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Trisha Purdon named director of the Kansas Office of Rural Prosperity

Apr 28, 2021

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TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that Trisha Purdon will lead the Kansas Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP).

Purdon currently serves as the Executive Director of the Montgomery County Action Council, working hands on with communities in Southeast Kansas to grow and strengthen local economies.

“When I took office, my administration took steps right away to give rural Kansans – who had gone unheard for far too long – a voice here in Topeka, resulting in the Office of Rural Prosperity,” Governor Kelly said. “The Office’s goals of tackling pressing issues like child care, broadband, housing, preserving main street businesses, and creating economic opportunities in rural Kansas demand a highly-skilled individual with experience in prioritizing our rural communities. There’s no doubt that Trisha has all of the qualifications needed to improve the lives of rural Kansans statewide. We’re pleased to have her on the team.”

In this position, Purdon will oversee ORP’s daily operations, which include investing in programs, realigning existing resources, enhancing technical assistance provided to local leaders and expanding on successful programs to better focus on the needs of rural communities. Purdon’s office will be based out of Montgomery County.

“Trisha is a champion of Southeast Kansas economic development, and I’ve seen her dedication to rural Kansas firsthand,” Lieutenant Governor and Commerce Secretary David Toland said. “We’re so fortunate to have such an expert on rural life in this position — the mission of improving Kansans’ lives is personal to her. I’m thrilled to add her perspective and professionalism to our team at ORP.”

“Working to improve living and economic conditions in rural Kansas has been my professional life’s mission,” Purdon said. “I’m honored to accept this incredible role, and I thank Governor Kelly and Lt. Governor Toland for the opportunity. Together, we will continue to be creative and aggressive in our approach to assisting rural businesses and communities in Kansas.”

Purdon will succeed former ORP Director Jillian Fisher, who has taken a position in the Governor’s Office working on stakeholder and coalition engagement.

To see the work ORP has been doing so far, click here to read the 2020 Annual Report.

About the Office of Rural Prosperity

The Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP) advocates for and promotes rural Kansas and focuses on efforts designed to aid rural improvements. Through ongoing conversations with rural stakeholders, ORP identifies key policy priorities and blends administrative action with legislative work to remove barriers to prosperity. Led by the Lieutenant Governor, ORP recruits subject matter experts to develop solutions, places a premium on listening to Kansans, and highlights successful communities and projects.

About the Kansas Department of Commerce

As the state’s lead economic development agency, the Kansas Department of Commerce strives to empower individuals, businesses and communities to achieve prosperity in Kansas. Commerce accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations, site location consultants and stakeholders in Kansas, the nation and world. Our strong partnerships allow us to help create an environment for existing Kansas businesses to grow and foster an innovative, competitive landscape for new businesses.


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