equate my contribution to AESARA as a viscose substance that holds moving parts together in dynamic fluidity.

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