Kristy holds a Master of Business Administration from Appalachian State University and received her B.S. in Business Administration, with a concentration in marketing and communications, from Meredith College in Raleigh. She began the role of Executive Director, officially on Nov. 1.

In her previous role, Kristy managed media and marketing for the partnership — including its website, social media and publications — and was instrumental in planning the organization's annual fundraiser. Before that, she held a number of positions, including executive director of the Lee County Arts Council, program manager for the Coalition for Families of Lee County and owner-manager of Added Accents, a gift and home accessories boutique.

Though Kristy has experience with nonprofits in several industries, she was attracted to the Lee County Partnership for Children because of its mission, which is to prepare children for success in school. With most children entering school roughly 2,000 days after birth, Arey feels a sense of urgency to provide a solid foundation for success during this significant time in their lives.  This mission is very close to home as she has two daughters,  Connor and Peyton who are the light of her life.