Kelli grew up in Hugo, Oklahoma. She attended the University of Oklahoma receiving both a bachelors degree in psychology and a masters degree in organizational change and development. Kelli started her career with the Hertz Corporation. She has spent the last 18 years as senior vice president of Irish Companies currently specializing in college campus solutions and conflict resolution. In 2017, Kelli and her partners opened StellaNova, local coffee shops that serve as gathering places for communities. She is CEO of the company.
Kelli is married to Brent Lay. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. Brent has worked at the Hertz Corporation for 26 years. They have two daughters, who both attend Deer Creek schools. The Lays live across the street from Kelli's sister and brother-in-law whose three children also attend Deer Creek schools.
In addition to her love for family and career, Kelli believes strongly in community service. She currently serves the Deer Creek community as School Board President and has also held positions of Vice President and Clerk. As a school board member, Kelli has guided Deer Creek through the teacher strike in 2018, redistricting, the pandemic, new building construction, growth strategies, hiring a new superintendent and bond issues.
Kelli has participated on the following Deer Creek committees: Redistricting, Bond, and Finance. She has been active at school sites in a variety of volunteer roles.
At her local church, Kelli volunteered in Children's Ministries for 14 years as a worship leader for elementary students. She was also on the Leadership Appointment Committee, VBS Director. and led story time for Hannah's Promise, a respite program for children with special needs. Within the community, Kelli has been on the boards of Heartline, a suicide prevention outreach, and Vice President of the Board of Citizens Caring for Children, a non-profit serving Oklahoma foster children.
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