Kelli Pendleton will step down as president and CEO of the Christian County Chamber of Commerce on March 26 to become executive director of the Fort Campbell Strong Defense Alliance, the chamber announced Monday.
Pendleton has been the chamber’s president and CEO for six years.
“I am blessed to have been afforded the opportunity to lead our chamber and am proud of the work we accomplished as a team with my staff and board of directors,” she said in a news release.
Pendleton cited several accomplishments during her tenure, including legislation designating Pennyrile Parkway as Interstate 169 and support for tourism through distilleries, horse racing and gaming. The local chamber also maintained its U.S. Chamber of Commerce accreditation and released a new 10-year Community Vision Plan, she said.
In her next job, Pendleton will lead a relatively new nonprofit that aims to support the economic benefits resulting from the region’s proximity to Fort Campbell.
Established as a 501(c)(6) in 2018, the Fort Campbell Strong Defense Alliance grew out of concerns resulting from the deactivation of two Army units at Fort Campbell and the subsequent loss of 5,800 soldiers at the installation. The alliance’s board represents Christian, Todd and Trigg counties in Kentucky and Montgomery, Stewart and Robertson counties in Tennessee.
The chamber board’s executive committee will meet this week to begin the process of hiring its next president. The members of the executive committee are Greg Moore, chair, Jeff Hurd, chair-elect, Jim Blair, vice chair, and Melissa Spurr, past chair.
According to the chamber’s most recent, publicly available tax filing, in 2018, Pendleton earned approximately $93,000 as the chamber’s top executive.