Kara J. Kelley
Initial Appointment: 2015
Kara J. Kelley is a proven executive with expertise in organizational leadership, business and political strategy, and marketing. She is known for achieving results through a collaborative approach and earned her reputation as a passionate advocate for business and free enterprise. As president of The Kelley Company, she advises companies on branding, business strategy and organizational development.
Most recently Ms. Kelley served as executive director for the Nevada Sesquicentennial Commission, overseeing the State of Nevada's 150th anniversary of statehood and raising more than $1.5 million in non-tax dollars. Throughout the celebratory year, Nevadans enjoyed more than 500 events, contributed to dozens of legacy projects and established a world record for "most people singing their state song at once."
Ms. Kelley is former CEO of the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce (LVCC), the third largest metropolitan chamber in the nation, with a membership of more than 7,000. Under her 14 years of service, LVCC became Nevada's most influential business association and the recognized industry leader. She achieved revenue growth of more than 40% and her successful marketing and sales effort, including recruitment and benefit initiatives, led to member growth of more than 30%. Her initiatives earned the Chamber acclaim including "Best Places to Work in Nevada" (In Business), "Most Respected CEO" (Nevada Business Journal), and top industry honors for website and other programming.
Ms. Kelley has authored numerous opinion columns, hosted a business radio show and conducted hundreds of media interviews internationally, nationally and locally, including interviews for The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the Travel Channel to name a few.
As a community leader, she holds various positions including serving on the Colorado River Commission, and as a member of the boards for Three Square food bank, The Mob Museum and UNLV's College of Liberal Arts Advisory Committee.
Ms. Kelley received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in political science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Included in her awards and recognitions: "Top 100 Most Influential Women in Las Vegas History" (Las Vegas Centennial Committee), "Most Influential Businesswoman of the Year" (In Business), "Executive of the Year" (Western Association of Chamber Executives), and "UNLV Alumnus of the Year" (College of Liberal Arts).
Ms. Kelley and her husband, Paul Larsen, live in Las Vegas and have two daughters.