Past President Leads MCAC in Interim Role

Past President Leads MCAC in Interim Role Main Photo

2 Sep 2021


As the Montgomery County Action Council seeks a new executive director to fill the vacated position, it is in good hands. Past MCAC president and current Kansas 11th District House Representative Jim Kelly is serving as the interim director as the organization seeks an individual to fill the position full time.

“I have a long history with MCAC, so I offered to assist in any manner possible during the search process,” said Kelly.

The role became open when former executive director Trisha Purdon left at the end of May to assume the directorship of the Office of Rural Prosperity, an agency within the Kansas Department of Commerce.

Kelly’s experience in the area goes well beyond that with the MCAC. He was born and raised in Independence, graduating from Independence High School, Independence Community College and Emporia State University. Kelly completed his graduate degree in Banking at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Kelly’s professional career began at Independence’s Citizens National Bank in 1969, continuing on as it converted to Commerce Bank in 1998 and Community National Bank & Trust in 2008. He is currently Executive Vice President of Community National Bank & Trust.

In January of 2011, Kelly was appointed to fill the 12th District Kansas House seat vacated by Jeff King. Kelly won re-election to the new 11th District House seat in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.

Kelly has been and continues to be involved in a number of community and county activities over the past 52 years. His time with the Montgomery County Economic Development Authority included two large county-wide industrial recruitment projects resulting in American Insulated Wire and Cessna locating in Montgomery County. He was an Independence City Commissioner from 1985-91, serving two terms as Mayor.  From 2005 - 2013, Kelly served on the USD 446 Board of Education, including two years as president.

Kelly’s other past and current involvements include:

  • Leadership Independence Class of 1985
  • Leadership Kansas Class of 1989
  • Leadership Kansas Board Member 1992 – 1994
  • Chairman of the Montgomery County Economic Development Authority 1994 - Present
  • Past President (1994-95) and member of Montgomery County Action Council
  • Chairman of Mercy Health System of Kansas Board – 2000-09
  • Past Chairman of Mercy Hospital Independence Board
  • Chairman of the Board of the Independence Chamber of Commerce - 2003
  • Independence Community College Outstanding Alumnus - 2004
  • Kansas Economic Development Alliance Volunteer of the Year - 2004
  • Southern Economic Development Council Volunteer of the year - 2004
  • Past treasurer Independence Community College Foundation
  • Current treasurer U.S.D. 446 Educational Foundation
  • Current treasurer Independence Action Partnership
  • Current board member Independence Industries
  • Past board member Independence Main Street
  • Past board member of Neewollah