May 11, 2023
TOPEKA – Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland announced Marla Canfield and Jaicey Gillum have been named the Kansas Department of Commerce’s 2022 Employees of the Year.
“Having talented and dedicated employees on our staff at Commerce is essential to our growth and prosperity as an agency and a state,” Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Commerce David Toland said. “Marla and Jaicey are both superstars who come to work each day ready to tackle any challenges in front of them. I congratulate both Marla Canfield and Jaicey Gillum on being named 2022 Employee of the Year and thank them for their tireless efforts to serve and support the businesses and people of Kansas.”
Marla Canfield has worked for the State of Kansas for over 11 years, with almost nine of those being at Commerce. She started her Commerce career as a program consultant for registered apprenticeships and currently serves as the In-State Business Development Project Manager for the 14 counties in the South Central region of the state. Marla works directly with companies who want to invest capital in our state through expansions and hiring projects by helping connect them to resources within the department and community partners. Her professionalism and supportive service extends to all the work she does at Commerce, including her efforts to elevate the Certified Sites program that has become a national standard for success. Marla enjoys working with the many talented people who challenge her to be the best and think outside the box. She is thankful for community partners who support Commerce’s work and partner with the agency to bring great programs and services to Kansas communities.
“I love working within the region and being part of the growth and development of communities and companies. It is always amazing to see how much the products made in Kansas impact everyday lives,” Marla Canfield said. “I would like to thank my teammates and partners at Commerce, along with Governor Kelly and Lieutenant Governor Toland for their leadership in supporting Kansas communities and companies. It is a privilege to work under great leadership who have such a strong commitment to Kansans.”
Jaicey Gillum, Program Manager for the Office of Rural Prosperity (ORP), joined the Commerce team in 2022. Prior to Commerce, she was the Executive Director for Academic Outreach at Independence Community College. Jaicey assists rural communities with grant applications, connects them with other offices or services, and helps with day-to-day tasks in the office. Jaicey’s skills in marketing have helped to maintain and grow a network of rural thinkers and doers through social media and newsletters. She has also been instrumental with the administration of both the Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) and Strategic Economic Expansion and Development (SEED) grant programs, delivering exemplary service to Kansans in rural communities throughout the state. She has been recognized by her team for her willingness to approach new challenges as opportunities to provide creative solutions to help communities thrive and overcome hardships.
“I work with an awesome team that supports each other, works through issues together, and are an overall powerhouse for rural Kansas. I love seeing our team use our strengths to do awesome things for the state,” Jaicey Gillum said. “I am so thankful to have been chosen as Employee of the Year. I’m excited to further grow with Commerce and see visions come to life in our office, the department, and the state as a whole!”
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. Through Commerce’s project successes, Kansas was awarded Area Development Magazine’s prestigious Gold Shovel award in 2021 and 2022, and was awarded the 2021 and 2022 Governor’s Cup by Site Selection Magazine.