Jim Kelly was born and raised in Independence; he is a graduate of Independence High School, Independence Community College and Emporia State University. Jim also graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He went to work for Citizens National Bank in Independence in 1969 and continued with the bank when it converted to Commerce Bank in 1998 and Community National Bank & Trust in 2008. Jim is currently Executive Vice President of Community National Bank & Trust. Jim has been involved in many civic activities in Independence and throughout Montgomery County over the past 43 years, including many large county-wide industrial recruitment projects. He served as an Independence City Commissioner
from 1985-91 serving two terms as Mayor
. From 2005 -13, Jim served on the USD 446 Board of Education
. Jim was president of the Board for 2 years. In January of 2011 Jim was appointed to fill the 12th District Kansas House
seat being vacated by Jeff King when he was appointed to fill the remaining term of Senator Derek Schmidt who was elected to serve as Kansas Attorney General. Rep. Kelly was re-elected in 2012 and 2014 to the District 11 Kansas House seat.
Jim is married to Eloise Meyer-Kelly, a speech pathologist, and they have one daughter, Beth, who recently graduated from Pittsburg State University with undergraduate and graduate degrees. Jim enjoys being with his family, community involvement, reading, golf, working in the yard and watching sports.
A few other noteworthy activities: Chairman, Montgomery County Economic Development Authority: This organization was involved in the recruitment of American Insulated Wire and Cessna to Montgomery County. Board member, and past president of the Montgomery County Action Council – a county-wide economic development group. Member of Leadership Kansas class of 1989, and past Leadership Kansas board member. Past Chairman of the Board, Mercy Health System of Kansas, current Chairman of the Board of Mercy Hospital of Independence. Currently, or have been a board member and/or officer of 20 local and county organizations.